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10 Cannabis Strains for Pain 


Finally, people living with pain have choices beyond opioids and NSAIDs. Thanks to medical cannabis, people can now treat their pain and inflammation without dangerous side effects, including liver or kidney damage, stomach ulcers, dependency and addiction, and overdose. As if that weren’t reason enough, along with the choice to get your relief with medical cannabis comes more choices!  


Medical Cannabis Gives You Choices 

Medical cannabis is available in many strains. And for some time now, while legislators were dillydallying their way to the Good Ship Cannabis, connoisseurs—and researchers to some extent—were figuring out which strains had what effects and characteristics. Then cultivators started replicating and cross-breeding to produce cannabis strains with very specific and often coveted profiles. 


Cannabis Strains—Genetic Recipes of Relief 

Therefore, cannabis strains get their effects and characteristics from their genetics. Those genetics have certain concentrations of particular cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant nutrients. We are learning more and more about the genetic recipe of these strains and how they contribute to certain therapeutic effects.  


How and where the cannabis plants are grown (indoor, greenhouse, outdoor) also play a part. Sun always gives a more robust terpene profile, for example, while indoor cultivation allows for more genetic fine-tuning.  


Shopping Cannabis Strains for Pain and More! 

The point is, you can choose which strain works best for your symptoms. And you can also tailor them to your lifestyle. You might choose two strains: one that eases your aches during the day, but is uplifting enough to allow you to be productive; and one for the evening that relaxes you deep in the body while putting an overnight kibosh on your pain.  


As a bonus, you can also choose your strain according to taste. That’s right—just like wine or craft beer, cannabis has characteristics that affect the aroma and flavor you experience. This is caused by particular terpenes and flavonoids that also contribute to effects. Some words commonly used to describe strains are citrusy, earthy, spicy, skunky, and gassy. Oxy could never offer that. 


How Medical Cannabis Helps Pain 

We humans have been using cannabis for its medicinal properties for a long time. Raphael Mechoulam is an organic chemist best known for his lifelong work in the field of cannabinoid science. In the first chapter of Cannabinoids as Therapeutic AgentsMechoulam outlines for us the many and various ways cannabis was used historically. As far as its use for pain, there is evidence that ancient Assyrians used it for arthritis. There’s an account from ancient Greece of it being used for “an ulceration in the lower back”, and then later in the first century A.D., cannabis was used to treat earaches, inflammation of joints, and soreness of muscles.  


While historical and anecdotal evidence has its significance, scientific research is important too, not so much to prove that cannabis does in fact treat pain (although many institutions insist on it), but because it allows us to fine-tune and optimize cannabis as a treatment.  


What Cannabis Studies Say 

According to a Harvard-led review of 28 studies of cannabinoids and their use in treating medical and pain issues, there is quality evidence that supports cannabis as a way to treat chronic pain. 


Of the studies reviewed, all six chronic pain-specific studies reported a substantial improvement with cannabis use. 


Furthermore, a study from the University of Michigan from March 2016 and published in the Journal of Pain showed that marijuana: 


  • Improved quality of life. 

  • Reduced opioid use by an average of 64 percent. 

  • Decreased side effects of other medications. 


Your body creates its own endocannabinoids and other cannabis-like chemicals that respond to inflammation and pain. Cannabis works well to relieve pain through the use of the complex network of cannabinoid receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This master regulatory system serves to maintain balance and well-being (homeostasis) in your body. That includes addressing pain and inflammation. 


Now that cannabis is not so rigidly regulated and prohibited by the government, researchers are racing to understand more about how phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) work with the body’s ECS.   


10 Cannabis Strains for Pain 

To help you along in finding the right medical cannabis strain to treat your pain and inflammation, we’ve curated a list of 10 strains popularly recognized to do just that. In the list, we describe the effects and characteristics of each so you can decide if it’s worth a try. 


1. ACDC 

This sativa-dominant strain sports a high concentration of CBD and THC, that means it zaps all kinds of pain away (according to users), while keeping you uplifted and clear-headed (thank you, CBD). ACDC will treat your nose to an earthy, pine aroma with herbal and spicy flavors. 


2. Blueberry Kush 

Pleasurable notes of berry and earthy herbs usher in the effects of this indica strain, which indicates full-body relaxation. It’s a great way to end the day, especially if pain and discomfort have you wound up and tense, or if you suffer from insomnia.  


3. Harlequin 

Users fall hard for this strain due to its pain-relieving effects. Sativa-dominant Harlequin relaxes without sedation and relieves without intoxication thanks to its high amount of CBD. This mellow and balanced daytime option is popular with patients suffering from arthritis pain, neurodegenerative diseases, or a brain injury. Sweet and mango-like flavors will delight your taste buds and finish with a smooth woody exhale.  


4. Blue Widow 

This intriguing strain is known for its calming and uplifting effects. But beware, at higher doses, it can make your drowsy. Blue Widow’s robust resin production and abundant THC bring on anti-inflammatory properties, making it a consumers’ choice for arthritis pain. Get ready for a strong, sweet aroma that will have hints of sour citrus and pine. Sometimes this strain goes by  

Berry White, Blue Venom, and White Berry.  


5. Cannatonic 

High CBD, low THC and ample terpene, make this hybrid strain a perfect restorative strain for daytime use. Chronic pain sufferers seek out Cannatonic for its smooth therapeutic effects that won’t impede productivity, creativity, or social interaction. As a bonus, its effects are accented with an aromatic floral bouquet and hints of spice leading to a mild, sweet, slightly citrusy taste. 



6. Canna-Tsu 

This beloved sativa-dominant hybrid is another CBD and terpene abundant strain that effectively reduces pain with minimal psychoactive effects. And while you’re getting that serious CBD power, you can experience a slightly sour aroma followed by a mellow pine scent. Its taste is woody and citrus.  


7. Jack Herer 

A hybrid strain as renowned as its famous cannabis namesake, activist Jack Herer. Usually weighing in on the sativa side, Jack Herer fights off pain while promoting blissful, clear-headed, creative effects. It’s a popular option for patients experiencing general pain symptoms as well as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and more. Its taste is citrus dominant with notes of pine and skunk.    


8. Sour Diesel 

For those who enjoy a pungent flavor, this sativa strain is another heavy THC, low CBD medical cannabis strains. But users like it for daytime use. It produces fast-acting energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that make pain, stress, and depression fade into a long-lasting relief. Sporting a captivating odor of skunk, gasoline, and lemon, its flavor is much the same, but earthier with citrus zest sprinkled in. Sour Diesel is definitely for those who like the dank cannabis experience. 


9. Granddaddy Purple 

This indica-dominant strain has been a while, about 15 years. It can be potent, so it makes for great after dinner or bedtime use. Patients use Granddaddy Purple to relieve symptoms from pain, muscle spasms, stress, insomnia and more. In the aroma department, Granddaddy Purple is sweet, citrusy, and earthy with hints of grape and juicy fruit popping through. Expect the taste to be delightfully sweet with grapes and berries. 


10. GSC (Girl Scout Cookies) 

This hybrid strain is well-known for producing a feeling of relaxation throughout the body and is popular among people who suffer from not only severe pain but also nausea and loss of appetite. Its sweet and earthy aroma will coax you into a sweet flavor that will land you on euphoria’s top floor. Easy does it, though, until you’re certain of how much you can handle.  


At Elevate Holistics we’re happy to help keep you tuned-in to strains and their specific effects, so you can more easily find what works for you. If you’re interested and ready to see a compassionate MMJ doctor online then look no further…book here.


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About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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