Chronic pain sufferers know how much of a struggle it can be to find the right treatment when it comes to finding the right treatment for their pain. Pain medication is often difficult to obtain and can be dangerous to use continuously if the pain does not subside.
Chronic pain can be caused by nerve damage, inflammation, injury, scar tissue, or other muscular or skeletal problems. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you should first consult a doctor for them to assess the situation before looking into a treatment plan that suits you.
Certain strains of medical marijuana can be used to treat the types of pain that you may be experiencing. In some cases, pain can be incredibly unbearable, but keeping your body full of powerful painkillers prescribed by a doctor is not always the safest or healthiest solution. With the increase in studies conducted on the use of marijuana and the legalization of the substance in many countries, more people are turning to medical marijuana to help treat their pain instead of intense painkillers like opioids.
While most cannabis products have yet to be confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some significant research has been conducted to prove that some compounds in marijuana can be effective in treating chronic or acute pain.
How Can Cannabis Help with Pain?
The two components that have been widely researched to treat pain are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two cannabinoid components are the most frequently studied compounds in cannabis research.
The Brain and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
The human body has cannabinoid receptors that are stimulated by THC once cannabis has been consumed. Our bodies have natural chemical components similar to cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system that the compound THC found in cannabis can bind to. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana that binds to the cannabinoid receptors and causes a high feeling. When the body is experiencing this high sensation, it activates the brain’s reward system which can reduce pain levels in the body.
The Body and Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD), the other main chemical component of marijuana, reacts with the body. People often describe CBD as being the marijuana component that provides a body-high instead of a cerebral-high. CBD does not provide any psychoactive or euphoric effects and is popularly known for giving users couch-lock. Once consumed, CBD can help reduce inflammation and pain levels in the body.
What Research Has Been Done?
As the taboo’s around marijuana have slowly started to be broken down, the hemp plant has been more frequently researched for its medicinal benefits. Studies are occurring more frequently in the science world to help us understand the potential benefits that consuming the cannabinoids found in marijuana can have on the human body. One of those benefits is pain relief. People experience pain for many reasons. Some of those reasons may be inflammation, muscular or skeletal damage, headaches, arthritis, nerve damage, injuries, or more serious causes like cancer or other diseases.
This research paper was published in 2016 and explored the effectiveness of cancer patients using marijuana in place of opioids. Some of the highlights of this study concluded that patients that used marijuana saw a significant 64% decrease in need for opioids to treat their chronic pain. Patients with chronic pain stated that their overall quality of life increased after using cannabis. The final conclusion was that patients who used cannabis saw fewer medication side effects and overall medications needed.
Another study was conducted in 2015 that used marijuana as a treatment for people with chronic pain. This study focused on patients who were experiencing chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. There were hundreds of trials done, many of which had positive reinforcement that cannabis helped relieve pain in the participants. This study also mentioned that many patients did not experience the same positive results, and suggested that more research be done on the topic.
The Best Cannabis Strains for Chronic Pain
CBD Critical Mass
CBD Critical Mass is a THC/CBD Balanced strain known to kick chronic pain to the curb. The primary terpenes in this strain are myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene making it a calming and uplifting strain. The THC will provide a minuscule amount of psychoactive sensations, and the CBD can be effective for treating chronic pain conditions.
Master Kush is a THC-dominant cannabis strain that relieves pain. The THC levels in Master Kush maintain 18% which is quite potent. The potency of Master Kush is what helps people feel relief from their chronic pain. This type of strain will be quite intense for intoxicating effects and can help relieve the stress associated with the pain you may be experiencing. Master Kush has been known to help with muscle pain, arthritis pain, headache relief, and nerve pain.
Blackberry Kush is a THC-dominant strain that has primary terpenes of myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene. Since Blackberry Kush is a THC-dominant strain, the user will experience more euphoric feels and a high sensation. BBK makes the user feel dreamy and relaxed and is often used to treat pain. As the name suggests, this strain has a sweet and berry flavor to it. Blackberry kush can be pain-relieving for many cannabis users.
Blueberry Headband is a cross between Blueberry Kush and Headband. These different strains combined make a powerful hybrid strain with high levels of THC (18%). Blueberry Headband hybrids are popular among people struggling with muscle pain, anxiety, headaches, other aches, and pains. The sweet flavor of Blueberry Kush mixed with the citrusy lemon flavor from Headband makes up a flavor profile that is undeniably enjoyable. Users have reported that consuming Blueberry Headband has made their pain symptoms and pain management more bearable.
Redwood Kush is an Indica-dominant, high THC, marijuana strain often used for pain relief. This is one of many great strains for pain because it provides the body and mind with a relaxing high. Users have reported that consuming Redwood Kush has helped them feel at peace and ease with their pain.
Northern Lights is one of the most popular Indica strains and happens to be one of the best cannabis strains for pain as well. Northern Lights is a powerful Indica strain. It relaxes the body completely and relieves pain without giving you a psychoactive high. This cannabis strain can work well for neuropathic pain because the body high is so strong it relaxes all tension. If you are struggling with nerve pain, give this cannabis strain a try. Northern Lights is easy to find at most medical cannabis dispensaries.
ACDC is a CBD-dominant strain that has primary terpenes of myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. ACDC strain does not provide any intoxicating side effects and is often used to treat anxiety, pain, and epilepsy. Some cancer patients prefer to use the ACDC strain to help tame the negative side effects of chemotherapy. The high CBD percentage is 14%, and users report feeling happy, relieved, and uplifted.
A cult favorite in the cannabis industry is Harlequin. Harlequin is a CBD/THC balanced strain with primary terpenes being myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. The THC and CBD work together in this Indica strain to cancel out paranoia brought on by THC, but relieving pain from the body. Harlequin is often used to treat pain and many people find effective results after consuming this strain.
White Widow is a potent Indica-dominant strain that is known for helping with pain relief. White Widow will help if you are struggling to get to sleep because of aches and pains. The name comes from the appearance of the white buds and crystal resin. White Widow’s effects are relaxing and it treats pain well because it gently relaxes your body to sleep. White Widow is one of the best cannabis strains for pain because it can help with the overall stress and anxiety related to the pain as well.
Jack Here is a pain-relieving, Sativa-dominant, strain that is named after the “emperor of hemp“, Jack Herer. Jack Herer was a marijuana enthusiast, activist, and author. His most popular book was titled, ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes’ and is said to be the book that started the cannabis hemp revolution. The Jack Herer cannabis strain is a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross making it one of the best strains for pain. Jack Herer is one of the most popular medical marijuana strains and has helped many people with pain relief.
Getting A Medical Cannabis Prescription
As you have read above, there are many cannabis strains that can help with pain relief. You have the choice of lots of different types of strains depending on what type of cannabinoid content you prefer. Medical marijuana is accessible in the United States if you have your medical marijuana card.
Getting your medical marijuana card can be easier if you are suffering from chronic pain, muscle pain, neuropathic pain, or nerve pain. Some medical cannabis strains can be anti-inflammatory, and help reduce the overall pain you may be experiencing. In Canada, you do not need a medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis. You need to be of legal age to purchase weed from the dispensaries.
Before experimenting with medical marijuana, it is best to consult a doctor to see if this is the right treatment for you. The effects of medical marijuana can be different from person-to-person, so finding the right strain for you will take some time. Medical cannabis strains can react differently in the body depending on your mindset and physical health.
When consuming any marijuana strains it is best to make sure you are in a safe place, surrounded by safe people, and in an overall positive mood to ensure you have a happy high. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable before smoking, try and change your mindset before consuming.