The Best Cannabis Strains for Pain

One of the most common applications for medical marijuana is pain, whether it’s inflammation, headaches, neuropathic pain, muscle soreness, spinal injury, fibromyalgia, or cramps.
Patients have seen varying degrees of success with cannabis in treating various pain-related ailments, depending on the type of pain, the intensity, and the individual’s own physiology.
This guide is informed both by user-submitted strain reviews and chemical profile data, ascertain cannabinoids and terpenes are known to have areas of specialization such as pain.
Because every person's experience is so nuanced, we recommend sampling several of these suggestions and maybe even experiment with them in different forms, like topicals, oils, or even transdermal patches.

Smoking and vaporizing are great ways to get marijuana’s painkilling properties quickly, but read up on non-smoking consumption methods and cannabis concentrate alternatives to get an idea of the full spectrum of options available to you.

And remember -- there are many adept pain slayers out there in the cannabis world. Use ourExplorer's symptom and condition filters to find out what else has worked for other patients, and check the "Availability" tab on their strain pages to see if they're available at a shop near you!

 Cannabis Strains That Help Treat:

 1. Generalized Pain
Leafly ACDC cannabis strain tileLeafly ACDC cannabis strain effects
All hail ACDC, one of the most effective painkilling strains out there due to its one-two punch of cannabinoids CBD and THC. As a general rule, cannabis strains with high amounts of both THC and CBD tend to make the best pain medicines, and there are plenty of high-CBD strains out there offering similar chemical profiles as ACDC.

Leafly Blackberry Kush cannabis strain tileLeafly Blackberry Kush cannabis strain effects
Unfortunately, high-CBD strains are relatively new to the game and not all patients have access to them, especially those living in states without medical marijuana laws. Luckily, high-THC strains also offer pain relieving benefits, and many people find that heavy indicas such as Blackberry Kush are particularly skilled in the art of killing pain.
Leafly Blackberry Kush cannabis strain review

Browse more strains suitable for general pain.

2. Inflammation and Arthritis

Leafly Harlequin cannabis strain tileLeafly Harlequin cannabis strain effects
Cerebrally-focused sativa strains aren't typically a first choice for patients treating pain and inflammation, but Harlequin's high-CBD content makes it an exception. Its uplifting and clear-headed effects set it apart from heavier, more intoxicating options and make it a perfect choice for daytime medicating.
Leafly Harlequin cannabis strain review
Leafly Blue Widow cannabis strain tileLeafly Blue Widow cannabis strain effects
Also known as Blue Venom, Berry White, and White Berry, Blue Widow is a prolific hybrid cross between parent strains Blueberry and White Widow. Leafly user reviews praise Blue Widow for its anti-inflammatory qualities, and perhaps the reason for this is Blue Widow's rich terpene profile that typically boasts high levels of caryophyllene, or it could be its heavy resin production which gives way to massive amounts of THC and other beneficial compounds.

Browse more strains suitable for inflammation and arthritis.

3. Headaches and Migraines

Leafly Purple Arrow cannabis strain tileLeafly Purple Arrow cannabis strain effects
Purple Arrow hits the target somewhere between heavy pain relief and uplifting euphoria, making it a great choice for headache sufferers needing swift relief without the couchlock effects typical of indica varieties.

Leafly Blueberry Headband cannabis strain tileLeafly Blueberry Headband cannabis strain effects
Headband hybrids are commonly described as "cerebral" with effects that go straight to the crown of your head. Blueberry Headband lives up to its name, delivering focused headache relief and a sweet berry flavor.
Leafly Blueberry Headband user review
Browse more strains suitable for headaches and migraines.

4. Cramps

Leafly Redwood Kush cannabis strain tileLeafly Redwood Kush cannabis strain effects
With effects that relax tension in both mind and body, Redwood Kush is known to deliver a woody forest aroma alongside hefty amounts of THC to help ease muscle cramping.
Leafly Redwood Kush cannabis strain review
Leafly Dynamite cannabis strain tileLeafly Dynamite cannabis strain effects
Dynamite is another high-THC indica strain that blows pain and cramping out of the water, but be wary: Dynamite is also known to incite the power of the Munchie Beast.

Browse more strains suitable for cramps.

5. Manage Spinal Injury Pain

Leafly Cataract Kush cannabis strain tileLeafly Cataract Kush cannabis strain effects
Cataract Kush is a heavy-hitting hybrid cross between powerhouse classics LA Confidential andOG Kush. This strain's potency may not be for the novice consumer, but it's perfect for patients needing a strain that can expertly annihilate pain associated with spinal injury.

Leafly Mazar I Sharif cannabis strain tileLeafly Mazar I Sharif cannabis strain effects
Descending from some of the earliest indicas of Afghanistan, Mazar I Sharif is a relentless painkiller with a potency you can see on her heavy blanket of crystal trichomes. Afghani indicas have a reputation for their high cannabinoid contents, so it isn't hard to imagine that so many patients have found relief from stubborn pain in Mazar.
Leafly Mazar I Sharif cannabis strain review

Browse more strains suitable for spinal injury.


Paula Shore
Migraines cannot be treated the same as other headaches. If you use an indica with a true migraine, it makes your head pound more. Sativas for real migraines. Tension headaches, you can use all the indica you want.
LikeReply52Apr 23, 2015 9:28pm
Joy Anna ·
Thank you because I get true real migraines.
LikeReply14Apr 24, 2015 5:32pm
Kevin Fisher ·
Works at ODSP
Joy F Anna thank you bcuz everyone feels different effects. fucks sativas they spark anxiety. get couchlock indica for migraines or trigeminal neuralgia cluster headaches aka the suicide headaches !!!! - afghani or purple kush or girlscout cookie kush 
LikeReply19Aug 9, 2015 3:45pmEdited
Joy Ogozelec
If you live in a legal state, try Mary's Medicinals CBD:THC patches. They've kept me from getting a mirgraine for almost 9 months when I used to get them 2-4 times a week, sometimes for days.
LikeReply17Oct 12, 2015 10:38pm
Amber Valdez ·
There's a new strain coming out of Spokane called Primus - it has a higher cannabinoid profile than most 'medical' strains at 28%. Was down there on some business and ended up getting some. It was the best strain I have ever tried for pain and insomnia. Not one of the over 100 strains that I'd tried before it has ever had the effect of making me sleep past my severe insomnia, but this did. It didn't knock me out, but once I laid down, I was out within minutes, and slept deeply and for longer than I have since I was a child. And my pain levels dropped to nothing - it was such a shocking difference to my normal daily pain that I literally felt worse once the pain came back. I hadn't been that pain free in many, many years.
LikeReply33Jan 21, 2016 7:15pm
Michael Durrant
"Primus", I love it. Hopefully "Primus" decides to come south and tour through Boise...
LikeReply7Feb 21, 2016 11:47pm
Amber Valdez ·
Yeah, I hope it spreads out as well, I can't just run to Spokane everytime I want some, lol. It's some really good stuffm though,,,
LikeReplyFeb 29, 2016 6:16am
Lori Hedges ·
Works at Disabled
Amber Valdez would be nice to get some that here in KY
LikeReplyJun 1, 2016 5:50pm
Ricardo Galvan Izado
We have actually now begun to do research with whole plant extracts of specific cultivars to see if we can scientifically quantify the efficacy of cannabis for pain. This will include precise dose detetermination and whether these effects are cultivar specific. Our aim is to provide proof of efficacy for further clinical trials and to establish therapeutic guidelines that can be employed by the Canadian College of Surgeons and Physicians.
LikeReply26Jan 23, 2016 10:49pm
Faan Faanicus ·
How can I remain up-to-date with this specific research?
LikeReply5Mar 25, 2016 9:02am
Lee Barber ·
Time and again big pharma has created extracts and isolated compounds out of plants. With only a few exceptions like aspirin, they cause undesired side effects. Leave the plant in it's natural state, with what nature added to it to counteract the side effects.

Big pharma will add untold layers of laws and penalties once they bring their prescription extracts and compounds to market.
LikeReply6May 28, 2016 2:19pm
Ricardo Galvan Izado
Lee Barber Big pharma definitely has a different perspective on drug design. Luckly we are not big pharma, but a humble academic lab interested in better understanding the actual potential medical uses of the whole plant. We want to put numbers to the doses and effects.
LikeReply8May 28, 2016 3:33pm
Charles Stugard ·
Works at Disabled
it's amazing how differently people react to mj my best pain relief was from white widow and white rhino, I've been dealing w/constant pain since I was 5 years old and would like to get off of high grade pain pills and am tired of my doc treating me like a criminal when all I care about is taking care of those I love, god bless those that are willing to put their lives and reputations on the line for the cause
LikeReply17Apr 1, 2016 8:07pm
John Burchardt ·
Unfortunately, our elected leaders want to blame Drs. for over-prescribing pain meds, regardless of the fact that people like you & I have no choice but to utilize them. When cannabis is made available I always choose to smoke until I can no longer forgo having to use my narcotics. The key here is that I use less, much less than I would with cannabis.

My condition was directly caused by generic CRESTOR,(TM), a cholesterol medication. What's truly pathetic is that our government continues to regulate this plant as a drug when it has never killed anyone.

I'm hoping to change that; I am runn...See More
LikeReply7Jun 3, 2016 4:56am