Is weed a stimulant? Is weed a depressant?
There’s a lot of talk about how cannabis is classified. Opinions vary depending on who you ask and their personal experience.
However, it’s an important question if you’re looking for specific mind and body effects. Let’s dive in and see what we can find out!
What Are Stimulants and Depressants?
First, let’s take a look at what is meant by the terms “stimulant” and “depressant.”
Stimulants are substances that excite bodily and/or mental functions. They can:
- Induce alertness
- Elevate mood
- Increase wakefulness
- Jump-start speech and motor activity
- Boost energy levels.
Conversely, depressants reduce stimulation and arousal. They don’t cause depression, but they do cause the central nervous system to slow down. They tend to induce:
- Peaceful states
- Cause drowsiness
- Reduce energy levels.
So, Is Weed a Stimulant or Is Weed a Depressant?
Which one of these categories does weed fall into?
Is cannabis a depressant? Yes.
Is cannabis a stimulant? Well, also yes.
The fact is, weed as a broad category can’t be neatly classified. Why? Because species (indica or sativa) and strain have a lot to do with the high.
Let’s look at some of the common effects of weed broken down by species:
Sativas as Stimulants
If you’re after a cheery, bouncy, energetic high, stimulating sativas are where you probably want to be. Increased determination, elevated mood, and increased dedication on the workout front are associated with sativa-heavy strains.
If you’re looking for a sleepy evening in, munch-mouthed and movie-watching? You’ll probably want to skip the sativas.
Typical effects of sativa include:
- Increased heart rate
- Change in body temperature
- Improved mood
- Improved focus and attention span
- Heightened alertness
- Increased motivation
Indicas as Depressants
Suppose you’re seeking a mellow, all-over body experience. In that case, your Wellness Expert (aka Budtender) will likely point you in the direction of the perfect indica strain for your needs.
Indicas are known to act as depressants, leaving us feeling pretty okay in a mellow, happy camper kind of way. They aren’t the weed you’re looking for if you’ve got a big work project in the morning or your professor needs that on her desk NOW.
Typical effects of indicas include:
- Decreased anxiety and nervousness
- Increased sense of peacefulness
- Relaxation of tense muscles and reduction of pain
- Improved sleep
- Reduced blood pressure
In a nutshell, when the question is “Is marijuana a depressant or a stimulant?” the answer is, “What do you want it to be?”.
Stimulants, Depressants, and Prescription Medication
Before we wrap here, it’s necessary to look at psychological ailments and cannabis use—specifically, conditions for which the individual uses psychoactive medications.
Many medications prescribed for various psychological issues may not play nicely with cannabis, especially cannabis with high levels of THC.
In addition, some individuals report paradoxical effects with marijuana use. For example, strains that make most folks energetic pull them down, and strains that mellow most folks instead energize them.
As a precaution, it is always best to discuss the use of cannabis and medications with a physician.
Speaking of the Mind…
Remember, personal experience and expectations can influence what kind of effects you’ll feel.
If you expect your weed to lay you out and bring on the sleepies, it’s a lot more likely to do just that. And if you’re hoping your weed will unlock your creativity and give you an energetic spark? Again, that will help you get precisely the result you want.
Get an Expert Opinion
Don’t walk away from the above thinking that one size fits all here. The fact is, we are all different, and our personal biochemical and psychological profiles are uniquely ours.
There are good general rules about the different strains and their effects as stimulants or depressants. However, you’re going to have to get with your Wellness Expert to explore your options and make choices about strain and amount to discover which is best for you.
It might take a little time, but it’ll probably be some of the most enjoyable science with which you’ve ever experimented!