Is Weed a Depressant? A Look into Cannabis and the Mind

Is Weed a Depressant? A Look into Cannabis and the Mind

Is weed a depressant? It’s a common question many people ask about cannabis. It’s also a valid question that newbies to medical cannabis should ask their doctors. It is their health, after all, so they need to be educated about cannabis and its effects on the mind.

What are the four types of drugs?

Before we answer is weed a depressant, know that drugs are classified into several types.

In the medical world, specialists classify them based on the disease or illness they treat. For example:

  • Anxiolytics include diazepam and lorazepam. These drugs calm the nerve and help control anxiety.
  • Antiepileptics include gabapentin, carbamazepine, and diazepam as well. These drugs reduce the severity and frequency of seizures.
  • Anti-inflammatories include aspirin, ibuprofen, and celecoxib. These drugs reduce pain and inflammation.

When it comes to addiction though, drugs are classified into four main types:

  • Opioids include fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone, heroin, and codeine. While they kill pain, these drugs produce addictive effects.
  • Depressants include alcohol and barbiturates. These drugs tend to slow down your brain’s activities.
  • Stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine. They enhance brain activities.
  • Hallucinogens include LSD and DMT. These drugs produce psychedelic effects. It makes you see and hear things that aren’t there.

Is weed a depressant? Where does it belong in the categories?

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Is weed a depressant?

Answering the question is weed a depressant is actually a little tricky. It acts as a depressant since it has side effects similar to depressant drugs. However, it also acts as a stimulant. Some of its side effects are observed in stimulant drugs. Interestingly, weed may also belong in the hallucinogens since it sometimes induces hallucinations in some people.

There’s also more to the question “is weed a depressant?” if you consider not just its drug classification, but also its medicinal effects as well. Weed offers a lot of medicinal benefits. These benefits easily fall under any classes of medicines like analgesics, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, etc.

Is weed a depressant? It also depends on the strain you’re using. Is it an Indica or a Sativa? Or A mix of both?

See? There’s no easy way to answer is weed a depressant.

Why is weed a depressant?

Cannabis for relaxation
(image via The Fresh Toast)

When you say depressant, it infers that a substance reduces brain activities. It slows the brain’s functioning, so you feel calmer and more relaxed. Patients with insomnia and anxiety disorders typically use depressants to control their symptoms. It helps calm their nerves and reduce anxiety and stress. It also helps them sleep better.

Is weed a depressant? In a way, yes. It produces similar effects to depressants.

Marijuana promotes relaxation of the muscles. One deep hit and you’ll start feeling more relaxed. It also relieves pain and muscle spasms. As a result, you’ll feel all the tension and pain draining from your body.

Weed also acts on the brain to relieve anxiety and stress. When the cannabinoids activate the endocannabinoid systems found in the brain, it helps keep neurotransmitter levels in check. It does this by stimulating the brain cells to reabsorb the excess excitatory neurotransmitters. At the same time, cannabinoids stimulate the brain cells to release more inhibitory neurotransmitters.

Studies show that there is an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels in patients with anxiety disorders. This imbalance is also seen in other mental health problems as well. These include depression, chronic stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

More excitatory neurotransmitters excite the brain cells. Their chronic over-stimulation then results in the symptoms of mental health issues. You feel more agitated, irritable, and anxious.

To control the high excitatory neurotransmitter levels, your brain needs inhibitory neurotransmitters. Fortunately, weed promotes balance between the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.

So, is weed a depressant then? In some ways, weed is a depressant because it reduces the activities of overactive brain cells.

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Other Effects That Answer is Weed a Depressant

THC Treatment Patients CBD
(image via TheStreet)

Weed also produces effects that answer the question “Is weed a depressant?” and why some consider weed as such. These effects include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Sluggishness
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Incoordination

Is the answer to “Is weed a depressant?” based on these side effects? Yes, it seems so. Weed does reduce brain functioning and therefore results in these short-term adverse side effects.

Cannabis Strains That Promotes Relaxation

The answer to the question “Is weed a depressant?”, also depends on the strain in question.

Weed is classified into two major strain categories. You have Sativa and Indica. Sativa generally produces a more invigorating effect. It makes you feel more active, more creative, and more sociable. Indica, on the other hand, produces a more sedating and relaxing effect.

Some of the best Indica strains that produce powerful relaxing effects include Sensi Star, Northern Gold, and OG Kush.

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Is weed a depressant agent that can benefit patients with mental health problems?

Depressant drugs sedate and promote sleep. They also reduce chronic stress and anxiety. They also relieve pain and muscles spams, which contribute to chronic mental health problems.

Is weed a depressant agent that is useful for anxiety disorders? Yes, it would appear so. In fact, many patients find weed an effective agent for anxiety disorders.

In a review of 31 studies, researchers found that patients use weed to control post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions. However, researchers noted that weed may not be the best treatment of choice for psychotic disorders.

Is weed a depressant that can be used for medical health conditions?

cannabis for anxiety

There’s no direct answer to this question. But some people with anxiety disorders do find weed beneficial. Studies also suggest that weed is safer than prescription drugs like anxiolytics and opioid-based painkillers.

So to answer the question is weed a depressant, it’s best that you consult with your doctor first. It’s also advisable that you learn more about weed and its effects on the body. Should you decide to use weed as an alternative form of treatment for your mental health problems, you will be armed with knowledge.

Final Notes

There are several factors that contribute to and answer the question: Is weed a depressant?

For one, it produces side effects similar to common depressant drugs. Two, it also depends on the type of strain you use, with indica strains producing more powerful sedating and relaxing effects.

Weed produces therapeutic effects. But it also has negative side effects as well. While weed is relatively safer than strong prescription drugs, care should still be taken if you’re going to use it as a form of treatment.

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