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Cannabis For Pain Relief: It’s as Easy as Finding the Right Strain

Emily Robertson
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From spinal injury pain to migraine, there is a strain out there specifically designed by Mother Nature to bring pain relief. Some work better than others so finding the right cannabis strain is key

One of the most popular uses of cannabis is pain relief. The pain that cannabis treats is varied – it could be pain from cancer treatments, chronic pain, pain from accidents, menstrual, headaches – you name it. But if you take cannabis, you know that the forms of consumption and different strains all produce different side effects. And sadly, physicians aren’t trained in recommending cannabis. Medical schools haven’t caught up with legalization yet, and certainly not physicians who got their degrees prior to medical cannabis becoming legal. So finding the right cannabis strain by yourself is important.

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So how do you know what works best for your pain? Your budtenders may be able to help you choose your strain based on your symptoms, as will a cannabis physician. Some people don’t have the luxury of competent help in this regard, so RxLeaf has compiled a starter list for strains that deal with tough pain.

Purple Arrow

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If you’re struggling with head pain – whether it’s a headache or a more intense migraine – check out Purple Arrow. Purple Arrow is a hybrid strain that provides headache relief without knocking you out. In fact, it’ll give you a bit of brightness and euphoria that you may be lacking when dealing with head pain.

Purple Arrow has minor sweetness, but also powerful earthy notes that focus on pine, and hints of spicy and herbal flavours. It’s a delightful strain to smoke.


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If you know pain relief cannabis, then you’re probably familiar with ACDC. This strain is well-known for its general pain relief because of its high CBD content – often around a 1:20 ratio (THC:CBD). ACDC is a sativa-dominant hybrid.

ACDC is going to make you feel nice and relaxed – so if your pain stems from anxiety, or if anxiety accompanies your pain, then it’ll also level you out a bit. Its scent and flavours range on the earthier side of things, with woody, particularly pine, notes. It’ll help you feel clear-headed and pain-free, like you’re taking a tranquil stroll through the forest.

Blue Widow

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If you’re struggling with arthritis or inflammation, Blue Widow is the strain for you. This cannabis strain is a hybrid of Blueberry and White Widow. Blue Widow offers anti-inflammatory treatment to relieve pain. It is indica-dominant, which means it provides calming effects that can help you sleep.

It has a vast selection of terpenes, including caryophyllene, which offers scent and flavour notes of pepper, spice, wood, and warming cloves. But don’t be deceived – these are not the only flavours of Blue Widow, which can offer quite sweet, citrusy aromas as well. Other flavours and scents include blueberry and berry generally.

Redwood Kush

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Redwood Kush can be a favourite among women because of its cramp-relieving properties. Menstrual cramps will be wiped off the board with this THC-rich indica strain or chemovar. However, keep in mind that this cannabis strain is particularly relaxing, so it’s best used at night. It definitely will help you sleep. Also great for post-work out if you’ve got muscle cramps and need a good night’s rest to heal.

Redwood Kush tastes as its name suggests – woody. It offers beautifully herbal pine and earthy profile. It fits the pattern of pain relief cannabis, and certainly lets you feel like you’re off in a woodland clearing to take you into dreamland.

Mazar I Sharif

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This strain is not for the novice. Mazar I Sharif is a strain with ancestry in some of the oldest landrace strains of Afghanistan. This indica is incredibly rich in CBD, but can certainly knock you back if you smoke a bit too much. It may have mild narcotic effects and will definitely induce couch-lock. So watch your dosage, especially if you don’t smoke often.

That said, because of its amazing relaxing effects, it’s perfect for spinal injury pain. This form of pain can be unbearable, and requires a bit of a stronger medicine. You’ll get earthy notes combined with hints of chemical flavouring and spicy or herbal undertones.

Did we miss your favourite strain? Share below!

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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