The 5 Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Muscle Pain
Certain cannabis strains are said to be particularly effective for relieving muscle pain, be it pain from an unresolved musculoskeletal injury, overexertion, or inflammation that hasn’t been resolved with first-line treatments like physical therapy or acupuncture.
If you’re looking for the best medical marijuana strain for muscle pain, consumers note that indica strains are usually more effective than sativas (although there are some great sativas for pain). Strains that are rich in the terpenes myrcene, linalool, and humulene are also considered to be beneficial.
5 Strains for Muscle Pain
If you’re looking to relieve muscle pain, the following five strains are an excellent place to start. Please note that everybody's body responds slightly differently to cannabis, so you might need to try a few strains until you find the best strain for muscle pain. And no matter how little THC a strain might have, never consume cannabis before working, driving a vehicle, or operating heavy machinery.
ACDC is a popular medical strain because it's low in THC (read: unlikely to get you high) and helpful for a wide range of ailments. This strain typically has CBD levels between 12% and 19% and 1-5% THC and is rich in the anti-inflammatory terpene myrcene.
A sativa-leaning hybrid, ACDC is ideal for pain relief during the day when you need to stay focused and awake and don't want a strain that will put you to sleep. If you need effective pain relief for an injury that will allow you to get up and get a few things done, ACDC could be ideal.
Harlequin is another high-CBD strain that's said to relieve pain from physical injuries and arthritis, as well as central pain (generalized pain not resulting from a physical injury). Together with ACDC, Harlequin is also one of the best cannabis strains for migraines.
Thanks to its unique properties—around 10% CBD, 7-15% THC, and a high percentage of myrcene—Harlequin offers strong anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing effects with only a mild cerebral buzz. This strain is also a sativa, so it's perfect for pain relief during the day when you need to stay focused and productive.
3. White Widow
White Widow is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain that comes with approximately 18-25% THC, so it does have notable intoxicating effects. However, while consumers say that White Widow is powerful in terms of its pain-relieving properties, this strain is less likely to glue you to the couch than indicas like Gorilla Glue and Granddaddy Purple.
If you suffer from muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety, or all three, White Widow could be an excellent choice. Alongside THC, this strain is high in myrcene and cannabinol (CBN). Myrcene appears to potentiate the pain-relieving effects of cannabis, and cannabinol might help with sleep, pain, and appetite. In addition to pain relief, White Widow is said to bring on feelings of euphoria, which could give you the lift and motivation you need for a productive day.
If muscle pain or tension headaches are keeping you awake at night, Blueberry could soon become your best friend. This indica-dominant hybrid strain contains around 16-24% THC and 1% CBN and is high in myrcene. Blueberry is reported to be relaxing, calming, and a great sedative.
If you want a cannabis strain with a long track record, it doesn't get much better than Blueberry. This strain has been around for around 50 years and won the “Best Indica” award at the 2000 High Times Cannabis Cup. While Blueberry is perfect for consuming in the evening, we don't recommend it for daytime use as it could put you to sleep.
5. Northern Lights
Northern Lights is an indica strain with around 18% THC and high concentrations of myrcene. This strain is known for its euphoric, relaxing, and pain-relieving effects. Since its creation from Afghani landrace strains, Northern Lights has won multiple awards, so it's a must-try strain for anyone who struggles with chronic pain.
Like Blueberry, Northern Lights is highly sedating, so it's a great strain to consume a couple of hours before bed. If you have enough of it, expect strong sensations of couch lock. Before you know it, it'll be lights out for pain and lights out for you!
Strains for Other Kinds of Chronic Pain
Musculoskeletal pain—a kind of nociceptive pain (pain from a physical injury)—is the leading contributor to disability worldwide. Lower back pain specifically is the number one cause of disability in 160 countries.
However, while muscle pain is so widespread, it's not the only cause of chronic pain—defined as pain lasting for longer than three months. There are two other types of pain that affect people on a daily basis, and that may be present on their own or in addition to muscle pain:
Neuropathic pain (nerve pain) - radiating pain caused by damaged or pinched nerves, common with diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, HIV, diabetes, and shingles. Afghan Kush is a great strain for neuropathic pain.
Central pain - nonspecific pain that occurs due to a dysfunctional nervous system that triggers a pain response in the brain, such as the pain experienced with fibromyalgia. If you experience central pain, try Blueberry, Harlequin, or Sour Diesel.
In Arizona, as in many states, chronic pain is the most often cited ailment that brings people to our clinic for an in-person or telemedicine MMJ appointment—whether that pain is muscular, neuropathic, or central. The good news is that cannabis can help with all three types of pain.
Find Your Perfect Strain for Muscle Pain
Chronic pain affects millions of people in the United States and around the world, and many have been able to treat pain effectively and relatively safely with cannabis.
If you're desperate for chronic pain relief, these marijuana strains for pain are rich in cannabinoids and terpenes that have helped many people before. Hopefully, one or more of these strains will also help you.