Although anecdotal evidence abounds, science remains inconclusive on the efficacy of cannabis in mitigating or treating depression. There is, however, mounting evidence alluding to its viability for the short-term.
Much of the anti-depressant properties of cannabis are not due to only one or two compounds. Instead, it is the combination of different cannabinoids and terpenes that delivers the feeling of being relieved.
THC, for instance, exerts psychoactive effects, including the euphoric high and the sense of wellbeing. Consequently, elation helps diminish the negativity caused by depression. CBD, on the other hand, has anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.
Moreover, it is the unique chemotype of strains that also plays a role in its efficacy. It explains why among hybrids that have the same levels of THC and CBD, some work better than others. Mostly, it is due to the presence of terpenes such as:
These aromatic compounds not only have distinct medicinal traits, but also helps synergize cannabinoids, thus increasing its efficacy.
7 Best Strains to Mitigate Depression
In no particular order, these are the strains that have shown an uncanny ability to ease the symptoms of depression. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be best to consult first with a health care provider.
- Blackberry Kush
It is not clear if indeed this strain is a descendant of Blackberry and an Afghani. Its earthy odor is highly suggestive of Kush lineage. Moreover, it exudes a sweet, berry-like scent. The primary terpenes responsible for these scents are myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene. More than the delightful fragrance, these compounds also bring forth another benefit - curbing depressive symptoms.
Blackberry Kush leans towards the Indica. A euphoric buzz characterizes the onset, thereby uplifting the mood. Then, as the anti-depressant properties exert its influence, a profound sedating body high follows after 30-60 minutes, leaving one in bliss and eventually sleeping.
Growing Blackberry Kush is generally trouble-free. It is a resilient plant with strong resistance to molds. It comes in the form of feminized seeds, guaranteed to have high germination rates. When grown indoors, the flowering time takes only 8-9 weeks, after which it could yield up to 450 grams per square meter.
- CBD Harlequin
Harlequin is one of the most significant medical strains ever to exist. At a time when breeders were rushing to produce insanely potent hybrids, it deviated and instead boasted of 18% CBD. Considering, too, that it has a CBD to THC ratio of 5:2, it has practically no psychoactive effects. At most, some beginners may only feel a barely noticeable buzz.
It may not hold much value for recreational consumers, most notably those who have built a high tolerance to THC. Nonetheless, it is still able to promote mental clarity and a sense of calm. The insane CBD level, together with dominant terpenes found in this strain - limonene and pinene - can reduce inflammation, mitigate pain, melt away stress, and counteract depression and anxiety.
CBD Harlequin has a vigorous growth cycle. From the time the bloom phase starts, it takes only 8-10 weeks to reach full maturity and ready for harvest. Under optimal conditions, its CBD level should be around 18%. It does not compromise on the yield, too, providing up to 400 grams per square meter.
- Grandaddy Purple
A profoundly relaxing strain, Grandaddy Purple belongs to the rare breed of high THC strains that have immense pharmacological value. Although it is a relatively new hybrid, much of the efforts focused on developing its unique chemotype. Boasting of a complex terpene profile working in synergy with the active cannabinoids THC and CBD, it can alleviate not only symptoms of depression and anxiety but also mitigate pains and aches.
The best time to use Grandaddy Purple is late in the afternoon to early evening. One of its effects is restoring a healthy appetite (the munchies). After a hearty meal, chill and relax as the healing properties of this strain weaves its magic. Soon enough, drowsiness kicks in, leading to a peaceful slumber.
Growing this award-winning strain is also uncomplicated. In both types of seeds offered by Homegrown Cannabis Co., it has proven to be a resilient and beginner-friendly plant. Most growers do prefer Grandaddy Purple feminized seeds for convenience. Roughly after some 9-11 weeks, the expected yield is around 500 grams per square. It can be higher if grown from regular seeds. Under the hands of an expert and 1000 watts HPS, the indoor yield could be as much as 800 grams.
- Jack Herer
Jack Herer holds the distinction of being one of the earliest recognized medical strains in the Netherlands back in the 90s. It has been almost three decades since making a debut, and this hybrid has stood the test of time. Among its cherished traits is the ability to induce a creative high.
Compared to many others, this strain has a rich terpene profile. Of note are caryophyllene and terpinolene. Both these compounds have anti-anxiety properties and synergize with THC and CBD to mitigate the symptoms of depression, among others.
Cultivating Jack Herer at home requires only rudimentary knowledge and minimal gardening skills. Moreover, there are choices on the type of seeds too.
Auto Jack Herer is a small plant that ranges from 30-40cm only. Having a compact stature makes it convenient to grow indoors. Even better is that it is possible to harvest up to 400 grams per square meter some 9-11 weeks after germinating the seeds.
As an option, Jack Herer feminized seeds are also available. It is a medium-sized plant that has a flowering time of 8-10 weeks. Once ready for harvest, it is possible to obtain 400-500 grams of flowers per square meter.
In either of the two choices, Jack Herer has shown remarkable resiliency and exceptional resistance to pests, molds, and other diseases.
- Kosher Kush
One of the most potent strains to exert exceptional medicinal effects is Kosher Kush. A two-time winner of the Best Indica category of the Cannabis Cup, it excels at delivering a profoundly relaxing experience that often leads to sleep.
Like other strains that can help tremendously with managing depression, it has a generous level of terpenes. The most notable ones are myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene. Besides battling depressive symptoms and anxiousness, it is also useful in alleviating pains.
When growing Kosher Kush from feminized seeds, the vertical room merits consideration as it could reach 150 cm. Its height is manageable, though, making it suitable for either the Sea of Green or Screen of Green training methods. After switching to the flowering period that lasts 8-10 weeks, expect to harvest between 450-550 grams of flowers per square meter.
- OG Kush
Looking at the best strains to originate from the entire west coast of the United States, one thing becomes apparent. Most, if not all, are descendants of OG Kush. Not only that, but it has also made its way to the international scene, expanding its lineage across the globe.
The popularity of this strain stems from its ability to induce full-bodied relaxation. While the initial high is primarily euphoric, an uplifting, calming sensation soon swarms into the body. Its use extends to melting away pains, stress, and symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
OG Kush feminized seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co. are ready for shipping worldwide. Provide it with the ideal environment, and the reward comes in the form of 400 grams of buds per square meter after 8-10 weeks in the flowering stage.
Auto OG Kush is also available if desired. 10-12 weeks is all it needs to race from seeds to harvest. Even at such speed, it is still able to yield up to 400 grams per square meter. Best of all, its traits do not deviate too much from the photoperiod variety.
- Super Lemon Haze
In naming the best strains in the world - especially Sativa - Haze, or one of its descendants, always make the top list. It comes as no surprise, then, that Super Lemon Haze is among the most helpful in warding off depression. For one, the intense euphoric high can quickly turn the mood around. Instead of gloom, it brightens up the day, leaving one feeling upbeat for hours.
The psychoactive effects, however, are only complementary. Among the hundreds of chemical compounds found in this strain, some directly address the depressive symptoms. These include caryophyllene, terpinolene, and myrcene.
Among its lineage, Super Silver Haze grown from feminized seeds sets itself apart by being highly resistant to pests and diseases, thus making it friendly to beginners. It is also a prolific producer of flowers, able to yield 600-700 grams per square meter after 9-10 weeks in the bloom stage.