According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans. Neuropathic pain refers to damage to the sensory, motor, or autonomic nerves that occur due to an underlying cause.
An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a type of neuropathic pain. Peripheral neuropathy is a potentially debilitating condition as it causes numbness, weakness, and extreme pain in the hands and feet in particular.
In our bodies, the peripheral nervous system sends information back to the central nervous system (CNS) from the rest of the body. When the nerve fibers are damaged, injured, or dysfunctional, they may send false signals to the brain. This is what makes neuropathy feel so painfully intense, and why many are looking to new solutions.
Marijuana & Nerve Pain – The Studies
Recent studies suggest that marijuana potentially provides relief to patients who don’t receive benefits from other treatment forms. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and regulate the CNS and neurotransmitters, potentially helping to manage pain levels.
A study by Lee et al., published in Current Pain and Headache Reports in February 2018, looked at medical cannabis for neuropathic pain. The researchers examined data from randomized controlled trials. The goal was to evaluate the use of cannabis for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The team stated that existing evidence points towards the safety and efficacy of short-term, low-dose marijuana vaporization.
A study by Weizman et al., published in Neurology in October 2018, looked at marijuana’s effect on radicular pain, a form of nerve pain that radiates from the spine into the legs.
The research involved 15 men who had radicular pain for at least six months. Their average age was 33. Before using marijuana, each participant rated their pain levels. Nine of the volunteers received an average of 15.4mg of THC oil placed beneath the tongue. Six received a placebo oil. The reverse then occurred in a second meeting at least a week later. The participants who received the THC oil reported a reduction in pain that was greater than the placebo.
Medical marijuana may have promise for people with nerve pain, but further research is essential.
Without further ado, let’s look at five of the best cannabis strains that may help patients cope with nerve pain. Please note that these haven’t been proven to be the best strains for nerve pain in any studies; they are merely our recommendations.
1 – Blue Dream
Blue Dream is a strain that has gained fame for the level of full-body relaxation it can potentially offer its consumers. Blue Dream is a sativa dominant (60%) hybrid that contains up to 27% THC and a maximum of 2% CBD. It is very much a ‘California Dreaming’ strain as it was developed in the Golden State. Blue Dream is a cross of Haze and a Blueberry indica.
For sufferers of nerve pain, consuming Blue Dream could potentially turn agony into euphoria. One positive aspect of the Blue Dream strain is it is an excellent marijuana strain for morning use. This strain is said to invigorate the mind, which may help its consumers to start the day with focus. Blue Dream may help to relieve pain while also potentially instilling a feeling of relaxation.
Blue Dream has a fruity, berry fragrance with a hint of spice, and it more or less tastes as it smells. Although newcomers should tread carefully due to the high THC content, the taste is very mild. This is one of the reasons why Blue Dream is among the market’s most popular cannabis options. It is regarded as one of the finest medical marijuana strains for pain management. Individuals with depression and PTSD may also find it useful.
2 – Afghan Kush
If Blue Dream is the ultimate morning strain, Afghan Kush is one of the best for evening and night time use. It is a pure indica with a THC content of 17%, but it also contains up to 6% CBD. The seeds of this strain initially come from the Netherlands, and the bud originated in the Hindu Kush mountain range.
Do not use Afghan Kush during the day! It offers a total body high but can lead to couch lock. It is ideal after a hard day’s work because it induces relaxation. Those with nerve pain may soon forget it as they enter a state of bliss.
The generous level of CBD in this strain means inexperienced users can try it. It is easy on the lungs and is one of the smoothest strains around. As a result, this strain’s consumers should not experience coughing fits. Afghan Kush is also ideal if stress is affecting a person’s appetite because it is considered to have an appetite-enhancing effect.
3 – Cannatonic
If chronic nerve pain is causing insomnia, Cannatonic may be a solid option. Its THC content ranges from 4% to 7%. Its low THC level and high CBD level of 12% makes the chances of suffering from any adverse side effects, such as paranoia or dizziness, much less likely. It is a 50/50 hybrid that’s a cross of G13 Haze and MK Ultra.
Cannatonic is an excellent strain for inexperienced users. It offers a mellow high that shouldn’t overwhelm its consumers. Users typically feel optimistic and light-hearted after consuming this strain. Cannatonic provides a high that isn’t known to lock its consumers to the couch, but its effects can last for a very long time. Generally, Cannatonic strain consumers remain focused for the duration of the high.
Eventually, Cannatonic may take hold and help its consumers to relax enough to get some sleep. This strain may help to alleviate pain, and the citrus and pine taste is heavenly. Patients with nerve pain may want to consider this marijuana strain as it may help address the symptoms of the condition. Patients who suffer from migraines, cerebral palsy, or muscle spasms may also consider trying the Cannatonic strain.
4 – Jack Flash
Patients in severe distress due to nerve pain should also consider the Jack Flash strain. Users claim that this strain has extremely fast-acting effects. It is a slightly indica dominant (55%) hybrid with a THC content ranging from 14% to 20%. Jack Flash is a cross of Jack Herer, Haze, and Super Skunk. It also won the Dutch High Life Cup in 1998.
It is one of the most highly sought-after pain-relieving strains because it works about as fast as the name suggests. Within minutes of using Jack Flash, this strain’s consumers experience a rapid onset head rush. This sensation is potentially psychedelic in nature. About 30 minutes later, this feeling is replaced by one of euphoria and happiness.
Jack Flash helps its consumers to forget about their nerve pain and also gets one’s creative juices flowing. After a couple of hours, it starts to have a sedating effect, which means it is an excellent early evening smoke. Beginners may want to avoid this strain, as its effects are far too potent for novice cannabis consumers.
5 – Harlequin
This marijuana strain offers a near-perfect combination of cannabinoids. It may help to relieve nerve pain while ensuring its consumers never get too high. Harlequin has a THC content of between 7% and 15%, but its CBD content can also reach 15%. It is a sativa-dominant (75%) hybrid that’s descended from a Nepali indica and sativas from Switzerland, Thailand, and Colombia.
Its astounding diversity has resulted in a unique strain. It may be a good option for pain relief and may help to address the symptoms of nerve pain. Harlequin consumers say that it helps them to relax but also keeps their minds sharp and active. This strain is suitable for morning time use because it offers an energy boost, which may help its consumers to speed through their daily chores.
The sweet scent is delightful, and its strong herbal flavor is a treat for the taste buds. Harlequin is considered by its consumers to be amongst the best analgesics on the market. This may be because of its unusually high CBD levels. Harlequin may help to address the symptoms of muscle spasms, migraines, joint pains, and much more. As it is a strain known for positively influencing mood, it may help to alleviate stress and its associated symptoms.
Final Thoughts on the Best Marijuana Strains for Nerve Pain
For many patients with neuropathic pain, every single day can be a struggle from start to finish. In some cases, the pain is so intense that patients have to stay at home from work. The marijuana strains described above may help to alleviate nerve pain.
Before trying any of these cannabis strains, it is essential to consult with your primary physician first. Also, please do your research in regards to the legalities of cannabis consumption in your state.