Medical Cannabis for Seasonal Depression (SAD)

medical marijuana for winter depression

With summer disappearing in the rear-view mirror, many people aren’t just missing the sunshine and warmth; seasonal depression (also referred to as seasonal affective disorder or SAD) can be a massive impediment to your day-to-day life. What’s worse, millions of people may suffer from SAD without even knowing it. But the good news is that medical cannabis for seasonal depression has demonstrated to be a potentially effective treatment of this common disorder.

So, how does medical marijuana for depression and seasonal depression work? Read on below to find out more.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

What exactly is SAD? And how can medical cannabis for seasonal depression help treat your symptoms?

SAD is a mood disorder that most often occurs when the weather shifts from the bright and warmth of summer to the dark and dreary of fall and winter. It can, however, occur in early summer months, late spring, and during other seasonal changes.

Essentially, this disorder can mimic a set of symptoms similar to depression, which can be difficult to overcome for many patients.

Common Symptoms of SAD

According to the American Psychiatric Association, symptoms of SAD include:

  • Having a depressive mood
  • Losing interest and/or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
  • Increase in appetite, typically carbohydrates
  • Oversleeping and a feeling of being unable to leave bed
  • Lack of energy and increased fatigue, despite the higher volume of sleep
  • A proclivity for purposeless physical activity like fidgeting and hand wringing or slowed movements or speech
  • A feeling of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling unable to concentrate and/or make decisions
  • Suicidal ideation

With medical cannabis as a depression treatment showing promising signs in helping to mitigate symptoms, many are looking at medical cannabis for seasonal depression as a potentially effective solution, as well.

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

There are a number of potential causes of SAD.

Vitamin D deficiency is often believed to play a part in the occurrence of the disorder, as of course sunlight becomes scarcer in the darker winter months. There’s also some evidence that links a lowering in serotonin (a key hormone in the body that helps to regulate mood). The body may also be suffering due to an altered sense of time as daylight is sparse and the sun rises much later in the day and sets far earlier.

Whatever the causes, however, what we do know is that SAD is a disruptive condition that affects millions of people annually.

How Medical Cannabis Can Help with SAD Treatment

With depression sometimes linked to abnormal levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other key hormones in the body, it would make sense that medications that help counteract this chemical imbalance (like medical cannabis) can be very helpful.

Research conducted at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands found that THC (a molecule in medical cannabis) can alter the response to negative images or emotions. It can help modulate negative emotions or emotional processing.

Another research study, this one conducted in 2020 and published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, showed many patients who used cannabis experienced antidepressant effects. The extent of the effects and each patients’ experiences, however, varied with chemotypic properties of the plant.

What Other Treatments Are Used?

Aside from medication, there are other ways to help treat SAD.

Exercise is considered a great way to help the body boost its natural level of endorphins to help ward off depressive moods. Even a brisk 10-minute jog can help bring your body back into alignment.

Getting enough light is also another great way to help counteract SAD. Exposure to light of any source can be a supplement for that lack of sunshine (though of course cannot replace the real thing).

Finally, it’s suggested to try vitamin D supplements in order to account for the disappearing sunshine.

Marijuana Strains to Consider for SAD

Several of the best marijuana strains for SAD are:

  • Super Silver Haze Cannabis Strain
  • AC/DC Cannabis Strain
  • Chocolope Cannabis Strain
  • Afgoo Cannabis Strain
  • Pineapple Express Cannabis Strain

If you want more information on which strain could be most effective for you, consider visiting a cannabis clinic for a consultation.

Medical Marijuana Consulting Services in Canada

If you or a loved one think you’re suffering from SAD, then get in touch with Medical Marijuana Consulting (MMC). We are a top cannabis clinic in Canada that will help you get the treatment you need for your condition, including helping you obtain a medical marijuana prescription.

Our dedicated team of physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners can provide a prescription, offer you help to get you coverage for your prescription costs (if eligible), and refer you to a licensed producer.

In addition to helping, you navigate the medical marijuana system, MMC’s white glove treatment means you get access to one-on-one educational sessions that cover everything you need to know about medical cannabis, including how to safely consume medical marijuana and what dosages to take. Our cannabis clinic also helps with insurance benefits, understanding how to claim your medical cannabis on your taxes, and can help you apply for a Grow Your Own License with Health Canada.

At MMC, we want to make access to medical cannabis as simple as possible for as many people as possible. Join our Ambassador Program and receive $15 for every person you refer to MMC that becomes a patient.

To learn more about Medical Marijuana Consulting and how you can secure a prescription as part of your personalized medical cannabis treatment plan, book a consultation online, contact us at 1-844-312-5143, or email us at

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