As of 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states — 13 of which allow restricted use. This could either mean low-THC products or products that are strictly CBD-based, no psychoactive effects whatsoever. While it’s true that marijuana laws vary from state-to-state depending on the respective qualifying conditions for a medical card, nine times out of ten, depression makes that list. changing-depression-with-weed


According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. With more than More than 3 million US cases per year, it’s no wonder people are inquiring about medical marijuana. The big question is, can marijuana treat depression? Let’s look at the facts.

Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is more than a bad day, a bad week, a bad month. It’s the “persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.” 

It’s time we stop taking depression for granted and marketing it as “temporary” or “something you can get over.” Patients can’t “get over” depression the same way most of us can pull ourselves out of a bad mood with comfort food, a funny Netflix show, or a soothing yoga class.  It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain, potentially a lack of serotonin and dopamine. Doctors to this day are still running tests and doing research. Symptoms of depression target five main groups…

  • Mood
  • Cognitive
  • Body
  • Behavioral
  • Weight

Research On Marijuana And Depression

Most people will tell you that depression is “believed” to help depression. We’re willing to bet that none of these people are doctors or scientists. The truth of the matter is, research on marijuana and depression is still in the early stages, according to Healthline. “Right now, researchers share that possible benefits include the restoration of “normal” endocannabinoid function and mood stabilization.” Did we lose you? In plain English, endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are what make us feel a certain way after consuming marijuana. Maybe it’s happy, relaxed, sleepy, or hungry.

“Endocannabinoids play a role in motor control, cognition, emotions, and behavior. They also have a chemical makeup similar to that of cannabis.” So, if marijuana is so well-received by our endocannabinoids, it should also minimize the negative side effects of depression. Think about it this way: if depression is messing with our endocannabinoids to make us irritable, marijuana can potentially reverse those effects to make us cheerful. It’s a push-and-pull relationship.

Marijuana Isn’t A Cure For Depression

We want to state something very clearly: marijuana is not a cure for depression. This may be where some people feel disappointed in their marijuana experience. They smoke and expect to feel better for day and days, maybe even their entire life. Keep in mind that the effects of marijuana are temporary, only lasting 2-4 hours on average when smoked and 6-8 hours when eaten as an edible. Marijuana isn’t a cure for anything, really. It’s not a cure for insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, etc. Instead, marijuana can work its magic to alleviate certain symptoms associated with a medical condition.


Indica Vs. Sativa — Which Is Better?

If you’re still a believer in marijuana for depression, it’s time to pick a strain. Both indicas and sativas can provide a positive experience…but in different ways. Indica, the true relaxer, is known to calm the mind, sink your muscles into the couch, and slow down your heart rate. It can prevent or stop racing, anxious thoughts that keep you up at night. It can also make you hungry if a lack of appetite is one of the depressive symptoms.

Sativa strains, on the other hand, are characterized as energizing, uplifting, and creative. Indicas can relax the mind from depression. Sativas can distract the mind from depression. With the right sativa, your attention may be diverted from depression and projected onto a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try, that latest true crime documentary, a trip to the zoo with friends. Sativas can give you a boost of energy and motivation to think about anything and everything, except depression.

Best Marijuana Strains For Depression

In order to find your ideal strain, think about the one symptom of depression you’d like to combat. Some of these strains can actually kill two birds with one stone!

If you’d like to elevate your mood, go with…

  • Jack Herer
  • Pineapple Express
  • Harlequin

If you’d like a burst of energy, try…

  • Cannatonic
  • Cinex
  • XJ-13

If you’d like to relax and unwind, check out…

  • Lavender
  • Sour Tsunami
  • Blue Dream

If you’d like to work up an appetite, we recommend…

  • Blackberry Kush
  • Tahoe OG Kush
  • Goo

The key takeaway for today is that research on marijuana and depression is limited (for now). Still, certain scientific studies indicate that marijuana can have a positive effect on our endocannabinoids — and that’s huge! Marijuana isn’t a “one size fits all.” If it makes you feel better, then who cares what the experts have to say? You’re entitled to feel good no matter what. You deserve it.