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Cannabis for Self-Care: The Best Strains for Pain

Pain is the #1 reason people turn to medical cannabis in the first place, and a number of clinical studies have demonstrated the cannabis plant’s potential to help us fight several types of pain.

But that leaves us with a sticky question: With so many different types of cannabis out there, what are the best strains for pain? We’ll get you pointed in the right direction by sharing some information about how cannabis helps us fight pain as well as giving you specific strain recommendations.

Best Strains for Pain: How Cannabis Fights Pain

Just like there’s not just one kind of weed, there’s not just one kind of pain. The three main types are:

  • Nociceptive Pain: The easiest type to understand, nociceptive pain results from a physical injury; it’s often treated with anti-inflammatory medications
  • Neuropathic Pain: This can be caused by an injury, but is specific to an injury to a nerve; anti-inflammatory medications aren’t usually effective
  • Central Pain: Sometimes called the “mystery pain,” central pain arises without a physical injury. Fibromyalgia is one well-known example.

The good news is that cannabis has the potential to treat all three types of pain, in different ways.

Best Strains for Pain: Nociceptive Pain

For nociceptive pain, cannabis’ well-documented anti-inflammatory effects are typically quite effective. Both major cannabinoids THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties, and both fight pain in different ways; that’s one reason that the best strains for pain often contain a healthy proportion of both.

As we’ve written before, though, those cannabinoids aren’t the only thing fighting inflammation and pain. Many terpenes elicit analgesic (pain-fighting) and anti-inflammatory responses in the body; now it appears that some members of the largely under-researched class of compounds called flavonoids have powerful anti-inflammatory effects as well. Two of the best strains for nociceptive pain include:

Best Strains for Pain 1


With an extremely CBD-heavy cannabinoid ratio, this powerhouse strain produces few if any intoxicating effects. It helps many patients treat pain, anxiety and more with a clear head.

White Widow

This high-THC strain has an optimal amount of CBD as a buffer (1-4%) to mitigate some of its effects. Fans love its daytime or nighttime versatility and ability to tame pain.

Best Strains for Pain: Neuropathic Pain

THC is useful in alleviating the experience of this pain by stimulating our CB1 receptors to provide some mild euphoria. And while some researchers warn of a lack of definitive proof, a 2012 study showed that CBD can be effective against some forms of neuropathic pain. Two of the best strains for neuropathic pain include:

Best Strains for Pain 2

CBD Sour Cyclone

At a nearly medically ideal 2:1 CBD to THC ratio, this is another versatile strain for pain. Given it’s ratio, you’ll feel few psychoactive effects; many fall in love with its earthy, sweet and sour flavor.


A versatile strain that’s equally appropriate for daytime or nighttime use, Shurman tends to quiet your nerves and anxiety while boosting motivation and focus.

Best Strains for Pain: Central Pain

Because the theory of central pain is still so new, there are many open questions regarding this mysterious family of afflictions. For many years, many physicians didn’t believe fibromyalgia was a “real” condition. Obviously, this makes finding a treatment especially difficult. That said, in one study on 26 fibromyalgia patients, every patient found that cannabis improved their condition; half of them stopped taking other medications in favor of cannabis. Two of the best strains for central pain include:

Best Strains for Pain 3

CBD Critical Mass

Touted as being effective in treating inflammation, muscle pain, muscle spasms, and stress. Not only is it hugely medicinal, with its earthy, woody, and sweet flavors, it’s delicious, happy and uplifting


Perhaps the most popular high-CBD strain in North America, Harlequin treats anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, PMS and cramps, among others. It’s often described as bringing clear-headed and uplifting effects.

If you’re looking to fight pain, check out our online menu to place an order. We’ll let you know when it’s ready.

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