Cannabis users use the plant for many different purposes. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids help to alleviate pain, anxiety, neuropathy, and so much more. Every strain contains a varying amount of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds. One of the most well-known side effects of cannabis use is the high it produces. Many users get stoned and become sleepy, with some experiencing what’s known as the couch-lock effect. Some strains, however, can boost your energy, productivity, and creativity. So, is cannabis a stimulant or a depressant? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is a Stimulant?
A stimulant is a type of drug that provides users with a boost of energy. Commonly referred to as an “upper,” it also helps to enhance your alertness and elevate your mood. Stimulants include drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and even caffeine. You read that right; your morning cup of java is technically a type of drug. Some prescription medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin for ADD and ADHD, are also stimulants.
While stimulants increase your energy and alertness, that boost is only temporary. Eventually, you crash, and that crash can be hard. The other thing about stimulants is that they’re often addictive.
Other Classes of Drugs
There are two other classes of drugs: depressants and hallucinogens. Depressants are those that produce a relaxing, sedating, even tranquilizing effect. The most well-known depressant is alcohol, but there are several others, too, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opioids, and anti-psychotics. Like stimulants, these drugs can be highly addictive.
Then there are hallucinogens. These are the types of drugs that alter your perception of reality, sometimes to an extreme degree. They may cause you to see and hear things that aren’t there, experience a warped sense of time and space, or develop temporary distortions in your vision.
Hallucinogens fall into one of three categories: psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. Common types of these drugs include LSD, PCP, psilocybin.
What Exactly Is Cannabis?
In certain cases, cannabis can fall into the stimulant category. Certain strains provide you with a temporary increase in energy. They boost your mood, focus, and creativity.
The thing is, cannabis may also count as a depressant or even a hallucinogen. Some strains lead to relaxation, a full-body, couch-locking high, and sleep. In such instances, you might consider them a depressant. The THC content in the various strains may also lead to the assumption that the plant is a hallucinogen. The psychoactive effects can lead to a slight perception of reality. Large doses of THC may also lead to paranoia and extreme paranoia. Personal factors, such as your weight and metabolism also influence what you feel.
So, where exactly does cannabis fit? The answer is that it depends. The cannabinoid content plays a significant role in the effects you feel, as does the terpene profile. The plants don’t fall neatly into any category.
Cannabis may have stimulant properties, but it also exhibits properties of depressants, as well as hallucinogens. It’s an incredibly complex plant whose effects vary greatly based on several different factors. If you’re looking to give yourself a jolt of energy, be sure to choose strains that help you achieve this goal.