The 5 Top Cannabis Strains for Neuropathy
Neuropathy is one of the most painful, unpleasant, and frustrating conditions, and it affects hundreds of millions of people each year. With unending, frustrating pain and no real solution, neuropathic pain sufferers likely feel like the entire world has abandoned them.
Some people have turned to marijuana to try and ease the pain, but the trouble lies in finding the right strains for what they need.
But what is neuropathic pain, and how can cannabis help you? And for that matter, what strains should you choose?
What Is Neuropathic Pain?
The real trouble with finding something to help neuropathic pain is that so few people really understand what it is.
Neuropathy is best described as a sensation of tingling, numbing, or general discomfort in your body that doesn’t appear to have a specific cause.
Your nerve cells send pain signals to your brain without any real reason, resulting in aconfusing bodily sensation wherein you expect to feel pain without a source. Imagine the burning sensation of touching a hot stove, but knowing that you didn’t touch the stove at all.
So what causes neuropathy?
What Causes Neuropathic Pain?
The precise causes of neuropathic pain are not well understood. In many cases, it seems to happen without reason.
However, there are several risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing neuropathy. We know that diabetes likely increases your chances of developing neuropathy, as a high concentration of blood sugar can damage your nerves. However, there are other reasons why you can develop neuropathy, many of which are out of your control.
Issues with your heart, kidneys, or even your lungs can result in neuropathic pain, all without a real cure in sight.
Neuropathic Pain Symptoms
Neuropathic pain is definitely different to regular pain, but the precise differences are hard to pinpoint.
Most sufferers would describe the main symptoms as a noticeable tingle along your extremities. Feelings of pain and irritation around your fingers, toes, arms, and legs are especially common. This can vary from vague sensations of tingling, all the way to the real pain that comes and goes without reason.
Best Cannabis Strain for Neuropathy
To try and make neuropathy easier, you could try one of the many marijuana strains that are available out there, in an effort to try and minimize the pain. However, trying to find the best strain for neuropathy can be pretty difficult.
There are lots of different options, but the best marijuana strains for neuropathy are typically ones that are rich in CBD, though this isn’t always the case.
It’s vital to note that there is no evidence cannabis can cure neuropathy. Anecdotal reports suggest that some strains can reduce symptoms of pain. However, you should still take the advice of your physician when it comes to treating neuropathy, and not rely on marijuana.
#1 – Blue Dream
The Blue Dream strain is an interesting hybrid from California and one that leans especially towards the sativa end of the spectrum.
With surprisingly high levels of THC, this strain offers up an incredibly cerebral and dreamlike high that can leave you too exhausted to think about anything other than relaxing it.
While this strain doesn’t have an especially high CBD content – only containing around 1-2% cannabinoids that aren’t THC – it’s still an excellent strain to help you deal with your problems.
Blue Dream is excellent at helping suppress feelings of pain and physical irritation thanks to its trippy, super THC laden effects. This is why some people keep some Blue Dream on hand when struggling with issues like neuropathy, as it can help distract you from the pain.
#2 – Jack Herer
The main benefit of the Jack Herer strain is the clear headed high. This kind of crystalline, pure, and hazy high is perfect for suppressing physical pain while still letting you carry on with your day.
A nearly balanced hybrid, this strain offers up all kinds of fruity and citrus flavors, making it not only physically pleasant, but delicious as well.
Many neuropathy sufferers use this strain, as it can distract you from the physical distress that the condition can cause. Instead of feeling down in the dumps about your painful condition, Jack Herer is great at filling you with newfound energy and leaving you feeling better.
It is also an extremely social strain, making it great for encouraging you to engage more with your friends. When someone suffers from an irritating and stressful condition like neuropathy, it’s easy to let social connections and conversations fall by the wayside.
Jack Herer gives you the social energy and focus to go out, meet some people, and enjoy yourself, all while putting the pain of your condition at the back of your mind.
#3 – Harlequin
The Harlequin strain is perhaps one of the most well-known CBD strains out there, frequently used to help all kinds of problematic conditions.
With an incredibly high CBD quantity of around 12% and up to 15% in some samples, this strain is a great option for those who want to try and relieve a myriad of problems arising from neuropathic pain. Some people even use it to try and help their epilepsy.
Alongside its CBD effects, it lends a very gentle high that leaves you feeling remarkably light, as if you could float off the ground. However, your head will remain clear, and you will feel able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
This is only aided by the increase in productivity and creativity you will feel, giving you that little push you need to get going and accomplish something with your day.
Harlequin also has an incredibly tasty flavor; it’s somehow both fruity and woody all at the same time. There is a subtle creaminess that permeates your mouth after you first inhale a mouthful of smoke, and this sensation and flavor stay with you long after you’ve finished enjoying Harlequin.
This is one of the best strains for helping to distract you from your neuropathic pain, as it encourages you to focus your attention on other projects and not think about or focus on your neuropathic pain.
#4 – White Widow
The White Widow strain is perhaps the most popular and well known marijuana strain out there. White Widow is commonly the first marijuana strain that most people try, so it makes sense that so many people turn to it to try and help them with neuropathy.
The thing that makes this strain so excellent is its monstrously high THC levels. Topping out at around 25%, this strain is easily one of the strongest in the world.
The high from White Widow leaves you feeling revitalized, yet somehow still super chilled out and relaxed. This strange mix of sensations makes it perfect for getting you through uncomfortable pains.
Not only will it make your pain feel like less of a problem, but you will also feel relaxed and calm, as well as positive and excited about the world around you.
Even better, it doesn’t really cause any tiredness, like so many other strong indica strains, so it’s perfect for daytime use.
It is an incredibly well-balanced strain and helps make those suffering from neuropathy feel like their problem is a thing of the past.
The only potential problem with it is that it is easy to accidentally smoke too much White Widow at once, potentially bringing on some pretty strong feelings of anxiety or paranoia. The best way to avoid this is to go low and slow.
#5 – ACDC
ACDC is, as its band namesake, an excellent strain to drown out the irritations of the world.
ACDC is primarily a CBD strain, though it does possess enough THC to give you a very gentle buzz alongside its CBD effects. Bred from a blend of CBD-rich strains, ACDC is all about giving you a big burst of happiness, relaxation, and a general feeling of wellbeing.
Many people report feeling increasingly social after trying this strain, as well as just generally finding life a bit easier to get through.
The taste is also really interesting. Replete with aromas of earth and vague sweetness, this strain tastes like a good time. It leaves your tongue tingling and your brain aching for more, but you will quickly find your arms are too relaxed and happy to bother getting up to fetch it.
ACDC is a fantastic strain for those with neuropathy, as it can help your body to feel relaxed and forget about the tingling episodes of neuropathic pain.
With complete relaxation and an incredibly smooth and barely perceptible high, ACDC is the strain you want when you are looking to make your neuropathy better, but don’t want to deal with an intense high.
Though it isn’t as popular as it once was, many big dispensaries will still keep a handy stock of ACDC, for those who want to revisit a classic, high CBD strain.
Final Thoughts on the Best Strains for Neuropathy
Trying to find a solution for neuropathy feels pretty much impossible for most people. Nothing seems to work effectively, and your body is seemingly unable to work with any drug or treatment to make it go away.
For many people, the only thing that is close to a solution is to enjoy some great marijuana strains. While they won’t cure you of your condition, they can help soothe your body and make the pain easier.
While complete removal of the pain would be preferable, marijuana strains designed to help conditions like neuropathy often make people’s day much more bearable. So, if you are struggling with neuropathy and find that you don’t know what to do to make it better, consider heading to your local dispensary and seeing what you can find.
You might just find the perfect marijuana strain to help improve your life.
Neuropathic pain, commonly referred to as nerve pain affects approximately 20 million Americans. If you are one of those check out these 5 cannabis strains
Cannabis and Neuropathy: How Marijuana Helps Treat Neuropathic Pain
Thursday July 13, 2017
N europathy is defined as the damage to the sensory, motor or automatic nerves that occurs from an underlying cause. It’s a complex and chronic condition that affects nearly 20 million people in the United States. Also known as peripheral neuropathy, this condition causes weakness, numbness and pain to extremities like hands and feet. The pain is often described as stabbing, burning or tingling and can be extremely agonizing. It can result from a number of things, such as traumatic injuries, infections, toxin exposure, diabetes and genetic predispositions.
Recently, cannabis has been found to help people suffering from neuropathy by relieving some of the pain associated with the disorder. To fully understand how cannabis can help treat neuropathy though, we must first gain a little more information on neuropathic pain.
What is Neuropathy?
To understand neuropathic pain, let’s look at your peripheral nerves. They are divided into several different classifications with specific functions: sensory nerves that receive sensation from temperature, pain and touch; motor nerves that control muscle movement; and autonomic nerves that control essential functions such as your blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder.
Your entire peripheral nervous system sends information from your central nervous system to the rest of your body.
And when nerve fibers are damaged, dysfunctional or injured, they can send incorrect signals to other pain centers. Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathy) or many nerves (polyneuropathy). Most individuals suffer from polyneuropathy, but it all depends on which nerves are damaged.
But pain is complex and entirely subjective. It can’t be measured, it’s hard to describe and is unique to each individual. That’s why there are a wide variety of treatment options. Typical neuropathy treatment looks at the underlying symptoms causing the nerve pain. Those diagnosed with neuropathic pain are typically prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or stronger painkillers such as morphine. If diabetes is part of the issue, treatment will involve blood sugar control. And if pain is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, splints and physical therapy may be the prescribed route.
How Cannabis Helps Treat Neuropathy
More recently, cannabis has been shown to provide relief to patients that are unresponsive to other forms of treatment. This is primarily due to the substance’s relationship to our internal endocannabinoid system.
Peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain cannabinoid receptors and are therefore impacted by any form of cannabis consumption. When THC and CBD enter your body, they activate your CB1 and CB2 receptors which regulate the neurotransmitter and central nervous system, helping to manage pain levels.
A small 2010 study found that “a single inhalation of 25mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.” A separate 2013 study found that when compared to traditional neuropathic pain medication, cannabis effectively reduces pain with low dosages (1.29%) as a pain reliever with a medium dosage (3.53%). And a study in 2015 found that cannabinoids are effective at lowering pain levels associated with cancer, neuropathy and other acute and chronic pain conditions. Further long-term studies need to be done to prove the relationship between cannabis and pain, but the evidence is well on its way.
Which Cannabis Strains are the Best for Neuropathic Pain?
So which strains should you be hunting down for neuropathic or pain relief? We’ve included a few below based on their chemical makeup including cannabinoids, terpene profiles and THC-to-CBD ratios. Try these vaporized in low doses—it may be more effective and keep things in control.
This strain is a balanced hybrid known for its pain, stress and sleep-relief qualities. Those suffering from chronic pain will benefit greatly from this classic strain and feel a boost in energy as a result. It has a bit of an earthy taste to it, but will keep you moving throughout the day while managing overall pain.
If you’re looking for something to knock you out, consider this high profile indica. It’s pungent, potent and perfect for pain relief. Those suffering from muscular or back pain will stay relaxed. Look forward to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as well.
This sativa-dominant hybrid is great for managing pain throughout the day. Some say it’s a like a caffeine boost—slightly uplifting and energizing. Not only is this strain a painkiller and neuro-protector, but it’s been shown to have antitumor and inflammation effects to help keep your brain healthy and your body free of pain.
Another benefit of treating neuropathic pain with medical marijuana? You can’t get addicted to cannabis like you can with opiates. Although pain meds may work to decrease the pain, you’re much more likely to build up a dependence on them—and experience a wide array of side effects like nausea and sedation. Cannabis is a much safer option and we’re huge advocates of using it to provide the relief that you need.
A born and raised Hoosier and Indiana University alumna, Morgan Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in the Denver area. Morgan has worked with B2B, nonprofit and regional publications, but especially enjoys learning and educating others about the inner-workings of the cannabis industry. Her freelance writing supported her recent six-month solo backpacking trip to South America where she climbed volcanoes, played with llamas and jumped off a bridge.
Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from some form of neuropathy. Learn how cannabis can help mitigate the symptoms associated with neuropathic pain.