cbd oil strains for depression

5 Best Cannabis Strains for Mood Disorders [2022 Update]

Did you know that more than 20% of people in the United States report having a depressive episode within any given month? Furthermore, estimates suggest that around 350 million individuals suffer from depression worldwide, and this is just one of the many mood disorders that exist.

Most people can relate to mood disorders and the difficulties they can bring about in both the lives of those who have them and also those who are close to these individuals.
Many patients use medical marijuana to address mood disorders. Reports suggest that cannabis could help to lessen a variety of symptoms in this area.

In this informative article, we will first begin by discussing much of what there is to know and understand about mood disorders. We will then tie in the medical marijuana element, specifically, which marijuana strains have benefitted cannabis patients who struggle with mood disorders.

Keep reading to learn more about the 5 best strains of cannabis that may help to relieve mood disorders…

What Are Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders are complex and multi-dimensional. There are a lot of factors at play, especially when it comes to a professional making a diagnosis.

Mood disorders are classified into distinct types, and diagnosis is made only by a medical provider. Some of the most well-understood mood disorders include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder (severe depression)
  • Persistent depressive disorder (a low grade but long-lasting form of depression)
  • Cyclothymia (mild bipolar disorder)
  • Seasonal affective disorder

These conditions are some of the more common ones, but many other mood disorders exist.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental condition in which the mind swings from mania to depression. This is only one possible pattern of bipolar, though. Many experience bipolar differently, making diagnoses sometimes challenging.

This condition is quite common, although it does not have a cure. The three primary factors that distinguish bipolar from other mood disorders involve distinctive changes in manic activity, energy levels, and mood.

Depressive Disorder

Depressive disorder, which does share some similarities with bipolar, is categorized primarily by a loss of interest in activities and a sad or depressed mood. This can severely impair functionality and progress within day to day life. As with bipolar, depressive disorder also has no cure.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is cyclical and does not persist all year round or have unexpected stopping and starting points.

It is defined as a depressive disorder always appearing at the same time every year. It is typically treatable with the help of a professional and does not impair the ability to live day to day as much as bipolar or depressive disorders do.

Mood Disorder Causes and Symptoms:

The causes of mood disorders are not truly fully understood, but they are thought to be existent due to a combination of three factors:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental factors or life events
  • Brain chemistry

Those who have family members with a mood disorder diagnosis are at greater risk of developing a mood disorder themselves. Other times, environmental factors or traumatic life events can trigger an episode that can persist for long periods of time and repeatedly arise throughout life. Chemicals in the brain also influence mood disorders, either by not being present in proper amounts or by not interacting properly.

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For many with mood disorders, their conditions are usually a blend of all three of these factors. It is vital for scientists to conduct more research regarding mood disorders so that they can discover further information and use it to help all those suffering from these often debilitating conditions.

In general, the symptoms of mood disorders can vary significantly from person to person. However, here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • The feeling of being helpless, or hopeless, about life
  • Ongoing sadness, emptiness, aloneness, or anxiousness
  • Feeling excessively guilty, inadequate, or worthless
  • Persistent low self-esteem
  • Aggression, hostility, or irritability towards others
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or a suicide attempt (these symptoms are extremely serious, and any individual with these symptoms should get help from a professional immediately)
  • Loss of interest in activities or events that were once enjoyable, including decreased or nonexistent sexual drive
  • Unusual sleeping patterns; sleeping too much or too little
  • Difficulties with energy (fatigue) and loss of appetite (including loss of weight)
  • Comfort or stress binge eating, or a sudden spike in weight
  • Sensitivity to criticism or rejection

Conventional Medical Treatments (Other than Marijuana):

As of now, most mood disorders do not have an absolute, definitive cure. However, some conventional medical treatments have proven to be successful and have even allowed some individuals to begin living a normal life again.

Some common medications prescribed for depressive disorder patients include:

  • SSRIs (e.g., Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro)
  • SNRIs, (e.g., Cymbalta, Fetzima)
  • MAOIs, (e.g., Parnate, Marplan, Nardil)

Many other medications and classes of medicines exist for the treatment of depressive disorder. There are just too many to cover them all in this article.

For bipolar disorder, doctors often prescribe medications other than antidepressants. Some individuals are given a combination of drugs, which can include an antidepressant, such as one of the common types listed above. Some other frequently prescribed bipolar medications include:

  • Mood stabilizers (e.g., Lithobid, Depakote, Lamictal)
  • Antipsychotics (e.g., Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, Latuda)
  • Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medication)

Doctors often prescribe some combination of these medications to individuals with severe bipolar disorder. Professionals and medical experts believe that the correct combination of medication and traditional talk therapy can be an especially effective method of managing mood disorders.

Medical Marijuana and Mood Disorders:

The trend among cannabis and medical conditions tends to be that marijuana assists with some of the symptoms from the ailment. However, with mood disorders, cannabis often takes a step further with its ability to generate a lasting impact.

Depression specifically, and the depressive side to bipolar, seem to be quite responsive to the consumption of certain marijuana strains.

Although cannabis can also assist in lessening the impact of some symptoms of mood disorders (e.g., fatigue, insomnia, lack of appetite, aggression, etc.), it also acts to relieve the depression itself.

Therefore, many patients are turning towards cannabis as an alternative to conventional medications and therapies. Additionally, the use of medical cannabis for depression relief, combined with regular talk therapy, acts as a sturdy combination for some individuals with depression.

5 Best Marijuana Strains for Mood Disorders

Here are 5 marijuana strains that may help with both depression and the symptoms of mood disorders…

1. Lamb’s Bread (sativa)

A potent and powerful sativa with sticky, green buds, Lamb’s Bread is a quintessential marijuana strain for assisting those who suffer from depression, stress, or a combination of the two.

It is an especially uplifting marijuana strain that both acts as an energizer, working to fight against fatigue, and that brings about happy vibes and positive introspection. This can help offset some of the sadness, and fatigue patients with depression may experience.

2. Headband (hybrid)

A world-famous mix of OG Kush and Sour Diesel, the Headband hybrid marijuana strain is potent in THC, making just a tiny amount go a very long way.

Patients suffering from mood disorders may discover fast relief from depressive symptoms thanks to this mood heightening marijuana strain. With a THC concentration at around 20-27%, Headband knows how to pack a powerful punch.

3. Northern Lights (indica)

Northern Lights is one of the most famous indicas within the marijuana community, but helping mood disorders is one of its often forgotten specialties.

NL has a profound ability to numb the mind and body, bringing about complete relaxation, and eventually sedation. This feature is brilliant for individuals who suffer from bipolar and are experiencing a period of mania and need to calm down.
This indica will do just the trick, allowing its users to sleep soundly, waking up the next morning feeling more balanced and refreshed. It is also an ideal marijuana strain for those who struggle with insomnia and lack of appetite.

4. Green Crack (sativa)

Although Green Crack is not suitable for all mood disorder patients, it can be helpful for those who suffer from purely depressive symptoms and have trouble getting out of bed during the day.

As the name suggests, this sativa is ultra energizing, which means that it causes fatigue and oversleeping to become a thing of the past. It could motivate those who are feeling sad or hopeless to take that first, and often difficult first step when beginning their day.

5. Cannatonic (hybrid)

Flaunting a rare 1:1 CBD to THC ratio (it can also be as high as 2:1) Cannatonic may help alleviate the painful and debilitating symptoms of many medical conditions, including depression.

In addition, it may help to numb chronic pain, stimulate appetite, and uplift the spirit, while also relaxing muscles and body tension. All this helps make it easier to unwind and even fall asleep if you are feeling tense.

Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Mood Disorders:

Although some research shows the effectiveness of cannabis on the symptoms associated with mood disorders, none of what is written in this article should be taken as medical advice. You should always consult with a licensed professional before making any decisions regarding individualized treatment.

Only you and your physician can decide what is right for you. It is important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.

What Are the Best Cannabis Strains for Depression?

Cannabis as a natural remedy for depression is a topic of some controversy.

While many consumers report that relief from depression is one of their primary reasons for partaking in the herb, the limited science on the subject has yet to catch up to the consumer experience.

What research has found, however, is that both dosage and the unique chemical composition of certain cannabis cultivars may play the most profound role when trying to figure out whether the herb has a positive or negative impact on depression.

Research has unveiled that the primary psychoactive in the plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has biphasic effects.

That means that high doses of the herb can actually have the opposite effect than moderate doses.

Large doses of THC may contribute to worsening depression in some people, while sticking to lower doses may prove beneficial.

Still, the dosage is only one factor to consider when trying to find the best cannabis strains for depression.

You also want to consider the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of a given cannabis sample for best results.

To help give you a clearer idea, here are five cannabis strains that may help depression, with some helpful tips at the end.

1. Super Sour Diesel

Searching for a quick pick-me-up? Super Sour Diesel is a popular morning time strain for a reason.

Energizing and stimulating, this plant is known to produce high levels of uplifting terpenes.

Terpenes are aroma molecules in the cannabis plant that contribute to each strain’s individual effects.

This particular strain is known to produce high levels of several mood-lifting terpenes, including beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and bisabolol.

In preclinical research, beta-caryophyllene (BCP) has been found to have anti-depressant properties. BCP is a sharp-scented terpene common in lemon balm and black pepper.

Similarly, limonene, which provides an invigorating citrus scent to some cannabis strains, has been found to have antidepressant effects in preclinical models of neuropathic pain.

Calming bisabolol is a floral terpene also found in chamomile flowers. This terpene has a soothing quality that may be helpful for those with dual anxiety and depression.

The downside to this strain? Super Sour Diesel can be very high in THC. As such, moderation is recommended for this plant.

Too much THC too quickly can worsen depression, especially after the euphoric effects of the plant wear off.

While some people find ample relief with THC, others report that it can make things worse over time.

To find the best strain for you, some experimentation is required.

2. OG Kush

Considered an afternoon treat, the OG Kush cannabis strain is a high-THC flower with a unique terpene profile.

Containing high levels of myrcene, BCP, limonene, and linalool, OG Kush offers consumers an easygoing and upbeat experience

Laid back terpenes like limonene and floral linalool are thought to offer mood-boosting effects, while musky myrcene acts as a hypnotic and sedative.

Linalool is an anxiolytic terpene most abundant in lavender, offering consumers a calm and contented vibe.

Altogether, these terpenes make OG Kush a mildly sedative yet emotionally upbeat flower that may be helpful to those who struggle to relax and enjoy the company of others.

Unfortunately, like Super Sour Diesel, the high THC content of this strain may not have positive effects in every consumer.

Some may find that the THC in OG Kush makes depression temporarily worse as the effects of the strain dissipate.

Others, however, may find that the euphoric properties of this herb inspire an uplifted and silly sense of wellbeing that makes it easier to find joy in daily activities.

3. Classic Cookies

Another high-THC strain, Classic Cookies is a mellow and relaxing daytime flower.

This contended hybrid plant is safe to consume during the day, so long as the consumer has a high tolerance for THC.

Easy going and uplifting, the Classic Cookies strain contains impressive levels of limonene, which is invigorating and calming at the same time.

The relaxed nature of this terpene is expected to promote a positive mood and mental clarity without causing excess stimulation.

An excellent choice for those seeking relief from depression, this plant also contains high levels of beta-caryophyllene and decent levels of calming linalool.

4. MediHaze

MediHaze is a CBD-rich strain that is often considered a sativa hybrid.

Often expressing a 1:1 or greater ratio of CBD to THC, this flower is an excellent choice for those searching for cannabis relief without the intoxicating effects of THC.

Safe to use during the daytime, this plant provides an uplifting sensation of mental energy.

While the anti-depressant effects of THC can be more challenging to balance, CBD is thought to have rapid-acting antidepressant effects.

In fact, preclinical research in rodents has found that CBD can boost levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin faster and more efficiently than pharmaceutical antidepressants.

Not only does MediHaze contain high levels of CBD, but this plant can also feature decent amounts of limonene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene.

As a word of precaution, this strain can sometimes test with very high levels of myrcene. While myrcene is often thought of as a sedative, CBD tends to have an invigorating and energizing effect on consumers.

However, some samples of MediHaze may be more sedative than others.

5. Harlequin

Harlequin is another high-CBD strain very similar to MediHaze.

However, Harlequin more often features close to 2:1 ratios of CBD to THC.

Like Medihaze, Harlequin has tested positive for greater levels of limonene and beta-caryophyllene, giving this cannabis strain a calm, upbeat, and clear-headed vibe.

This strain also contains fairly substantial levels of myrcene, making it more laid back and quiet than cannabis strains without this sedative terpene.

Similar to many high-CBD strains, Harlequin does not produce a substantial intoxication and is safe to consume during the day.

Those hoping for help getting to sleep at night, however, may appreciate a cannabis variety with higher levels of myrcene and higher levels of THC.

Tips for choosing the best cannabis strains for depression

For the time being, choosing the best cannabis strains for depression is not an exact science.

Much of the research on cannabis and terpenes is based on preclinical evidence, not large-scale human trials.

Without solid research that determines exactly which compounds are useful for mental health ailments, the best any cannabis consultant or patient can do is to experiment and make educated guesses about what might work.

This is really how most medicines work. The difference with cannabis, however, is that it has such a high safety profile and is generally a very forgiving substance.

When searching for the best cannabis strains for depression, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make informed decisions:

1. Every strain sample is different

While the strains highlighted in this article have tested positive for certain terpenes, not every strain sample will have the same results.

Although genetics play a role in which terpenes a plant can express, environmental and growth conditions also have a major impact on each individual sample.

As such, a plant grown in Toronto may produce different testing results than the same strain grown in Santa Monica.

Opting for strains that have been laboratory tested and learning how to read testing results can help you make more informed selections about which plants may be best for you.

Based on the early evidence thus far, strains that test high in the terpenes limonene, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and bisabolol are likely good places to start when trying to find the right cannabis strain for depression.

2. Experimentation is necessary
While preclinical research allows for more educated guesses regarding which cannabis strains may be useful for depression, depression is different in everyone.

Further, each individual responds to different cannabinoids and terpenes differently.

So, in order to find the right strains and medical cannabis products for depression, some experimentation is necessary.

3. CBD may be more effective than THC

As mentioned above, THC has biphasic effects.

This means that while low to moderate doses of the euphoric herb may be effective in managing depression, high doses may have the opposite effect.

Those who are sensitive to THC or prefer a non-intoxicating experience may have better luck with CBD-rich medications, which are currently being studied for antipsychotic and mood-boosting effects.

4. Dosage is important
Going one step further, finding the right dose is of the utmost importance for continued relief with cannabis.

Working with a canna-savvy healthcare provider can help you better find which doses are the safest and most effective in your individual case.

For some, the right dose may be a small quantity of either high-THC or high-CBD cannabis. Others may require significantly more to maintain a positive effect.

No two people are alike and it can take some time to strike the right balance between various active cannabinoids, terpenes, dosage, and timing.

5. Track your strains

Want to fine-tune your cannabis experience?

Keeping a strain diary and recording your reaction to what you’re consuming may help you figure out what works best and what does not.

Plus, it’s a good way to keep track of how much you’re consuming and how it impacts your overall mood.