Best weed strains that may help depression
Dealing with depression? You’re not alone. Despite affecting as many as 264 million people around the planet, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. It can also take many forms, with symptoms ranging from feelings of sadness to negative changes in behavior and mood. Treatment options today are thankfully bountiful, with access to prescription medications, ongoing talk therapy, and daily lifestyle changes for those in need. That said, depression remains an illness without a cure, which is why some patients turn to cannabis as a plausible alternative or addition to their treatment plans. In general, it appears sativa-dominant strains tend to offer the most relief for symptoms of depression—likely because of their ability to produce uplifting, euphoric feelings in consumers.
Looking forward, future research will inevitably help us better understand the relationship between marijuana and depression. For now, we’ve collected the trusted opinions of Leafly experts, poured over sales charts, and analyzed scores of customer reviews to help us compile a list of the best strains to seek out to send your depression packing.
These results are based on user reviews and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Frequently asked questions
When it comes to picking the top strains for depression, sativa-dominant options claim much of the real estate. The reason? Sativas are reputed to induce feelings that counteract typical depression symptoms, including loss of energy, sadness, and lack of appetite. Below, you’ll find several of Leafly’s most popular strains, reinforcing the idea that using cannabis to treat depression is becoming a widely-accepted and useful part of peoples’ wellness plans.
- Blue Dream
Blue Dream is a popular sativa-dominant hybrid beloved for its delectable taste and smell, which evokes the palate of fresh berries thanks to its Blueberry and Haze parents. Consumers report feelings of cerebral stimulation and full-body relaxation after enjoying Blue Dream, and thus it remains one of the most searched-for strains in the entire Leafly database. Patients also laud this perennial bestseller for its effectiveness in treating symptoms related to depression, chronic pain, and nausea.
- Sour Diesel
Call it Sour D, Sour Deez—whatever you prefer—Sour Diesel is a legendary strain. Made by crossing Chemdog and Super Skunk, Sour Diesel gets its name from the pungent diesel funk that permeates its flavor profile and its reputation for its dreamy, cerebral, fast-acting effects. Having gained major popularity throughout the ’90s, weed lovers still consider the strain a trusted source for consumers looking to treat pain, stress, and symptoms of depression.
GSC is another staple of the Leafly strain library, and a Bay Area icon. Once known as “Girl Scout Cookies,” this strain is actually indica-dominant, cited by numerous users for its value in treating depression. Specifically, they praise its euphoric effects that give way to waves of full-body relaxation, leaving you feeling happy, hungry, and devoid of stress. Made by crossing OG Kush with Durban Poison, GSC’s notes of mint, lemon, and sweet cherry mask the potent punch of a strain that often tests at robust THC numbers.
- Green Crack
Featuring genetics from Skunk #1 and an unknown indica, Green Crack is a potent sativa-dominant strain so named for the burst of energy consumers often feel after taking a puff. Also regarded as a great option for those seeking mental clarity, Green Crack gets credited for providing users with an invigorating mental buzz that helps with powering through bouts of fatigue, stress, depression. Green Crack is also delightful on the tongue, thanks to its tangy, mango-like fruit flavor and smell.
- Jack Herer
You don’t know Jack? Also known as “JH” or “The Jack,” Jack Herer is a classic strain named in honor of the late marijuana activist and author who penned the seminal hemp tome, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” A hybrid cross of Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk, Jack Herer is a balanced strain with evergreen popularity thanks to its ability to help users feel blissful, clear-headed, and creative.
- Pineapple Express
Ready to ride a tropical breeze away from your depression symptoms? Book a ticket for the Pineapple Express, a sativa-dominant hybrid made by crossing Trainwreck with Hawaiian. The result is a marvelously tropical strain featuring bright citrus notes infused with pineapple and earthy pine. Clocking in at 20% THC (or more), Leafly users report Pineapple Express helps them to feel buzzy, alert, and creative—ideal effects for any seeking to break depression’s hold in the form of speedy relief.
- Durban Poison
Durban Poison is a rare breed: A pure, landrace sativa. Beloved as a strain ideal for keeping consumers productive on busy days, its name comes from the South African port city of Durban where it originates. Boasting a sweet, peppery smell and energetic, uplifting effects, Durban Poison’s buds produce a thick coating of trichomes. As a depression aid, this stain is a reliable standby for sparking creativity and refreshing one’s mindset.
- Strawberry Cough
Strawberry Cough pairs the heady Haze with Strawberry Fields. This strain’s incredible smell, which blends sweet berries and funk also offers some seriously alluring effects. For those seeking a cerebral uplift, Strawberry Cough offers a portal to euphoria you won’t want to leave anytime soon. Let your depression fade away into a big smile and clear mind.
- Lemon Haze
How does the saying go, a lemon a day sends the blues away? So seek out Lemon Haze, a sativa strain that, true to its name, smells and tastes just like fresh-peeled lemon slices. The buds grow frosty, the trichomes blossoming with amber hairs and an array of beneficial effects like euphoria, stress relief, and mood elevation.
Amazing things happen when you cross Sunset Sherbet with Thin Mint . Namely, you get Gelato, aka “Larry Bird”—a THC powerhouse Leafly users frequently seek out for its efficacy providing relief for pain, fatigue, and insomnia. Gelato produces gorgeous buds that bloom with dark purple hues, featuring flavors and aromas rich with notes of cream and fruit—just some of the reasons we deemed it Leafly’s Strain of the Year in 2018. Gelato is a solid strain to try when dealing with symptoms of depression that numbs aches without limiting mental stimulation.
Some patients say marijuana helps their depression, but more research is needed on this topic.
Yes! Currently, several states have medical marijuana laws and provisions that include depression as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card. They include Alabama, Maine, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, and Washington, DC. In other cases, depression isn’t specifically listed as a condition, yet similar mental health conditions (like anxiety, PTSD and OCD) are covered. States that cover anxiety specifically include Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and North Dakota. Some states also list more generalized conditions under which depression can fall; Missouri lists “debilitating psychiatric disorders” as a valid cause for seeking a MMJ card.
As noted above, anecdotal wisdom suggests strains that fall under the sativa umbrella are the best option for treating depression. That said, some research suggests the odds for relief from any particular strain, be it an indica, hybrid, or sativa, are relatively equal. Given many strains fall somewhere on the hybrid spectrum anyway, we recommend getting a second opinion from a medical professional (if possible), and researching strains associated with the exact desired effects you seek.
CBD may help some patients with depression, but research has yet to fully determine whether there is a correlation.
In some legal states, depression may be a qualifying condition that allows you to get a medical marijuana card .
Scientifically speaking, some researchers have found that THC and CBD, the two most prominent cannabinoids found in cannabis, can elicit antidepressant-like effects in their interactions with our own endocannabinoid systems. When we consume cannabis, we stimulate this system as the cannabinoids we inhale or ingest bind to specific receptors in our brains and bodies; these can serve a vast array of beneficial purposes for both physical and mental health. However, many medical professionals call for more expansive and rigorous research on the connection, and there is no universal guarantee that cannabis use will work for depression symptoms.