Dark Light

Cannabis for Chronic Pain Leave a comment

Chronic pain is a significant health concern, impacting the lives of millions of Australians and incurring substantial economic costs annually. Traditional pharmaceutical treatments, though widely used, may have limitations and prove ineffective in some cases, leading to potential liabilities. As a result, medicinal cannabis has emerged as a progressively popular, albeit controversial, alternative for managing chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is characterized as pain persisting for more than three months, and it encompasses various forms of non-cancer pain. Recognizable types of chronic pain include arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, musculoskeletal discomfort, and neuropathic pain. The manifestations of chronic pain can vary significantly depending on the type, making its explanation complex and diverse.

Common Types of Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is diverse and can manifest in different ways:

  • Arthritic pain: Pain arising from inflamed joints, affecting mobility and causing discomfort.
  • Back pain: Persistent pain in the lower back, sometimes radiating down the legs.
  • Fibromyalgia: Widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue and tender points.
  • Headaches and migraines: Recurrent and intense headaches, often with additional symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light.
  • Musculoskeletal pain: Chronic discomfort affecting muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Neuropathic pain: Nerve-related pain, characterized by tingling, burning, or shooting sensations.

Understanding Chronic Pain Diagnosis

The diagnosis of chronic pain typically occurs when persistent pain persists for at least three months, and in some cases, up to six months, without responding to treatment targeting the root cause. Although questionnaires aid physicians in determining the types and intensity of pain, there is no standardized formula or framework for diagnosing chronic pain.

How is Chronic Pain Traditonally Treated?

In the pursuit of managing chronic pain, addressing the underlying condition through appropriate treatments is paramount. Tailored medication approaches for specific conditions can lead to notable improvements in pain levels. When dealing with chronic pain resulting from past injuries, non-surgical treatments offer a range of options, including physical treatments, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs. By adopting a comprehensive approach and considering individual needs, healthcare professionals can provide more effective pain management strategies for those living with chronic pain conditions.

Prescription Medication Treatment

Opiate medications are divided into two categories: those intended for short-term use and others suitable for long-term use. In addition to opiates, healthcare providers may also prescribe antidepressants or antiepileptic medications for certain conditions. When these medications are used for conditions other than their primary indication, it is referred to as ‘off-label’ prescribing. Given the diversity of individual responses, multiple medication options are available as effectiveness varies from person to person.

Comparing Cannabis to Opiods for Pain Relief

Opioids are potent medications that alleviate pain by targeting the nervous system which comes with a highly addictive nature, leading to withdrawal symptoms if consumed too frequently. Disturbingly, in 2016, the U.S. witnessed a devastating toll of approximately 116 daily deaths due to opioid-related drug overdoses, and a staggering 11.5 million individuals misused prescription opioids each year.

Considering this critical issue, medical cannabis emerges as a potential alternative to addictive opioids. A comprehensive survey involving nearly 3,000 medical cannabis users revealed that 30 percent of them had utilized opioids within the past six months. Notably, 81 percent of these respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis, when used alone, proved to be more effective than when combined with opioids.

Furthermore, an overwhelming 97 percent of participants expressed agreement or strong agreement that incorporating cannabis into their treatment allowed them to reduce their opioid usage significantly. These findings signify the promising potential of medical cannabis as a safer and less addictive option for managing pain compared to opioids.#

How Does Cannabis Treat Chronic Pain?

Various cannabis products exert their effects on the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This intricate signaling system comprises receptors spread throughout the body, which can be influenced by a variety of compounds found in some of the finest cannabis strains known for their potential to alleviate chronic pain.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a constituent of medical marijuana that has pain and inflammation-reducing properties by influencing the body’s opioid receptors. It interacts with these receptors and inhibits pro-inflammatory molecules to provide relief from pain.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another compound present in marijuana known for its psychoactive effects. This cannabinoid alleviates pain by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.

Apart from cannabinoids, there are other components in cannabis that contribute to its pain-relieving effects. Terpenes, such as beta-caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene, and pinene, are some of these beneficial compounds.

Which types of Pain can Cannabis Assist with?

The TGA has granted approval for medical cannabis usage in more than 130 various conditions. Among these, nerve pain stands as the condition with the strongest scientific evidence supporting medical cannabis treatment. Additionally, cannabis may also be considered for managing musculoskeletal pain, arthritic pain, and cancer-related pain. It’s important to note that the TGA does not have a specific list of approved pain types for medical cannabis usage. If you believe cannabis might be beneficial for your chronic pain or symptoms, it is advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

Cannabinoids for Pain Relief

Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) can independently or synergistically aid in pain relief. Doctors may prescribe either CBD or THC alone or in combination. Research has revealed that specific types of cannabis may be more effective for certain types of pain.

It’s important to note that neither cannabinoid guarantees pain relief, and cannabis, like any other medication, may not be effective for everyone.

Scientists propose that using CBD and THC together can produce a more comprehensive impact on symptoms. This concept is known as the entourage effect.

THC for Pain Relief

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, is known for its analgesic properties, providing pain relief. In the realm of scientific research on cannabis and chronic pain, much of the focus has been on THC or a combination of THC and CBD.

THC is believed to directly interact with cannabinoid receptors, facilitating the transmission of messages between nerve cells. This characteristic makes it particularly advantageous in addressing neuropathic pain conditions.

CBD for Pain Relief

Cannabidiol, CBD, is recognized for its analgesic properties, providing pain relief.

Unlike THC, CBD does not directly engage with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the body; instead, it functions more as a regulator.

Although the exact mechanisms of CBD’s action remain unclear, it is believed to interact indirectly with cannabinoid receptors and influence other receptors and messaging within the brain. Through this process, CBD seems to impact the pain signals transmitted and received by our bodies, leading to a reduction in pain perception for some individuals.

CBD is often the initial choice for pain relief due to its unique properties and potential benefits.

Best Strains for Chronic Pain

What type of Cannabis is most often Prescribed for Chronic Pain?

In Australia, oral formulations like oils or tinctures are the most commonly used methods of cannabis consumption. When dealing with chronic pain, a combination of CBD and THC is often found to be the most effective.

Having both CBD and THC in a combination offers the individual benefits of each cannabinoid along with an enhanced overall effect. Combining these two cannabinoids may also reduce the amount of cannabis needed to achieve a similar effect, which can be beneficial for both your body and your finances.

It’s important to note that cannabis is not typically considered a first-line treatment, and higher THC medications are not usually the initial approach for cannabis treatment. Lower THC to CBD ratios are often prescribed initially. However, higher THC products may be recommended if the initial medication does not provide the desired results or if higher doses are required.

For younger individuals with developing brains and those who need to drive, starting with CBD is a logical and safer option.

Looking to grow your own Cannabis and treat your Chronic Pain? Our recommended seed bank delivers the freshest seeds with a variety of strains to aid your specific needs! Click Here – https://www.cgaustralia.com.au/cannabis-seeds-australia/


ACDC, a remarkable cannabis strain for chronic pain, contains up to 5% THC and 12% CBD. This well-balanced hybrid, created by crossing Cannatonic and Ruderalis, offers delightful cherry scents complemented by subtle diesel undertones.

Moreover, ACDC boasts a wealth of top-notch pain-relieving terpenes, such as myrcene, pinene, and beta-caryophyllene. It stands as an excellent daytime pain reliever, allowing you to stay focused, thanks to its abundant CBD content that keeps you grounded and composed.

Northern Lights stands as one of the finest marijuana strains for chronic pain, boasting a delightful citrusy and spicy aroma. This indica-dominant hybrid, derived from a mix of Afghani and Thai varieties, offers THC levels ranging from 16% to 21%, accompanied by approximately 0.1% CBD.

This award-winning strain delivers a soothing effect on both your mind and muscles, making it an excellent pain reliever. However, its painkilling properties also induce drowsiness, making it most suitable for evening use, ensuring a tranquil and peaceful night ahead.

OG Kush is a descendant of popular cultivars such as Chemdawg, Lemon Thai, and Old World Paki Kush. With 20% THC and less than 0.5% CBD, it’s an indica-dominant strain producing earthy lemon aromas.

The heavy-hitting effects of OG Kush make it one of the best marijuana strains for chronic pain. It also creates a whole-body relaxation that helps you wind down for sleep. So the evening is the time of day you want to reach for OG Kush.

Sour Diesel is renowned for its exceptional potency in relieving chronic pain, containing up to 27% THC and 2% CBD. As one of the top 30 strongest marijuana strains available, its captivating citrusy aroma, derived from limonene and myrcene terpenes, adds to its allure.

Being a 90% sativa, Sour Diesel emits a diesel-like fragrance and delivers a burst of energy and creativity to users. Its dreamy effects make it a perfect choice for those seeking to experience the euphoric high of cannabis while effectively managing lingering pain.

If you seek a fast-acting strain with high THC content for pain relief, White Widow is the ideal choice! This indica-dominant hybrid, resulting from a blend of Brazilian Sativa and South Indian Indica, boasts THC levels reaching up to 25%, along with 0.5% to 1% CBD.

White Widow entices with its earthy and citrusy aromas, making it one of the top marijuana strains for chronic pain. Offering users a cognitive and pain-free high, it proves to be a promising option. Moreover, by learning how to prolong the stimulating effects of this strain, you can enjoy an extended and satisfying experience.


Consideration of medicinal cannabis in managing chronic pain is important, and healthcare professionals should be knowledgeable about its pros and cons. The more commonly prescribed oral products like oils, sprays, and capsules are appealing due to their controlled and socially acceptable delivery compared to inhaled products, even though they may have a slower onset of action. While CBD products are favored for their better safety profile during activities like driving or operating machinery, their efficacy is currently supported by limited evidence. When making prescribing decisions, prioritizing harm minimization is essential, especially for patients who regularly drive or use heavy machinery. It is crucial to recognize that the long-term effects of medicinal cannabis, potential drug interactions, and its efficacy for different types of pain are not fully understood. Adhering to the guiding principle of “start low, go slow” is vital to achieving clinical benefits at the lowest effective dose while minimizing risks and side effects.

In Australia, tens of thousands of patients suffering from chronic pain receive prescriptions for medicinal cannabis products, while hundreds of thousands resort to using illicit cannabis for self-medication of their chronic pain. Many individuals have genuine personal experiences of significant pain relief through cannabis usage, which cannot be easily dismissed. Despite this, there exists a notable disparity between the statements made by specialist medical colleges and the current patterns of prescribing and community utilization of cannabinoids in the country. The hope is that the forthcoming generation of clinical trials investigating cannabinoid products and their effects on pain will play a crucial role in reconciling this tension.

Cannabis Growing main logo

About the Author

Our deep love of plants and fascination with Cannabis has enabled over 25 years of successful small scale Marijuana cultivation from indoor hydroponics, greenhouses and outdoor growing set-ups.

As Cannabis laws around the world change, *we support the movement toward freedom of choice for responsible, consenting adults who wish to experience the joy and wonder of growing a Cannabis plant.

*All info is for entertainment purposes only.  We do not condone illegal growing of Cannabis.   Consult your state laws accordingly. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *