Inflammation is one of those things that people know exists, but consider to be a short-term problem.
Oh, you’ve got some inflammation? Just get an ice pack (or a heat pack, depending on who you’re talking to) and it’ll be fine!
Sadly, this is not the case.
Chronic inflammation is an issue that accompanies many different disorders, but it always comes down to the same thing – your body gets inflamed when it shouldn’t.
This inflammation causes pain, discomfort and irritation to over 17 million people worldwide* and has very few treatments.
Luckily, it turns out that marijuana could be a fantastic natural treatment for chronic inflammation, and there’s a huge number of different strains to choose from.
Before we look at the 5 best strains however, let’s look at what chronic inflammation actually is, and why marijuana helps.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is a broad description that covers a number of different conditions that result in inflammation in regions of the body.
The inflammation response is very similar to a fever in that the body triggers it as a treatment for an infection or disease. For example, say you have an infected cut on your knee: It makes sense to inflame and puff up the area around the knee to allow the wound to be cushioned from any other potential damage.
The problem comes in when the body inflames areas it shouldn’t, or if it doesn’t get rid of the inflammation when the wound has healed.
This is very noticeable in the case of arthritis, wherein the body inflames the joints in the hands and causes endless pain and irritation. The body doesn’t get rid of the inflammation, because it thinks that the problem is still there, thus creating the problem of chronic inflammation.
There are a lot of ways to help treat inflammation, from taking regular medications to using yoga and pilates to try and train your body to accept different states of inflammation, but for a lot of conditions these just aren’t good enough.
Marijuana is quickly becoming one of the most frequently used drugs (where legal) to help combat frequent pain and inflammation.
How does it work, though?
How Does Marijuana Help With Inflammation?
Marijuana has been used for millennia as a medication for a variety of conditions. Only in recent decades are we now realizing the exact mechanics behind how marijuana helps us.
With regard to inflammation, cannabinoids have been demonstrated in numerous studies to help combat the body’s inflammation response.
In a study* conducted by Nagarkatti et al. for the Journal of Future Medicinal Chemistry, researchers studied the effects the CB1 and CB2 receptors had on the inflammation system.
The two most well-known cannabinoids – THC and CBD – both affect those two receptors in the endocannabinoid system; however, it appears that THC works especially well in targeting inflammation and pain.
Through administration of THC into mice, the researchers noticed that the cannabinoids help down regulate cytokine and chemokine production, which works to suppress the body’s inflammatory response. This means that, through application of marijuana, a patient can help get rid of the body’s inflammation response, or in the very least help mitigate it.
Additionally, both THC and CBD have been demonstrated to help mitigate the body’s pain response, as in this study* by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Society, wherein researchers showcased how, through triggering of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the sensation of pain throughout the body was abated.
This occurs due the CB2 receptor’s prevalence in the immune system, meaning that cannabinoids work well to help mitigate the body’s negative reactions to infection and disease, such as pain and inflammation.
It’s important to remember that, when we take cannabinoids for pain and inflammation, we are essentially “tricking” our body into thinking everything is fine. In the same way that we take common, over the counter medications like paracetamol to help remove pain and lower our fever, cannabinoids convince our body that it isn’t necessary to inflict a large amount of pain and inflammation on you, instead encouraging to the body to begin the healing process and forgo the painful inflammation and irritation.
So, marijuana can help with inflammation and pain, but what strain are you supposed to choose? There are literally thousands of different marijuana strains, so which ones are the best for relieving inflammation?
Here’s a handy list of the …
Best 5 Marijuana Strains for Combating Inflammation.
#5 Blueberry Diesel
Blueberry Diesel has, unsurprisingly, a strong blueberry smell and flavor and is famous for its mellow mind and body high.
However, Blueberry Diesel also works really well with pain and inflammation due to the long lasting body high it gives. The CBD content of this strain isn’t exceptionally high, but it works very well at diminishing pain and irritation caused by inflammation thanks to it’s mellow quantity of THC.
Blueberry Diesel is perfect as a recreational strain, but it’s also a great choice as a treatment for your chronic inflammation.
Flo is a blend of Purple Thai and Afghani Indica, named because of its fantastically frequent harvests, thus creating a ‘flow’ of buds from the crop. This hybrid can achieve decently high THC levels, along with higher than average levels of CBD to boot.
Frequently characterized as having an earthy, pine-like flavor, Flo is a great option to take recreationally, as well as a treatment.
Often used to help treat issues of chronic pain, Flo is also great at dealing with chronic inflammation, both in helping deal with the pain, as well as actively working to diminish the inflammation altogether. Alongside that, because it can be harvested frequently, prices are usually quite low!
Flo’s high is energizing and euphoric, perfect for use at the beginning of the day to cope with any pain from chronic inflammation.
#3 Mother of Berries
Mother of Berries is a hybrid that is slightly indica-dominant. This strain is perfect for reducing both inflammation and pain. The remarkable quality of Mother of Berries is the powerful, quick high it can deliver, accompanied by a pleasant buzz. This strain relaxes you thanks to its powerful, sudden high, making it a lot easier to sleep for those people that suffer from chronic inflammation.
Considering sleep deprivation is one of the primary complaints for people with chronic inflammation, due to irritation and pain preventing them from getting a good night’s rest, Mother of Berries is what you want if you can’t seem to nod off at night.
#2 Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web is not just a fantastic book and film; it’s also one of the best medicinal marijuana strains around.
Made famous by the plight of Charlotte Figi, Charlotte’s Web was originally developed for providing a high-CBD, low-THC option for epilepsy patients.
Thanks to Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte went from 200 grand mal seizures a month to only 4 or 5, with the majority of them being only in her sleep.
However, Charlotte’s Web isn’t just great for epilepsy; its high CBD content makes it perfect for dealing with continuous inflammation. Though you won’t get the high associated with higher THC strains, Charlotte’s Web is sure to help your body get rid of the inflammation on its own.
This is perfect for those that don’t want to have to deal with the high, only instead wanting to help mitigate the body’s pain response and get on with their day.
This would be a poor list if we didn’t mention Cannatonic. This strain is famous for its medicinal properties, primarily due to its exceptionally high CBD levels, balanced with a decent quantity of THC.
The primary use of Cannatonic among users is for pain and inflammation, though it is also often used for epilepsy treatments.
While Cannatonic does possess incredibly high CBD levels, it is not a low-THC strain, meaning that it will still indeed get you high. This might not be the best option for those that are looking for purely medicinal marijuana, but the small mental high you get from Cannatonic helps a great deal with dealing with pain and inflammation.
This gentle mind high is accompanied by the soothing sensation of the high CBD content, meaning it is still absolutely useable for day to day use thanks to its discreet high.
Cannatonic is the perfect balance of gentle high and powerful medicinal properties that make it the best option for treating chronic inflammation.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis for Inflammation
When it comes to treating chronic inflammation with marijuana, there are a huge number of options. The sheer number of different strains available, and the countless growers always looking to mix together the next big strain, means that you will never lack for choice.
Picking the best option for you is the hard part though – everyone has a preference, both in taste, smell and its effect on your body.
The best method is to experiment with different strains and see what best works for you, but hopefully this guide helps make the decision that little bit easier.