More than ever, people are either smoking cannabis recreationally for the first time or using cannabis instead of taking more conventional medications to combat pain.
The most generalized uses of medical cannabis are to treat all types of pain: physical, neuropathic, and psychological. Users have seen improvements in their health when using cannabis strains to treat their pain. The cannabis strains highlighted in this article are chosen because of the real people who have reviewed the strains.
I’ve also pulled research and data that pertains to the plant's chemical makeup, which plays a significant role in the effects, flavour, and aroma of each strain.
The cannabis plant produces therapeutic phytocompounds like cannabinoids and terpenes that are known for their miracle-like pain-relieving powers.
Vaporizing and smoking may be the tried and true methods of consuming cannabis, but there are many consumption methods like edibles and tinctures.
Different Types of Pain
It is estimated that nearly one in five Canadians will suffer from pain-related ailments for longer than ninety days at least once in their life.
Three common types of pain can affect a person:
- Physical (or body) pain can be chronic or come and go throughout a person's life.
- Neuropathic pain is long-term damage to the nervous system, often leaving patients with numbness in their limbs and shooting pain throughout their bodies.
- Psychological pain may not be visible, but it is real, and it hurts.
When you go to a doctor for pain symptoms, you're probably walking out with a little white piece of paper that you take to a pharmacy for some drugs, right?
Opiates, relaxants, stimulants-everything under the sun are prescribed to treat pain.
Most of these prescriptions have terrible side effects like nausea, trouble sleeping, or even things as severe as a heart attack or a stroke.
Those side effects are now new ailments that you’re going to need more prescriptions to treat.
What if you could inhale a little bit of smoke, chew a little bit of a cake, or rub a little oil onto your skin and you might not have to go through the pharma cycle anymore?
Well, you can. Why? Because cannabis works.
This study on cannabis use routines for coping with pain is a great resource that showcases how different methods of consumption and different cannabinoid intake can help ease unwanted physical aches and pains.
Many strains are considered the best for all types of pain.
There are studies in science, and there are real live walking talking human beings that can attest to the therapeutic properties (magical powers) of cannabis.
What Is Physical Pain?
Physical pain hurts. It clogs your mind and ruins your day, which in turn can make you an irritable, angry, or sad person.
Chronic pain or back pain-related issues are usually muscle-related.
When you consume cannabis, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytocompounds, get to work immediately on your symptoms. Pain is all linked.
Emotions and behaviour may also enhance your pain.
Cannabis may treat physical pain. Now more than ever, do you have the ability to choose your medication.
Because everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) and cannabis interacts with it differently, the strain that works best for your pain may be different than someone else. That is the beauty of cannabis.
Different cannabis strains have different amounts of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, which means if the first strain you try doesn’t, work that doesn’t mean that all cannabis strains won’t work either.
Best Cannabis Strains For Physical Pain
Unlike Viente:Uno CBD, this indica dominant cannabis strain possesses virtually no CBD.
Many people have found Barbara very helpful in treating their pain. Muscle spasms, stress, and back pain are no march for her.
She is the best strain for pain without feeling high, buzzed, or mentally clouded.
Woody, earthy, maybe a hint of coffee- that's Pre-98 Bubba in a nutshell.
If you are suffering from back pain, or any pain for that matter, there is a reason why Bubba Kush has been around for so long.
Pre-medical, pre-dispensary, pre-license to consume, this bud was helping people during those underground days.
The smoke is clean, and it smells sweetly divine. Primarily used for body pain, this is also one of the best cannabis strains for calming down and quieting the mind.
This hybrid strain is derived from Trainwreck and OG Kush. It is a sativa dominant strain with a powerful effect on the mind.
This mash-up of two legacy strains brings out very potent medicinal properties that will help combat body pain, nausea, stress, headaches, and loss of appetite, among others.
Uplifted. Relaxed. Blissful. These are just a few words that come to mind when thinking of smoking Grape God.
This hybrid is on the indica side and was created by a combination of Grapefruit and God Bud genes.
It gets its name from the grape notes when exhaling. This is the best strain for knocking out pain, boosting your mood, and leaving your body unwound.
Pure Kush is well known for a reason. It is one of the strongest and best strains of cannabis on the market.
It has a 20% TCH level for the most part and has that perfect scent mix of citrus and sweet.
People who smoke it know that you are going to get high. Period.
Goodbye negativity, goodbye stress, goodbye pain. You will be happy, and that's just the bottom line.
This strain is one of the multiple Kush strains that come from well-known North American seed breeders.
Your back pain and inflammation will dissipate relatively quickly, and you may feel overly social and creative.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
It is no secret: chronic neuropathic pain is a significant problem.
Affecting one in ten adults over the age of 30, this pain type is debilitating and often incurable.
Inflammation leads to pain, which often occurs in limbs like the hands in feet.
Patients living with neuropathic pain typically miss out on life's lovely events and have difficulty with day-to-day tasks. The treatment options are pretty limited as well.
Fortunately, using top-shelf cannabis strains is proving to be effective in treating pain without long-term harm-like opioids.
Research, development, and clinical studies of cannabis’ potentially therapeutic effects are still in their infant stage, but w do know a few things.
We know that cannabis as medicine works in various ways throughout our body, and we know that cannabis for pain is a viable method.
More and more of us are seeking it out to treat ourselves- even without proper permission.
Best Cannabis Strains For Neuropathic Pain
Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze is known for its intense lemon smell and sweet citrus taste.
Its buds are a bright green and with some orange hairs that give it an almost yellow look. It has a moderate THC level of around 20% and a CBD level of about 0.38%
This Canadian strain was created by breading genetics from the descendant of two Shishkaberry parents and God Bud.
She is delightfully balanced and brings a sweet yet earthy smell. This girl is quite potent, making it one of the best strains for neuropathic pain.
Although it is tough on pain, you will still be able to function like an average person and enjoy your day.
This plant will give you a social high, and you may even find yourself doing more things now that the pain has subsided.
This strain will kick your butt and glue you to whatever you’re sitting on. 100% for pain.
It is best to be used in the evening after your day is done.
Spice is what comes to mind when I think of this strain.
It's a science-backed pure indica cannabis strain that gets the job done. Say goodbye to ouch and hello to the healing effects that the earthy strain brings.
Purple Kush is the offspring of Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani.
It’s recognized as one of the best strain for pain-related ailments, hands down.
She is sweet-smelling and will release the mind and body of pain and restlessness.
With THC levels around 20% and CBD levels around 0.1%, you will be left feeling relaxed and calm.
This strain is a personal favourite of mine. Black Diamond is a top strain for combating pain-hands down.
I think it’s magical because it eases pain without any side effects that would come from a typical pain-related medication (think: digestive issues when taking Advil).
The effects of this strain are a sweet little gift. Your body is calmed. You are medicated- not overwhelmed.
You can expect a good night's rest without missing your alarm in the morning.
What is Psychological Pain?
We have all felt it, that pang in your chest or your heart racing.
Maybe you haven't had a good night's sleep in a month, and now you hurt.
Psychological pain is invisible, but it is still excruciating. That unpleasant feeling that isn't physically there.
Cannabis can treat stress, ADHD, anxiety, depression, past trauma, and insomnia.
Today, more people suffering from psychological pain are choosing cannabis over habit-forming drugs (Xanax) to help reduce these unwanted symptoms.
The strains listed below are just a glimpse into what is available.
Best Cannabis Strains For Psychological Pain
Black Amnesia Haze
With a kick of citrus and lemons combined with a down and earthy flavour, Black Amnesia Haze is a lovely strain to begin your morning.
If you thought coffee made you smile or gave you that energetic boost, this strain is best for you physically and mentally.
Black Amnesia Haze is a sativa dominant hybrid that has genetics traced back to South Asia and Jamaica.
This strain has won the coveted High Times Cannabis Cup more than once.
This strain was created specifically for a little girl named Charlotte who suffered from seizures.
Since then, it has become the go-to best strain for pain when treating the pain with basically no psychoactive effect.
There is virtually no THC content, but it is raging with CBD.
To me, Purple Urkle is the best cannabis strain for psychological pain.
While it is marketed for Insomnia, this hybrid helps you fall asleep with ease.
If you smoke daily like me, you will enjoy this strain's ability to give you a body high that's just as cozy as a hug from your mom.
You will be relaxed from head to toe. The sweetest dreams come from the sweetest strains, and this one is no different. This is a very berry, delightful-smelling strain.
This is a hybrid strain derived from the famous Diesel strains, and it is also known as G6.
With its OG Kush and Diesel heritage, this strain is sweet and smelly, but it also carries that energizing sativa scent.
While you will feel uplifted, as you smoke, you mellow into a calmed relaxing state. Smoke this if you are feeling especially stressed.
This is a Hybrid strain out of California.
OG Kush brings on a heavy euphoric effect that can eradicate stress and anxiety.
That distinct lemon scent that carries sweet woody undertones is the handy work of terpenes like limonene.
Anyone who smokes knows kush has a unique smell of its own. That is the smell of heaven!
Primarily used for Headaches and ADD/ADHD, OG Kush has been known to crush a panic attack and is a top strain that eases anxiety symptoms.
Approximately 60 million people (10% of the world’s population) are affected by chronic pain and pain-related illness.
There are many strains out there that will help ease pain with different types of strains specializing in specific ailments.
Other strains create an all-around, wholesome environment for reducing pain.
Although people tend to find the most relief in an indica type, it's best not to rule out hybrids or sativa altogether.
If you are on opioids and are just now trying out cannabis to treat your pain, remember that less is more and always keep your medical practitioner in the loop.
Depending on the chemical composition of the strain, the amount you consume, and the way you consume it, it may take a little time and a trial before finding the most effective way to use cannabis to treat your pain.
No one likes to hurt. And no one wants to see their loved ones in pain.
If you or someone you know is hurting, take a good hard look at the best cannabis strains for treating pain. You might be surprised at what you find. And remember, stay lifted!
Yawn, B. P., Wollan, P. C., Weingarten, T. N., Watson, J. C., Hooten, W. M., & Melton, L. J., 3rd (2009). The prevalence of neuropathic pain: clinical evaluation compared with screening tools in a community population. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 10(3), 586–593. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00588.x
Goldberg, D.S., McGee, S.J. Pain as a global public health priority. BMC Public Health 11, 770 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-770
Hill, K. P., Palastro, M. D., Johnson, B., & Ditre, J. W. (2017). Cannabis and pain: a clinical review. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 96-104.
Hosking, R. D., & Zajicek, J. P. (2008). Therapeutic potential of cannabis in pain medicine. British journal of anaesthesia, 101(1), 59-68.
Haroutounian, S., Ratz, Y., Ginosar, Y., Furmanov, K., Saifi, F., Meidan, R., & Davidson, E. (2016). The effect of medicinal cannabis on pain and quality-of-life outcomes in chronic pain. The Clinical journal of pain, 32(12), 1036-1043.
Notcutt, W., Price, M., Miller, R., Newport, S., Phillips, C., Simmons, S., & Sansom, C. (2004). Initial experiences with medicinal extracts of cannabis for chronic pain: results from 34 ‘N of 1’studies. Anaesthesia, 59(5), 440-452.
About the author: Heather Burton
Heather lives with her husband and two children in beautiful British Columbia. Her passion has always been to enhance the lives of others by helping them reach their business goals.
Content management is her specialty, and writing is what she does best. Working specifically in the cannabis market, Heather strives to help dispensaries, patients, doctors, manufacturers and recreational users by giving them the voice they need. When she is not writing, you can find her anywhere outdoors and away from the screen.