On a global scale, roughly 5% of the adult population suffers from depression. If you're one of the 40 million depression sufferers in the United States, odds are you've tried a few different methods to get your symptoms under control. As cannabis legalization spreads, more and more people are turning to cannabis for treatment. But did you know that the terpenes found in cannabis strains can determine how effective a strain will be against depression? Here's a breakdown of the best terpenes for depression.
When most people are looking to cannabis for depression, they tend to ask about indicas or sativas when really they should be asking about cannabinoid and terpene content. Both THC and CBD are useful against depression, but the terpenes present in a strain can determine how effective the strain will be against depression. Terpenes boost the effects of cannabinoids in the entourage effect phenomenon. They also have their own mildly psychoactive effects that help alter moods and increase brain function.
When choosing a strain for depression, look for cannabinoids like THC or CBD and terpenes with anti-depressant effects. Here are the top 5 best terpenes for depression for use on their own in aromatherapy infusions or in your favorite cannabis products.
5 Best Terpenes for Depression
Linalool — Linalool has a potent anti-anxiety effect and has been found to greatly reduce stress. It's most commonly found in lavender flowers, which is why many products intended for rest, relaxation, or stress relief (like lotions or bubble bath) are lavender-scented. However, a study conducted in 2015 also found that Linalool produces an anti-depressant effect. A few strains with a high dose of Linalool include Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, LA Confidential, and OG Shark.
b-Caryophyllene — b-Caryophyllene is a larger terpene that often takes on similar properties to cannabinoids like CBD. It's typically found in pungent aromatic spices, like black pepper and star anise, though it's also one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. As a large and abundant terpene, it has been studied pretty extensively. The latest research on b-Caryophyllene suggested that it's effective in treating both depression and stress-related mental illnesses. It can be found in strains like Bubba Kush, OG Kush, Chemdawg, Sour Diesel, Rockstar, and Skywalker OG, though it can be found in most strains in general.
b-Pinene — While b-Pinene isn't a primary terpene, it's usually found alongside a-Pinene, which is the most abundant terpene on earth. Pinene is great for a mental boost, soothing away brain fog, helping you to focus, and even helping with depression. Typically if a plant contains a-Pinene, it also contains b-Pinene in an 80:20 ratio. Some strains high in Pinene terpenes include Critical Mass, Cannatonic, Grape Ape, and Harlequin.
Limonene — Limonene is a very abundant terpene found frequently in citrus fruits. It's known for boosting moods and energy levels, though some preliminary evidence suggests that it can be effective against the depressive effects of Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress (CUMS). It can be found in many cannabis strains in high quantities, though some of the top Limonene strains include Banana OG, Berry White, Black Cherry Soda, Cinex, and Do-Si-Dos.
Myrcene — Myrcene is another one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. However, it can also be found in lemongrass and mangoes. It offers a sedative effect, and evidence also suggests it's able to boost the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects of CBD/THC. It can be found in most cannabis strains, though some of the highest Myrcene strains include OG Kush, ACDC, Purple Urkle, Critical Mass, and Harle-Tsu.
All in all, if you're in the market for some depression relief, strains that contain Limonene, Myrcene, b-Pinene, b-Caryophyllene, and Linalool will provide the best results. If you don't use cannabis, Each of these terpene isolates can be used in essential oil diffusers for aromatherapy infusions or added to your favorite foods and beverages.