Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the USA. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2016, approximately 16.2 million Americans — i.e., about 6.7 percent of the entire country’s population — had experienced at least one major depressive episode lasting for at least two weeks or more.
Some common symptoms of depression include insomnia, difficulty eating, low energy, low self-esteem, and thoughts of death and/or suicide. While not all people with depression experience all of these symptoms, chances are they at least experience one of them.
For some, cannabis can be a great, holistic solution to treating depression. In fact, people who have had a negative experience with psychiatric antidepressants have exchanged their prescription medications for weed.
Cannabis allows consumers the opportunity to customize their strains, picking which qualities they want in their high. A good strain will recharge your brain and can help you resume everyday life, despite the daily challenges of fatigue, melancholia and more. Indicas, for instance, help someone feel a body high when it seems impossible to relax on their own.
If you have difficulty eating, cannabis gives you an incentive to eat. Getting the munchies can help you consume an entire meal.
However, beware of consuming too much cannabis. For some people, getting too high on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can worsen their symptoms of depression, which can include binge eating, oversleeping, sluggishness, overbearing feelings of sadness, or paranoid thoughts and/or episodes. This is why, when it comes to consumption while experiencing symptoms of depression, you should take baby steps in the form of microdosing. Never overestimate your tolerance levels and always keep a log of how much cannabis you’re consuming.
If you don’t want a head or body high, you can easily ditch the #THC in favor of cannabidiol. #CBD products derived from hemp are legal in the United States and are relatively easy to obtain. In states with sensible cannabis policy enacted, CBD derived from cannabis can be another option. Either way, consuming such products will help you reap the medicinal benefits of cannabis, without the psychedelic effects. Many people with post-traumatic stress disorder, including veterans and sexual violence survivors, have even called CBD a lifesaver.
Whether it’s with THC or CBD or a combination, cannabis can also help fight insomnia and get you off to sleep. Depending on your tolerance levels, you might not need a lot to get you to slumber land, either.
Plus, the art of growing also has healing qualities. During the winter, if you’re a sufferer of seasonal affective disorder, an indoor grow op can help you get some much-needed sunlight. Also, establishing a routine to care for your plants — to water, harvest and clean, for instance — gives you a ritual to practice, which comes in handy on the days you find it extremely difficult to get out of bed. To get the most out of your cultivation experience, seasoned growers have recommended spending quality time in your garden doing meditative acts, such as thinking and practicing yoga.
However, don’t rely on cannabis alone to fight depression. It should be used in addition to applying other methods, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and/or talk therapy.