One reason that you might want to take medical cannabis is to try to relieve pain. This can include anything from headaches to inflammation, neuropathic pain, spinal injuries, or muscle soreness. You can also use it to try to help cramps or fibromyalgia. The level of success you might see will vary depending on the type of pain, your biology, and the pain’s intensity.
If you have pain, experts usually recommend that you try strains of marijuana that have both CBD and THC in them. You can look for ones that have a mix of diamond shapes and circle shapes on the label. There has been some early research done on relieving pain with cannabis. Some studies have suggested that the terpene caryophyllene might be helpful for inflammation and pain. However, more studies are needed on this.
One way you can quickly feel the effects of cannabis is by vaporizing and smoking. This gets the product into your bloodstream faster. However, you may want to also consider cannabis concentrates, edibles, and topicals. That way, you can get a better idea of what types of options you have available to you.
What Is Caryophyllene?
This terpene is abundant in the cannabis plant. It has a distinctive flavor, and this is what makes black pepper spicy. You can also find it in hops, rosemary, and cloves. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally recognizes this compound as being safe, and you can take large doses safely.
In the past 10 years or so, scientists have been paying more attention to caryophyllene. It was discovered that even though it is not a cannabinoid, it can still activate the cannabinoid receptors. Because of terpene’s effect on your endocannabinoid system, you might want to look for strains with this in them.
Types of Pain
Knowing the right types of cannabinoids that may help relieve different pain is useful to know. This can help you choose the right strain based on what types of pain you have. There are generally three different categories of pain. These include:
- Central Pain
- Nociceptive Pain
- Neuropathic Pain
There are different recommended treatment strategies for each of these types of pain. Your pain comes from the coordinated activation of your brain cells. If your brain regions make you sense pain, then they can also determine how strong this pain is. Sometimes, you might have an injury, like nociceptive pain, but not sense any pain.
However, you can also have pain when there is no physical injury. This is central pain. This all just goes to show that the context, mood, and knowledge of your injury can influence how you sense pain. Understanding this can help you choose the best strain of marijuana.
Cannabis for Nociceptive Pain
This type can include pain from inflammation and can come from damage to the tissue. This is sometimes considered to be throbbing, aching, or sharp pain after a physical injury. Your damaged tissues may send immune cells to help the damage be repaired. Each of the cells can release chemicals that active your nerves’ receptors. This signal then goes up your spinal cord and to your brain.
To weaken this type of pain, you might want to try to reduce the pain signals at the injured site. Blocking the inflammatory process or the signals from the process can do this. You can also minimize the effects as the pain signals go from the spinal cord to the brain. Marijuana may target these processes, so you feel less pain.
According to researchers, both CBD and THC can help reduce pain where you have been injured. Both have anti-inflammatory effects. THC can activate your CB2 receptors on your immune cells. That minimizes the body’s response to your injury.
CBD may help reduce your inflammation by working to block mediators that cause inflammation. CBD can also shift your cells from inflammatory to anti-inflammatory. There have been rodent and human studies that looked at how both CBD and THC may be useful for relieving this form of pain.
Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain
Having neuropathic pain is a little bit different than having nociceptive pain. Neuropathic pain comes from a damaged part of your nervous system. This is actually a fairly common form of pain. In fact, it can affect about 7 to 10 percent of the population. It might come from pinching, a forceful injury, or even a stabbing that caused the nerves to be damaged.
Another common cause of this type of pain is a disease. For example, if you have multiple sclerosis, your nerve cells’ insulation begins to break down. That causes neuropathic pain. Some other diseases that might cause this issue include HIV, Parkinson’s disease, shingles, and diabetes.
These are just a few of the many diseases that cause this type of pain. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, then many types of cells in your body are destroyed, causing pain. This is why many cancer patients choose to use marijuana products.
Over-activating the CB1 receptors by using too much THC can eventually cause the effects to not work as well. Therefore, balancing CBD and THC may work better if you are planning on using medical marijuana for the long term.
It is often difficult to treat neuropathic pain because it is not caused by inflammation in the area. You cannot use an anti-inflammatory, non-steroid medication, such as ibuprofen, to treat the pain. However, whether you have neuropathic pain from chemotherapy, amputation, or disease, you might do well with cannabis. This substance is being used more often for pain both from cancer and that is not related to cancer. Both rodent and human studies are being done on treating this type of pain with cannabis.
Using cannabis that is rich in CBD can help you protect against pain from chemotherapy. It works this way by activating your serotonin receptors. An important thing to keep in mind is that CBD can be protective but is unlikely to impair how well the chemotherapy medication works. This could make it more promising than other pain treatments for those who have cancer.
Cannabis for Central Pain
The term “central pain” is a bit of a catch-all name for many forms of pain. This kind of pain comes from dysfunction in the nervous system. Sometimes, it can come from an injury. However, there is often no known cause for the pain. This means that it can be hard to treat the issue.
One example of this type of pain is fibromyalgia. This condition comes from a problem with the way that the pain signals travel to the brain to be processed. As with other forms of central pain, it is not yet known exactly what causes fibromyalgia.
There is a diverse array of central pain conditions. This means that few studies have investigated how cannabis can help reduce central pain. However, there have been some studies that examined cannabis use for fibromyalgia.
One study looked at 26 patients who had fibromyalgia. Each one had reported that cannabis helped them. Half of the patients in the study were able to stop taking other medications to treat their condition. This suggested to the researchers that cannabis may help with both fibromyalgia and other types of central pain conditions that doctors do not know the origin of.
Other Ways That Cannabis May Help
When you feel well, you are not as likely to focus on things that cause you pain. Being in a positive mood can cause you to shift your attention off of your own feelings. But it may also help to reduce how strong the pain signals are that enter your brain. You can think of it as being “mind over matter.” This can be a powerful way to try to reduce your feelings of pain in the beginning.
However, once you have taken cannabis for a while, it becomes more and more difficult to get the same feelings of positivity. This causes the pain-relieving effects to not work as well as they could. This may happen when your CB1 receptors become tolerant to the activation from the THC.
The good news is that CBD may help to mitigate the effects. So, you may want to consider using products that are balanced in both CBD and THC. This is especially true if you are looking for more of a long-term option to help treat your condition.
CBD may also be helpful for you. It could give you a mood boost by activating the receptors for serotonin. This has the effect of reducing both stress and anxiety. People who suffer from chronic pain often suffer from anxiety and depression. You may find that improving your mood is a valuable aspect of using a more balanced product.
Medical Cannabis Strain Options
There are several strains out there that could help reduce your pain.
Many people like the ACDC strain. It has a heavy concentration of CBD. The primary terpenes in it are caryophyllene, myrcene, and pinene. ACDC may help you find physical relief from your pain. It does not cause noticeable euphoria. That way, you can still stay focused, productive, and sharp, even when you are using this strain.
2. Blackberry Kush
If you are looking for something that has a little bit more THC in it, then consider Blackberry Kush. The dominant terpenes in this include limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene. This strain can put your mind in a more blissful, dreamy euphoria while possibly helping your body become more pain-free. It has sweet, berry-like flavors. You can easily have a new mindset with this strain and avoid aches and pains.
The primary terpenes in this strain are caryophyllene, pinene, and myrcene. It is fairly balanced when it comes to the THC and the CBD content. This could quiet down your pain while helping you avoid having a foggy mind. Harlequin is uplifting and helps you keep a clear head.
This sets the product apart from more intoxicating options that are heavier. If you need to try to relieve pain in the daytime, this could be a good choice for you.
4. The White
For a unique experience, consider The White, whose primary terpenes are limonene, caryophyllene, and myrcene. This hybrid is fairly prolific. One of its distinguishing characteristics is a thick coating consisting of a white crystal resin. It could have pain-relieving qualities. One reason for this may be because of its terpene profile. It has high levels of caryophyllene, plus plenty of cannabinoids.
5. Blueberry Headband
This type of hybrid is often known as being “cerebral.” This means that the effects can go to your head immediately. If you have a headache, then this type of strain might be a good choice for you. You will also get a berry flavor from this variety. There is not yet enough data to tell what the primary terpenes are. However, there have been enough studies done to show that it is THC-dominant.
6. CBD Critical Mass
If you want to have both CBD and THC, this is another great option for you. It may be able to chase away both inflammation and pain. If you only want to have slight euphoria with your pain relief, you may want to keep this strain around. The primary terpenes in it are pinene, caryophyllene, and myrcene.
7. Master Kush
This type of marijuana strain comes from early landraces in Afghanistan. This strain is popular among people who have severe pain. Caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene make up the primary terpenes in this THC-dominant product.
Master Kush is heavily potent, which you can see in its crystal trichomes. This could give your body a more soothing relief from pain. However, it can also help you feel less frustrated, which is a natural reaction to pain.
There are several types of pain that you might suffer from. However, no matter what your individual health condition is, you might be able to benefit from using one of the many marijuana strains available to you.