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Strain Round Up: Which Are Best for Anxiety and Depression?

Emily Robertson

Are you lost when you walk into the dispensary and see all of the strains that treat so many conditions? Use this handy guide to get you started.

Blueberry, Mango Kush, Sour Kush, Northern Lights, Purple Haze, Lavender, Pez, Plushberry – so many strains, so little time. There seems to be a never-ending list of cannabis strains that only continues to grow. Can you say, with any accuracy, how many different strains you’ve tried in your lifetime?

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam

If you’re treating specific conditions, often your doctor will be able to help decide on the best strain. But, even with expert help from the doc and your budtender, it can be a hit and miss experiment for strain, dose, and method of consumption.  For those struggling with anxiety and/or depression, all of this experimenting can be very tough on your nerves and mood regulation.

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam. Zurple Punch

The most common advice is that indicas are better for anxiety because these offer a calming effect that relaxes the body and elevates your mood. For stress in particular, indicas help to ease tension in your body and slow down your mind.

Sativas, on the other hand, offer a more vibrant, energetic high. These are likely to get your mind moving, and certain to uplift your mood. In that case, sativas can be better for depression.

Of course, it’s not as simple as this. So many other factors come into play, including terpene profile and flavonoids; there are over 400 chemical entities in cannabis that shape its medicinal effects.  In fact, there is some debate in cannabis connoisseur circles as to the merits of even using “indica” and “sativa” as labels.

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam.  Slurricane (Dosidos X Purple Punch)

That’s why discussing specific strains of cannabis can be more helpful in finding the right match. We’re going to help set you on the right path by recommending a few of the strains that work for our patients. So, grab a pen and paper and take this to your cannabis pharmacy or dispensary.

Battling Insomnia

Often, treating depression and anxiety is as much about alleviating symptoms as it is about getting to the core of the condition. Sleeplessness, or insomnia, can make daily life with depression or anxiety exponentially more difficult as it heightens symptoms, reduces cognitive abilities, and makes one more emotional labile.

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam. Rock Star, Indica Dom, Victoria BC.

One strain that helps with insomnia is Blackberry Kush. It’s a nicely flavoured indica that will free your mind of cyclical depressive or anxious thoughts while also relaxing your body. Another indica, Tahoe OG Kush, is straight to the point in relaxing the mind and pushing your body into sleep. Serious couch-lock on that latter. Be prepared to Go.To. Sleep.

If you need the big guns, try Northern Lights. It’s a quick kick-in indica, which means it can also calm you down during a panic or anxiety attack. However, this isn’t for novice patients; THC levels range between 16 and 18 percent.

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam. Burmese Kush – Hybrid.

Depression

Some symptoms of depression may cross over with anxiety disorders, but each condition has its own set of unique symptoms that actually contrast the other. So, medicine for depression is not necessarily appropriate for those with depression.

If you’re looking to treat depression, one great strain is Harlequin. It is high in CBD and this can help depressed patients with comorbidity for anxiety.  Harlequin is known for improving moods, and offering a clearer, more focused mind and an energetic body. Harlequin is a good daytime motivator as it gives that happy feeling with a little giddy-up and go.

Jack Herer is another sativa that is known for its uplifting qualities. Its euphoric effects will help to improve your mood while also helping you to find focus.

Then there’s Cannatonic, which will help you fight fatigue, disinterest, and lack of motivation. It creates a happier mood with a clear mind. It’s high in CBD, so you don’t have to worry about any anxiety creeping into your zen.

Finally, strains like Granddaddy Purple or Lemon Kush will help if you’re struggling with appetite loss. Both will help to stimulate hunger, but while Lemon Kush offers more of an uplifting feeling that may be best for the daytime, Granddaddy Purple may put you to sleep after your meal. All of the purple strains are high in Linalool, which can also be effective for pain management, if that is part of your profile.

Image Credit: Chubby Panda @munchiifam. Tora Bora from BC, Canada

Anxiety

While cannabis for depression may be focused on uplifting, those for anxiety are looking to relax. Lavender is as calming as the strain’s name suggests; with a beautiful sweet aroma, it offer mild euphoria while also giving full body relaxation.

Sour Tsunami actually helps to lessen what can seem like a tsunami of anxiety at times. Low in THC and high in CBD, it won’t bring any anxious side effects. It may make you feel a bit “lazy”, while also boosting your focus and mood. So, just sit and contemplate your next right decision, calm the beast inside.

If you struggle with social anxiety, Strawberry Cough is the answer. This strain balances a calming effect while also allowing you to remain social and alert. However, if your social anxiety is quite severe, look to ACDC – a high CBD strain that relaxes, focuses, and allows a clear head in social settings.

Do you have a recommendation for a strain that didn’t make the list? Share your experience in the comment section.

 

 

 

 

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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