Chronic pain is the leading cause of long-term disability, and it affects millions of Americans every year. In fact, approximately one in three Americans — about 100 million people — are currently struggling with chronic pain.
If you’re part of this group, you may have considered using medicinal marijuana to ease your pain and help you feel more like yourself.
Lots of research has come out in recent years showing that certain forms of cannabis can be highly effective for treating all kinds of pain.
Listed below are some of the best types of marijuana for pain relief.
Benefits of Marijuana for Pain Relief
Before we get into the specific types of marijuana that are best for minimizing pain, let’s first clarify why marijuana is so effective at treating pain.
The cannabinoids in marijuana help relieve pain in several different ways, including the following:
- Blocks or dampens pain signals that are sent to the brain
- Minimizes inflammation
- Activates CB1 receptors (part of the body’s natural endocannabinoid system), which, in turn, increases activation of opioid receptors
- Activates serotonin receptors to improve mood and cause a distraction from the pain
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why marijuana works for relieving pain, and new studies are being conducted to further understand all of the plant’s medicinal benefits.
Best Types of Marijuana for Pain Relief
Marijuana may work to treat your chronic pain, but the key is to find the right type. Some of the most frequently used and effective types of marijuana for pain relief are listed below.
White Widow is considered one of the best types of marijuana for beginners, as well as those who are suffering from chronic pain.
White Widow is a hybrid strain of marijuana. Its a combination of a South Indian indica and a sativa strain called South America.
Because it’s a blend of indica (relaxing) and sativa (energizing), White Widow provides a balanced high that will minimize pain without leaving you feeling lethargic or anxious.
Harlequin in another hybrid strain, but it is Sativa-dominant. It also contains a greater amount of the cannabinoid CBD than THC, which minimizes the paranoia and anxiety that can sometimes accompany certain strains of marijuana.
Harlequin does a great job at fighting inflammation. Because of this, it works best for people who want to minimize arthritis pain, as well as those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s Disease) or pain caused by a traumatic brain injury.
Blue Dream is a cross between Sativa Haze and Blueberry Indica. Unlike Harlequin, Blue Dream has a higher THC to CBD ratio, and it’s known for improving mood.
By minimizing feelings of depression and relieving stress, Blue Dream can help people with chronic pain avoid fixating on their situation and feel more at ease.
Bubba Kush is an Indica-based strain that is known for providing users with a relaxed and sleepy feeling. It’s a great option for people who have a hard time getting quality sleep at night because of their pain.
It can also be very helpful to people struggling with stress and/or depression.
Like Harlequin, Bubba Kush has a high THC to CBD ratio.
Cannatonic is a high-CBD strain of marijuana that contains a very small amount of THC — typically less than six percent.
Because the THC content is so low, cannatonic is a good option for people who want to experience the pain-relieving benefits of marijuana but don’t want to feel “high.”
Cannatonic has mellow, smooth effects and is great for daytime relief, as it won’t make you feel too relaxed or sleepy.
AK-47 is a sativa-dominant strain of marijuana that comes from a combination of several other strains, including South American, Thai and Mexican Sativa, and Afghani Indica.
Because it is a sativa-dominant strain, it provides an uplifting feeling that is great for managing depression, minimizing stress and anxiety, and relieving pain. Its energizing qualities make it best for daytime use.
Named after a well-known cannabis activist, Jack Herer is an extremely powerful and effective Sativa-dominant hybrid strain. It is a cross between Northern Lights #5, a Haze hybrid, and Shiva Skunk.
It has a high THC to CBD ratio and is very energizing. In addition to fighting chronic pain, Jack Herer can also be a great option for treating depression, chronic fatigue, and restoring appetite.
Because of its high THC content, Jack Herer is typically not recommended for beginners. Reserve it for when you’ve experimented with other, more mild strains to avoid feeling overly stimulated or anxious.
Afghan Kush is almost 100 percent indica and it’s a powerful tool for fighting chronic pain.
Because it’s a potent indica strain, Afghan Kush is best for use right before bed or on days when your pain is particularly bad and you’re not planning on doing anything else.
Many people report feeling the effects of Afghan Kush primarily in the body (as opposed to a “head high” that some strains provide). This makes it great for fighting muscular pain.
In addition to relieving pain, Afghan Kush also helps fight inflammation and contains antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative damage.
Unlike the other types of marijuana on this list, which are all various forms of herbal cannabis, Moroccan Hash is a sticky cannabis resin.
Moroccan Hash, which can be purchased from companies like Cheeba’s in the same way that herbal cannabis can, is very effective at treating various types of chronic pain, including nerve pain.
It has a higher concentration of THC and provides more potent effects compared to most forms of herbal cannabis. It is usually smoked in small amounts in a pipe, vaporizer or joint. It can also be consumed orally.
Want to Learn More?
You now know more about the benefits of marijuana for pain relief and which strains are best for people who struggle with chronic pain.
Do you want to learn about other tools you can use to optimize your health and minimize your pain? Or, do you just want to stay up to date on the latest and greatest products on the market?
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