The Best 5 Marijuana Strains For Chronic Pain Relief (2018)

The most effective cannabis strains...
MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on September 9, 2018

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, about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.

The main issue with pain is the fact that despite ongoing efforts by scientists and researchers to try to determine the exact cause of specific pains in our body, 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 drug, 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?

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 assumably due to the natural cannabinoid receptors our bodies have and play a role in pain control.

Related Post: Cannabis and Fibromyalgia | Effective Strains and Treatment

5 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 are best for a specific pains or conditions. 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 relief properties it commonly used for depression and stress relief. The THC content of Blue Dream falls between 17-24% while the CBD content ranges from .1-.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 relieving pain addressing stress, depression and assisting with insomnia. The THC content of Bubba Kush ranges from 14-22%, and the CBD content ranges from .06-.1%.

Cannabis Strain #4 – AK-47

AK-47 cannabis Strain

AK-47 is kind of like a cannabis mix. 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 strains is extremly effective. This powerhouse strain will help to ease pain while providing you with the benefits of Sativa. 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 .03 -.2%. This strain is a cross between Shiva Skunk, Northern Lights #5 and a Haze Hybrid.

We’ve selected only 5 strains that can help some of you with your conditions. If you are aware of any other effective strains, share them with the community on our Facebook Post.

The Best 5 Marijuana Strains For Chronic Pain Relief (2018)
September 9, 2018
  1. nancy s

    Any one find a particularly good strain for nerve pain left over from shingles years ago? One that doesn’t make you real goofy.

  2. Phil Thomas
    Getting back to walk in the fields bird hunting

    From 04 to 13 have had 15 hip surgeries about 10 of them were revision surgeries and now my titanium hip parts go all the way to my knee doctors at the Mayo Clinic do not want to operate again fortunately they found a one in a million cancer that was treatable now my immune systems back up but still can’t walk Hips Don’t Hurt but I had a grade 3 sprain on my right ankle in 2001 and now I got arthritis so bad I’m looking at amputation and I’m happy with it cuz the surgery they offered is not up my alley very gruesome nail Fusion and the pain relief would be minimal and always the chance of infection which I can’t relate to after all the hip infections, going on 14 years and 15 hip surgeries I just want to walk again I was addicted from 07 to 14 on heavy opiates can’t go back there, very evil drug, some of the medical strains I’ve tried work real well and the state I live in just passed the medical marijuana laws hopefully I’ll find a strain to help me through my ankle surgeries and I’ll be able to walk again and do what I love the most walking the fields bird hunting

  3. Myrna Harris
    Osteoarthritis pain

    I would like to try marijuana, wax or oils. BUT I am having a hard time deciding. I should mention I have osteoarthritis in my hands, knees and back. I also have a herniated disc in my back. Would/can someone recommend any product that would help me.
    Please and Thank you,
    Myrna Harris

  4. driveallnight
    Contemporary mmj pain strains

    Hey all. As co-owner of a legitimate, pre-ICO Los Angeles dispensary, I want to comment on the streins recommended in this article.

    Specifically, most of the strains listed above have kind of fallen out of favor with patients, and been largely supplanted by the latest trending strains, which are constantly popping up. Honestly, I havent.encounterd White Widow or AK-47 in maybe 2-3 years. Blue Dream, however, remains a staple. And Bubba Kush is a bit more rare than BD, but still around. Jack Herer drifts in and out.

    If pain relief is your priority, I’d recommend you look into the high-CBD marijuana strains that are commonly available, such as Harlequin.

    Hope this wall of text helps someone,,,,

    Regards, driveallnight

  5. Amy

    I think it’s worth breaking pain down by cause when it comes to strains for pain relief. I have AK-47, Jack Herer & White Widow and I wouldn’t rate them as my top pain relievers. AK-47 really helped with my chronic fatigue, but tends to give me anxiety, and most of my pain is due to muscular tension, so it’s a no-goer for that. Jack Herer I’ve loved for depression & anxiety. It’s a mellow strain that doesn’t give me anxiety and melts away stress, but doesn’t give enough of a body stone for the worst muscular pain. Critical is the best I’ve used for muscular pain so far, but there are probably better ones out there – and I bet they’re all indica dominant.

  6. David

    Dr H.,

    I took have CRPS. Mine started after a car accident about 12 years ago. I was a Professor teaching at a University and also worked as a Dean. Loved teaching more than anything (PhD work was in Anatomy and Reproductive Biology). My pain is in my R upper limb. Had multiple damaged disks and had a cervical fusion but the pain didn’t go away, got worse and worse. Went to Drs for years trying to get a diagnosis and treatment. I was told there was nothing wrong. Since CRPS doesn’t show up on any of the many MRIs I had, they all said nothing was wrong with me. I would show them my right hand, which would get so swollen it looked like it was someone else’s hand, plus it was blotchy red/purple. They would ignore that, telling me it was nothing. I would suggest it but they would dismiss it. Some I don’t think one what I was talking about. Finally got a diagnosis but by that time I had it for years. Pain was so bad I finally had to leave my on campus position and now teach online. Don’t enjoy it nearly as much as on campus teaching. Ruined my marriage, friends stopped calling, just depression. Have been on opiates of various types for all that time. Finally started marijuana, became legal here not too long ago. Took me a LONG TIME to figure out how much THC vs cannabanoids to take. To much THC would get me stoned and the pain is actually worse when stoned, but would help once the high was gone. FINALLY figured out how much to take, was feeling pretty good, but then they changed my pain meds. I want to get off the opiates, figure I’ll blow out my liver if I continued taking them, at least at the HIGH dosages I was on. So now I am back to square one with the marijuana, haven’t had the same control anymore. Backed to depressed, etc.. In between all this I had another car accident (always someone else’s fault, rear ended and last one was t-boned) and totalled my car. While checking me out I had a cat scan and found, totally by accident, a huge malignant tumor in my L kidney. Had that out, on my 1st post surgical follow up my L adrenal didn’t look right so it that came (no cancer in it, Thank God). All this happened in my 40s. I know the ‘I want to die’ feeling and the horrible depression that comes with the pain. But try the marijuana Doc. It might take time to figure out what and how much you need, but once you find the right dose you will be amazed. I was when I finally got the right dose, hopefully I’ll find the right amount again.

  7. Cosmo Cirrito
    I need help

    3 years ago i had back surgery , i have been dealing with back pain for 20 years ,i’m 57 ,

    i’m 57 yrs. old been dealing with back pain for 20 yrs. had a career driving big trucks for 36 yrs now on dissabilty , 3 yrs. ago had back surgery , Dr. told me he was going to put 3 screws in me ,7 hrs. later i end up with 6 screws in me , i was told i would feel 70% better, well 3 yrs. later it seems like i don’t feel 70% better ,been on cheap pain meds. for a very long time , even before the surgery, i ask Dr.’s for stronger meds but they won’t do it , where i live it’s not leagel . i’m tired of taking pills they don’t work for me and i’m at my wits end . Iv’e smoke weed in the past , lets face it who hasn’t right . The wife won’t let me buy any weed and i can’t tell her i have smoke some in the past . i just wish these damn DR. would give me a card so i can ease my pain . i feel like i’m ready to give up on life

    1. Ronda Carter


  8. Dragonfly

    After some trial and error, I found that Grandaddy Purple is my ideal strain to relieve both anxiety and chronic pain. It provides a full body relaxation without the super crazy head high that a sativa will give you.

  9. Anna Smith

    Blue Dream has been incredible for managing my stress levels. Thanks to this strain I am now finding it much easier to relax.

  10. Blake Shambach

    Hi, I’m Blake I used to wrestle since 1st grade to 9th grade and a complicated left shoulder surgery left me with RSD/CRPS a chronic pain condition that’s is usually treated with narcotics, butttt I refuse to live my life addicted to narcotics when I can get medical cannabis way easier anyway and helps just as much, even more then any meds I’ve ever tried! As of now only take marinol and cannabis! If you never had the Gorilla glue #4 strain for pain, please give it a try!! You won’t regret it!

    1. Christine m Anderson

      I have a friend that has been suffering from crips for the past 10 yrs. she just got her card and is purchasing product today. because no one knows CRIPS it is hard to determine which strain is best. I was thinking an Indica strain high cbd like kush,blueberry,cannatonic. did you try any of these?

  11. Dr. H.

    I am a pain doctor and pain patient. I was in a bad accident and lacerated my sciatic nerve resulting in CRPS which has ruined my career and nearly ruined my marriage! My wife uses Marajuana regularly and finally got me to visit a local shop but unfortunately they ran out of what works for pain! I am frustrated and my quality of life sucks! I am no longer interested in life! Religion doesn’t work! I am from the 60’s and smoking then was the norm but I have not smoked since as I don’t enjoy it. I would try it again however if it would help! I am on 4 different narcotics which barely get me by! I probably have opioid induced analgesia. Life Sucks !

    1. Steve

      My name is Steve I’ve suffered w Crps for 25yrs. I have obviously been thru & seen much during this time. Doc I offer you my support, don’t know if you’ll read this but support and attitude are 90% of the ball game, severe disabling pain is just a side effect. I’m here !

    2. aubrey

      I am so sorry! I totally understand though. I am 47 divorced mom of two but had to move 4 hours away and let my ex have my kids for now while I look for help. I have had two neck fusions in last 4 yrs and now have trigeminal neralgia ocipitical neralgia and crps2 in neck spine and head and face! My pain dr was just fired for trying to help her chroniclly ill patients! Now I am back to square one…trying to get into john hopkins in FL or Mayo but they are currently a year out! I wont make it that long!! I even checked myself into a mental hospital recently after starting daily panic attacks on top of 8-10 pain anxiety and depression. Life means NOTHING without my children. I lost my homes, my 8 yr realestate career my family and friends etc! I want to die 🙁

    3. Bob carlisle

      Get some blue dream smoke it and grow it. I also do ozone in a body bag. Past natiomay ranked tennis player. Check out a2z ozone Inc for an ozone generator.

    4. Julie

      I really get everything you wrote. I want to quit too. Disabled Medical social worker. Retired years earlier than I wanted. Axial Spondylitis since age twenty. L3-L4 & C3- C6 fused, cervical myelopathy. Dependent on morphine for ten years until I got up to 90mgs MSER QD (after using acupuncture, traction, massage, meditation, and a tens unit for 10 years before starting narcotics. )

      I hated my life so took myself off the morphine (which really sucked) while starting marijuana RSO which I put in a capsule I am pending a permanent a permanent SCS by St. Jude’s which reduced my nerve pain by 80%. If I did not have medical marijuana to vape, the RSO capsules AND GOD……well just say that two children and a spouse would be wondering why I quit loving being with them.

    5. Tutt

      Hello Dr. I also had an accident several years ago that resulted in spinal fusion surgery and disability – and years of opioids for chronic pain . For several years I didn’t believe life was worth living anymore because I could no longer earn a living and lost self-confidence. Only one thing in life is guaranteed – “Self”. We must love and appreciate “Self” – especially when all else seems “lost” (it’s really not just needs “reimagining”). All will never be lost. You’ve accomplished much in life and someone loves you. Your key to wellness now must be “gratitude”. Gratitude is the most important element of human existence – but extraordinarily distorted by the hollow mindless delusion of the “American Dream”. For peace of mind consider “the sleeper in you has been awakened” – by force of the Divine Universe and you are now untethering from an entrenched delusion. You are free to remake yourself into another being that will restore your confidence and sacred self-worth. BTW: I also stopped smoking marijuana decades ago because after awhile I didn’t like the way it made me feel (jittery, paranoid). However, I recently tried weed again and not only does it reduce pain it also makes me feel great. I now live on the poverty level (disability income) and though it took awhile I stopped despising myself for “failing”. What I wish for you is that you reclaim the joy of “Self” because it is meant to be with you always. Go puff a joint – put your arms around your beautiful spouse – laugh together – and eat some Cheetos. One Love

    6. Jason

      To Dr. H (above) from June 10, 2018..

      I understand your frustration and your distaste for smoking; however, there are other options out there. THC is made into edibles ✌️Give it a try ~

    7. OneFallenAngelM

      Keep trying to find out what strain works for your pain dr. H ! I was in the same situation, intactable pain from sciatic nerve injury, my quality of life was 1! In 2015 I’ve got an intrathecal morphine pump implanted, took morphine oral for breaktrough pain, I lived like a zombie and a request at the end of life clinic was set up … Since febr. this year I’m on Bedica, an Indica strain wich works for me and I can re-think my request at the EOL clinic ! Keep trying everyone ! There is always hope ! Kind regards, M

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *