Is Cannabis a Depressant?

Cannabis refers to the psychoactive hemp plant many people use recreationally or for health benefits. But is cannabis a depressant? Since it can help you relax and have a good mood, we can classify cannabis as a depressant. 

In recent years, cannabis has ranked the most used and abused naturally occurring product, compared to tobacco and alcohol. Most people appreciate the plant due to its recreational advantages, while others value its medical benefits.

Unlike other psychoactive compounds, cannabis has a wide range of properties. According to the National Institutes of Health, it has properties to classify as a stimulant. The various compounds present in this unique herb give it these various properties. For example, THC is a compound that creates psychoactive effects that most people seek. Other compounds such as CBD provide the medical benefits cannabis users enjoy.

Through various manufacturers, we have gathered enough information about the overall characteristics of cannabis. So, in this article, we will discuss the different properties of cannabis and features of its effects. You will learn what kind of product cannabis is and its connection to depression.

What Is a Depressant

DepressantA depressant is any substance that can depress or slow the activities of the nervous system. The central nervous system has two main parts. These are the spinal cord and the brain. Also, a network of nerves sends signals to other body organs. The presence of a depressant alters brain and spinal cord activities. As a result, the rate at which nerves communicate with other body organs slows down. 

There are various depressants, such as benzodiazepines, sleep medications, and barbiturates. Valium and Xanax are good examples of benzodiazepines that treat insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. 

Is Cannabis a Depressant?

We have already defined a depressant as any substance that depresses the body’s nervous system. Even though cannabis is a substance that has similar effects as depressants, it has a diverse range of properties which makes it difficult to classify it as only a depressant entirely. This is also because marijuana doesn’t bring significant changes in GABA levels. Instead, it triggers the release of dopamine hormone, thus causing sedative effects. 

The early stages of using cannabis increase levels of dopamine in the brain, according to a journal nature study done in 2016. As time goes by with regular use of the product, the brain becomes reluctant to release neurotransmitters. The impacts of low dopamine in the brain are marked by effects of depressants such as low physical energy and many more symptoms. 

Effects of Depressants

The primary effects of depressants include relaxation and, most times, a soothing feeling. However, it would help if you stick with a dosage that suits your system. This is the best way to enjoy these products. The risks are high when users abuse depressants. For example, using depressants only because you want to feel high can have dangerous and severe side effects. 

Further, taking different depressants at once can be bad for your health and even fatal. The probable outcome, in this case, is overdosing, which can lead to an increase in heartbeat, lung failure, and breathing issues. 

Cannabis and Depression

There is limited research about cannabis and depression. Studies are yet to tell us if cannabis can treat or cause depression. However, there are claims from most users that they could feel relief from depression after using marijuana. Also, studies on the effects of marijuana show overusing weed may cause depression.

People who use cannabis, in most cases, appear to be depressed because of the product’s effects. However, that doesn’t always mean using marijuana will always make you depressed. You have no worries if you use it correctly. A significant number of people suffering from depression depend on cannabis to numb negative feelings and cope with their daily activities.    

What Type of Substance Is Cannabis?

Because cannabis causes effects in users after consumption, we can categorize it in various ways. We classify most products based on the effects they cause when users consume them. The most common categories are as follows. 

Cannabis as a Depressant

Already we have described cannabis as a depressant. The herb is a depressant because of its ability to slow down the nervous system’s activities. It can produce muscle relaxation, calmness, sleepiness, and dizziness. Also, it can cause numbness, inhibitions, and reduced anxiety. 

Cannabis as a Stimulant

Stimulants make users stay awake and experience sudden boosts in energy. These products are addictive and help users stay focused alert, and may help improve the user’s mood. Unlike cocaine, in most cases, cannabis heightens moods and reduces symptoms of depression. People testify to enjoy the highness feeling that cannabis gives. Also, marijuana is known to increase blood pressure and heartbeat rate.

Cannabis as a Hallucinogen

Hallucinogens are also known as dissociative drugs. They alter the ability of the user to perceive reality. Although these kinds of drugs are less addictive, their side effects on users are fatal. 

Unlike other types of Hallucinogens, cannabis is different. It is hard to get visual, auditory, or portrayal issues from using weed. However, it may cause an altered perception of time and space. 


Cannabis is a potent substance that you can smoke or ingest by adding it to your diet. Its effects display the most common properties associated with stimulants, hallucinogens, and depressants. 

Although there is limited research to define cannabis as an ultimate depressant, the herb slows down brain functions. However, there is no guarantee that using cannabis will cure depression or worsen the user’s condition. It depends on the body’s responses to the substance. You can try the product in small amounts to combat negative feelings of depression. However, an attempt to overdose on cannabis would cause depression.  

It is crucial to seek your doctors’ advice before using cannabis as a depressant. This is the best approach if you have other health complications. Also, you need to consult a doctor if you are using other drugs. 

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