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Cannabis Strains for Pain Relief

Among the most common applications for medical cannabis is treating pain. Depending on the type of pain, degree of pain, and the patient’s individual biology, cannabis can be essential in the pain management toolkit. Scientific research backs this up, with the latest meta-review finding that the use of cannabinoids can help provide pain relief for those suffering from chronic pain and improve sleep quality and physical functioning[i].

Why use Cannabis for Pain Relief?

While doctors are happy and willing to prescribe various medications to relieve pain, many of the traditional forms of heavy painkillers come with drawbacks. Staples such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Paracetamol are relatively harmless. They could even be used in conjunction with cannabis – but other medications, particularly the more powerful ones such as NSAIDs and opioids, can cause more severe side effects including nausea, and heavy sedation.

These medicines can also lead to addiction[ii]. As a result, many more people are looking to cannabis as a potentially safer, natural painkiller, free from many chemicals and numerous negative side-effects associated with prescription pharmaceutical drugs.

How Cannabis Helps Relieve Pain

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis and binds to the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the brain, spinal cord, and immune cells. THC’s activation of these receptors is thought to be the route by which it helps regulate the body’s perception of and response to pain.

Recent research has shown that CBD, or cannabidiol, desensitises specific receptors, namely the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), involved in pain signalling. CBD also helps increase the body’s natural production of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which, like THC, regulates pain perception [iii].

Cannabis Strains to help with Pain Relief

Choosing the right strains for pain relief means navigating what at times seems like a minefield; there are so many options it can be overwhelming choosing the right one for you. Suppose you’re fortunate enough to have access to a medical cannabis dispensary in your area. In that case, this can certainly take the sting out of the task – you can consult with your doctor beforehand for advice and ask at your nearest dispensary for recommendations.

You may have to experiment with a few strains before finding the right one for you. It’s important to remember that everybody responds to cannabis a little differently, and in this way, it’s much the same as any other medication. However, what can make it easier is understanding strain types and what to expect in terms of effects.

Indica v Sativa for Pain Relief

Indica strains, and indica-dominant hybrids, typically offer a more relaxing, full-body effect (depending on THC content, naturally), which some people find particularly beneficial, especially in the case of chronic pain. Sativas, and sativa-dominant hybrids, are typically the opposite and tend to provide an effect that users describe as energising or invigorating. Therefore, these strains are ideal for daytime use, as they let you go about your business. The uplifting effect can also make for a fantastic antidote to the low mood, which often accompanies bouts of pain.

Different strains can help with different pains, but here are a few recommendations for strains that may help alleviate pain.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream from Seedsman is a sativa-dominant strain popular for its high yield and potent effect. Boasting a THC content of around 20%, Blue Dream is high in alpha-pinene, a monoterpene with therapeutic and medicinal benefits that include anti-inflammatory properties.

Blue Dream has a sweet taste of berry and light lemon, with sweet but spicy notes, and its effect is described as uplifting and cerebral, yet comfortable and relaxing. This would be a good daytime strain to try for medical use. Buy Blue Dream feminised seeds from Seedsman here.

Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a classic strain. Named in honour of the legendary cannabis crusader and activist and recognised as one of the top strains available. Another strain high in alpha-pinene has won multiple Cannabis Cup awards over the years and is often recommended for pain relief.

cannabis pain relief

This indica/sativa hybrid strain has high THC levels of around 20%, with a CBD content of about 0.12%. A reasonably fast-growing plant, Jack Herer produces high yields when grown indoors, producing around 800 gr/m2 in 8 weeks. The effect is a long-lasting physical one that soothes the body and head and is described as euphoric. Jack Herer seeds are available here.

Peyote Wi-Fi CBD 2:1

A cross between Peyote Purple, WiFi OG, and Seedsman CBD#2, this strain is a potent indica/sativa hybrid. She offers soothing relief with significantly reduced psychoactivity. So you’ll get the medical benefits without the debilitating high.

cannabis pain relief

Of the parent strains, WiFi OG is used by medical patients for many symptoms, including pain and anxiety. Peyote Wi-Fi CBD 2:1 features a CBD content of 12-14% and THC in the 6-8% region. Its medical marijuana genetics make it a good choice for pain relief. Get Seedsman’s Peyote Wi-Fi CBD 2:1 here.


With a name like Cannatonic, it should be no real surprise to see this strain by Resin Seeds is on our list. This was the first commercially-available high-CBD strain. It comes with a 1:1 ratio of THC: CBD. Making it a suitable pick for daytime use as it doesn’t carry a strong psychoactive effect. Cannatonic has several purported medicinal benefits, including pain relief, muscle spasms,, and migraines, to name but a few.

cannabis pain relief

Its dominant flavours are described as earthy and pine. A true medicinal strain, Cannatonic is a good choice as a pain-relieving option. Cannatonic seeds are available here.

Always check to ensure cannabis is legal in your area, and consult your doctor before beginning any new treatments.


[i]Wang L, Hong P J, May C, Rehman Y, Oparin Y, Hong C J et al. Medical cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic non-cancer and cancer related pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials  BMJ 2021; 374 :n1034  doi:10.1136/bmj.n1034

[ii]Benyamin R, Trescot AM, Datta S, Buenaventura R, Adlaka R, Sehgal N, Glaser SE, Vallejo R. Opioid complications and side effects. Pain Physician. 2008 Mar;11(2 Suppl):S105-20. PMID: 18443635.


Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

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