The Best 5 Cannabis Strains For Chronic Pain Relief (2019)

The most effective cannabis strains...
MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on July 3, 2019

Chronic pain is one of the most uncomfortable and difficult ailments to manage. Furthermore, it is one of the most common reasons why people seek out medical marijuana. According to a recent study by the CDC, around 50 million Americans suffered from chronic pain, which was defined as “pain on most days or every day in the past 6 months.”

The main issue with pain is that despite ongoing efforts by scientists and researchers to determine the exact cause of specific pains in our body,  it is a condition which is highly complex and difficult to treat.

Pain does not have one direct root and is often a vexing problem to treat. It is so complex, that for specific pains there is no effective medicine..

Medical marijuana has long been associated with chronic pain relief, but when it was classed as an illegal substance, pharmaceutical drugs slowly became the norm. Current laws and restrictions have forced doctors to take a more conservative approach, and nowadays most physicians prescribe mainly pharmaceutical drugs to treat different forms of pain rather than cannabis.

For acute pain, such as the discomfort that follows surgery, doctors tend to prescribe opiates: drugs that derive from chemicals. The problem is that for chronic pain, these type of drugs seldom work. Even when they are effective, they tend to cause side-effects such as nausea and sedation. Other chronic pain suffers will often develop tolerance to opiates turning this form of treatment into an ineffective one.

According to a new report released earlier this year by the National Academies of Sciences Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), there is conclusive or substantial evidence (in general, enough to make a firm conclusion) that cannabis or cannabinoids, found in the marijuana plant, can be an effective treatment for chronic pain.

How Does Marijuana Help Chronic Pain?

According to the NASEM report, cannabinoid compounds that come from the cannabis plant such as THC and CBD are an effective treatment for pain. The report suggests that this is due to the natural cannabinoid receptors in our bodies which play a role in pain control.

Related Post: Cannabis and Fibromyalgia | Effective Strains and Treatment

5 Marijuana Strains for Chronic Pain

When deciding what marijuana strain is best for your chronic pain there several things that you should take into consideration. It is also important to note that there are dozens of different marijuana strains on the market that can help. Each is best for specific pains or conditions and there is no right or wrong when choosing a marijuana strain. It is entirely subjective and depends on the type of pain that you are experiencing and the level of psychoactivity you are comfortable with.

For one patient a particular cannabis strain might be an effective treatment, and for another, with a similar condition, the strain simply won’t be as effective.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that each patient is different and choosing the right cannabis strain may take some trial and error. With that all being said, here are some examples of cannabis strains that have ranked on most site’s top 5 lists.

Cannabis Strain #1 – White Widow

White widow cannabis Strain

White Widow is a hybrid marijuana strain. It derives from two different strains; South Indian Indica and South American, which is a Sativa strain. This cannabis strain offers excellent pain relief as well as an uplifting, energetic, and euphoric feeling. It is known for treating stress, depression and lack of appetite.

Cannabis Strain #2 – Blue Dream

Blue Dream StrainBlue Dream is a hybrid marijuana strain, a cross breed between the Sativa Haze with Blueberry Indica. It has a sweet flavor and is favored by many smokers. This strain is known for having significant pain relieving properties and is commonly used for depression and stress relief. The THC content of Blue Dream falls between 17-24% while the CBD content ranges from 0.1-0.2% consistently.

Cannabis Strain #3 – Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush Cannabis Strain

Deriving from the Hindu Kush landrace cannabis strains, this unique strain offers an earthy flavor. As it is Indica based, it provides a very relaxed and sleepy effect for many who enjoy it for their pain relief. It is also known for being the marijuana sleeping pill, as it does wonders before bedtime by relieving pain, addressing stress and depression, and assisting with insomnia. The THC content of Bubba Kush ranges from 14-22%, and the CBD content ranges from 0.06-0.1%.

Cannabis Strain #4 – AK-47

AK-47 cannabis Strain

AK-47 is kind of like a cannabis cocktail. It comes from a variety of different strains including South American, Mexican and Thai Sativa strains and the Afghani Indica strain. It is great for relieving pain, eliminating stress, and managing depression. Being a sativa dominant strain, it also provides an uplifting effect. So make sure you don’t smoke it before you go to sleep.

Cannabis Strain #5 – Jack Herer

Jack herer marijuana strain

Jack Herer is named after a renowned cannabis activist, and similar to Jack himself this strain is extremely effective. This powerhouse strain will help to ease pain while providing you with the benefits of a Sativa strain. It is often used to treat depression, lack of appetite, and fatigue in addition to pain. The THC content of Jack Herer ranges from 18-23% and the CBD content ranges from 0.03 -0.2%. This strain is a cross between Shiva Skunk, Northern Lights #5 and a Haze Hybrid.

Marijuana Strains for Chronic Pain: Final Thoughts

Marijuana is a fantastic, natural alternative to pharmaceutical painkillers. Although it carries its own risk of side effects, these are generally less serious than those of opiates and there is far less potential for dependence. Research on cannabis for chronic pain is ongoing, and support for the herb is growing all the time.

In this article, we have selected only five strains that may help some of you with your conditions. If you are aware of any other effective marijuana strains for chronic pain, share them with the community in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

131 comments
  1. Steve P.
    Will it work?

    I am wondering if anyone can tell me if using medical marijuana could replace fentanyl for pain relief. I currently use 75 mcg every 48 hrs. and am looking to try this. I have DDD and herniated disk along with bulging disk and just to throw in a compression fracture in my back.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. John Norman
    Lasts Quite a Long

    Blue Dream is my choice of strain when it comes to handling chronic pain. I feel much better after smoking this one, and also this acts real quick. My pot seller gives me a pure version, just about a few dollars for a dime, and it lasts quite a long for me.

  3. Cynthia
    Opioids aren't enough

    So much of the time people on opioid medications seek out marijuana is because the medications aren’t working well enough. Now that the government stuck it’s ugly nose into the medical industry and limit the dosage of opioids people are stuck. If you have to take one or the other than it defeats the purpose of needing something in ADDITION to the opioids for chronic pain relief!

  4. DAveE
    Strain advice

    A friend of mine has Lupus SLE one of the symptoms of which is Chronic Joint pains and Rheumatiod Artheristis. They may be looking at a Hip replacement surgery in the next 5 to 10 years ( currently aged 33)
    Live in UK so not legal here, but really don’t give a toss. Can anyone advise a couple of stains, one that will give her pain relief but allow her to ‘get on with things’ and one for evening for pain relief and sleep aid?

    1. Marc Dobis
      Hope this helps..

      Almost any Kush strain along w/Phenol 51 & Alien Bubba are good Indica pain strains I use to treat Dystonia….

    2. Kari Martinez
      I don't care what strain, as long as it gets me high 😁

      I have spinal stenosis in my lumbar region, degenerative disc disease, and so forth..I’m a bit partial to the Blue Dream for pain, but I would love to try White Widow and Bubba Kush. I’ve been hearing about Godfather OG and White Tahoe Cookies!! But honestly I just love weed..😏😂

      1. Bruce
        Gotta move

        Seems lile we are both in same boat. Have severe DDD..and mucj more. Had 13 lower comprrssion fractures in 14. Need to move to a 420 friendly stste. Still some will suffer for the actiond of others. Chronic Pain SUCKS

  5. Leo
    Gorilla Glue #4

    I’m a Florida MM patient and suffer from chronic pain . I’ve had a lot of luck with Gorilla Glue #4 in the vap cartridges. Very strong and instant relief.

  6. Jeremy
    Pain

    i live in florida-orlando area. I have had 8 back surgeries in the past 6 years and am now disabled and spend most of the day in bed laying and trying to get relief from back and leg pain i take morphine and oxycodone for the pain, i have gone to weed dr and got my recommendation for medical marijuana, i talked with my pain dr and they said i can use one or the other, i decided to stay on opiates due to the cost of the medical marijuana, $30 for a months worth of opiates vs $500-$600 a month for marijuana. I have been collecting grow equipment since December 2018, i want to grow my own medicine and get off opiates. Im looking forward to when i can grow some grand daddy purps, gorilla glue#4, blueberry head band, blue cookies, just a few of the strains that i have found that crush my pain. Fingers crossed that we will be able to grow in florida in the near future

    1. CrysAnn in WV
      Cost versus Risk. Is using legal Cannabis oils, waxes, and flower helping to save chronic pain patients?

      Ever since I was a teenager, my shoulder would dislocate. When I was 21 I had it stapled. Then I had to have 6 more Arthroscopes to clean the bone. By the time I was 39, the pain was too much. I was scheduled for shoulder replacement. When I had my pre-op physical they found breast cancer on the same side as my dislocated shoulder. For 28 radiation sessions my arm was taped to a pole for 9 minutes each. It was the most pain I had ever felt while awake.
      My shoulder surgeries got worse. Within 5 years, I had to have my shoulder replaced 4 times. I was excruciating. I applied for disability and got it immediately with 3 years prior added to my benefits.
      I was on pain management from 2002 to 2011. Because I live in WV, my pain management and all of my meds were abruptly stopped. There were people in WV abusing, selling, and dying from abuse. This wasn’t me. I always followed the rules. Had to go to my doctor every 6 weeks for years. Paid $120 a month in co-payments but no doctor ever blinked.
      I cried from the rooftop but no one would listen. I had to go through detoxing my body for all of the narcotics by myself. It took over a year to stop shaking, eat and sleep properly. And the pain. I would clench my jaw over and over. It nearly drove me to death.
      I found cannabis products in Michigan. I made the 500 mile drive up to Detroit every 4 months. The expense was over the top. I was spending $300 for an ounce of flower and $80 for wax or oils. I sold everything that I owned to pay for pain relief.
      Now it is 2019. I found an old classmate who lives in NC. He has helped me out tremendously by getting me the oils and waxes that he uses at no extra cost. I am now spending $50 for a gram of wax or oil. My use to combat the chronic pain is a gram and a half a week.
      How can any of us afford to use cannabis products for pain? Most of us are dirt broke, living on SSDI, or some other low income program. Granted, this is not all of us but I would say it is a HUGE number of us.
      This discussion continues to come up ever since cannabis was made legal. During the illegal days, you could buy quantity and have enough left over to sell to make up the cost. THOSE DAYS ARE OVER. Now we get to pay State and local taxes. We are just paying a different kind of drug dealer.
      If making it legal would have lowered the prices so we could actually sell to the masses, I would zip my lip. But it is still about the ALMIGHTY dollar and those who can spend it.
      Pain is not my friend. Self medicating is not my idea of fun. I envy the people who say they can get high. My pain eats all of the high and leaves me feeling calm. If only for a few minutes out of the day, I dream of feeling calm and without pain, but at what price?
      I have else to sell. I am 60 years young, single, and still quite good looking. I could find a guy and settle down and have him buy my pain meds. But I will do this. I love people and I hate users.
      If anyone can come up with a reason why we cannot sell cannabis products with a discounted curve for low income people stand up. We have got to do something.
      The government calls it income inequality. I call it the real world. It has been like this ever since I came into this world. The only difference is that now there are more of us.
      Peace out World.

    2. Carol
      Please get a second opinion

      That makes no sense. That they tell u one or the other. I’m in Ohio. Just got my card about a month ago. I’m trying edibles and it’s helping more than I ever thought it would. My issue with your Drs is why you have to stop one before you can have the other. That in itself is not safe if you’ve been on opioids for a while. My primary care doc loves that it’s helping. I have MS. Fibromyalgia. Chronic pain. Plate in my neck. Could use a new knee and I have a lung issue that makes it impossible for me to smoke. He’s not even the doctor that sent me to get my card but he doesn’t want me to stop the norco or the other pain meds and other scripts cold turkey. That’s just not safe. I’ve been on some of these drugs since 98 and I have to take brand on most of them so for me. The cost is less for the flower. I have bought a magical butter machine and can make my own edibles. So that does help. But seriously how can a medical professional tell you to stop something. The two don’t interact. There r a few drugs that can interact. Some antibiotics but not opioids or morphine. Please get a second opinion

  7. Bruce Baker
    Nothing could be easier

    I have tried Blue Dream for pain relief from insomnia. And the plus point was it helped me later have a peaceful undisturbed sleep. I develop this condition off and on, whenever I remember my truck accident, and Blue Dream really helps. Just 2 grams of it and I am all fine by the next morning.

  8. John
    WW is my favorite

    I vaped some White Widow dab earlier about 12 noon and I was completely and intensely stoned. It’s incredible for pain.

  9. Steven with MS
    Just visited this website for the 1st time.

    I live in TN that has NOT approved use of Marijuana Medical or recreational pot. I used to live in OR and MI and held cards in both States for Medical Marijuana use. It doesn’t look favorable for MM in our State anytime soon.

    I have Multiple Sclerosis and lived with it for the past 37 years since diagnosis in 1982. As mentioned above, I used MM in OR and MI which was very helpful for chronic problems with fatigue, tremors and pain.

    I never really knew what strains were best for helping with MS and dealing with symptoms mentioned above.

    Can someone give me some advice and direction? I’m planning to relocate to MI, where it’s legal, sometime in 2020.

    1. Dr Gordon
      CBD is legal, terpenes are legal both not psychoactive

      CBD oil is legal in all 50 states. Combine it with anti-spasmotic terpenes

      1. Lisa
        Arrested for CBD taken to jail for controlled substance

        People grandmothers are getting arrested for cbd it is considered a controlled substance. Even though you can buy it otc it is illegal.

  10. Shelley Thomas
    Where to start?

    I am 49 years old and have been suffering with chronic nerve pain. The pain is deep in my inner ear ,down my throat and in my jaw, teeth etc. I had brain surgery at the Mayo clinic which didn’t work. So for 9 years I have been on opioids. Pain medicine does not touch nerve pain ,but will sometimes knock me out for a few hours. I live in Tennessee, so medical marijuana is not legal. I need something to help with the pain but not make me high. Any suggestions on strains. I will travel to another state to buy. I am desperate. I live in severe pain 24/7 365. I am now bed ridden. I want my life back. My pain feels like someone is stabbing me with an ice pic in my ear drum and like I am getting electric shocks. Please any help is appreciated.

    1. Jack
      Rife machine for trigeminal pain

      Just wanted to leave you another reply I am also using a Rife machine that helps control the pain significantly if I go a day without using it I can tell a big difference there’s a program in it you can run specifically for pain and it helps just a thought.

  11. Regina
    New patient trying to find the right strain.

    I’m trying to find the ideal strain for fatigue, PTSD, depression, insomnia. It may be too much to ask for. I have tried a couple, Jack Herer and Green Crack. I am an ex smoker because of asthma but I haven’t found a Sativa edible. I just sit most of the time because of my back pain(2 back surgeries) but am exhausted like I’ve been working all day. Any suggestions?

    1. Laura
      AK-47

      I just tried Ak-47. It was very relaxing yet I didn’t feel like I needed to goto bed like I usually do. I was surprised to feel the effect so strongly. It usually takes me a lot of smoke to get to that point where I actually can tell I smoked. Nice choice.

    2. Ellen Diane
      well done

      I am a legal medical marijuana user from CT. with chronic pain & depression- – I was interested in the 5 strains for chronic pain- I will check out my dispo- thanks-

    3. Adam

      Have you tried Blue Dream?

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