Of the many therapeutic benefits of cannabis, pain relief is among the most popular. Whether you’re experiencing menstrual cramps, muscle aches, or discomfort related to more serious illnesses like cancer, fibromyalgia, or broken bones, medical marijuana can be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical pain relief medications.
However, with the various types of pain and the variety of cannabis strains and products on the market, it can be difficult to figure out how to effectively use cannabis to treat your discomfort.
For pain relief, minus the high, go for a tincture or topical
To apply the cannabis medicine straight to where it hurts, without getting high, opt for a tincture or topical. Be generous in rubbing the salve directly into your skin. Some products will have an immediate effect, causing you to feel a tingling sensation, while others provide more mellow relief. Also investigate what kind of cannabinoid ratio will best treat your ailment. If you’re dealing with inflammation for instance, try a topical with a high ratio of CBD, as CBD is a known anti-inflammatory.
Interrogate your bud tender
If you’re going to smoke flower to treat your pain, ensure that you are smoking the right strain — likely an indica or a hybrid, which may provide a stronger physical sensation than headier sativa strains. Oftentimes, cannabis will give you a bird’s eye view of your pain, allowing you to feel and notice it differently from a more removed perspective — it can take you out of your pain. A strain like Blue Widow is said to be good for arthritis, while Redwood Kush might help with cramps, and Blackberry Kush with generalized pain.
Can’t keep up with strain names? Try a simple dose pen
Especially for the novice cannabis consumer, it can be hard to tell your indica from sativa, let alone Redwood Kush from Blackberry Kush. However, many vaporizer and even flower brands have come to start naming their products after experiences, instead of for their esoteric strain names. For example, “relief” by dosist is made specifically for pain and inflammation relief with a 2:1 THC-CBD formula.
For strong, yet non-immediate relief, try an edible
Edibles won’t get rid of your headache on the spot, but if you gear up to sit back for at least a few hours and let the cannabinoids travel through your digestive tract and throughout your body, you’ll experience palpable pain relief for a potentially more prolonged period than smoking or vaping. Edible relief is power and long lasting, so be sure that you also choose a product that will provide a manageable head high that won’t detract from your pain relief and relaxation.
It’s difficult to tell how any product, strain, cannabinoid ratio, terpene ratio, or formula will effect you. When treating pain, some may not mind a head high, while others would prefer less of a psychoactive experience. If you’re a medical marijuana patient, ask your recommending doctor what they suggest for your specific condition. Once you get your hands on a particular product, go slow in testing it out. Try small amounts in a hour to two hour increments so you can know how it affects you and can gauge how higher doses might mitigate your pain.