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Best Strains of Cannabis for Chronic Pain

Updated on January 29, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Pain relief is one of the most common reasons patients seek out medical marijuana treatment. When other medications don’t do the trick, many folks dealing with chronic pain look for more natural alternatives with less risk for harsh side effects.

States that allow medical marijuana seem to understand this. After all, many legal states consider chronic pain a valid condition for cannabis treatment.

In addition, people all over the world have known marijuana reduces pain for years. We’re talking thousands of years, here — historians have evidence of medical marijuana use dating back to 2900 BC. Prominent figures such as the father of Chinese medicine, Shen Nung, and Jesus Christ were in on the secret.

So, it’s natural that using medical cannabis for pain has rapidly grown in popularity in the U.S. It helps us get in touch with the civilizations that form the basis of society today!

But, using medical marijuana doesn’t always feel as intuitive for patients who are new to cannabis medicine. You have an overwhelming amount of choices to make when you plan your medical marijuana regimen. As part of the decision-making process, patients must find a strain that helps their symptoms the most.

In this post, we’ll explain how to pick the right strain for your pain. While just about every strain of marijuana helps pain symptoms, some strains will work better than others.

Indica vs. Sativa and CBD vs. THC

To understand how specific strains effect you, you need to understand the two families of marijuana strains and the chemical compounds in them. These factors influence how a strain makes you feel. If you know how your marijuana works, you’ll have an easier time knowing how to tweak your treatment to make it work better.

All marijuana plants come from two families, indica and sativa, both of which can relieve pain. But, indica strains tend to provide a full-body effect suitable for deeper, more widespread aches. While indica strains relax and sedate the user, sativa strains stimulate and energize the user.

Marijuana contains chemicals called cannabinoids that provide the effects associated with the plant. THC provides psychoactive results, while CBD doesn’t produce a “high.” CBD has more pain-relieving benefits than THC, but combining both can balance the side effects of each chemical.

Strains We Recommend for Chronic Pain

While tons of marijuana strains can help you with your chronic pain, we’ve narrowed them down to five popular ones known for their pain-relieving powers. Since there are thousands of strains out there, consider this list as a starting point for your search:

  • Afghan Kush: Afghan Kush is almost 100% indica. Thanks to its species, it provides a physical effect suitable for aches and pains. It has caryophyllene in it that works against cancer, so cancer patients experiencing pain may want to try it.
  • ACDC: ACDC not only has a both THC and CBD in it, but it has high amounts of both chemicals. The presence of both components balances out the potential side effects from them. So, you can take advantage of more benefits without worrying about more side effects.
  • Blue Dream: Blue Dream provides relaxation without making you feel tired. So, you can use it to get relief during the day without worrying about grogginess.
  • Granddaddy Purple: While Granddaddy Purple gives ton of pain relief, it also provides a lot of sedation. If you don’t mind taking your medicine during the evening, you can get effective results from this strain.
  • Girl Scout Cookies: The Girl Scout Cookies strain helps nausea and appetite problems in addition to helping you hurt less.

Talk to the Pros

While we have some ideas to get you started on using medical marijuana, only trained professionals can look at your personal health issues and find the right fit for you. A knowledgeable marijuana doctor can advise you on how to medicate properly. Your dispensary staff will know about the traits of each strain and can help you with your shopping experience.

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