Best Strains For Chronic Pain Relief According To Science 2018

By Aaron M.
The world is waking up to the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Marijuana strains can vary in their effects on different health symptoms. According to scientific research, these are the best strains for chronic pain relief in 2018.

Medical and recreational marijuana is becoming increasingly popular for treating pain. With chronic pain affecting more people than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined could marijuana really help? These studies say yes, it can! 

While marijuana science may still be in its adolescence, the substance has been used as a pain reliever for thousands of years. In fact, one of the first written records of marijuana use was as a pain reliever.

Not all marijuana is created equally though. Different types of marijuana will produce different cannabinoid profiles. Cannabinoids are the compounds extracted from the female flowers, which are responsible for the therapeutic properties of marijuana.

This article will cover which types and strains of marijuana have shown to be best for chronic pain relief. We’ll also talk about some other ways you can experience the pain relief provided by marijuana without smoking or getting high.


Indica & Sativa Hybrids For Chronic Pain

Marijuana is generally considered to exist in two primary varieties, Indica and Sativa. While the labels are debatable when it comes to genetics, they still serve to guide cannabis users on how a particular strain may affect them.

Hybrid strains are crossbreeds between predominantly Indica and Sativa strains of cannabis. These kinds of strains are becoming increasingly popular as they bring the best traits of both Indica and Sativa into one strain.

Most strains available on the marker hybrids strains, actually, and they’ll typically be labeled as Indica or Sativa Dominant. You will often find a percentage listed on a strain to show how much Indica or Sativa genetics it contains. This helps you to understand how the strain may affect you.

The difference in effects from strain to strain varies greatly. It’s can be likened to the difference in red wine versus white wine. Both types may have a beneficial effect on chronic pain, but one variety may work better for pain relief than another.

Scientific Proof Marijuana Kills Pain


A 2014 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed results of an online survey. The data showed that participants preferred Indica dominant strains for pain management, sedation, and sleep. Contrarily, Sativa provided better daytime pain relief, also improving energy and mood.

Participant’s anecdotal reports revealed statistically significant pain relief with Indica dominant strains, particularly in –

You can learn more about how marijuana could help these types of pain in our medical conditions articles linked above.

While this study was limited to anonymous self-reporting of marijuana use, it does confirm multiple other studies on cannabis and chronic pain relief.

Another study followed patients’ marijuana use for three years, asking them about the effects of the drug on their condition. The study included multiple conditions, but more than half of patients were using cannabis to manage HIV.

The study suggested that Indica dominant strains are more likely to improve energy and appetite. It also showed that both Indica and Sativa varieties could alleviate nausea to a similar degree. 

In 2016, a research paper found patients using marijuana in cancer pain reduced opioid use by an astounding 64%. The study showed that cannabis use –

  • Reduced opioid use by 64%
  • Improved quality of life
  • Caused fewer medication side effects
  • Led to patients using fewer medications
  • 70% of 17,000 cancer patients reported an improvement in pain and general well being after marijuana use

Best Strains For Chronic Pain & Headaches


The scientific community is rallying behind cannabis compounds has pain relievers. Especially since our current crisis with opioids and NSAIDs has grown into an epidemic. Now has never been better for marijuana to enter the pain relief scene. 

However, due to the continued federal prohibition of cannabis in the United States, extensive scientific and long-term clinical trials are highly warranted. A growing body of scientific evidence from laboratory experiments, clinical trials, and anecdotal reports gives us a strong indicator that cannabis is a great pain reliever.

Hopefully, in the very near future, people suffering from chronic pain, and the conditions that cause it, will have better access to more cannabinoid-based pain relievers. For now, inhalation through vaporizing or smoking is considered the fastest acting method of administration for pain relief

For joint pain from conditions like arthritis though, topicals and cannabis-infused lotions may be more effective. Again, further research is greatly warranted. Luckily, your favorite pain relieving strains are likely already available in topical form!


I know what you’re thinking, Hey, but what about the strains? Don’t worry Slyng has you covered. We have an extensive library of marijuana strains categorized by symptom relief. For example, if you want to find strains better for cancer-related pains you can search through our database and see what other people are saying about each strain. If you’re treating arthritis pain or neuropathy pain, we have a strain database for that too!

Not into smoking cannabis flower? Slyng has great deals on all kinds of marijuana products such as CBD oil, topicals, edibles, and sprays every day from the nation’s leading suppliers.

Before you go off strain exploring, remember that Indica dominant strains are best reserved for afternoons and evening pain relief. Sativa dominant strains are better for daytime pain relief, energy, and uplifting mood.

Every person and strain is unique and the effects will vary accordingly. Thanks for reading! If you like this article, please share it with others who may also find it helpful.


1. Cannabis vs Tylenol for Pain Relief. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

2. Leading the Way in Medical Research Sample Size Estimation. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

3.Kevin F. Boehnke Medical Cannabis Use Is Associated With Decreased Opiate Medication Use in a Retrospective Cross-Sectional Survey of Patients With Chronic Pain. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

4. Original Article Patterns of Use of Medical Cannabis Among Israeli Cancer Patients: A Single Institution Experience. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

5. Health Benefits of smoking High CBD Strains. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

6.J Manzanares Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes. Retrieved August 09, 2018 from

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About the author: Aaron M.

Aaron is a freelance cannabis writer for Slyng, covering medical marijuana, cultivation and other cannabis culture topics. He's also an independent musician and songwriter releasing his debut album one single at a time.