Factors To Consider When Using Marijuana To Combat Pain

An increasing number of people are turning to marijuana for pain relief. They are using marijuana in place of opioids and other prescription drugs to help combat pain.

Of course, in doing so the question becomes: What are best cannabis strains to turn to for pain relief?

Like any other kind of treatment, the cure depends on the ailment. Also, what works for some people might not work as well – or at all – with others.

The conditions that lead to pain are many. They can range from muscle soreness and headaches to cramps, inflammation and chronic pain that comes with conditions such as arthritis.

Whatever the case, many studies over the years have shown people experience pain relief with marijuana, even chronic nerve pain.

The best general advice is to experiment with different strains and see what works best for you.

Why Use Cannabis to Combat Pain?

At this point, most experts and even politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that opioid use has become an epidemic in the United States. Not only have people become addicted to the drugs, but there are overdoses every year.

In 2015, 33,000 people died in the U.S. from opioid overdose, including prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As medical marijuana legalization has spread, people have taken action. More than 4 million older Americans started to use marijuana for pain relief between 2013 and 2014, the biggest such increase in history.

While the complete impact of marijuana on health is not entirely known, enough evidence has accumulated that major studies are underway to determine its benefits.

Indica vs. Sativa

Indica and sativa are the two main species of marijuana, although many hybrids exist. While the experience can vary by the exact strain and the user’s own tolerance and reaction to the active ingredients, indica is typically the one that works best with pain.

While sativa is a more of a mood elevator, indica tends to suffuse the entire body with relaxation and can also help combat pain.

CBD Offers Relief In Many Forms

CBD – or cannabinoids – is an active chemical in cannabis that does not cause the “high” feeling. The ingredient that does that is called THC.  Many subscribe to the potency of CBD in alleviating pain, with the added benefit being that you don’t have to “get high” to enjoy marijuana’s medicinal value.

CBD often comes in the form of oils or lotions that can be applied directly to areas of pain. It can assist with muscle pain or inflammation, among other ailments. Dozens of examples can be seen on the marketplace on this site.

They include oil extracts, lotions and even doggie chews for pets. The CBD market is still growing as more and more uses are found for this product. Treating pain definitely ranks as one of the top benefits.


Recognizing the application of CBD for pain relief and other medical benefits, some marijuana producers now offer strains that combine both high levels of THC along with high levels of CBD. These strains can, for some people, offer the best relief from pain, particularly inflammatory pain and headaches.

Obviously, the factor a consumer must consider is that with the presence of THC comes the “high feeling.” A safe, positive location will be needed to experiment with different strains.

Another factor to consider is that if you decide to use a high –THC strain to combat pain, go for an indica strain. Again, these generally lead to relaxation and a “mellow” feeling rather than pumping the body full of energy.

These are some of the general issues to keep in mind. Whatever dispensary you use will have specific strains they will recommend, but keep in mind the issues above when making your choice and remember that experiment with different kinds is key to find what works best for you.

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