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 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, 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.
5 Ultimate Marijuana Strains for Mental Wellness
It is all too common to feel burnt out due to our increasingly hectic lifestyles. We become exhausted by day-to-day tasks, which tend to overlook signals that our bodies are trying to tell us.
As the daily burdens of life and work take their toll, we feel a weight fall squarely on our shoulders. Often, this can lead to a decline in mental health and emotional well-being.
Discussions surrounding mental health are increasingly coming to light. Sadly, however, many are still suffering in silence. It is a safe assumption to say most people have experienced emotional turmoil in their life. Not surprisingly, the number of mood disorder diagnoses (and other mental health issues) is rising.
Whether a decline in your mood is an occasional occurrence or if you have struggled to feel balanced for years, this article will highlight several cannabis strains that may help.
Keep reading to discover 5 cannabis strains for mental wellness and emotional well-being…
1. Girl Scout Cookies
Approximately 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from some level of stress. This is a substantial figure, especially when you consider the massive population of the U.S. (which is now approaching 350 million people).
With social media, we find ourselves continuously connected to smartphones, laptops, and the Internet. Information and external stimulation are everywhere, and this makes life a challenge. We need to remember to take a deep breath now and again and not get overwhelmed with life’s unpredictability.
Many people nowadays have far too many responsibilities to take time off and relax. And sadly, many do not have the tools needed to help them de-stress and find a moment of peace.
This is where cannabis can function as a natural remedy. Girl Scout Cookies is well-known for its ability to help reduce the impact of stress. It could also give the consumer a feeling of spiritual ease. GSC is suitable for almost everyone and is a good starting point if you’re looking for a hybrid strain that can offer balance.
What to Know About GSC
GSC is a richly aromatic strain, as well as a genetic masterpiece. It is the result of careful breeding between OG Kush and Durban Poison. With a 60% indica and 40% sativa makeup, GSC offers an ideal balance. It does not have an overly sedating effect, nor does it incite hyperactivity or “the jitters” (which can contribute to anxiety).
Girl Scout Cookies produces a soothing yet uplifting high that allows you to function throughout the day.
Girl Scout Cookies produces a soothing yet uplifting high that allows you to function throughout the day. It achieves this without you worrying about couch lock, the munchies, paranoia, or falling asleep.
In terms of dose, just a small amount of GSC is usually plenty – even for longtime medical patients. This is a potent strain with a 17-28% THC content and is easily accessible. Look for GSC at your local dispensary; it should be easy to find.
2. Jack Herer Marijuana Strain
Life is always full of highs and lows, but sometimes the lows feel too much to bear. You may have long periods of negative moments. This is when sadness can become classified as depression – a serious mental health condition that affects over 300 million people globally.
Antidepressant medications are very common. For some, these drugs are viable and successful treatments. Others, however, may feel let down by their effects. They can require trial and error to find an effective dose and involve negative side effects.
As with any treatment, the efficacy of prescription depression drugs will vary from person to person.
A Brief History of Jack Herer
The Jack Herer strain possesses many traits that make it a good choice for mood enhancement. This warrants consideration from those suffering from depression. Jack Herer offers a focus-enhancing experience that can help elevate mood and overall mental well-being.
Sensi Seeds developed this strain using a genetic combination of Shiva Skunk, Northern Lights #5, and Haze. It is a powerhouse cultivar that possesses a high THC content of between 18-24%.
The flavor profile of Jack Herer is complex and features notes of pine, spice, and citrus. The occasional burst of lemon and orange also sneak their way in from time to time. As well as being delectable, Jack Herer is also simple to cultivate for those wanting to grow the strain for personal use.
3. Pennywise Strain
Many MMJ patients recommend Pennywise for bipolar disorder, which affects around 5.7 million adults in the United States. This is a mental health condition defined by swings between depressive and manic states. Many factors cause bipolar disorder, including:
- Genetic and biological traits
- Neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances
- Environmental triggers that impact daily functionality
Bipolar disorder also affects many people on a global scale. While some can experience more subtle mood changes, others suffer extreme debilitating swings. These swings can be destructive if left undiagnosed.
Are Imbalances Long-Term or Short-Term?
Whether your mood imbalance is a short-term or a long-term condition requiring proper medical diagnosis, cannabis may be an option to discuss with your doctor. The indica dominant Pennywise, in particular, is potentially beneficial in supporting healthy mood management. This strain boasts an even 1:1 THC to CBD ratio (an average of 12-15% each) and produces a very balanced effect.
This strain boasts an even 1:1 THC to CBD ratio and produces a very balanced effect.
Bred by combining Jack the Ripper with Harlequin, Pennywise possesses delicious hints of coffee and bubblegum (yes, a strange combination). Supplemental notes of spice, lemon, and herbs – which hit the tongue in a tangy union – further enhance the strain’s unique flavor profile.
4. Lemon Skunk Cannabis Strain
Lemon Skunk is a strain that many users recommend for anxiety. Anxiety disorders exist in many forms. They can range from relationship to social to generalized. Around 40 million people in the United States alone have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a normal human reaction. When kept in check, it does not negatively impact day-to-day function. It is when anxiety becomes obsessive that things can become dangerous to our mental well-being. Anxiety disorders are genetic, so those with family members that suffer from a diagnosed condition are at an increased risk.
Rated in 2009 as one of the world’s top strains, Lemon Skunk combines two Skunk #1 types.
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There are many prescription anxiety medications on the market. However, more people are choosing to avoid prescribed drugs due to their negative side effects. Also, they prefer not to go through the trial-and-error period required to find the most suitable dose.
Lemon Skunk is a popular cannabis strain among medical users for its anxiety-quelling effects. The potent strain has THC levels reaching up to 22%, and its effects are positive yet grounding.
Particularly suited for those who suffer from social anxiety, Lemon Skunk can help mitigate daily stress. It can also help improve functionality and increase productivity.
5. Northern Lights Marijuana Strain
Humans are more stimulated than ever by the outside world. For this reason, it is becoming increasingly challenging to shut off your mind at night. Many people nowadays are having general trouble sleeping, and many others possess medically diagnosed sleep conditions.
Insomnia, said to affect 1 in 3 individuals, makes life especially challenging. The impact of insomnia can be dangerous to yourself and those around you. Individuals with this condition need to discover and implement healthy coping strategies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for insomnia. However, sleep medications are routinely part of the treatment. Therefore, many people are turning to cannabis and finding that Northern Lights is an excellent choice for improving sleep.
A Classic Strain for Insomnia
Northern Lights is a potent indica strain with a sedative effect that helps produce quality rest. As a landrace combination of Afghani indica and Thai sativa, the flower contains 90% indica and 10% sativa genetics.
This indica strain is widely available and should be easy to find at your local dispensary.
Northern Lights is well-known for being relaxing and ultra-calming. Some claim that consuming Northern Lights is the best option to help a troubled mind fall asleep. Best of all, the indica strain is widely available and should be easy to find at your local dispensary.
This herb is sweet and earthy and possesses notes of citrus, pine, and skunk. The flavors combine to form a classic cannabis taste profile. The higher THC content sits at 18% on average. As a result, Northern Lights provides the body with a feeling of euphoria while helping the mind drift off into a deep sleep.
Final Thoughts on the Best Marijuana Strains for Mental Wellness
Every individual’s body chemistry is unique, resulting in a different experience with the effects of cannabis. Strains that are highly effective for some are not as effective for others. The strains listed here are great options for those looking to start their search.
Whether you suffer from mental health issues or are seeking natural ways to rebalance your mental wellness and emotional well-being, consider using one of the above strains.
However, as with any strain, it is always best to start with a low dose. That is, at least until you’re familiar with the specific cannabinoid profile.