Pain is a subjective feeling – some people can withstand a ton of it, going through things like labor and kidney stones without the use of drugs, while others skip work because they got a papercut. That makes it hard to explain and define: sometimes it’s a little thing and sometimes it’s a lot.
However, the International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as: “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.”
Most pain is temporary – a child skins his knee and is fine a few moments later – but some pain sticks around. In fact, chronic pain is quite prevalent – as many as 20 percent of Americans suffer from it.
The back and the neck are some of the most common body parts affected by pain
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is predicted to increase in our society. Science is developing ways to deal with pain so that helps eliminate some of it, but people are living longer too. Pain develops with age – you can fall down the stairs when you’re a teenager without much ado but fall in your elderly years and things grow much more serious. This makes it inevitable: as the lifespan increases, so will discomfort – when we’re all 100 years old, our hips will ache each time we walk to the front door to tell the neighborhood kids to get off our lawn.
Some people have medical conditions that cause pain. Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, or Fibromyalgia, for instance. Other people have old and new injuries that continue to ache even as the years march on.
One type of pain is nociceptive, which means it’s cause by tissue damage or inflammation. This pain is usually more acute, described as throbbing or sharp. The other type of pain is neuropathic, meaning it’s caused by damage to the nervous system. This pain is usually described as numbing or burning.
People do different things to manage their pain – some take over the counter medicines, but others don’t find relief without opiates. Some people turn to massage or baths. And some people try acupuncture and other types of therapies.
Marijuana is an option too – chronic pain is one of the most common conditions that warrants the issuance of a medical marijuana card. In fairness, one of the reasons for this is that pain is something that can’t be disproven – if you say you’re in pain, no one can say – without a doubt – that you’re not. But the main reason for this is that cannabis does indeed help ease pain and it does it without the dangers or side effects of narcotics.
Why Cannabis Works for Pain
Mary Jane is your pain reliever for several reasons. And they all have to do with the endocannabinoid system. The receptors in the endocannabinoid system help control pain by providing anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. But how effective is this pain control?
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the benefits of cannabis are under studied – most studies regarding it are done to try to prove that it’s problematic rather than beneficial. For this reason, a lot of the evidence surrounding cannabis as a pain reliever is anecdotal. Yet science backs it too.
More than 200 studies have been conducted elevating marijuana for pain relief, chronic pain in particular
They’ve had varied results, but the most comprehensive study found that there is high evidence of cannabis’s usefulness in those experiencing chronic pain.
But, evidence aside, it really comes down to what works for the pain sufferer. Cannabis may not be the answer or it might. Or it may be a supplemental option. People who are in pain will try anything to get out of it: if cannabis works for them, then weed is their remedy.
5 Strains for Pain
Still, not all strains work on pain equally. A few of the ones most noted for relief include:
Thai-Tanic: This is a sativa dominant hybrid that makes users feel happy, warm, and content. It doesn’t compromise lucidity but instead offers creative stimulation, helping you think up things you might not have otherwise. It can be used in the morning and may help with managing stress and anxiety. It helps reduce pain too.
Sour Cream: If you’re like me, your taste for real sour cream was ruined as a child when you mistook it for Cool Whip, but this sour cream offers more universal appeal. The high from this strain starts out as a tingle before it goes into full on muscular relaxation and sedation. But it won’t knock you out entirely, making it a good choice if you want the pain to go away without your mind.
This strain is also a solid option if you’re prone to panic – it’s not known to cause the jitters
Millennium: An Indica-dominant strain, Millennium offers different effects for different people. Some report an energizing impact, with an ability to make the smoker get up and go. Others say it induces laziness, with an ability to make the smoker get up and go get a throw pillow. But most people report a boost in creative juices. Medically, this strain is also variable – the body stone helps provide relief for all kinds of ailments that produce pain, including inflammation, PMS, muscle spasms, and migraines. It helps ease eating disorders too.
Ogre Kush: Ogre Kush has a great deal of potency and tends to provide users with the classic “stoned” feeling. It’s great for pain relief because it numbs the body while leaving the user happy and uplifted. Most people report feeling extremely lazy, so much so that Ogre Kush could easily be Ogre Kushion – there’s a lot of couches involved. Thus, this strain is one that shouldn’t be used during daytime or functioning hours.
Medicine Man: Medicine Man produces a large amount of THC, which is helping boost its popularity among people who want the cannabinoids for the health benefits. It offers classic indica effects that are strong and lasting, but not so much that it knocks you out entirely (though it may for new users). The sedative and numbing effects are useful for anyone dealing with chronic pain, but they induce lethargy too. Don’t smoke this strain before you run a marathon.