Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), according to experts. This type of mental disorder is a combination of depression, anxiety, irritability and general moodiness. It is usually diagnosed when the patient experiences symptoms during the winter solstice.
This is understandable, considering the fact the days are shorter and usually darker in winter.
Lack of sunlight leads to an increase in melatonin levels, which negatively influences the mood. Not to worry if you are experiencing gloomy feelings on gloomy days, however, because cannabis extracts offer a natural solution.
Staying Happy by Maintaining Serotonin Levels
You know what serotonin is, right? One of the many important chemicals and neurotransmitters found in the human body, serotonin is often described as a “natural mood stabilizer.” The reason for this is because when serotonin levels drop, it has a direct effect on things like sleep, memory, appetite, social behavior, mood and sexual desire.
For some people, low serotonin can even take its toll on sexual performance, (something else that cannabis is being recommended for.) The good news is that cannabis extracts can encourage the production of serotonin in a safe and natural way. Based on research published in the Journal of Neuropharmacology just last year, CBD-rich cannabis can limit the effects of SAD by inducing “rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects.”
Another method of increasing serotonin could be to try mushrooms. It is thought that mushrooms can act on your body’s serotoninergic system, so could help to restore the balance of serotonin in your body. Therefore, you could find a local mushroom dispensary and discuss trying microdosing with them to see if this helps.
What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
Most commonly known as CBD, Cannabidiol is one of hundreds of active chemical compounds contained in the cannabis plant. It is also one of the most researched, not to mention one of the most interesting. When extracted from the plant matter, CBD can be used to treat various medical conditions, including depression and anxiety, epileptic seizures and chronic pain. You can find quality buds, extracts and CBD-based products from San Francisco dispensaries like The Green Cross.
The Most Potent Types of Cannabis Extracts for Treating SAD
Now that you know what CBD is, you can start self-medicating with cannabis extracts.
So, what’s on offer to consumers? Quite a lot, actually. Below, we touch upon some of the most powerful types of cannabis extracts that may prove useful at treating SAD:
- Butane Hash Oil (BHO)– This oily substance is extracted from the plant using butane.
- Wax – Heat and air pressure is used to remove the solvent (butane or co2) from the plant matter, resulting in a thick, waxy substance.
- Shatter – Named after its shatter-like texture, this concentrated dose of cannabis is commonly consumed by means of dabbing.
- Budder – Softer and slightly more pliable than wax, this potent extract retains its delicious terpenes.
- Crystalline – Cannabis isolates in the form of crystalline can be up to 99.9 percent pure. The texture is like salt crystals.
These Cannabis Strains are Most Effective at Treating SAD
The type of cannabis strain from which an extract is made will affect its CBD content and overall potency. Let’s discuss a few of the best CBD-rich cannabis strains for alleviating mood swings and overall feelings of hopelessness:
- AC/DC –With a THC to CBD ratio of 1:20, this strain won’t leave you feeling intoxicated. Instead, the sativa strain will give you a cerebral high.
- Harle-Tsu – A hybrid strain that crosses the genetics of Harlequin and Sour Tsunami, this strain has a CBD content of 18-122 percent. Aside from treating SAD, it is also a pain-reliever.
- Cannatonic –With a THC content that is rarely in excess of 6 percent and a CBD content of 6-17 percent, Cannatonic is the perfect strain for a mellow, uplifting experience.
- Canna-Tsu – This strain has two bad boy parents: Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami. It will make you feel upbeat and relaxed with its 1:1 THC to CBD ratio.
- CBD Shark – An indica-dominant strain used to treat depression, inflammation and pain, CBD Shark has a CBD content of around 6.5 percent on average.
- Ringo’s Gift – Boasting an equal ratio of CBD and THC, this sativa-dominant hybrid is a mix between AC/DC and CBD Harle-Tsu.
- Pennywise– A mix of Harlequin and Jack the Ripper, this mentally enhancing strain will allow you to function properly when consumed during the day. It has a balanced CBD to THC ratio of 1:1, but the feeling is focused.
What else can I do to treat the symptoms of SAD?
CBD-rich cannabis extracts should be used as a substitute for pharmaceutical drugs, such as opioids. Although opioids can prove effective at treating SAD, there is a risk of dependency and addiction associated with opioid use. Try to start replacing traditional types of medication with cannabis, slowly but surely.
Since exercise encourages the release of mood-influencing endocannabinoids, you should try to move around as much as possible on a daily basis, too. Eating a balanced diet of fiber-rich foods and fresh ingredients will also have an influence on the brain. Don’t forget to expose yourself to plenty of natural light, too!