Cannabis for pain: what is the truth about the analgesic properties of this plant?

Analgesic properties of cannabis

Is cannabis (really) able to reduce pain? Here’s what some studies say

It happens that many curious people wonder whether the use of cannabis can alleviate pain.

If you find yourself here, that means you are doubting, right?

You read about it on the web, both positively and negatively, and this only adds to the confusion.

So, it’s time for some clarity.

In this article, we have collected the results of some studies that aim to demonstrate the potential analgesic properties of cannabis.

Use of cannabis to treat chronic pain

The best cannabis strains for chronic pain

Cannabis can help relieve certain types of chronic pain. In particular, this is true for:

  • cannabis indica
  • cannabis Sativa;
  • hybrids.

Limited research is available on the use of specific strains of cannabis for pain and other symptoms.

Consequently, recommendations on the use of different strains are not medically proven.

However, here are some studies that seem to support this thesis.

Let’s start with the results of an online survey involving 95 participants published in 2014 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Researchers found that participants preferred the indica variety for pain management, sedation and sleep while opting for the Sativa variety to improve mood and be more energetic.

Regarding pain management, participants reported a statistically significant effect of using indica for:

  • non-migraine headaches;
  • neuropathy;
  • spasticity;
  • joint pain.

However, it is essential to note that this study has several limitations: small in size and anonymous, it was based on each person’s responsibility to diagnose their own symptoms.

The respondents did not use cannabis in a controlled environment, which could lead to differences in the product’s composition, dosage and potency.

But let us continue.

Another study examined the use of organically grown varieties of cannabis, Sativa and indica, in treating various medical conditions, and just over half of the participants used cannabis to treat HIV.

The study followed participants for three years and asked them about the effects of marijuana on their condition during this period.

The results suggested that the indica variety is more likely to improve energy and appetite, while both Sativa and indica can alleviate nausea.

Read also: Can CBD interact with sertraline? Let’s clarify

How does cannabis work for pain? The difference between THC and CBD

Cannabis contains compounds that can relieve pain, nausea and other symptoms.

The components of cannabis that most studies focus on for pain relief are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC resembles the cannabinoid chemicals that occur naturally in the body. When ingested or inhaled, THC stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors.

This activates the brain’s reward system and reduces pain levels. THC is a psychoactive compound that binds to cannabinoid receptors and produces an elevated mental state, known as a ‘high’.

CBD, on the other hand, does not cause this sensation, although it interacts with pain receptors in the brain to exert pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Use of cannabis for chronic pain

Analgesic properties of cannabis: what some research says

In recent years, many studies have examined the effects of cannabis on chronic pain.

Some of these have used certain parts, others the whole cannabis plant, so further research is needed.

Using parts of the cannabis plant or products derived from it (such as CBD oil) helps to study the specific actions of each element.

It is different when using the whole plant because the entourage effect occurs, in which several parts work together.

But what do the experts say about this?

A 2015 review of research on cannabis and cannabinoids for various chronic pain conditions reports that several studies have shown positive results.

Researchers suggest that cannabis may effectively treat certain types of chronic pain, including neuropathy (nerve pain).

A 2016 research study found the use of cannabis for cancer pain.

  • led to a 64% reduction in opioid use;
  • improved quality of life;
  • caused fewer side effects of medication;
  • led participants to use fewer drugs.

Smaller studies have reported benefits for other types of chronic pain.

For example:

  1. out of about 17,000 people with cancer, 70% reported an improvement in pain and general well-being after using cannabis;
  2. people with chronic migraine experienced a decrease in migraine episodes after using the substance.

However, more research is still needed on the use of cannabis for chronic pain, particularly on different strains, dosages, and administration methods.

Read also: Does hemp honey exist, or is it a colossal hoax?


In this article, we have seen how the use of legal cannabis can contribute to pain relief.

As you will have read, several studies support this thesis, albeit with limitations.

For this reason, further research is needed.

In the meantime, if you are a fan of legal marijuana, visit the Justbob website and discover the best quality products.

See you soon!