Evidence is pointing towards weed being great for easing chronic pain, however, it can be overwhelming selecting the most effective strain. My research this week began with the question in mind, “ What are the best strains for pain, and is there scientific evidence to make a determination?”

As of today, there’s no official database on the thousands of new strains being created when it comes to cannabis, but scientist, Mowgli Holmes is currently undertaking the huge task of marijuana DNA sequencing. According to an article in Newsweek, Holmes has collected close to 2000 different specimens and is entering these into a software program that will help to legitimize specific-strain science.

The reputable site for weed strains, leafly.com does recommend several strains for pain based on experience and feedback amongst users. There is a huge variation of Indica, Sativa and Hybrid suggesting the need to further categorize strains into symptom-treating categories. It is becoming much more complicated than Indica induces sleepiness and stimulating Sativa. Some of Leafly’s top strains for pain and my personal favorites include: Blue Dream, Trainwreck, Maui Wowie, Skywalker, Purple Haze and Island Sweet Skunk.

Until we have a DNA database of different strains, personal experimentation and recommendations from dispensary experts are great ways to discover what strain works best for your personal needs. The method of administration is also something that can be very specific, so I recommend trying vaping, dabbing, ingestion or topical application to find the most targeted relief.

When if comes to pain, considerations such as the pain’s location, duration, whether it stems from trauma or from immune system and if it’s nervous system or musculoskeletal related are extremely relevant in matching a strain to our symptoms. With a cannabis DNA database, we soon will have the ability to more accurately match a strain to a specific type of pain, in order to treat the actual source of pain rather than merely masking symptoms as many pharmaceuticals do today.

Cannabis Strains to Relieve Pain. http://leafly.com/explore/symptoms-pain. 5/2/2016.

Ross, W., 3/14/2016. The man mapping the marijuana genome is changing the weed game. http://www.newsweek.com/2016/03/25/marijuana-scientist-mapping-cannabis-genome-changing-weed-game-436526.html. 5/2/2016.

Erin Warwick has experimented with medicinal plants for over 20 years and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in Herbal Therapeutics at Maryland University of Integrative Health. On top of this, she is a fitness expert and Personal Trainer who received a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. When not immersed in plant matters, she can be found running heavy-duty obstacle coarse races or hanging out with her kids and pets. She thrives to help others obtain full body, mind and spirit health and wellness, and is particularly interested in unlocking the medicinal powers of cannabis and other amazing plants.