Cannabis for Pain Relief: Strains, Benefits and Usage

cannabis for pain relief

There’s a growing body of research showing the efficacy of medical cannabis for pain relief. But while many patients could benefit from cannabis, there’s still a lot to consider. For one, many people are often confused about which marijuana strains are the best for pain relief, which strains are best for specific conditions, what the potential benefits are of each strain, and how to best use medical cannabis for pain relief.

To that end, let’s take a look at medical cannabis for pain relief and how to identify which strain is appropriate for your treatment.

How Marijuana Assists with Pain Relief

So, how does marijuana help when it comes to pain relief?

As mentioned above, recent research shows that marijuana can be effective as a treatment for a variety of ailments, conditions, and illnesses.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids block receptors in the brain that cause inflammation and pain, which has made marijuana a great treatment for aliments such as:

While the currently available research isn’t totally conclusive, momentum is strongly building behind medical cannabis as a reliable pain treatment.

Marijuana Strains and Plant Types Available for Pain Relief

There are a variety of marijuana strains for pain relief, each providing different benefits for the patient. Let’s take a look at some of these strains and how they can benefit your healthcare regimen.

THC and CBD Strains

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two most well-known compounds in marijuana. While you can get strains with only one of the compounds or both, studies have shown that CBD and THC typically work best in tandem for treating pain symptoms. It’s also worth noting that CBD tends to have a mitigating effect on the “high” feeling that comes as a result of THC use.

Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Hybrids

Marijuana is typically sorted into three categories:

  • Indica
  • Sativa
  • Hybrid (a mixture of the two)

Anecdotal evidence claims that indica has a more calming effect compared to sativa and stimulates one’s appetite. Indica has, in limited studies, also been shown to be more effective at pain relief, but that’s disputable. Sativa is perceived to be more energizing and believed to increase focus.

What’s worth noting is the effect these strains will have on the user. Hybrids can be tricky and to understand the potential effects, you should research the strains that were used to create the hybrid.

While both plants have a slightly different physical appearance, in reality, there are very few differences between the two strains and little scientific evidence behind these perceived “effects.”

Benefits of Cannabis Strains in Treating Pain

Let’s now take a look at whether CBD or THC strains have shown to be more effective at treating pain.

CBD does not directly bind to the receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it works to modulate the effects of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids naturally found within the body). By contrast, THC is best used for central and neuropathic pain. It has also been found in some studies to help mitigate pain from AIDS, cancer, and fibromyalgia.

How to Use Cannabis for Pain Relief

So, we know that there’s a strong collection of evidence that shows cannabis for pain relief is effective. But now we need to look at the different methods of marijuana consumption and how that can impact your treatment.


Inhaling is the traditional method of consumption that allows marijuana’s active compounds to be more readily absorbed. This in turn can decrease the central nervous system response to pain sensations.


Edibles can have a similar effect to inhalation, albeit slower and less predictable. Here, the active compounds must travel the digestive tract, delaying the onset of the effects. This can at times lead to the overconsumption of edibles due to that delay.

Tinctures and Oils

While also taken orally, tinctures and oils are different from edibles in that they’re absorbed faster. That’s because they can enter the bloodstream immediately rather than having to bypass the digestive tract. This represents a sweet spot for those who want fast-acting relief but are wary of smoking. 

Applying Topicals

Topical treatments are meant for localized pain and inflammation. Because they are absorbed through the skin and as a spot treatment you will not feel high.

Cannabis Side Effects to Consider before Using It for Pain Relief

There are a number of possible side effects that patients ought to be aware of before engaging in their medical marijuana treatment.

Potential dependence, breathing problems from smoking, irregular heart rate, slowed reaction times, memory issues, loss of concentration, and complications with other medications are all potential issues.

Medical Marijuana Consulting Services in Canada

If you’re seeking medical cannabis for pain relief, then you can benefit from a free consultation with Medical Marijuana Consulting (MMC).

We are one of the most trusted names in medical marijuana consulting. MMC helps patients across the country access medical professionals with deep expertise on medical marijuana. Benefit from a team of physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners that can provide a prescription, help connect you with coverage for your prescription costs (if eligible), refer you to a licensed producer, and help you apply for the ACMPR license.

At MMC, our goal is to ensure everyone who can benefit from medical marijuana treatment is able to access it. Join our Ambassador Program and receive $15 for every person you refer to MMC that becomes a patient.

To learn more about Medical Marijuana Consulting and how you can secure a prescription as part of your personalized medical cannabis treatment plan, book a consultation online, contact us at 844-312-5143, or email us at

Ready for your medical cannabis prescription?