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(Ad) Cannabidiol (CBD) is well-known in the health and wellness world for its potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Generally reliable and non-intoxicating, CBD has been embraced by many people who have added it to their daily routines.
However, not all CBD is the same. The effects of CBD depend on factors such as the type of strain and its terpene profile. These factors can influence what you get out of your experience with CBD.
Not sure where to get started?
In this article, we help you choose the best CBD strains to help you manage inflammation and pain. So continue reading if that’s what you’re after.
How does CBD help with pain?
Pain is an umbrella term that refers to uncomfortable sensations in the body stemming from activation of the nervous system. These are symptoms signaling that something may be wrong in the body.
A 2018 study of CBD users found that pain management is one of the top three reasons people turn to CBD—and with good reason. Clinical research and anecdotal evidence, show that cannabidiol may be an effective pain reliever.
In order to understand how CBD may help with pain, it’s important to first understand how CBD works in the body, and particularly how it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many biological functions in the body, including pain perception. This system consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the body as a response to internal or environmental factors. Via the interaction of endocannabinoids with cannabinoid receptors, the ECS helps to balance key bodily functions, such as pain.
Meanwhile, CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid, chemically similar to endocannabinoids. As such, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body in ways similar to the ways endocannabinoids do.
However, there’s more to the story.
Currently, studies on cannabinoids have shown that they also act on other pain targets within the peripheral and central nervous systems. This is how CBD exerts its analgesic properties and modulates pain perception.
CBD and pain management
There are different types of pain depending on what the underlying cause is. Studies have shown that CBD may be an effective analgesic for various kinds of pain.
Another factor influencing the effectiveness of CBD strains for pain management is their terpene profiles. Terpenes are the hemp compound known for giving buds their unique taste and aroma. However, they’re much more than that.
Researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences found that terpenes mimic cannabinoids and help modulate pain in a similar manner.
The terpenes most commonly mentioned for their pain-relieving qualities are myrcene, pinene, linalool, limonene, caryophyllene, and humulene.
How does CBD reduce inflammation?
Inflammation in itself is not a bad thing—it’s the body’s response to being harmed or injured. The immune system sends white blood cells to the affected area to help it recover.
However, when inflammation persists and becomes chronic, it may lead to several diseases, such as autoimmune, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases.
Research has shown that CBD may help reduce chronic inflammation in the body and, consequently, aid in treating medical conditions that cause or may be caused by inflammation.
Moreover, a 2020 study that focused on the relationship between CBD and oxidative stress—the main cause of chronic inflammation—found that CBD shows promise as a treatment for oxidative stress and the chronic inflammation caused by it.
However, chronic inflammation is not the only type of inflammation. Inflammation may also be caused by other medical conditions that CBD may help with. For instance, a 2016 study suggested CBD as a potential treatment for early pancreatic inflammation and airway inflammation.
When it comes to the technical side of how CBD exerts its anti-inflammatory effects, we will have to refer again to CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system and specific terpenes.
Pain and inflammation often go hand in hand. So, there is an overlap between the terpenes that help with pain and the ones that help with inflammation.
Similar to the common terpenes that help manage pain, myrcene, pinene, linalool, limonene, caryophyllene, and humulene can also act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
Does CBD help muscles relax?
Contracted spasmodic muscles are one of the underlying causes of neck and back pain. In such cases, muscle relaxants help contracted muscles relax.
Given CBD’s sedative profile, studies have shown that it’s a promising and natural muscle relaxant agent. These muscle relaxing properties of CBD can also help with general muscle tightness and tension from daily activities.
Does CBD help muscle recovery?
Many athletes and workout enthusiasts have made CBD part of their post-workout recovery routine. Some athletes take the saying “no pain, no gain” quite literally when it comes to muscle growth.
In order to grow, muscle fibers go through the process of sustaining damage and repairing themselves—the latter process is accompanied by inflammation. The repair process fixes the damaged fibers by combining them, increasing the size of the muscle.
Since CBD is touted for its strong anti-inflammatory properties, it can help lower heightened inflammation, and ultimately help with the muscle recovery process. Moreover, a recent 2020 study noted that the rate of muscle recovery can increase with the use of CBD.
Does CBD help muscle soreness?
Many people experience acute muscle soreness (AMS) after a strenuous workout session or activity. It’s that aching soreness caused by repeated contraction and lengthening of a muscle. That’s your muscles repairing themselves.
This process is accompanied by increased inflammation. However, it often fades quickly. When muscle soreness persists, it is transformed into delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), a prolonged inflammatory response that ends up delaying the healing of the muscle.
CBD modulates inflammation levels, so it can help your muscles recover from soreness faster. A recent study also showed that when consumed directly after exercise, CBD can significantly impact muscle soreness.
Best CBD strain for pain and inflammation
One of the most popular indica dominant strains, Bubba Kush takes first place as one of the best CBD strains for both pain and inflammation. Notorious for its heavy sedative effects, Bubba Kush—also known as BK, Bubba OG Kush, or simply Bubba—will have you smoothly transition into a state of deep relaxation.
Thought to have originated from Hindu Kush, this strain leaves behind a pungent, earthy flavor and aroma, which is often compared to coffee or chocolate.
Bubba Kush strain effects
Given its indica profile, Bubba Kush CBD strain is sought after for its highly relaxing, full-body effects. That’s what makes this strain a famous go-to pain reliever for many people suffering from chronic pain.
The terpene profile of Bubba Kush is another factor that makes this the best strain for pain and inflammation. Bubba Kush is composed of abundant levels of terpenes known for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, like myrcene and caryophyllene.
This combination is what makes Bubba Kush the best strain to help you reduce inflammation and pain.
The calming effects of Abacus 2.0, combined with its unique terpene profile, make this indica-dominant strain perfect for treating inflammation and pain. Originating from the legendary OG Kush, Abacus 2.0 is packed with a distinctive earthy flavor carrying a hint of lemony notes.
Abacus hemp strain effects
Abacus 2.0 is an indica CBD strain with analgesic properties. Users report a chilled out peacefulness that makes them feel calm, yet alert.
What’s more, Abacus 2.0 contains a mix of dominant terpenes known for their role in reducing pain and inflammation. Namely, these terpenes are caryophyllene, pinene, myrcene, linalool, and humulene.
Ultimately, Abacus 2.0 is reported to be a relaxing strain that can bring you a deep state of calm and provide relief from pain and inflammation.
Sour Space Candy
When talking about the best strains for inflammation and pain, we cannot conclude without mentioning Sour Space Candy. With its multicolored buds and fruity flavor, Sour Space Candy is a popular sativa-dominant hybrid strain with a high percentage of CBD.
Being a sativa strain, Sour Space Candy is perfect for daytime use. Using this strain, you can expect to feel uplifted, energized, and simultaneously relaxed—in both body and mind.
The Sour Space Candy strain contains a diverse selection of terpenes, including limonene and pinene. In addition to leaving behind piney and lemony notes when smoked, these terpenes are rich in analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Super Sour Space Candy
Those who enjoy the original Sour Space Candy strain will be sure to love these Botany Farms Super Sour Space Candy pre-rolls.
Packed with terpenes known for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects similar to those found in its sister Sour Space Candy and with 1 gram of hemp flower, this product is the ultimate relaxant. It even comes ready to use. All you have to do is wait for it to arrive at your doorstep and light it up.
What CBD strain is best for pain?
If you’re looking for the best pain relief strains, Fruit Loops will undoubtedly be one of the top strains on the list. And it’s number 1 in ours. The buds of the Fruit Loops hemp flower are covered with glistening bright orange hairs. This beauty has a sweet berry flavor and pine and citrus undertones.
Fruit Loops strain effects
Even though Fruit Loops is an indica dominant strain, it won’t leave you couch locked throughout the day. Instead, Fruit Loops has a very soothing effect, which you can enjoy with a clear head. Moreover, this strain contains the three main terpenes touted for pain-relieving effects: myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene.
With Fruit Loops you can expect to experience a full-body relaxation that will soothe away most types of pain. Prepare to say goodbye to pain and hello to a whole new pain-free world. Sounds blissful, huh? That’s exactly how the Fruit Loops CBD strain will make you feel.
Best CBD strain for inflammation
The number one spot as the best CBD strain for inflammation goes to the indica Zombie Kush strain. This strain has beautiful hues of purple resulting from the crossing of Lavender Kush and Amenzia with Bubba Kush.
The combination of these strains gives Zombie Kush a lavender taste with berry undertones.
Zombie Kush effects
The Zombie Kush strain contains a high percentage of CBDa (cannabidiolic acid). CBDa is the predecessor of CBD. Over time and when this hemp compound is exposed to heat, CBDa transforms into CBD.
However, these cannabinoids produce slightly different effects. CBDa is known to support the immune system. Different from CBD, which interacts with cannabinoid receptors to exert its anti-inflammatory effects, CBDa inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme.
The inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme can also provide inflammatory relief. And this is what makes us dub Zombie Kush the best strain for inflammation.
Besides being known as an anti-inflammatory strain, Zombie Kush is a typically relaxing indica—perfect to wind down with at the end of the day.
Best strains for inflammation and pain
CBD is not the only cannabinoid that is effective for managing inflammation and pain. Lately, a new cannabinoid is taking over the hemp market: Delta 8 THC.
This novel cannabinoid is similar in structure to Delta 9 THC, albeit with a much milder intoxicating profile. Some users describe Delta 8 as a happy medium between CBD and THC.
A recent 2022 study describes Delta 8 as a relaxing cannabinoid with potential pain relief properties.
So, if you’re looking for hemp strains with an extra kick, then check out our selection of the best Delta 8 strains for inflammation and pain.
Delta 8 Bubba Kush
The Delta 8 Bubba Kush bud is produced via a cold-press method that uses frozen Delta 8 distillate. The frozen distillate is crushed into powder form and then used to infuse the Bubba Kush flower with Delta 8.
Given the success of the Bubba Kush strain, the Delta 8 version combines 9% Delta 8 and 15% CBD. The high Delta 8 percentage makes this a particularly potent product.
Delta 8 Zombie Kush
The second spot goes to Delta 8 Zombie Kush. This strain has a high amount of CBD, specifically 24.8% CBD, and 4.4% Delta 8. In this strain, you will find one of the highest amounts of CBD, which adds to the strain’s power.
Also, even in the Delta 8 version, Zombie Kush retains the famous CBDa cannabinoid. This mix of cannabinoids works synergistically together to enhance each other’s unique properties, creating the perfect entourage effect.
Editor’s pick: Delta 8 Abacus 2.0
Similar to Zombie Kush, Delta 8 Abacus 2.0 contains 4.4% Delta 8 cannabinoid; however, it has a lower percentage of CBD—specifically, 15.8%. An indica dominant strain, this product will help melt away your pain and lower inflammation in the body.
Runner-up: Delta 8 Fruit Loops
Last but not least, Delta 8 Fruit Loops are a worthy runner-up on the list of best Delta 8 products for inflammation and pain. This floral strain is packed with 19.1% CBD and 4.4% Delta 8 THC.
Combining unparalleled flavor, aroma, and potency, Delta 8 Fruit Loops can leave you experiencing a full body calming effect.
Best CBD products for pain
If inhalation is not your preferred CBD consumption method, you might want to turn to other types of CBD products to experience the analgesic qualities of this cannabinoid.
Live resin CBD tincture
First place as the best CBD product for pain goes to Botany Farms Live Resin CBD Tincture. This live resin tincture is made out of Sour Space Candy CBD flowers. This live resin tincture holds all the pain-relief properties of the strain it is made out of.
However, different from CBD buds, live resins preserve the flavors and aromas of the flowers, making them quite potent. The most common and quickest way to experience the pain relieving effects of Live Resin CBD Tincture is to take a few drops under your tongue. That area of the tongue is full of tiny capillaries that will absorb the liquid.
Besides the sublingual method, tinctures may also be taken orally or added to foods and drinks. If you opt for these tincture consumption methods, you should expect the effects to take a bit longer to kick in as CBD and other hemp compounds will first pass through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream.
CBD gummies are, without a doubt, the tastiest way to relieve your pain. Available in 8 different flavors, Botany Farms’ gummies collection is certain to have one that will become a favorite.
Each of these fruity treats is jam-packed with 25 milligrams of analgesic properties of CBD and natural fruit flavors. But keep in mind that before reaching for another treat, you should give the effects some time to kick in.
Edibles, as the name suggests, are CBD-infused groups. So, they will first pass through the digestive system. This first-pass effect leads to a delay of effects. However, when the pain relieving effects do kick in, they can last for a long time.
*This article is provided by an advertiser. Statements made are not meant to offer medical advice nor to diagnose any condition. Any studies cited here may be preliminary, and may or may not be peer reviewed, and may or may not have sufficient participants to be statistically relevant. Anecdotal accounts should not be taken as scientific results. Products discussed in this article are not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. The FDA does not evaluate dietary supplements and does it regulate CBD. Consult your doctor about possible interactions, allergies, and if you are considering using a natural and/or dietary supplements for any condition. Individual results will vary.