Is Marijuana a Depressant? The Whole Truth About Weed

Is marijuana a depressant

Laymen often think that marijuana is a drug that always causes the same mental effect. However, this cannot be farther from the truth.

There is a major variation between highs caused by different cannabis strains, and if you’re going to use this product (recreationally or otherwise), it is very important to learn about the potential effects it causes. 

Before we answer the question is marijuana a depressant, let’s first analyze various drug types.

Categorization of drugs based on the effect they cause

Whether we’re talking about alcohol, medicines, or drugs, every mind-altering substance can be classified into 4 groups based on the mental effect they cause:

  • Depressants are substances that impede and slow mental function. The list includes things such as Xanax, alcohol, and barbiturates
  • Stimulants are often referred to as party drugs. But, they can also be used to treat certain mental conditions. When you use a stimulant, you get a surge of energy and temporarily enhanced senses. The common stimulants are cocaine and methamphetamine
  • Hallucinogens are substances that change the way your brain works. They can completely alter your reality and cause you to have wild thoughts and to see abnormal things. Some of the more popular hallucinogens are LSD and MDMA
  • Opiates are a group of substances that cause euphoria. They are extremely addictive, and you can get hooked to them after one try. The list includes morphine, heroin, and painkillers

Obviously, drugs and other substances have numerous ways of impacting our body and brain. In that regard, cannabis is quite a unique drug.

Unlike the other substances on the list, marijuana can cause different effects. It can work as a stimulant, depressant, and hallucinogen.

So, you’re probably wondering, how come the same plant works in so many different ways? It is pretty simple. There isn’t just one type of marijuana, but instead, there are 2 main cannabis groups in Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa.

There are also numerous hybrids on the market which combine the effects of these two groups causing different mental states. Due to that biodiversity, we can have completely different sensations when consuming the plant.

Cannabis as a depressant

First of all, let’s analyze cannabis as a depressant. This type of drug is becoming increasingly popular with the rise of medical marijuana.

Today, patients are using this type of marijuana to treat various mental issues such as anxiety and insomnia. It is great for relaxation and unwinding as it can slow down your brain function and nerves.

Here are the main effects of cannabis as a depressant:

  • Sleepiness
  • Relaxation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss

Unfortunately, although the drug can serve as a great medication, it also may cause certain unwanted side effects:

  • Confusion
  • Speech issues
  • Vision issues
  • Breathing issues
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Reduced coordination
  • Dizziness, etc.

Although depressants are less dangerous than some other drug types, you still need to be cautious when using them.

Like with any other substance, a person can slowly start developing resistance to it, which might force you to consume larger quantities in order to attain the same effect.

This is precisely why medical marijuana companies are forced to minimize THC content (psychedelic substance) in their cannabis products.

Keep in mind that cannabis can be really problematic for your lungs and airways. Although it doesn’t have the same impact as tobacco, it can still lead to some chronic issues such as bronchitis or chronic cough.

This is namely why a lot of medical cannabis users prefer products such as marijuana tinctures.

Cannabis as stimulant

If depressants are meant to drain your energy, the stimulants are going to increase it.

These substances work by increasing your heart rate and pressure, causing you to be “hyped.” The whole world will start moving slowly when you consume these drugs.

They are often used as party drugs as they can help you stay awake throughout the night.

Depressants can be used in many different ways. There are a lot of students who use it as a way of preparing for exams.

It can also be good in situations when you need increased energy to perform certain tasks. In terms of potential medical usage, they can be used by people who are suffering from depression and numerous other issues.

Cannabis as a stimulant works by:

  • Improving mood
  • Increasing heartbeat
  • Causes paranoia in larger quantities

In terms of the potential side effects, it can cause the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Various heart issues
  • Increased temperature

Although stimulants can work in different ways depending on who is using them, they generally provide the same feeling.

Keep in mind that these substances can be really deceiving. You might feel great for a while, only to be completely drained once the sensation stops.

The fact you have increased energy doesn’t mean that you have increased heart capabilities so, make sure to be attentive as to how you’re utilizing that energy to avoid overburdening your heart.

This is especially true for people who have a history of heart conditions.

If you like to get high on stimulants, always remember that marijuana is a better drug than let’s say cocaine. But, there is no such thing as safe as all of these are addictive substances that disrupt the way your body works.

Cannabis as a hallucinogen

Marijuana can also serve as a hallucinogen.

Oftentimes, people, and mainstream media will portray cannabis as a hallucinogenic drug that will change your perception of reality. But, this effect rarely occurs. In fact, you can use marijuana for a while and never feel its hallucinogenic effect.

A person who is having a hallucinogenic trip will feel changes in sensory perception. There will be changes in the way they perceive their surroundings. But, you won’t feel paranoid.

You might develop paranoia, but it will not be directly connected to your hallucination.

 Hallucinogenic cannabis can lead to various side effects, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Heart issues and fast heart rate
  • Changes to your perception
  • Loss of motoric skills

Sometimes, it is hard to determine whether or not marijuana worked as a hallucinogen.

A lot of these side effects are common for other types of marijuana and may appear as you have some other trip. This is why people often mistake it for hallucinogens, but instead, it had the impact of a depressant.

Some of these issues can be quite nasty. Hallucinogens, in general, are notorious for their impact on our brain functions. If you use them for a longer period of time, they can lead to speech issues, anxiety, depression, memory loss.


Cannabis is quite an intriguing drug. There are different ways it can impact our brain and our body.

Although many people call it harmless, it can be quite troublesome after prolonged use. In some cases, it can lead to chronic disturbances or damage. This is why you need to be careful and moderate when using it. 

If you wish to use medical marijuana, it is best that you find a provider with a great reputation. Also, make sure to consult your doctor throughout the treatment. 

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