Cannabis has been used for pain relief for centuries. Since California’s Prop 215 kicked off the widespread legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational use, it has quickly become a popular regulator of pain and wellness. With the recent revelations about the dangers of prescription opioids and painkillers, a growing number of people are turning to cannabis for chronic pain.
How Does Cannabis Work for Pain?
There are multiple randomized, controlled clinical trials that show cannabis as an effective treatment for pain, though the federal government has historically obstructed research into the effects of cannabis. Recent cannabis studies have shown promising results for patients suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, stress, and sleeping disorders, along with a host of other benefits.
Cannabis has more than 100 phytocannabinoids that work together, which contribute to a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” The complex relationship between phytocannabinoids that interact with the human body and affects homeostasis. The phenomenon known as homeostasis is the ongoing maintenance of the human body’s internal, physical, and chemical conditions, which contribute to the body’s biological balance and optimal functioning. Emerging science regarding the endocannabinoid system has resulted in groundbreaking insights into the science of cannabis, as well as human biology.
Cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system bind with the cannabinoids from your smoke, tincture, or edible. These cannabinoids can act as a pain inhibitor, blocking peripheral receptors from adding to the strength of the pain signal and decreasing the stress response from within our bodies. In other words, cannabis can help our bodies regulate their homeostasis, pain and stress responses.
What You Need to Know Before You Begin Your Pain Relief Journey
It is important to note that cannabis is an intoxicant and should be taken responsibly. Before you start using cannabis for pain, look into the possible effects and experiences regarding cannabis. Be sure to consume cannabis in a comfortable setting and with people you trust, especially if it is your >first time.
Read as much as you can about the cultivars (often referred to as “strains”), and determine which type of cultivar would best deliver your intended effect. Different cultivars have different effects on the body and mind, and not everyone experiences them in the same way. The process of finding the right cultivar and delivery method for you can be a process of trial and error. You should always start with a low dose, and consider tracking how you feel after consuming. An easy way to do this is by downloading the Happy Valley Insider mobile app
Also, ask a physician or an informed cannabis expert before mixing cannabis with any medication
How to Use Cannabis for Pain Relief
There are several ways to take cannabis for pain. You will likely need to experiment to find the method of consumption that works the best for you.
Cannabis can be smoked, vaped, dabbed, consumed through edibles, tinctures, pills, or concentrates. Additionally, cannabis applied topically (on your skin) as a salve. Differing cannabis genetics make it possible for varied effects, such as a stimulant, depressant, or a myriad of experiences in-between. To help track which method of delivery, dosage, and cultivar works best for your symptoms, it can be helpful to record your experiences in a journal.
A personal journal of experiences lets you record the product type, consumption method, how long it lasted, your dosage, what activity you performed while feeling the effects, notable experiences, and other qualities that contribute to your cannabis experience. The journal is a great tool for honing in on the perfect strain and consumption method for you, through a process of trial and error.
We’ve written several articles on how to consume each form of cannabis, which can be found here
- How to Use a Dab Rig
- How to Use Cannabis Oils
- How to Use Concentrates
- How to Smoke a Pipe
- User’s Guide to Cannabis Edibles
When working cannabis into your wellness regimen for the first time, it is important to take it slow, under the guidance of your doctor or an expert at the dispensary. If you accidentally overdo it the first time, know that there is no evidence that cannabis causes lasting effects, and that you will return to your natural state in a matter of minutes. If you find yourself feeling anxious, it’s good to know how to come down from a high.
Best Cannabis Strains for Pain
With so many cultivars to choose from, finding the right one on your own can be a fun, yet time-consuming task. To save time and focus your search, we’ve provided a list of the best strains for pain relief:
- ACDC: High in CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, low in THC. Terpene profile: myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene. Great for focus.
- Harlequin: High in CBD, low in THC. Terpene profile: myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene. Great for daytime use.
- Jack Herer: High in THC, low in CBD. Terpene profile: terpinolene, caryophyllene, pinene. Great for energy.
- Cannatonic: High in CBD, moderately low in THC. Terpene profile: myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene. Great for a wide variety of psychological and physiological symptoms.
- Master Kush: High in THC (~20%), low in CBD. Terpene profile: caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene. Great for full-body relaxation and stress relief.
Don’t Wait, Get Relief From Chronic Pain Today
Chronic pain can take both a mental and physical toll, leading many to seek different forms of relief, be it gentle stretching, mindfulness, or introducing cannabis into a regular routine. If you’re suffering from chronic pain or want to improve your overall quality of life, take the first step to wellness by introducing the pain-regulating properties of cannabis to your routine.
If you’re looking for expert advice on cannabis consumption methods, cultivar selection, and other information, consider Happy Valley. Our experienced Happy Valley Hosts would be happy to help you manage your chronic pain. For more information, enter your email below and become a Happy Valley Insider.