There are so many reasons to be grateful for cannabis that sometimes it can be hard to keep count! But out of all the cannabis plant’s gifts—the one that we turn to more than any other—is its ability to melt away pain.
This is nothing new. In fact, humans have relied on cannabis to treat pain for literally thousands of years. In ancient Chinese, medical texts recommended it for aches, stomach troubles, and many of the same reasons we still rely on it today.
But not all cannabis is created equal. Because there are so many strains—and because each one has a slightly different effect on our bodies—finding the best strains for pain can be challenging. In this article, we’ll break it down by explaining how cannabis treats pain, and then recommend some specific strains to help get your body feeling its best possible self!
Best Strains for Pain: How Does Cannabis Help?
Cannabis is a remarkably complex plant, containing literally hundreds of different compounds. It was once believed that the delightful euphoria associated with THC merely distracted us from pain, but research has shown us that the truth is much more complicated.
As you probably know, THC is the cannabinoid—or major “active ingredient” in cannabis—that makes us feel “high.” And yes, that sensation feeling does tend to dampen the sensation of pain.
But THC is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural responses to pain or injury, and while it’s perfectly normal, it contributes to the sensation of pain. Less inflammation equals less pain.
Of course, THC isn’t the only cannabinoid. You’ve probably heard of CBD, the second major cannabinoid. While it doesn’t make you feel high like THC does, it imparts a wide range of beneficial effects. It’s an anti-inflammatory as well, and it can dampen the signals of pain sent from an injury site to the brain. What’s more, research indicates that it’s effective for combatting anxiety, stress, and a host of other conditions that are often associated with pain.
So, knowing that both these major cannabinoids fight pain is a good clue as to what make the best strains for pain. Many researchers feel that a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD is a great place to start, but some us of find THC’s euphoria distracting or unwanted. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of high-CBD strains with very little THC.
With that out of the way, here’s a hand-picked list of some of the best strains for pain.
The sweet and yummy berry flavors will hook you at first, but it’s this strain’s legendary pain-fighting ability that keeps fans coming back. Delivering a powerful, long-lasting euphoric high, it’s impossible not to feel relaxed after sampling this high-THC powerhouse.
Formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies, this is a potent high-THC strain also known for its robust CBD content as well. But be forewarned: The high is dreamy and euphoric, but you probably won’t get a lot done after sampling it!
Beloved among medical cannabis users, this strain—named for the late cannabis activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes—lends a blissful, clear-headed, and inspiring high. No wonder it’s a legend in the cannabis world!
One of the best-known and best-loved strains, Sour Diesel is an energizing strain, imparting buzzy sativa-like high with just the right touch of dreaminess. As well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory, those warm and fuzzy cerebral effects help fight pain, stress and depression.
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