When it comes to finding the best cannabis strain for pain relief, the world of medical cannabis offers a wide variety of options. Cannabis strains are derived from the Cannabaceae family of plants, with the main subspecies being Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cultivators selectively breed these plants to create strains with specific traits and effects. Strains are often categorized as indica, sativa, or hybrid, depending on their genetic composition.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of cannabis strains and their potential benefits for pain relief.
What Are Cannabis Strains?
To create different cannabis strains, or cultivars as they are more accurately known, cultivators carefully select specific traits to achieve the desired effects. The commonly used classifications for cannabis strains are indica, sativa, or hybrid. Hybrid strains are created by crossing indica and sativa varieties.
Let’s take a look at some examples of cannabis strains and the plants they are derived from:
- Kush: Derived from pure Cannabis indica or a hybrid of Cannabis indica.
- Afghan Kush, Hindu Kush, Green Kush, Purple Kush: All pure Cannabis indica strains.
- Blueberry Kush, Golden Jamaican Kush: Hybrid strains combining Cannabis indica and other varieties.
- Diesel Haze: Derived from pure Cannabis sativa or a hybrid of Cannabis sativa.
Producers often engage in crossbreeding to develop new cannabis strains with specific characteristics. It’s estimated that there are over 700 different cannabis strains available. The THC content is one of the most significant characteristics of a cannabis strain. While some guidelines exist for naming each strain, many producers do not strictly adhere to these rules.
Due to hybridization and crossbreeding, it’s challenging to determine the exact THC content of a plant based solely on physical features. Factors such as height, branching, or leaf appearance do not provide accurate information about the chemical composition. To determine the precise chemical composition of a cannabis-derived product, it’s necessary to analyze it using a biochemical assay.
What Is The Best Cannabis Strain For Pain?
In a 2014 online survey featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 95 participants were asked about their preferences regarding cannabis strains for pain management, sedation, sleep, energy enhancement, and mood improvement. The results indicated that participants tended to prefer indica strains for pain relief, sedation, and sleep, while they leaned towards sativa strains for increasing energy levels and improving mood.
The survey also highlighted the potential effectiveness of indica strains for pain management in specific conditions such as non-migraine headaches, neuropathy, spasticity, and joint pain. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that this study had limitations. It was conducted on a small scale, relied on anonymous participant self-reports, and lacked a controlled setting for cannabis consumption. These factors could have led to variations in the composition, dosage, and potency of the cannabis used.
Another study investigated the effects of organically grown Sativa and Indica strains in treating various medical conditions, with over half of the participants using cannabis for HIV treatment. The study followed the participants for three years and collected information on the effects of cannabis on their respective conditions. The results indicated that indica strains were more likely to improve energy and appetite, while both sativa and indica strains showed similar potential in alleviating nausea.
While these studies provide some insights into the potential benefits of different cannabis strains for pain relief, it’s important to approach the topic with caution. As the research is still in its early stages, further investigation is needed to establish definitive strain-specific recommendations for pain management. Consulting with healthcare professionals or medical cannabis specialists can offer valuable guidance in selecting the most appropriate strain for individual needs.
Indica Strains May Offer Better Pain Relief
Indica strains have a long-standing association with providing a relaxing body high, making them a popular choice for individuals seeking relief from pain, insomnia, nausea, or poor appetite. Cannabis indica strains are reputed to offer several beneficial effects, including:
- Relaxation: Users often report that cannabis indica strains help relax their muscles and induce a calming effect on their minds.
- Sedation: Many individuals find that Indica strains have a sedating effect, which can be advantageous for those dealing with insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
- Pain Relief: Indica strains are frequently recommended for chronic or acute pain, offering potential relief to individuals seeking cannabis-based pain management options.
- Appetite Stimulation: The increased appetite induced by Indica strains can benefit individuals with low appetite due to medical conditions or treatments.
- Nausea Soothing: Indica strains have also been found to assist with reducing nausea and promoting the ability to keep food down.
Benefits of Sativa Strains
- Mood Elevation: Sativa strains may elevate mood, providing therapeutic improvement in mood for many users.
- Increased Energy: Sativa strains boost energy levels and promote productivity, making them ideal for daytime use. They increase activity levels, reduce apathy, and enhance the desire for social engagement.
- Appetite Boost: Sativa strains are also favored for their ability to increase appetite. They stimulate eating and intensify the sensory and pleasurable aspects of food consumption.
- Depression Relief: Sativa strains can alleviate symptoms of depression by elevating energy levels, reducing apathy, and improving mood. They help mitigate feelings of apathy and depression.
- Promotion of Creativity and Focus: Sativa strains may enhance focus and unleash creativity. However, the effects on focus and creativity can vary depending on the individual’s unique chemical makeup.
Benefits of Hybrid Strains
- Anxiety Relief: Cannabis strains are being studied for their potential in treating anxiety, with users reporting benefits. Certain strains, including Sativa, Indica, and hybrids, have anxiolytic properties that can reduce anxiety. CBD-rich hybrids can influence brain blood flow, leading to anxiety reduction. CBD has also shown promise in alleviating stress and improving conditions like PTSD and SAD.
- Effective for Chronic Pain: Hybrid strains with varying CBD and THC levels are suitable for treating mental disorders and relieving chronic pain. They improve cognitive response to pain. Both CBD and THC have shown effectiveness in combating chronic pain.
- Enhances Creativity: Sativa-dominant hybrid strains are ideal for creative activities like painting or writing. They stimulate creativity and encourage unconventional thinking. These strains do not induce drowsiness, allowing individuals to focus on their projects.
- Promotes Relaxation: Hybrid cannabis strains enhance relaxation and alleviate everyday tension. They possess euphoric properties, making activities more enjoyable, even for individuals without anxiety or depression.
Get Your Card and Start Your Pain Relief Journey
If you’re seeking the best cannabis strains for pain relief, obtaining a medical marijuana card is an important step. To expedite the consultation process, gathering supporting documentation such as medical records or a letter stating your diagnosed condition from your primary care physician is advisable. When visiting one of our clinics to apply for your medical card, remember to bring a form of government ID and proof of Mississippi residence.In cases where you have a qualifying medical condition but lack proper documentation, Pause Pain & Wellness can still assist you. By scheduling an appointment for evaluation, our team can assess your specific condition and refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider to establish an official diagnosis. Book now here.