Indica or Sativa for Depression: Find Out Which Cannabis to Use
Depression is something that is hard to discuss, and it is way much harder to live through. The World Health Organization reports that 300 million all over the world suffer from depression. If you have troubles with depression, cannabis can be an excellent organic treatment that you can go for. Definitely, depression does not discriminate. It can affect anyone and it can appear differently from person to person.
Taking cannabis can ease and eliminate your mental strain. Depression can be caused by an imbalance in your brain chemistry and many studies present that it breeds from a lack of serotonin. Cannabis, specifically the compound THC, has been proven to help kick start the production of the needed neurotransmitters, therefore, relieving depression.
Cannabis has two main types: Sativa and Indica. Should you choose Indica or Sativa for depression? Sativa is known for being an energizing stimulant, while the Indica is known for giving the famous couch-lock effect. Looking at these basic definitions, people are going for the Sativa-dominant cannabis strains as the better choice for the treatment of depression.
Indica vs Sativa: Medical Efficacy
Should you choose Sativa or Indica for depression and anxiety? Indicas tend to decrease your energy and are great for consumption in the evening up to late nights after a day’s work and busy activities. Strong Indica strains can give you couchlock, which is a condition when a patient becomes so relaxed that they cannot gain the strength to even move from the sofa. On the other hand, Sativas give a cerebral high. It can enhance one’s creativity and productivity. Basically, Indica strains provide a body high, while Sativa strains provide a mind high. So, would you pick sativa or indica for depression and anxiety? Many people go with the former.
Cannabis Indica plants usually physically look like short, bushy plants with wide leaves. They usually grow faster and produce a higher yield than the sativa variants. For medicinal use, Indica strains can give increased mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decreases nausea and acute pain increases acute pain and stimulates dopamine.
For Cannabis Sativa, they are usually distinguished by their tall height and thin build with very narrow leaves. Sativas are also generally a lighter shade of green compared to the Indicas. The major characteristics of Sativa medical strains are treating chronic pain, increasing focus, creativity, and serotonin, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety. In terms of chemical components, Sativa strains have more THC and lower CBD compared to Indica strains.
Here are some Sativa-dominant cannabis strains that are well-loved in the cannabis community:
- Blue Dream – The Blue Dream is a cannabis strain that is famous all over the world. Hailing from the West Coast and treated as a Californian legend, it can give you a spectacular trip that relieves your pain and tension while making sure you are mentally alert with a clear-headed euphoria. This strain is a favorite for treating headaches, migraines, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and depression. The Blue Dream was formed from crossing the Blueberry and the Haze. It has a sweet berry aroma and a quick symptom relief.
- Pineapple Kush – Made as a child of the Pineapple and the O.G. Kush, this strain boosts a pineapple flavor with hints of mint, butter, and caramel. It is enjoyed by many for the mouth-watering sensory experience with a quick relaxing high. Pineapple Kush is well-known for lifting moods to the point of giggling, most likely because of the THC content. It can bring a light relaxation felt by the entire body with a cerebral high that makes you float.
- Jack Herer – Jack Herer was made in the mid-1990s where it was distributed as a medical-grade strain. It was formed as the cross of a Haze, Northern Lights #5, and Shiva Shunk. This is a strain that is quite high in the terpene called limonene which means it is perfect for elevating your mood. It gives a high of euphoric, uplifting, creative, energetic, and happy feelings. It is a sativa-dominant that will surely help beat depression by giving the perfect mood boost.
- Cannatonic – Cannatonic is a cannabis hybrid that is a cross between an MK Ultra and a G13 Haze. It produces a high that is mellow, uplifting, and powerfully relaxing at the same time, thanks to the high CBD content of this strain. Cannatonic is often used to treat pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, migraines, and a wide variety of other physiological and psychological symptoms. It has a citrusy, earthy, and woody flavor, too.
- Sour Diesel – Fondly called in the community as the Sour D, it is a sativa-dominant strain named after its pungent, diesel-like aroma. This is well-known for being fast-acting and bringing energizing cerebral highs and perfect for relieving pain, stress, and depression. Sour Diesel, the child made by crossing Chemdog 91 and Super Skunk, has been a top choice in the early 90s until the present for dealing with medical concerns.
- Girl Scout Cookies – This OG Kush and Durban Poison hybrid is a famous cannabis strain for medical users because they have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and capabilities to boost your mood. It provides pain relief and helps with nausea and the loss of appetite. It has an incredible cookie taste and a sweet and earthy aroma that will make the savory experience even more enjoyable. This strain has won the Cannabis Cup for the high THC levels that are well-loved by many cannabis enthusiasts.
- Harlequin – The Harlequin is a 75 percent Sativa-dominant strain that is renowned for its reliable expression of CBD. It is a mixture of the Colombian Gold, Nepali Indica, Thai, and Swiss strains. This strain is one of the top choices when looking for the treatment of pain and anxiety because it has CBD levels that can counteract the THC levels while amplifying its painkilling properties. It has an extensive mixture of flavors like earthy musk and sweet mango, but without a doubt, it has the ability to relax without sedation and relieving pain without causing intoxication.
There are many forms of cannabis that you can go with for your choice of sativa or indica for depression and anxiety treatments. What’s important is to do your research and only get your cannabis stash with experience dispensaries and shops, so that you will not get your hands dirty with low-quality ones. Be careful in picking cannabis strains to have the most out of your entire experience.
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Looking to find the best cannabis to treat your depression? Read this article, Indica or Sativa for Depression: Find out Which Cannabis to Use.
Sativa vs. Indica: What to Expect Across Cannabis Types and Strains
The two main types of cannabis, sativa and indica, are used for a number of medicinal and recreational purposes.
Sativas are known for their “head high,” an invigorating, energizing effect that can help reduce anxiety or stress and increase creativity and focus.
Indicas are typically associated with full-body effects, such as increasing deep relaxation and reducing insomnia.
Although research examining these effects is limited, it appears these plants have more in common than previously thought.
In other words, the category, or type, of cannabis may not be the greatest indicator of the effects you’ll experience.
Here’s how to find the right plant for your needs, strains to consider, potential side effects, and more.
The often-applied rule of thumb is that sativas are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming — but it isn’t really that simple.
Individual plants produce varying effects, even among the same type of cannabis. It all depends on the plant’s chemical composition and the growing technique used.
Instead of looking at the type alone — sativa or indica — look at the description the grower and dispensary provide.
Oftentimes, the plant types are broken down into specific strains, or breeds.
Strains are distinguished by their individual cannabinoid and terpene content. These compounds are what determine the strain’s overall effects.
Cannabis plants contain dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids.
These naturally occurring components are responsible for producing many of the effects — both negative and positive — of cannabis use.
Researchers still don’t understand what all of the cannabinoids do, but they have identified two main ones — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — as well as several less common compounds.
- THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. It’s responsible for the “high” or state of euphoria associated with cannabis use. Levels of THC have been increasing as growers try to create hybrids with a greater concentration of the compound.
- CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t cause a “high.” However, it may produce many physical benefits, such as reducing pain and nausea, preventing seizures, and easing migraine.
- CBN. Cannabinol (CBN) is used to ease symptoms and side effects of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrollable muscle stiffness.
- THCA. Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) is similar to THC, but it doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects. Its potential benefits include reducing inflammation from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It may also help reduce symptoms of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ALS.
- CBG. Cannabigerol (CBG) is thought to help reduce anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
A great deal of attention is paid to the amount of THC and CBD in a given strain, but newer research suggests that terpenes may be just as impactful.
Terpenes are another naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant.
The terpenes present directly affect the plant’s smell. They may also influence the effects produced by specific strains.
According to Leafly, common terpenes include:
- Bisabolol. With notes of chamomile and tea tree oil, the terpene bisabolol is thought to reduce inflammation and irritation. It may also have microbial and pain-reducing effects.
- Caryophyllene. The peppery, spicy molecule may reduce anxiety, ease symptoms of depression, and improve ulcers.
- Linalool. Linalool is said to help improve relaxation and boost mood with its floral notes.
- Myrcene. The most common terpene, this earthy, herbal molecule may help reduce anxiety and insomnia so you can sleep better.
- Ocimene. This terpene produces notes of basil, mango, and parsley. Its primary effects may include easing congestion and warding off viruses and bacteria.
- Pinene. As the name suggests, this terpene produces an intense pine aroma. It may help boost memory, reduce pain, and ease some of the not-so-pleasant symptoms of THC, such as nausea and coordination problems.
- Terpinolene. Cannabis with this compound may smell like apples, cumin, and conifers. It may have sedative, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
- Limonene. Bright, zippy citrus notes come from this terpene. It’s said to improve mood and reduce stress.
- Humulene. This terpene is deeply earthy and woody, like hops or cloves. Cannabis strains with this molecule may reduce inflammation.
- Eucalyptol. With notes of eucalyptus and tea tree oil, this molecule is refreshing and invigorating. It may also reduce inflammation and fight bacteria.
Sativa and indica are the two main types of cannabis plants. The often-applied rule of thumb is that sativas are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming — but this is an immense oversimplification. Here's how to find the right plant for your needs, strains to consider, and more.