Which cannabis strains are good for pain relief? With so many to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of potent flowers. We have curated this list, especially for you, focusing on the attributes that matter—terpene profile, cannabinoid content, and genetics to help you find the best cannabis strains for pain.
Hindu or Hindi Kush is a popular old-school cannabis flower originating from the expansive mountain range connecting Central and South Asia west of the Himalayas. It made its way to the U.S. in the 1960s and has been popular since.
The pure indica landrace strain is a vibrant green with bright rust-colored pistils and a dense coat of trichomes covering the flower. It has a complex, strong aroma that is sweet and earthy at the same time.
Hindu Kush contains limonene, a terpene known for promoting dopamine and serotonin release, which provides a calming effect on the mind and body and alleviates discomfort and pain. Hindu Kush buds also contain high levels of myrcene, another terpene known for its sedative and numbing effects. The other three critical compounds in this potent flower are caryophyllene and humulene, which help with pain management.
These nugs are ideal for anyone looking for the best cannabis strain for pain, whether you are dealing with chronic pain or looking for symptomatic relief.
Granddaddy Purple (GDP) is an Indica-dominant flower that’s been around since the early 2000s. The California-born cross of Purple Urkle and Big Bud has taken the legal cannabis industry by storm.
It’s infamous for its distinct grape or wine-like aroma that offers a sweet, berry flavor. As the name suggests, the buds have a deep purple color that ranges from light to dark, and it’s covered in bright orange pistils. The trichomes are also very dense, giving the nugs a sparkling appearance.
The flower’s profile is rich in terpene caryophyllene, which provides a common earthy and woody aroma. It also contains myrcene and humulene for added pain relief and relaxation. The terpenes change some with GDP. Instead of limonene, Granddaddy Purple offers a nice slice of pinene, which is known for providing an uplifting effect.
This flower was originally bred with the intention of discovering a new strain that effectively relieves pain, and it’s fair to say that it delivers well–which is why GDP is still among the best strains of cannabis for pain.
Zkittlez (also spelled Skittlez or Skittles) is a Sativa-dominant hybrid cannabis strain that quickly became one of the most popular strains in the industry. Its unique lineage offers a delicious flower that’s sweet to the taste, yet also has that refreshing zest. The genetics are believed to be a mix of Grape Ape and Grapefruit, which offers the perfect blend of sweet and tangy aromas and flavors.
It’s dark forest green with bright, rust-colored trichomes and a glistening layer of trichomes. Zkittlez is known for its high levels of caryophyllene and myrcene, which also put it on the list of cannabis strains that are best for pain management. However, it won’t put you in a couch lock like some other cannabis strains with relatively higher THC concentrations. Consumers have noted to experience a long-lasting high, pain relief and relaxation while staying mentally alert.
Caryophyllene offers another benefit—it can interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. This unique trait makes the terpene a hybrid cannabinoid that might boost the strain’s advantages over other flowers on the list. This cannabis strain also contains pinene, which provides that added boost for pain relief in the body and mind.
GSC, known initially as Girls Scout Cookies, is a hybrid cannabis strain that has taken the marijuana community by storm in recent years. The flower’s story suggests that it’s a cross between OG Kush and an F1 Durban Poison. However, Cookie Fam, the breeder, advises that’s a false classification.
No matter the origin of the delicious buds, the profile and consumer reviews of the strain speak for themselves. The beautiful flower has many phenotypes with slight variations to its color, shape, taste, and aroma. Its primary blend of terpenes provides an earthy flavor and scent with lemon or citrus undertones.
These rich characteristics come from a mix of caryophyllene and humulene, which work together to provide relief from pain and relax the body, from your head to the toes. Similar to the Hindu Kush, the other dominant terpenes in GSC are limonene and myrcene, which work well to help achieve a pain-free and calm state.
Those who look for that perfect blend of indica and sativa effects need to look no further. Girl Scout Cookies is one of the best cannabis strains for pain management and stress relief.
Formally known as Gorilla Glue, GG4 is a popular Indica-dominant strain that’s been around for a while. The genetics are a mix of Sour Dubb, Chem Sister, Chocolate Diesel, and Chocolate Deep Chunk. The combination might sound odd, but the flower offers a flavor unlike anything else currently in the cannabis market.
GG4’s flower is pale green with bright orange pistils and sparkling, crystal-like trichomes. The smell and flavor are a mix of sweet, sour, and earthy aromas that are alluring and inviting with notes of diesel and chocolate. This cannabis strain is one of the best for pain relief, but it’s also pretty potent, so take care until you know how it affects you.
What matters in deciding which cannabis to choose for pain management is the genetics, cannabinoid, and terpene content. Many choose between indica or sativa strains, but those labels provide little insight into the actual effects. To truly understand the extent of the pain alleviation, it’s essential to know about some cannabinoids and terpenes present in the strains.