The world of medical cannabis can be daunting. With all of the new strains and products out there, how do you find the right one? Unfortunately, many medical cannabis patients have to do quite a bit of experimentation before they finally hit their stride. When it comes to pain relief, however, certain strains may be better than others. Here’s the scoop on which cannabinoid is better for pain relief, THC or CBD.
The best answer to this question is both. While each compound has pain-fighting properties of its own, two of them work best when they are consumed together. Both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) work with each other synergistically, enhancing the overall pain-fighting effect of the herb.
THC is considered the primary psychoactive component in the cannabis plant. Many medical cannabis patients find that consuming regular ol’ high-THC cannabis provides adequate pain relief.
CBD is not considered psychoactive in the same manner as THC, though it still has an effect on the brain. Unlike THC, CBD will not cause a noticeable “high”. Rather, this cannabinoid has calming and uplifting properties that can reduce the mental effects of THC and fight pain and inflammation.
It’s not uncommon to hear that both high-THC and high-CBD strains successfully ease away pain. However, research suggests that the best pain management may come from strains with large amounts of both compounds. Here’s why:
The synergistic interactions between THC and CBD make up what is called the entourage effect. In theory, the entourage effect suggests that all of the various phytochemicals in the cannabis plant work together to produce beneficial effects.
This is perhaps why full-plant cannabis buds and extracts are thought to be more helpful to patients than isolates.
Not only do THC and CBD interact with one another to fight pain, but these compounds engage with various terpenes as well. Terpenes are aroma molecules found in the resin glands of plants.
These theories suggest that opting for a strain with a variety of cannabinoids and terpenoids would be highly beneficial for medical cannabis patients, including those seeking relief from chronic pain.
Some of these cannabinoids are thought to be analgesics as well.
When searching for the best strain for pain, there are a few things to keep in mind. Many people lack access to quality selections of cannabis, and it can be difficult for folks to find exactly what they need. Further, every person responds differently to cannabis.
For some, high THC strains may be more beneficial. Though the psychoactive nature of THC may be off-putting to certain people, many find that the “high” helps them forget about the pain and focus on something else. CBD strains, on the other hand, may help reduce inflammation and improve mood, which could improve your ability to handle pain.
Originally posted by Delilah Butterfield on Herb.ca