Fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with Cannabis


Bethan Jenkins

March 29th, 2018

Policy


It’s spring and the flowers are blooming. You know what’s also blooming? Cannabis. It’s being cultivated in various countries across the globe, with more expected to legalize plant production in the coming months/years.

Although the sun is shining and the landscape is transforming into a colorful version of Mother Nature, people are still suffering with depression. By the time winter comes, even more people will be feeling as gloomy as the weather. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

The good news is that cannabis can help. It’s natural, safe to consume and it grows in abundance.

Why use cannabis as a treatment for SAD?

Caused by reduced light exposure, SAD is a seasonal mood disorder that primarily impacts individuals who reside in low-light places. Approximately 4-6 percent of Americans suffer from SAD, based on statistics gathered by the American Association of Family Physician (AAFP). Furthermore, approximately 10-20 percent of Americans will experience SAD in mild form.

Diagnosed by feelings of hopelessness, weight/appetite changes and lack of motivation, SAD affects serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin controls our moods, it is crucial that we produce enough of it. Cannabis has the potential to encourage serotonin production, making it the perfect type of medication.

So, why would cannabis be put on Planet Earth in the first place, you ask? Well, there are plenty of reasons to use pot. A healing herb that can be smoked, vaped, extracted for topical/oral use, or baked into edibles, cannabis is fast-becoming one of the most-used weeds in the world. Since cannabis is all-natural, you need not worry about becoming reliant on dangerous opioid medications when you use medical cannabis for SAD.

How does cannabis work to treat changes in mood?

It is possible to completely banish feelings of sadness when you start using cannabis. Of course, you will need to select the right strain and correct method of consumption that suits you.

This is where a budtender will come in handy. These seasoned professionals know everything there is to know about marijuana, from the way it is grown to the way it is extracted into potent and powerful oils, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

Here’s how cannabis can help with SAD, among many other medical conditions:

  • Cannabis increases serotonin levels in the brain

  • High-THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) strains can lift the mood

  • Sativa strains can produce a clear-headed high

  • Cannabis can be used as a replacement to depression-causing coping methods, like alcohol and drugs

  • Using cannabis can help to develop social relationships, e.g. attending cannabis clubs

  • Marijuana consumption relaxes the mind and body

  • Cannabinoids (like THC) behave similarly to endorphins (mood-enhancing chemicals)

Which strains of cannabis can treat SAD?

Among the many cannabis strains currently available at a medical cannabis dispensary (and more are being cross-bred and invented all of the time,) the following are recommended to treat SAD:

  • Chocolope (Sativa) – An uplifting strain that can trigger creativity, Chocolope won’t leave you feeling lethargic.

  • ACDC (Hybrid) – Want to feel more focused, yet relaxed at the same time? If so, choose this high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strain. A natural stress-reliever, ACDC will not give you a bad case of the munchies.

  • Super Silver Haze (Sativa) – Expect feelings of euphoria when you try this cannabis strain for SAD. It is commonly used to treat depression and it has a deliciously citrus flavor.

  • Afgoo (Indica) – This strain has a hash-like taste. It will help you to sleep well and may relieve depressive thoughts.

  • Cinex (Sativa) – Indulge in some cannabis therapy with a batch of Cinex-laced edibles or a pungent joint of these Sativa buds. You’ll be surprised at the surge of creativity you’ll get when you try this one.

  • Chernobyl (Hybrid) – Taste strong flavor notes like orange, lemon and flowers when you consume Chernobyl. Not only can it improve the symptoms of SAD but also, it can stop feelings of tiredness and can help with appetite loss.

How can I obtain cannabis to treat SAD?

Remember to procure your green nuggets of goodness from a trusted local dispensary. Medical cannabis dispensaries must be licensed in order to operate legally. Perform a quick background check on the store you choose prior to visiting.

Don’t be shy to ask the budtender questions about where the cannabis was cultivated. This will help you to avoid dispensaries that sell buds grown in environments where they are exposed to harmful contaminants, such as toxins, chemicals and pesticides.

In addition to setting aside time to finding the right medical cannabis dispensary, you should also seek out a doctor who can recommend medical cannabis. A doctor’s recommendation will be required by all medical marijuana patients. Expect the budtender to ask for a form of identification and a written recommendation/prescription/MMJ card when you are paying for your pot.

Sign up for our newsletter if you want to learn more about medical cannabis uses, the best strains and cannabis-related news.

Bethan Jenkins

About Bethan Jenkins

Bethan is a full-time wanderluster, traveler, and digital nomad with 7 years of experience in the freelance writing world. She has mastered the art of beating jet lag and using hammocks as an office for content curation.


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