Medical Cannabis To Help Treat Chronic Pain:
Strains, Dosage, and Forms
Medical Cannabis To Help Treat Chronic Pain: Strains, Dosage, and Forms – Many people suffering from chronic pain would like to try medical cannabis, but don’t know where to start. Check out this guide on strains, dosage, and mediums chronic pain patients can use to get relief.
It’s estimated that more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, or acute pain that lasts longer than a period of 12 weeks. Of these Americans, more than half live in states where medical cannabis has been legalized. This means that a large amount of chronic pain sufferers can utilize medical cannabis’ pain killing attributes. However, there are a lot of options when it comes to remedying chronic pain with medical cannabis, and the beginner patient may be confused and unsure where to begin. Check out this guide to learn all about what strains, doses, and mediums are right for chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Strain
Sativa or Indica?
The first thing any chronic pain patient should learn about medical cannabis are the two forms cannabis takes, Sativa and Indica. Both relieve pain and inflammation, but in different ways. For instance, cannabis Sativa, when ingested, creates a stimulating, euphoric head rush. This head rush and euphoric feeling distract and downplay the patient’s pain symptoms. Sativa dominant strains are cerebral, or head focused.
Indicas, on the other hand, have full body effects, which in turn lead to a heavily sedated, “couch lock” or stoney effect. This stoney effect masks any pain symptoms in the body, which make Indica a favorite amongst patients suffering from intense chronic pain.
You have to decide, as a chronic pain patient, what cannabis strategy will be most effective to curb your pain. If you suffer from neuropathic pain, like that of fibromyalgia, an invigorating sativa may be just what you need to get your mind off of it. If you suffer from chronic arthritic pain, you may want to rely instead on the sedative effects of a heavy indica strain. If you want a bit of both, hybrid strains are available to give double sided relief.
THC VS CBD
Cannabis has many active ingredients, or cannabinoids, that together make up cannabis’ effects. There are a multitude of cannabinoids, but for our purposes you should familiarize yourself with these main two. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, can be thought of as the feel good component to cannabis. THC creates the euphoric feeling that distract or mask pain symptoms. Just like those who suffer from slight pain may take an ibuprofen, those with chronic pain may use cannabis for the benefits THC offers with regard to pain management. Sativa strains tend to have higher level of THC.
CBD does a lot of similar things to THC, but it doesn’t produce a euphoric, or psychoactive effect. Instead of distracting the patient from pain, CBD rich strains actively fight pain. CBD, CBG, and CBC are all cannabinoids that lower bodily inflammation and offer analgesic qualities. CBD dominant strains are helpful to those who don’t want to be incapacitated when medicating their pain, especially if their pain persists throughout their workday. Indica strains have been found to have less THC, but more overall cannabinoids like CBD, helping them combat pain head on.
Below are some highlighted strains offered by Theory Wellness that have powerful pain killing properties. A general tip to follow when discerning Indica Vs. is that any strain called a “kush” is an indica, and any strain called a “haze” is a Sativa.
This indica sativa hybrid can be a great help for patients suffering from chronic pain due to its high percentage (1%) of CBG, a non psychoactive cannabinoid that has anti inflammatory effects. Black Raspberry gets its high THC content, 21%, from its Sativa parent Wookie, and this means it offers pain management as well as direct pain relief. These sativa qualities lend toward an invigorating, positive mood following medication.
Cookies and Cream
Cookies and Cream is a balanced hybrid that can be used in a versatile way. If you want to take advantage of its Indica side, use a large dose to get lasting pain relief and sedative effect. If you want to get some of the pain reduction benefits but still have a clear head, use a smaller dose to maximize its Sativa qualities.
A Note on Dosage
Some of the hardest info to get your hands on can be cannabis dosing. Cannabis dosing is an abstract, not easily fleshed out concept, so it can be confusing and worrisome for the first time patient. How will I know this is enough? Sadly, the best answer I can give you is personal trial and error. When you ingest medical cannabis, like any other substance, your brain builds up a tolerance toward its effects. Therefore, each patient’s right dose depends on their tolerance, which can’t be tested without trial and error. Speak with dispensary staff wherever you go to get your medicine to help determine what dosage will be right for you. Be sure to tell them your history with cannabis, to give them a better sense of your tolerance level.
Chronic Pain Mediums
You may want to look through a rundown of the many ways you can ingest cannabis, because there are a lot. In general, however, pain relief can come directly from smoking cannabis flower, dabbing cannabis extracts, or consuming cannabis infusions, or edibles. Your preference of medium will come down to when you want to feel cannabis’ effects, how much or many of the effects you want, and whether you need the effects to persist for a long period or occur during certain intervals.
Smoking, the tried and true method, is useful if you want pain relief when pain happens. Because smoking provides near immediate relief you can wait until relief is needed and smoke then. Dabbs are more concentrated forms of cannabis, so you need to consume less to achieve greater benefits, which can make it useful for someone strapped for time but still in need of relief. Edibles, however, take the longest amount of time to take effect, but last the longest. Those who suffer from pain relief throughout the night may choose to eat an edible to have long lasting relief.
Medical cannabis has only just begun to be readily available to the large amount of Americans who suffer from chronic pain. This information can be very useful to anyone you know suffering from chronic pain, so please share this article and comment below!
Medical Cannabis To Help Treat Chronic Pain: Strains, Dosage, and Forms