Is Cannabis a Depressant or a Stimulant?
When people enter our marijuana dispensary, they often need some guidance to decide which marijuana product best matches their health targets.
One of the common questions they ask is whether cannabis is a depressant or a stimulant. Our experienced budtenders typically answer that cannabis can actually be both. Depending on the marijuana strain you choose and your body’s natural balance, cannabis can have a depressant or a stimulant effect. In fact, many times cannabis has both effects at the same time. Sometimes, marijuana can also be hallucinogenic.
When we interact with customers, we want to help them meet their expectations in the best and safest way. Whether they want to relax, relieve themselves of anxiety, or raise their spirits, we listen and then choose a marijuana strain that corresponds to their needs.
Let us guide you through cannabis’ potential and how it works in the body and mind.
How Does Cannabis Work in the Body?
Cannabis contains hundreds of cannabinoids and other natural compounds. Amongst the many cannabinoids are CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, CBDA, and CBCA.
The difference between marijuana and hemp is that hemp has been selectively bred to produce strains that contain high densities of CBD but very little—if any—THC. Hemp is used to produce all the CBD products that have hit the market. Marijuana, on the other hand, has a high THC content and little CBD.
Both CBD and THC work through the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for keeping our body in balance in several ways: learning, appetite, mood, immune system, pain, and reproduction. CBD and THC attach to receptors that are scattered throughout the body and help the body and mind regain their balance.
THC receptors are mainly located in the brain. This is the main reason why THC is psychotropic, unlike CBD. THC appears to interact with several brain receptors and neurotransmitters to affect brain activity.
Cannabis Can Be a Depressant
A depressant is a chemical that calms your nerves, relaxes your tense muscles, and regulates your anxiety. A depressant helps calm your brain when it’s over-stimulated. Anxiety and muscle spasms are linked with mental overstimulation. When the brain calms down from overworking and overthinking, it can work better and more productively. When you manage your anxiety, you can speak in public, join friends for a drink, and unlock your full potential.
Cannabis Can Also Be a Stimulant
When your energy is low and you require alertness and focus, you need a stimulant. Cannabinoids have complex effects on the cardiovascular system, including raising the heart rate, dilating blood vessels, and making the heart pump harder—which is why they should be avoided by people with a history of heart disease.
Stimulants may also help lift your mood and your alertness. That’s because stimulants work in the brain by increasing the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that creates a feeling of reward, pleasure, and motivation. When you feel you have achieved something, it is thanks to dopamine in your brain.
Cannabis May Act as a Hallucinogenic
When you have a hallucination, your perception of reality is altered. This means you perceive reality in a modified way. Visual and auditory hallucinations are the most common: people see or hear things that are not there.
Not all people will experience hallucinations when taking cannabis, as it depends on your brain’s chemistry and how it interacts with marijuana.
How Can Cannabis Be a Depressant and a Stimulant?
When you take cannabis, you may feel relaxed. This is due to the depressant aspect of cannabis.
At the same time, you may also feel happy and in a good mood due to the stimulant properties of cannabinoids. Experiencing both sides of marijuana may help your brain balance out and find its harmony.
Each Body Responds Differently to Cannabis
Each person has different levels of neurotransmitters. When THC interacts with brain receptors and neurotransmitters, it affects each person differently depending on their starting point.
A person who suffers from anxiety and overstimulation of the brain could experience THC in its depressant mode. Such a person could benefit from a more relaxed nervous system and a calmer approach to life.
Alternatively, a person who suffers from low dopamine levels will probably experience cannabis in a stimulating way. THC will improve dopamine levels and could help this person improve their focus and alertness.
Choose the Right Marijuana Strain
If you feel that you have to pick from hundreds of different strains when you purchase cannabis, you are right: it is estimated that there are over 700 marijuana strains, each with its own cannabinoid profile. THC content, as well as the presence or absence of CBD and other cannabinoids, determine the effect each strain will have on you.
When you enter a marijuana dispensary, your budtender will ask you about your health expectations and how you envision your cannabis consumption pattern. Your budtender will then help you determine which marijuana strain better matches your needs.
Some strains are calming and relaxing. Others provide an energetic boost that enhances your alertness, inspiration, and focus. Yet other strains will deliver a relaxing, happy, and sedative effect.
If you are visiting a marijuana dispensary for the first time, we suggest you try small quantities of several marijuana strains to find the one that best responds to your personal brain chemistry and body needs. Once you have determined what you are looking for, you can experiment with more marijuana strains, starting with those that are close to the ones that work for you.
Trust Mountain Annie’s for Your Marijuana
Cannabis can be a depressant and a stimulant at the same time. It all depends on what your body and brain need.
Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders and take your time to choose the marijuana strain and marijuana product that will work for you. Aside from flowers and pre-rolls, you will also find edibles, tinctures, concentrates, and a great selection of cannabis-infused topicals such as creams, soaks, transdermal patches, and salves. You can evaluate what type of cannabis consumption best suits your lifestyle and make the appropriate choice.
Mountain Annie’s has four dispensaries in Ridgway, Silverton, Durango, and Cortez. We are open Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am-8:00 pm. Order online and arrange to pick up your purchases whenever it suits you or drop by in person to buy your cannabis and experience welcoming and attentive service!