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. This was defined as “pain on most days or every day in the past 6 months.”
The main issue with pain is that despite scientists and researchers’ ongoing efforts to determine the exact cause of specific pains in our body, it 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. However, 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. Therefore, nowadays most physicians prescribe 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. The problem is that for chronic pain, these drugs seldom work. Even when they are effective, they tend to cause side-effects such as nausea and sedation. Other chronic pain sufferers will often develop tolerance to opiates, turning this form of treatment into an ineffective one.
According to a new report released 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 can be effective 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.
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 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 sites’ top 5 lists.
Cannabis Strain #1 – White Widow
This cannabis strain offers excellent pain relief as well as an uplifting, energetic, and euphoric feeling. Patients use this strain for treating stress, depression and lack of appetite.
Cannabis Strain #2 – Blue Dream
Patients report that this strain has significant pain-relieving properties and use it for depression and stress relief. The THC content of Blue Dream falls between 17-24%. Its CBD content ranges from 0.1-0.2% consistently.
Cannabis Strain #3 – Bubba Kush
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.
Some people refer to this as ‘the marijuana sleeping pill.’ 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
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 is named after a renowned cannabis activist, and similar to Jack himself this strain is extremely effective. This powerhouse strain may potentially help to ease pain while providing you with the benefits of a sativa strain.
People often use it 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.