Mental health disorders trigger a negative shift in thoughts and emotions, causing affected parties to act counterproductively. Sadly, U.S. mental health statistics show that nearly 8% of American adults aged 18-25 years suffer from severe mental health conditions.
Thankfully, mental health conditions are treatable using various treatments, including antidepressant medication, mood stabilizers, and psychological therapies. Furthermore, patients can complement the medical approaches above with effective ancillary therapies.
Anecdotal evidence from mental health patients puts cannabis among effective ancillary treatments for mental health. So, discover highly effective cannabis strains, including popular Sativa strains, for managing mental health issues below.
Cannabis and Mental Health Symptoms
Cannabis contains hundreds of cannabinoids purported to have various health benefits. However, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most researched compounds yet.
Although the available research on THC and CBD is far from exhaustive, one study showed delta-9 THC’s antidepressant action in a dose-dependent manner. A second study on THC showed that the cannabinoid has neuroprotective properties and helps slow down neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Consequently, the cannabinoid helps manage depression and anxiety symptoms resulting from neurodegenerative conditions.
On the other hand, research evidence also shows CBD’s efficacy in managing various mental health conditions. A systematic review of clinical trials and research studies on CBD concluded that the cannabinoid could potentially treat PTSD, anxiety, depression and managing epileptic seizures.
THC and CBD have varying chemical structures and trigger different effects when taken. For starters, THC has psychedelic effects when taken in high doses, yet CBD has no psychedelic effects and will not make you “high.”
However, both cannabinoids utilize a similar mechanism of action to elevate moods and alleviate other mental health disorder symptoms. The compounds function by binding to endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors in the brain; the ECS modulates various physiological functions, including mood regulation.
THC and CBD bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, triggering the production of dopamine and serotonin “happy hormones.” Dopamine is the hormone responsible for happy feelings and emotions, while serotonin has a role in mood regulation. Note that hormonal imbalance causes mood swings, and extreme cases lead to specific mental health conditions.
Cannabis is available in thousands of strains or varieties; different cannabis strains have varying physical structures and chemotypes. Marijuana breeders graft various strains to feature specific chemotypes (TCH: CBD ratios) and terpene profiles. Below are cannabis strains grafted for mood elevation, promoting mental health.
Although Harlequin is a Sativa-dominant cannabis strain, its chemotype features a balanced CBD: THC production ratio. Consequently, the cannabis variant delivers a balanced effect offering mental clarity and relaxation without intoxication. It also doesn’t hurt that its terpene profile delivers rich mango flavors with pleasant earthy tones.
The CBD content in the Harlequin cannabis strain helps counter anxiety by silencing the brain, offering deep mental relaxation. CBD is also an effective analgesic and helps alleviate pain; chronic pain contributes to mental health conditions like anxiety disorders and depression. Therefore, harlequin is also effective in tackling pain-generated mental diseases.
On the other hand, the strain’s THC content helps boost dopamine levels delivering happiness but not euphoria. The strain is ideal for taking during the day, given its sobering effect.
Cannatonic is a hybrid strain known for its balanced CBD: THC ratio; it has a 1:1 CBD: THC ratio, although the ratio can be 2:1 depending on the crop harvest. The cannabis variant tackles various anxiety-related depressive symptoms and causes, promoting wellbeing.
For starters, it has a profound relaxation effect that silences random thoughts and promotes deep muscle relaxation that counters muscle spasms. Muscle spasm is a common symptom associated with chronic pain, a precursor for mental health illnesses. Consequently, it can help tackle insomnia, which is also a common mental health symptom.
Moreover, the brain relaxation effect counters brain fogginess as a depression symptom, delivering mental clarity that allows you to function as a healthy human being. The strain also alleviates pain, countering pain-related mental-health symptoms, and maintains a pleasant mood. Palate-wise it features a straightforward, earthy nose that culminates in refreshing citrus notes.
3. Northern Lights
Northern Lights is a pure indica strain containing THC levels ranging from 15%-21% depending on crop harvest. As an indica strain, it has a profound relaxation effect on the mind and body, culminating in sedation. Consequently, the strain is ideal for managing hypomania mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and OCD. It acts instantly, putting the patient into a deep, peaceful slumber so that they wake up feeling refreshed and balanced.
4. Jack Herer
Jack Herer is the antidote for lethargy, which is a common depression symptom. The Sativa-dominant cannabis strain has a profound euphoric effect that delivers a cheery, perky attitude. It has a pleasant freshly cut wood aroma that inspires comfort and optimism. The cannabis strain is best taken in the morning to boost motivation and creativity.
5. Granddaddy Purple
Granddaddy Purple is yet another nighttime indica-dominant cannabis strain that delivers full-body relaxation, culminating in sedation. The THC-dominant strain features a straightforward fruity-floral nose and delicious berry flavor. It is invigorating post sedation and also helps stimulate appetite.
While cannabis could potentially treat mental illnesses, note that it does not substitute medically prescribed treatments and medication. Second, ensure you consult your doctor before beginning cannabis ancillary treatment to avoid medical interaction. Finally, cannabis has an individual-centric effect, so only settle for strains that work for you.