Cannabis has been known to be an effective treatment for depression for a long time. That said, what strain of cannabis works best for treating depression? Here are our top 15 marijuana strains for treating depression.
> Quick jump to: Top 15 Best Marijuana Strains for Depression
Is marijuana a depressant, stimulant or hallucinogen?
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant, and marijuana can have different effects depending on the strain used. Marijuana can act as a stimulant to elevate your mood and get you active, and in some cases can act as a mild hallucinogen.
Marijuana is most commonly used as a depressant as it helps relax your mind and body and can reduce the effects of depression, anxiety and other similar conditions. That said, we highly recommend consulting with your doctor first before you decide to use cannabis to treat depression.
Conclusion: does marijuana help depression?
Many studies have been done to determine how effective cannabis is for treating depression. From these studies as well as feedback from users, it is clear that marijuana does help treat depression in many people. However, we recommend discussing this with your doctor first before self-medicating.
CBD or THC cannabis for Depression
There are two main chemicals present in marijuana: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is non-psychoactive and is often used in pharmaceutical treatments, while THC is the psychoactive chemical that makes you feel high. Both have their benefits when it comes to treating depression.
High THC strains
Marijuana users tend to prefer high THC strains when it comes to treating depression. High THC strains stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which induces a feeling of pleasure. These strains can also make you feel cheerful and more motivated, counteracting the effects of depression temporarily. That said, long term abuse of high THC strains can harm the production of dopamine and can cause severe adverse effects in those suffering from anxiety. As such, we highly recommend speaking with a qualified doctor before treating depression with high THC strains.
High CBD strains
As high CBD strains do not produce the feelings of pleasure associated with high THC strains, they tend to be less popular with users. Instead, high CBD strains have a strong neuroprotective quality that makes them a popular treatment for a range of mental health disorders, including depression. Studies have shown that high CBD strains have an antidepressant effect and regulate the release of serotonin in the central nervous system. As such, these strains can prove an especially effective and fast acting medication for those suffering from depression.
- Harlequin - Best CBD strain for depression
- Jack Herer - Best THC strain for depression
- OG Kush - Best Indica for depression
- Green Crack - Best Sativa for depression
- Granddaddy Purple
- Northern Lights
- Pineapple Express
- Sour Tsunami CBD
- Gorilla Glue #4
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Sour Diesel
With a CBD content of around 15%, Harlequin has earned a reputation as being one of the best strains for therapeutic treatments. This strain can be found in many CBD products sold worldwide that are used to treat depression, anxiety and pain. In addition, it is very easy to grow and can be planted both indoors and outdoors.
Harlequin is an easy strain to grow even for novice gardeners. If grown indoors, be prepared to train the plant as it can grow very large, and its branches can break under the weight of its heavy buds. If you plan on growing it outdoors, keep it in an area exposed to direct sunlight and little wind. In order to maintain maximum CBD levels, harvest the buds as soon as the trichomes develop. Keep humidity levels at 50% and temperature around 20-26 °C for best results.
Because of its high CBD content, Harlequin delivers a feeling of euphoria without the psychoactive high of THC strains. In addition, it can help boost your energy levels and help you feel more motivated.
One of the most popular strains in the cannabis world, named after the famous US activist who fought to legalize the product. This THC high strain is considered by many to be the perfect pick-me-up when feeling particularly depressed. An extremely popular choice for growers the world over, this strain can be easily grown without too much effort.
The Jack Herer plant will produce thick and heavy buds, so ensure the branches are well-supported to avoid breakages. If grown indoors, ensure that you train the plant and prune it regularly while supplying plenty of fertilizer. If you plan on growing it outdoors, warm and dry climates work best. Otherwise, use a greenhouse if you are living in a colder or wetter region.
With a THC level of 20%, the Jack Herer strain is extremely potent. The effect is an extreme cerebral rush that will leave you feeling happy and relaxed throughout the day. Although CBD levels are around 0.8% total, Jack Herer is still great for treating depression as well as a range of ailments including anxiety, headaches and fatigue.
Although its origins are shrouded in mystery, OG Kush has become one of the most popular of indica based strains worldwide. OG Kush is an extremely potent strain, with a THC level around 20%. Appreciated by both users and growers alike, there are many benefits to cultivating this strain.
Although some expertise is needed, OG Kush is relatively easy to grow and produces a very good yield. Although you can grow them either indoors or outdoors, they are best suited for indoor hydroponic growing. This is due to their need for warmer temperatures as well as a strong smell when flowering that may attract unwanted attention. Monitor your plants closely to ensure they are free of any mildew, insects or other plant diseases.
Although high in indica, the high comes from the sativa, with a feeling of relaxation and pleasure from the indica. As such, these feelings of euphoria and joy quench the depression and allow you to feel fully relaxed. In some instances, you may even experience increased motivation after consuming some OG Kush.
Originally known simply as Green Cush, this strain received its more famous name after Snoop Dogg sampled it. Yet despite its edgy name, this sativa-based strain is known for making users feel energized and inspired. An extremely potent strain, this one is known for providing a long-lasting high.
The Green Crack sativa plant grows quickly into a large flowering plant, so we recommend having a large space for it to reach its full potential. It grows well in indoor, outdoor and greenhouse locations. It takes only eight weeks to fully flower, during which it releases a strong odor. Indoors it can grow into a manageable plant of up to 120 cm, while if grown outdoors it can reach heights up to 3.5 m.
The THC content of Green Crack can reach up to 20%, and when consumed induces feelings of high energy and euphoria. It works well for a range of medical conditions including depression, and the energy and inspiration it delivers will help you feel motivated for the day ahead.
Granddaddy Purple is not only one of the most popular of the purple cannabis strains available, but also one of the most favored Indica strains. Originally made in California, this strain is much sought after for its attractive purple glow as well as its classic indica effects.
Granddaddy Purple can be grown in any indoor, outdoor or greenhouse setting. However, for best results, you should grow it in a well-ventilated area with around 50% humidity. It is a relatively easy plant to grow for novice growers, and the plant is resistant to diseases and mold. The plant grows to an average height of 60 to 100 cm indoors or a maximum of 180 cm outdoors. Each plant grows into a compact bush with thick purple buds.
The Granddaddy Purple strain typically has a THC level of 23%, and once you consume it, the effect is immediately noticeable. After the initial hit, the effect subsides into a feeling of calmness and relaxation, often with an additional feeling of euphoria.
Found in nearly every coffee shop in the Netherlands, Northern Lights is one of the all-time most popular indica strains. In addition to being a favorite of recreational users, this strain is also valued for its medical benefits and can be found in many dispensaries.
Although the Northern Lights strain is most suitable for indoor growing, you can grow it outdoors if you have plenty of warmth and sunlight. Each plant grows into a small but dense structure, and as it matures it becomes covered in thick green buds with a layer of sparkling trichomes. In addition, the plants are resistant to mildew and are therefore perfect for growing in humid conditions.
Northern Lights is one of the purest indica strains around, with a THC level of 18%. This strain induces a feeling of well-being and happiness, as well as a relaxed and tranquil feeling. Generally, this is a strain to take when you feel like chilling out and taking your mind off things.
ACDC, as the name implies, is a hybrid strain that is half indica and half sativa. It has a very high CBD content that makes it a popular choice for treating a range of medical conditions. As it is low in THC content, it is readily accessible as a supplement or alternative to painkillers for many users.
ACDC is not the easiest plant to grow, and as such is recommended for growers with more experience under their belt. Depending on where you choose to grow the plant, it will require different forms of care to ensure the best yield. In addition, it is highly at risk from insects and mold attacks, especially when flowering. For this reason, it is best to grow ACDC indoors in dry and warm conditions where you can observe it regularly.
ACDC has a high CBD level of 19% and a low THC level of 3%. For this reason it is a great strain for treating depression, anxiety, headaches and other ailments without the addition of any psychoactive effects. Many users report feeling relaxed, focused and motivated after consuming this strain.
While these days the name Pineapple Express is directly associated with the popular 2008 stoner comedy, the term itself refers to the strong moisture currents that form off Hawaii and extend to the North American coast. In any case, this strain will help you drift away to a place of pure relaxation.
Apart from its association with tropical paradises, the Pineapple Express strain was also named for its rapid growth. It works perfectly in any indoor, outdoor or greenhouse location. Wherever you choose to plant it, ensure it has access to plenty of fertilizer with high quality nutrients to bring out its fruity flavors. Ensure the plant is in a well-ventilated area, as the buds can emit a strong smell while flowering.
The Pineapple Express strain has a high THC content of 19% and is known to relieve stress and relax the body while inducing a sense of euphoria. It has been known to reduce the effects of chronic pain and anxiety as well. That combined with a sweet, citric flavor will make you feel like you’ve drifted away to a tropical island.
Forget about any visions of terrifying clowns from the imagination of Stephen King; the Pennywise strain is more likely to produce a relaxing high. This hybrid strain contains an equal balance of THC and CBD levels, offering you the best of both worlds.
Pennywise can be grown in almost any indoor or outdoor location: whether in a room, a balcony, a greenhouse or in your garden. In addition, it has a high resistance to mold, making it an easy plant to take care of even for novice growers. That said, the plant will grow best in temperate climates with low humidity. Be careful with how much nutrition you give the plant: too much can end up being harmful. In addition, try to space each plant out, so they can each grow to their full potential.
The Pennywise strain contains a balance of content of THC and CBD of around 15% each and is much sought after for medicinal treatments. This strain produces a mild psychoactive high that spreads from the head to the rest of the body. This strain will leave you feeling relaxed and perhaps even a little creatively inspired.
One of the sweetest tasting strains around, Gelato is perfect when you feel like treating yourself. In addition to their delicious flavor, gelato also offers a powerful high followed by full body relaxation. There are three main types of Gelato strains including #41 and #45 that offer different flavors, but for this list we will look at the popular #33 strain.
Gelato can be grown both indoors and outdoors and requires little trimming as there is plenty of space between each branch. Gelato is easy even for novice growers, and flowering time usually occurs within 9 weeks. Be aware that the plant will produce a strong odor during this period. The plant itself can grow to 200 cm tall in the outdoors and is an amazing sight with bright orange hairs and thick, heavy buds of purple and green hues.
Apart from its sweet, creamy flavor, the Gelato strain has a high THC level of 25% and the first hit can be quite strong. Once the hit subsides, you will be left with a feeling of relaxation and creative inspiration. This strain is the perfect way to unwind, especially when feeling down after a stressful day.
The Sour Tsunami CBD strain, known for its slightly sour aftertaste and smell after consumption, is the perfect hybrid of 40% indica and 60% sativa. It features a high CBD content and low THC levels, making it perfect for medicinal use without the psychoactive effects.
This hybrid strain can grow easily in any number of indoor and outdoor locations. That said, they grow best in warm and sunny conditions. This strain is recommended for experienced growers, as you will need to ensure there are no sudden variations in temperature or humidity while growing. The flowering period occurs within around 10 weeks and the plant can grow up to 170 cm tall in the outdoors.
With a high CBD level of 13% and a THC level as low as 1%, the Sour Tsunami CBD strain is perfect for those looking for medical use without the effects of psychoactivity. It helps relax the mind and relieve depression, as well as helping with ailments such as insomnia, arthritis and epilepsy.
Named after the resin that forms on scissors when trimming the buds, Gorilla Glue #4 is one of the most popular of the Gorilla Glue range, having won numerous cannabis cup awards. This hybrid strain features a 50/50 balance of indica and sativa and is popular for inducing feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Being half indica, Gorilla Glue #4 strains will grow into several bushy plants. They are very easy to cultivate and can be grown both indoors and outdoors. In order to avoid mold, keep the plants away from humid areas. Flowering occurs around 60 days into growth, and you will see a thick resin forming on the buds. You will also notice a sweet chewing gum-like smell during flowering that will later change to chocolate diesel and pine.
This is a very potent strain with a THC content of 25%. The first hit will create an immediate buzz in your head that subsides into a feeling of relaxation and euphoric bliss. While it has a low CBD content, making it ineffective for conditions such as epilepsy or cancer, it does alleviate mental conditions such as depression and anxiety as well as physical conditions such as headaches and arthritis.
Anyone who has partaken of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain will understand how it got its name. With the scent of freshly baked cookies and a minty, earthy taste, this award-winning strain is popular just as much for its sweet flavor as well as its strong psychoactive effects.
Girl Scout Cookies is an easy strain for even novice growers to raise. They are best suited for indoor growing, but can also work well in outdoor settings that experience mild nighttime temperatures. This plant produces a dark blue color as it grows and sometimes features impressive purple leaves during the flowering period. Make sure the plant has plenty of support while growing, as the buds can become very heavy.
Girl Scout Cookies has a THC content of 23% making it very strong on first use. The high is euphoric and leads into a feeling of soothing relaxation and creative inspiration. In addition, it helps relieve the effects of chronic pain. Just make sure you have some real Girl Scout Cookies nearby in case you get the munchies!
While no one is entirely sure where the Sour Diesel strain originated from, it has come to be one of the most popular in the range of near pure sativa strains. The name itself comes from the skunky haze it produces as you smoke it: kind of like the gas from a diesel engine, but with a hint of lemon.
Sour Diesel plants prefer dry and warm climates with low humidity. If you don’t have this kind of climate in your area, you can always try it indoors in a climate-controlled greenhouse. While it is a very easy strain to grow, make sure to keep your environment clean to avoid mildew from forming. In addition, you will need to have plenty of space as this plant can grow up to 300 cm in height! If grown indoors, use high intensity lights to generate a maximum yield.
Sour Diesel induces strong euphoric highs thanks to a high THC level of 19%. These highs last a long time and have the bonus effect of increased creative energy. It helps stimulate the mind and reduces the effects of depression and other ailments.
Much like its namesake, Zkittlez is an indica dominant strain with sweet and sour fruit candy flavors. It is a relatively new strain on the scene, but is already popular due to both its taste as well its high THC content of up to 24%.
The Zkittlez plant can adapt well in any environment, either indoors or outdoors. That said, you will need some experience as a grower in order to help the plant reach its full potential. If you have a hydroponic setup at home with plenty of balanced fertilizers and nutrients, you can produce a large harvest. Just like the candy, the plant itself is very bright and colorful as it grows, and you can even change the color by gradually and carefully lowering the ambient temperature.
Due to its high THC content, Zkittlez will give you an immediate and strong energetic high that eventually subsides into a feeling of relaxation. This strain is great for minimizing the effects of stress, depression, as well as providing relief from chronic pain.