Best strains for pain, best weed for pain Best strains for pain, best weed for pain

Best Strains for Pain


There is nothing more frustrating than the struggles of severe chronic pain. The discomfort and limitations can often dictate both access and quality of life for many people facing long-term pain management. 

Medical Cannabis has proven to be a potential alternative to OTC and other pharmaceuticals, offering a natural soothing aid with fewer serious side effects or risks. 

With so many innovations in modern cannabis, we now can choose from options for targeted effects – from fueling your creativity to supporting you in getting through your daily tasks with more ease. 

Curious about what the best strains for pain are today? We have compiled a list of the top strains to treat pain so you can tap into the benefits of cannabis with ease and precision. 

The best marijuana strains to treat chronic pain, best strains for pain

How does weed help pain?

How does weed help pain

Pain, inflammation, and stress responses all stem from the body’s nervous system. Cannabis’ active components engage with the nervous system via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to balance the nervous system and regulate many vital processes. This includes everything from appetite and memory to hormones. 

When cannabis aids in how our body responds to stress and recovers, it can actually help minimize pain in a few effective ways: 

How cannabis fights pain

  • Cannabis, THCA, and CBD, specifically, are anti-inflammatory and can soothe headaches, swelling, and joint pain.

  • Cannabinoids appear to block peripheral nerve pain, which may play a key role in managing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This is due to the cannabinoids producing antinociceptive effects and inhibiting mast cell degranulation.

  • The active compounds in cannabis can stabilize hormone production, leading to a more balanced mind and physical response to stress. 

  • CBD can acutely reduce pain intensity post-workout for individuals and athletes with chronic pain. 

  • THC has been shown to be an effective antiemetic for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting compared to other common drugs.

  • CBG, a minor cannabinoid found in weed and hemp oils, is known to enhance CBD’s pain-relieving properties. This cannabinoid offers additional anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects

There is no limit to how CBD and cannabis products can help alleviate pain – for physical, mental, and emotional relief. However, each cannabis product comes with its own unique benefits, meaning some will work best when targeting certain types of pain.

Benefits of weed for chronic pain

Benefits of Weed for chronic pain

Pain relief is, by far, one of the most common reasons cannabis users seek out the therapeutic benefits of this plant. Among its many beneficial pain-relieving effects, cannabis offers users support with: 

  • Inflammation

  • Headaches

  • Muscle soreness

  • Chronic joint and muscle pain

  • Appetite and nausea 

As weed becomes mainstream, we are now seeing organizations like the NFL acknowledging its therapeutic potential for pain management. 

The NFL has awarded over $1 million in research grants to medical teams studying the effects cannabinoids have on pain management, along with their neuroprotective potential. This could play a pivotal role in supporting athletes from sustaining life-altering injuries on the field, keeping them at top performance both in the game and in life. 

Cannabis has been popularized for its success as an all-natural supplement for reducing acute pain and inflammation, but can it really make a difference with chronic pain? The science behind cannabis’ therapeutic properties shows a great deal of optimism for pain management. 

A 2016 study in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that cannabis has the potential to reduce symptoms of pain, headaches, and muscle spasticity by 86% in both long-term and short-term applications. 

Furthermore, a 2015 survey released by the Journal of Pain shows that the long-term pain-relieving benefits of cannabis may have implications for treating pain as a safer alternative than opioids, which come with a myriad of adverse effects.

It is important to note, cannabis is a safe and easy option for managing pain, but not the best choice for everyone. Always consult a medicinal professional before using cannabis to manage pain, especially if you are currently taking other prescriptions for depression, anxiety, Post-traumatic stress disorder, or even any heart-related conditions. 

The effects of chronic pain on your mental health

effects of pain on mental health

When chronic pain flares up, it doesn’t just come with the physical limitations but all of the mental and emotional burdens, too. This can put a lot of pressure on your mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders

Even when effectively managed with painkillers, many of the prescription painkillers used may put patients at risk for developing other long-term symptoms or health issues.

This cascade effect of pain, side effects, and treatments can be incredibly uncomfortable and costly and lead to dependency. 

Cannabis offers a plant-based option without the intensity of side effects or risk factors toward long-term health.

Not only is cannabis a safer analgesic, but it also naturally boosts mood, supports mental clarity, and aids in hormonal processes that impact anxiety and stress responses. This balancing effect makes cannabis such a unique option to relieve pain within the heart, mind, and body simultaneously. 

However, not all strains work like a panacea, each has their own unique effects. Some strains are more psychoactive, sleepy, energizing, or hunger-inducing, but all of these tailored effects play a role in how effective each strain is at managing specific types of pain. 

15 of the best cannabis strains for chronic pain

15 best strains for pain

Our list highlights a wide variety of flavorful strains that are popular for their pain-relieving properties. While each may have its own unique twist on relief, they are all incredible options to explore when seeking out cannabis for therapeutic use.

Strains for chronic pain relief

  1. Blackberry Kush

Blackberry Kush, or BBK, is an Indica dominant strain, averaging around 17% THC. This Afghani x Blackberry cross offers relaxing effects and a strong body high. It is both sweet and gassy, with dreamy and calming effects. 

  1. Harlequin / Harlequin Tsunami

These two Harlequin varieties are known for their high CBD (9%) and low THC(5%) content. This is a soothing strain for both physical pain and anxiety, with an emphasis on the painkilling properties of a potent CBD strain. It has an earthy and fruity taste with a signature cherry and pine finish. 

  1. Blueberry Headband

Rich with 15% THC, this Headband x Blueberry cross is a classic hybrid that offers full body relaxation without sedative effects. This is the perfect strain for easing headaches and chronic stress. 

  1. Master Kush

An Indica dominant hybrid strain, testing at 17% THC, is known for its relaxing properties for the mind and body, without any mental fog. Hints of citrus, spice, and minerals. 

  1. The White

At 21% THC, this strain is a milder flavor and scent option but is highly potent in effects. This intense potency makes it ideal for strong pain relief and restful sleep. 

  1. ACDC

Best known for its neuropathic pain support, this 20:1 CBD: THC strain is both soothing and delicious. This is a great option for chronic joint pain. 

  1. Romulan

This piney Indica averages around 19% THC and is best known for its cerebral, sedative, and relaxing effects. 

  1. Race Fuel OG

This OG Kush hybrid is highly potent at 22% THC and 1% CBG. This minor cannabinoid enhances the body's high effects, increasing the pain-relieving properties of this strain. This strain may jump-start your appetite and calm anxiety, too.

  1. Starberry

At 17% THC, Starberry is an Indica-dominant hybrid that offers a boost in creativity while keeping you physically relaxed. It has a tart fruit and sweet berry flavor, known to do wonders for chronic pain and insomnia. 

  1. Laughing Gas

This Cherry Pie x Sour Diesel hybrid offers an interesting balance of 19% THC and 1% CBG. This is an uplifting, stimulating strain that reduces symptoms of depression while keeping you feeling physically calm. 

  1. Pre-98 Bubba Kush

At 15% THC, this classic strain provides a heavy body high without the headiness or foggy mind of other fruity strains. This pungent but uplifting strain is ideal for managing both mental and physical stress. 

  1. Cannatonic

In an interesting twist, MK Ultra was crossed with G13 Haze to produce this high-CBD variety. With 9% CBD and 4% THC, this is a relaxing and mellow option, great for muscle spasms, anxiety, and headaches. 

  1. Purple Widow

A floral and fruity hybrid, Purple Widow is rich in 18% THC and 1% CBG for a full-body effect. This gorgeous purple flower comes from the Netherlands and is great for stimulating appetite and promoting relaxation. 

  1. NY Cheesecake

At 21% THC, this classic OG cross is an Indica-dominant, sure to keep you blissful and euphoric. It is a rich and creamy strain with sweet, cheesy, and skunky undertones. 

  1. Charlotte's Web

This historic strain is known for its incredibly soothing properties for musculoskeletal pain due to its high CBD concentration. It is great for managing joint pain, aches, and other symptoms of chronic illness. 

Indica or Sativa for Pain relief

Indica or sativa for relieving pain: which one to choose from?

Based on the list above, it is clear to see that some strains are ideal for physical pain signals, while others aid in mental and emotional stress.

This has a lot to do with their terpene and cannabinoid profiles and how each compound present works together to unlock their signature benefits. Cannabis has been classified into three primary categories for effects: indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.

These each come with a general type of effect:

  • Indica - sedative, deeply relaxing, with significant body high

  • Sativa - energizing, euphoric, soothing

  • Hybrid - a slight variation of the two, these can be both calming and uplifting

When exploring the pain-relieving qualities of cannabis strains, we see a divide occur between medical marijuana patients seeking sativa and indica for different types of pain symptoms. 

In a 2014 survey featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that participants sought out indica varieties over sativa cannabis strains for pain management, sedation, and sleep while preferring sativas for improved energy and mood. 

Both classifications of cannabis offered qualities of relieving chronic pain, with slight variations in the effects on mood, energy, and psychoactive effects. Participants reported that the indica varieties provided pain management for non-migraine headaches, neuropathy, spasticity, and joint pain.

Comparing other painkillers: is cannabis better than opioids?

Cannabis offers a milder but more effective alternative to painkillers without the intense side effects and risks to your health. 

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Pain found that cannabis use for cancer pain led to a reduction in opioid use (64%)and improved quality of life (45%), all while causing fewer medication side effects. 

Though there is still more we need to understand about the therapeutic applications of cannabis for pain management, it is an incredibly promising future for those living with acute and chronic pain.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are seeking relief from physical or mental pain, there is a cannabis strain out there that can help. With the many different varieties and effects of strains, it is important to do your research and consult with a healthcare doctor for professional medical advice before incorporating cannabis into your pain management routine.

As always, start low and slow when trying new strains to find what works best for you. And remember, cannabis is not a cure-all but can be a valuable tool in managing pain and improving overall quality of life.

So don't be afraid to explore the many strains available and find what works best for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What strains are best for nerve pain?

The top strain to treat neuropathy is Jack Herers. Jack Herer is a mild sativa strain that has moderate THC that provides a gentle, relaxing physical and mental effect. Blue Dream and sour diesel are also good choices.

What is the best strain for pain and insomnia?

Generally, Indica can help relieve stress and induce feelings of relaxation and sleep. Indica may be preferred by people who need relief from pain, relaxation, and sleep.

What strains help with chronic pain and anxiety?

Indica strains have been praised for their relaxing qualities, making them ideal for easing anxiety symptoms. Indica is often used at night to relieve stress.

What strain makes you relax the most?

OG Kush is an Indica-dominating strain that offers an excellent high and is an effective choice to reduce stress and relax. Purple Kush is another indica strain that has strong body-numbing qualities. It is an excellent option if you are looking forward to relaxing during the night.




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