Today, medical marijuana is becoming accepted as a practical and effective treatment for chronic pain, with an estimated 62% of medical marijuana patients using it to do so.
Given the repercussions of chronic pain, which can extend to psychological issues like depression and anxiety, medical marijuana may be doubly effective because compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have demonstrated a certain efficacy in reducing these symptoms as well.
Today, these compounds are slowly proving to be a reliable alternative to opioids; medical marijuana’s versatility also ensures that it can be administered in different ways such as through topical creams, vaporizers, oils and extracts, and edibles.
In terms of the most ideal strains for pain, this depends on a number of factors including your biological makeup. In this post, we dive into some of the most recommended analgesic options; just remember that if you’re unsure about how CBD or THC will interact with your body or medication, speak to a licensed medical practitioner.
The three types of medical marijuana
So far, three primary types of cannabis are being used for pain relief: sativa, indica, and a hybrid of the two.
Sativa strains generally have energizing and invigorating effects, which can help with stress and anxiety, while indica strains affect bodily sensations and functions. Hybrids, on the other hand, are crosses between sativa and indica and they combine properties to help users achieve a balanced effect.
Today, most medical marijuana strains are hybrids; pure sativa and indica strains are extremely rare. In most cases, these hybrids are classified as either sativa dominant or indica dominant, meaning they exhibit properties that are more in line with either sativa or indica strains, depending on how they are cultivated.
The following are the primary strains that may support pain relief:
This hybrid strain is very potent and is the result of crossing two strains, the Marza-I-Sharif from Afghanistan and the Arcata Trainwreck from California.
Today, it’s known to improve a person’s appetite and reduce ocular pressure. This type of medical marijuana is generally beneficial for people suffering from ocular conditions, like glaucoma, which can cause significant pain.
A cross between two strains, Blueberry and Haze, this possesses 18% THC and a low amount of CBD, potentially making it an effective analgesic option.
Blue Dream may help reduce chronic pain as well as treat nausea and depression, which may be side-effects of pain-inducing conditions. Due to its relatively high THC content, however, users should be aware that they may experience a sense of euphoria while using this strain.
It’s also known to provide relief for back and stomach pain.
A hybrid created by crossing two strains, Blueberry and the Crimean hash plant, this strain is very effective at treating muscle spasms and pain experienced by HIV patients due to neuropathy.
It can also help with anxiety, migraines, and inflammation.
This strain is a hybrid made by crossing White Rhino with North American Indica. Romulan has powerful pain-relieving properties but it also has a concentration of THC that can be as high as 24%, making it very potent.
Despite its pain-relieving properties, therefore, it may not be suitable for most first-time users.
Compared to most marijuana strains that are used to treat pain, Swiss Gold has a relatively high percentage of CBD.
This strain can also stimulate appetite and help users fall asleep.
A very popular choice of medical marijuana for pain relief, ACDC has balanced levels of THC and CBD, making it ideal for treating intense pain and nociceptive pain.
It also has fewer psychoactive properties compared to other strains.
This is a Sativa strain that is high in CBD but low in THC, making it perfect for relieving pain, without causing patients to experience the “high” that is associated with the latter.
Harlequin may also be considered a good option for treating both nociceptive and central pain, and it may also help reduce anxiety.
Medical marijuana for pain relief—a potentially safer alternative to opioids
Despite a turbulent history, medical marijuana is gradually becoming recognized as an effective, practical and safe option for treating chronic pain and related conditions. Its benefits are potentially significant, especially when you’re considering medical marijuana vs. prescription drugs.
If you’re thinking of trying medical marijuana for pain relief, speak to a licensed CBD consultant to get started.