Best Marijuana Strains for Pain Relief
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Pain management is one of the leading reasons why people take marijuana.
Research shows that marijuana can ease chronic pain, including pain from nerve damage or inflammation. An added benefit is a potential reduction in the use of opioids and pain medications.
Thailand, too, has a rich history of using weed to ease the pain. Whether it is from cancer, arthritis, or injuries, many people are taking medical cannabinoids to reduce their discomfort and improve the quality of their lives.
The legal market cannabis market gives people access to a wide variety of products like extracts, edibles, and flowers. In this article, we are going to focus on the last option.
Here is Weed Review’s take on the 7 best cannabis strains for pain relief.
Cannabis strains for pain
Mentioned below are our top 7 herbal marijuana varieties which are well-suited to ease chronic pain. The list features a mix of CBD and THC strains.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown excellent anti-inflammatory properties that make it a valuable aid in pain relief. People take CBD for pain because it is non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and well-tolerated in all doses.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also useful, as research has shown it targets the receptors in the brain and thus affects the pain sensation. The feeling of high or euphoria can shape how people experience the pain.
1. Charlotte’s Angel CBD
One of the best CBD strains of all time, Charlotte’s Angel CBD is a must-try for anyone who wants to try marijuana flowers to ease their pain.
With CBD content averaging at 15% – and low amounts of THC – this cannabis cultivar offers a wave of calming, relaxing vibes without any mental high. It has a deep soothing effect on the body which can reduce your pain and even help you sleep better.
Charlotte’s Angel CBD is also rich in pain-relieving terpenes like myrcene and caryophyllene, which contribute to the entourage effect.
ACDC is a strain known for its impressive CBD-to-THC ratio, making it a go-to choice for pain management. The CBD levels range from 16-25%, while THC concentration does not exceed 1%.
This is a strain that is purely meant for medicinal uses. Users experience pain relief without feeling excessively high. At most, they feel focused and relaxed. You can smoke this flower and go about your day-to-day without feeling impaired.
ACDC is often recommended for treating conditions like chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and migraines.
If your chronic pain prevents you from sleeping, then you should try Blueberry.
Blueberry is an Indica-dominant cannabis cultivar with THC ranging from 17-24%. This is a potent strain that will get you high, so you will want to time your session when you do not have work to do. You will feel a cerebral rush that will distract you from your pain. Expect to feel chatty and giggly. The physical high then takes over, leading you to feel heavy and super-relaxed – almost in a couchlock.
Apart from its delicious taste and smell, Blueberry has an abundance of terpenes like myrcene and caryophyllene. These contribute to the pain-relieving and sedating effects of the strain.
4. Northern Lights
You cannot talk about the best marijuana strains for chronic pain and not mention Northern Lights in the discussion.
This award-winning Indica-dominant cultivar is famous for its ability to ease insomnia, spasms, and pain. It delivers a powerful mix of body high and mental relaxation – just enough to get the job done without getting you too intoxicated.
With THC levels ranging from 15-20%, NL is recommended for evening use after a long day when you want to relax and give your body some much-needed rest.
5. White Widow
Another Indica variety, White Widow is similar to Northern Lights. It has pain-reducing terpenes like caryophyllene and myrcene, while THC concentration ranges from 16-20%. If you like getting a little high, then you may want to add this strain to your mix.
Another notable feature of this bud is the presence of other cannabinoids – notably CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) – at 1-2%. The entourage effect and anti-inflammatory effects are strong with White Widow. As such, it will be greatly appreciated by those with pain-related conditions.
Cannatonic is a CBD strain with a good mix of THC in it. The cannabidiol amount can be as high as 18%, while the psychoactive THC ranges from 5-8%.
With an exceptional THC: CBD ratio, Cannatonic gets you slightly buzzed while offering a therapeutic dose of cannabinoids and terpenes. This strain is recommended for those who prefer CBD but also need a little bit of THC for the full effect.
This flower is a potent analgesic; it will help ease your aches and physical tension. Muscle spasms, chronic pain, injury-related pain, and arthritis are common conditions that Cannatonic can help address.
7. Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue is not a strain for beginners. If your chronic pain is serious and prevents you from sleeping or functioning, then you may want to try GG.
This potent marijuana strain has THC levels ranging from 20-28%. Therefore, Gorilla Glue is a stronger alternative to other flowers mentioned in this list. It also has limonene in it, which is famous for its pain-relieving and relaxing properties.
GG offers a well-rounded high for the body and mind – which can be useful in distracting you from your debilitating pain. It is also ideal for those who have built a tolerance to weed over time.
Indica v Sativa: How to choose the right cannabis flower for chronic pain?
Indica helps you relax and eases pain with more CBD and THC. It’s good for nighttime as it helps sleep and loosens muscles. Sativa gives you energy, lifts your mood, and helps you focus. It’s great for daytime pain management without making you tired. As for hybrids, they mix indica and sativa effects and could be a good balance.
To manage pain well, find strains with similar CBD and THC or more CBD. If you’re new to cannabis, start with less THC to avoid feeling too strange.
A little bit of experimentation may be needed before you arrive at your preferred pain-relieving strain. If Northern Lights doesn’t ease your pain, try Blue Dream. If that does not work, give Bubble Gum a try, and so on.
As you become more experienced, you may try weed varieties with different THC/CBD levels and terpene profiles.
How does cannabis help with pain?
Research suggests that cannabis can provide pain relief in the following ways:
- Reduce inflammation
- Regular pain perception
- Relax the muscles
- Reduce the use of opioids
- Promote better sleep
- Improve mood and mental well-being
- Distract from the pain
That said, more clinical research is needed to understand the effects of cannabis on pain relief fully.
Weed Review recommends speaking to a doctor for the best results when taking weed to ease your pain.
How much weed should you take for pain?
The best advice is: start with a low dose and gradually increase it to find the optimal amount. There is no standard dosage in terms of grams or milligrams you should take for pain.
Finding the right dosage of cannabis for pain relief can be a complex process and may vary from person to person.
Keep track of how different strains affect you in a journal so you can find your preferred strains for pain.
Factors such as tolerance, the severity of pain, desired effects, and the strain’s potency all play a role. For example, you may need a full joint of Cannatonic to ease your pain. Meanwhile, just a few drags of the potent Gorilla Glue may deliver the same effect.
If you are using flowers to make edibles, then please read our detailed guide on edibles dosage. Eating cannabis leads to more powerful and long-lasting effects when compared to smoking it.
Are there any side effects of using cannabis for pain relief?
In the context of pain, long-term cannabis use can lead to:
- Tolerance, where more weed is needed to experience the therapeutic effects
- Respiratory problems, lung irritation
Visit our comprehensive list of adverse effects of smoking marijuana to learn more.
Cannabinoids can also interfere with how your liver metabolises the drug.
Weed may interact with certain medications – including painkillers and opioids like codeine, Percocet, and Vicodin – and change their effects on your body. This is known as the marijuana-drug interaction, and it can be harmful. If you take prescription medicines and plan on adding cannabis into the mix, please speak to your doctor about the best course of action.
Marijuana has long been used as an analgesic, and recent studies further support the claim that weed can reduce pain. There are several strains you can try to ease your chronic pain. The ones recommended on this page are just a starting point. As for the dosage, start slow, go low, and see how you feel. Since there is no universal recommended dose, you should experiment a bit till you find your ideal dose.
For the best experience, opt for organic, natural flowers which are free of chemicals or contaminants. You may also visit a medical marijuana clinic to speak to a specialist for the best recommendation and approach.