Research suggests cannabis is a strong ally in the fight against depression and anxiety, especially during the holidays. A recent study shows cannabis can reduce mild to heavier forms of depression like PTSD symptoms in combat veterans by as much as 75%. If it can do that for severe depression of people who were in a war zone, chances are pot can put the "can" in cannabis for anyone wondering, "can cannabis help me?"

Researchers at the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions have found endocanabinoids, the compound in the brain can activate the same receptors as marijuana's THC. In other words, weed can turn the lights on.

The research team's experimentation on lab rats showed, "using compounds derived from cannabis (marijuana) to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression," according to lead researcher Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane.

Conversely, shrinking levels of endocannabinoid production may be a big contributor to depression, especially during the holidays. We know many people struggle this time of year, so we found a few strains that will not only restore endocannabinoid function, but also help with related anxiety issues.

Here's 5 tips for fighting the holiday blues:

Be Social

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Humans were designed to be social. In short, we need interaction from other people to get through life. A little THC is just the TLC you need to feel relaxed getting out of the house. Whether it's going out to tree lightings, to lighting menorah candles with a friend's family, cannabis can adjust your attitude and help you get out to be with other people (and actually enjoy it). Strains that are good for anxiety:

  • Sour Dream
  • Champagne Kush
  • G13 Haze
  • Sour Jack
  • Purple Chemdawg


Choose Cannabis over Booze

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There's a fair bit of drinking during the holidays. Psychology Today suggests alcoholism spikes during the holiday season for a number of reasons, especially for those who are trying to remain sober. The idea is this is the most wonderful time of year, but really this time of year emphasizes family dysfunctionality and unhealthy dynamics. And alcohol is a social lubricant likely to be found in abundance at holiday parties. A few puffs are a much better option than a few stiff drinks. Here's a few delicious strains that work:

  • Ghost Train Haze
  • Wonder Woman
  • Lime Haze
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Sunshine

Turn that frown upside down

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General depression is what it's all about. A few of these strains can help any time of year, but in December when you really need it to work, these strains are dead ringers for fighting depression:

  • Blue Dream (one of the most popular strains in Colorado)
  • Sour Diesel
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Pineapple Express
  • Jack Herer (one of my all time favorites)
  • Northern Lights


Tune in to trending topics

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Cultural trends are the ties that bind us. Partaking in what everyone else is talking about is a way to feel connected and involved with society. This year you're in luck, because the ultimate (stoner) movie for brigning people together will be released in December. Star Wars will be everywhere, and everyone from little kids to the most social introverted old timer fans will all feel connected. Some strains to check out before going to see it seventeen times:

  • Skywalker OG (duh)
  • Ewok (yes, that's a strain)
  • Darth Vader OG
  • Deathstar OG
  • Master Yoda


Give of yourself

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Underneath all the pomp and circumstance, the holidays (especially gifts) are all about giving to others. Remember how much people would freak when Oprah started giving shit away? They went nuts, because it feel good to make other people happy. This is a great time of year to donate a few hours of your time, give a few bucks to someone in need or visit a retirement home where the elderly feel forgotten. After a short vape pen sesh, you will be amazed at how good it gives to give a little something to someone. And when it comes to gift shopping, the right strain can really inspire some creative and enjoyable gift giving. After all, isn't that what it's about? These strains will keep you in the game and able to serve others:

  • Sour Diesel
  • Super Silver Haze
  • Jack Herer
  • Tangerine Dream
  • XJ-13