For people living with depression, finding long-term recovery (or even short-term symptom relief) can be a lengthy, challenging process fraught with trial and error. And when patients feel like they’re out of conventional options, they often turn away from the Western medicine model to experiment with holistic solutions—like medical weed for anxiety and depression.
While it can be difficult to say which strains will work best for your individual experience with depression, there are a few anecdotal trends that can help guide patients: indica strains generally promote relaxation and calm; sativa strains promote energy and creative thinking; hybrid strains offer the best of both; and CBD-heavy strains can help support depression relief without intoxication.
Let’s break down the process of choosing the right strain for your depression treatment and recovery.
If you’re new to the world of medical cannabis, you might not know how to navigate product selection. What is a strain, and what should you know about different strains before you head to a dispensary?
When you purchase a medical marijuana product from a dispensary, there are two key details to look for on product packaging related to strains:
Strains are generally divided into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid.
Anecdotally, patients generally report that indica strains make them feel:
One of the reasons why patients turn to CBD and THC for anxiety and depression is because these mental health conditions are often comorbid (i.e., they occur at the same time). So, many people living with depression and anxiety discover ample relief when they incorporate relaxing indica strains into their routine.
In addition, depression can manifest with symptoms like:
If you experience any of these symptoms, indica strains could be a useful tool on your healing journey.
Sativa strains, on the other hand, generally produce feelings like:
If you’re experiencing a depressive episode, these sensations might look like the complete opposite of your disposition. That’s why so many people living with depression often turn to sativa strains first.
As their name suggests, hybrid strains offer the best of both indica and sativa. While hybrid strains can vary widely (and everyone responds to cannabis differently), hybrid users can generally experience combinations of the following effects:
Hybrid strains can be cultivated to balance indica and sativa compounds equally or unequally; in other words, hybrids can be either sativa- or indica-heavy, or they can offer a mostly even split of both strains.
With all of this in mind, how can you choose a strain for your specific presentation of depression symptoms? Let’s break down a simple (though sometimes time-consuming) process for finding your ideal strain for depression.
The first step is to define what depression looks like in your life. If you’ve worked with a psychiatrist or mental health counselor before, you might already have a clear picture of your symptoms. But try to get as specific as possible as you explore how depression manifests in your life.
Ask yourself some guiding questions, like:
Depression looks different for everyone, and some elements of your lifestyle might already be optimal: perhaps you’re hitting the gym every day, you eat well, and you have a healthy social life, but hopelessness lingers just beneath the surface of every activity. Digging deep to identify your symptoms can help you have an honest conversation with your healthcare provider in the next step.
With a clear self-assessment of your symptoms in hand, it’s time to approach two key professionals for expert advice:
Both of these professionals can help you choose your first strains to try on your depression recovery journey.
As you try out various strains of medical cannabis, think of your early treatment process as an experimentation phase:
Whether you find your ideal strain right away or you have to try a few different products, making small tweaks and adjustments to your treatment to curate a productive routine is a very normal part of the process. That might look like:
When it comes to recovering from depression, consistency is key. Once you have honed in on an ideal treatment regimen, do your best to stick to it.
There are hundreds of strains on the market. Here’s just a taste of the strains that people living with depression might find relaxing, engaging, or supportive of their healing journeys:
While finding the ideal marijuana strain for depression relief and recovery can take time, it’s an excellent option for patients looking for an alternative to Western treatments like pharmaceuticals. And, when you’re looking for a supportive medical cannabis provider, turn to TeleLeaf.
The TeleLeaf team is passionate about connecting patients to all-natural, holistic, and safe treatment methods because we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to heal with plant-based medicine.
When you’re ready to explore medical marijuana options on your journey, reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
Healthline. Cannabis 101: A Guide to Indica Strains.