The Best Pain Reliever For You: CBD or THC?
How to access the very best pain reliever will depend on the type of pain you have and how dosing schedules fit into your daily life.
The best pain treatment for me means flying to San Jose, Costa Rica. From the airport, it’s a 3-4 hour transport to the base of the Volcano Arenal where there are natural hot springs oozing with minerals. It doesn’t matter what the pain is, a day’s dip in those hot springs always rearranges my perception of what healthy is. Sadly, I can’t afford to fly to Costa Rica every time I feel an ache or a pain. What I can do, however, is treat my pain with cannabis.
Of course, not everyone suffers from the same type of pain. Pain can be located in the nerves or the muscles, it can be as deep as the bones or as superficial as the skin. It can be felt all over or in just a single location. Pain can be manifested physically, emotionally, or both together. It’s a complicated state-of-being.
Cannabis as a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
Thankfully, cannabis is one of the best pain relieving medicines. Cannabis is particularly suited to treating pain that’s associated with inflammation. After all, CBD is a well-known anti-inflammatory.
A 2009 study that appeared in Future Medicinal Chemistry made this abundantly clear. In it, the authors outlined the extensive research showing how cannabinoids combat inflammation in the liver, induce apoptosis in tumor cells, and protect against the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. The paper elucidated the range of anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids and noted that cannabinoids combat inflammation in:
- The immune system;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Type 1 diabetes;
- And more
For pain associated with inflammation, cultivars with high amounts of CBD are recommended. Some popular varieties to consider include: ACDC, Harlequin, and CBD Critical Mass.
Non-Inflammatory Pain Can Be Treated With THC
Some ailments, however, don’t stem from inflammation. But for pain without inflammation, cannabis can be just as effective. In fact, a clinical review published in 2017 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research showed evidence suggesting that cannabis can not only help in instances of chronic pain but also reduce the number of opioids needed to treat that pain.
CBD doesn’t seem to be as responsive to non-inflammatory related pain. So, some patients prefer to find THC-heavy cultivars of cannabis for pain relief.
A few of the most common ways that people suffer from pain without inflammation include:
- Chronic pain from an injury;
- Nerve pain;
- Post-operation pain;
For general pain, many people prefer cannabis varieties like Blue Cheese, Amnesia Haze, Trainwreck, and Sour Diesel.
The Best Pain Relieving Techniques
Regardless of the source of the pain and the type of cannabis you’re using to treat it, there are a few ways to obtain maximum relief. First, establish a baseline threshold for pain. There are important questions to ask yourself, such as:
- Does it take one-puff on a vaporizer to ease the pain? Or three?
- Do you need an edible in the morning to ease the pain throughout the day?
- Which seems to be the best pain reliever: CBD heavy strains, or THC heavy?
- Could micro-dosing be the answer?
These types of questions are an important for establishing your dosing schedule. You can establish your Once baseline threshold for pain and use that to create a dosing schedule. While THC levels may need to adjust at some point, the CBD threshold seems to remain the same regardless of ingestion amounts over time.
For best results, a combination of tactics may be ideal. A salve or lotion can work locally while edibles give long-lasting relief. Then, a pocket-sized vaporizer for the occasional hit can offer continued pain management throughout the day. Whatever the routine, it’s highly individualistic. Your medical cannabis doctor can help you establish a personalized routine. Keep in mind, though, that it may take some trial and error before you find the sweet spot.
The important mantra for getting started is: Start low and go slow.