Chronic pain affects people living with many conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes and is the leading cause of disability. While the use of medical marijuana to alleviate pain is still a very new development in the health industry, medical marijuana has become a widely used alternative to traditional pain medications.
Marijuana Strains for Chronic Pain
There are three different types of marijuana plants:
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis sativa
Research has found that participants prefer indicas for pain management and sleep assistance and choose sativas for their uplifting effects and best utilized when doing physical activity and creative projects.
How Does Marijuana Manage Pain?
Marijuana is comprised of many chemical compounds that work together to create unique effects. The compounds most notable when considering pain relief are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD is non-intoxicating, and best known for alleviating medical ailments like inflammation and pain.
THC is a psychoactive compound, which makes you feel high, that resembles chemicals that occur in the body. When inhaled or ingested, it activates the body’s reward system to reduce pain levels.
Cannabis has various cannabinoids, but familiarizing yourself with THC vs CBD will be the best way to choose a strand for your needs, as basing it solely off of strands may not be the most reliable:
THC Dominant: THC dominant strains are the go-to for consumers looking for a euphoric experience. They are preferred by consumers who are treating central and neuropathic pain.
CBD Dominant: CBD dominant strains have small amounts of THC, and are recommended to those who don’t react well to THC, and are looking for clear-headed pain relief.
Balanced CBD/THC: These strains have approximately the same levels of THC and CBD, offering a good combination of euphoria along with pain relief. They are a good starting point for people who are new to using cannabis for pain relief.
Choosing The Right Product For You
Before proceeding, you should ask yourself a series of questions that will help narrow down your options and help choose the strain that will be the most beneficial for you:
- What is your experience level? If you are inexperienced, then you will want to consider starting with a balanced CBD/THC strain.
- Do you experience anxiety and other effects of THC? If the answer is yes, you may want to stick to CBD strains.
- Are you looking for a short-term or long-term high? If you are looking for a short-term high, then you should use inhalation methods, and for the former, consider edibles.