Patients looking for a prescription for back spasms often find relief with medical cannabis, an all-natural solution with less addictive potential than traditional pharmaceutical options.
Since patients respond to marijuana in different ways, a wide variety of strains (indica, sativa, hybrid, and CBD-forward strains) may help people with chronic pain unlock relief. When it comes to medical marijuana treatment, experimentation is key.
If you’re looking for a prescription for back spasms, muscle soreness, or chronic pain, your conventional providers will likely turn to two common medication types: muscle relaxers or opioids.
However, these medications can pose significant addiction potential for patients; opioids in particular represent a staggering majority of overdose deaths in the US.
In the face of dependence potential and significant side effects, many patients turn to all-natural solutions like medical cannabis. But when it comes to choosing a strain, it’s hard to predict how you’ll respond since cannabis has a different effect on everyone. Nevertheless, this guide is dedicated to helping you choose a strain as you experiment with medical cannabis for muscle spasms. Let’s dive in.
Muscle Spasms: Potential Causes
A number of medical conditions and experiences can lead to muscle spasms. A non-exhaustive list includes:
Stress: Stress can impact our bodies in a variety of physical ways. Responses to post-traumatic stress and short-term stress (e.g., job-related stress) alike can lead to physical manifestations that impact our daily lives and functioning.
Chronic illnesses or pain: For people living with chronic illnesses or pain, spasms may be an everyday reality. Whether you’re dealing with residual pain after an injury or constant discomfort as a result of an illness, pain can keep you from living a fulfilling life.
Let’s dig deeper into marijuana strains, an important topic for anyone considering using medical marijuana as a treatment for muscle spasms, soreness, or pain.
What is a Strain?
Simply put, a strain is a type of marijuana. Strains are subtypes of the Cannabis sativa plant, and they’re cultivated by marijuana growers for their specific cannabinoid combinations and concentrations.
What does that mean for people using medical marijuana?
Each strain has a unique chemical profile. Strains feature one-of-a-kind combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds that set them apart from each other.
Strains produce unique effects. Since they have discrete chemical compositions, they produce different responses in patients.
Some strains are more effective than others for certain conditions—and certain patients. Since everyone responds differently to marijuana, one patient may find relief from a strain that doesn’t produce meaningful results for another patient.
The existence of multiple strains is just one reason why patients respond so differently to cannabis. However, it also means that patients can personally tailor their experiences (unlike with pharmaceuticals) by choosing the strain that works best for them.
Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid
Strains are sorted into one of three categories:
Indica: Patients generally report that indica strains make them feel relaxed, drowsy, and calm. For this reason, Indica strains are a favorite among patients looking for mood stability, sleep support, and pain relief.
Sativa: Sativa strains can produce markedly different effects than Indica strains. Patients mostly consider sativas to generate creative and complex thoughts (or even extroverted tendencies).
Hybrid: Hybrid strains are cultivated from a combination of indica and sativa plants, and they can offer the best of both categories. Hybrids can also be sativa- or indica-dominant, or they can offer more of an even split in terms of effects.
Strains and Intoxication: THC vs. CBD
Strains also feature different levels of THC and CBD, two major cannabinoids that shape users’ experiences.
THC produces a high—an intoxicated feeling that’s widely associated with marijuana use.
CBD is non-intoxicating. Patients using CBD-forward products with a negligible amount of THC are highly unlikely to notice any psychoactive effects.
However, both THC- and CBD-forward strains can be categorized as indica, sativa, or hybrid strains. The difference is in the cannabinoid content, not the strain type.
Strains for Muscle Spasms
With all of the above in mind, let’s outline some patient favorites in each category to help you choose an ideal strain for muscle spasms.
While Indica strains often offer a relaxing experience, this isn’t the case for every user. However, if you’ve determined that indicas provide the effects you’re looking for, consider the following strains as you experiment:
Ice Cream Cake
Many patients report that sativa strains help them:
Unlock creative and complex thoughts
Engage in activities and hobbies
Participate more actively in social situations
But this doesn’t mean sativas aren’t useful for muscle spasms or chronic pain relief. As mentioned earlier, everyone responds to marijuana strains differently, and you might find relief from a Sativa strain.
If this is the case, consider favorites like:
Hybrids can offer the best of both for patients looking for a strain that’s equally calming and energizing. Hybrids are also an excellent starting point for newcomers to cannabis, as they can provide a well-rounded experience and a comfortable jumping-off point for further experimentation.
That said, consider some of these hybrid go-to’s on your next dispensary or pharmacy visit:
Girl Scout Cookie
Low THC Strains
If you’re not looking for an intoxicating experience, consider a CBD-forward product like:
Sour Space Candy
Since most CBD products fall under the umbrella of hemp (a federally legal, low-THC product available for sale across the US per the 2018 Farm Bill), many are legal for patients looking to try medical cannabis without a prescription.
Finding the Right Strain: Tips from the Pros
As you explore various strains, a few tips can help you hone your product choice to find what works best for your spasm relief:
Document everything: Writing down which strain you try, the administration method (e.g., smoking, edibles, or topicals), your dose, and the effects you experience can help you identify trends and find the products that produce the best possible results consistently.
Gather repeat data: Unless you have a markedly negative experience using a product, consider trying a specific strain, dose, and method more than once to gather a wide variety of data. Repeating your experiments will help you identify commonalities across products independently of outside influences that might impact your experience.
Talk to the professionals: Seeking product recommendations from your medical marijuana doctor or budtender (the person working behind the counter at your dispensary or pharmacy) can help you proceed in the right direction each time you try a new product. These professionals are well-versed in the products available on today’s market, and they can help you choose strains and methods that have worked well for other patients with similar goals.
TeleLeaf: Unlocking Natural Relief with Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis has been shown to be highly effective for patients dealing with chronic pain, muscle spasms, and soreness, and marijuana has a much lower addiction potential and side effect profile than many pharmaceutical medications.
If you’re ready to learn more about medical cannabis or incorporate marijuana into your treatment regimen, the team at TeleLeaf is here to help. Our providers are experts on the legislation in your state, the medical impacts of cannabis, and the products that can help you uncover revolutionary relief.