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December 11, 2023By Jamie Hughes

Best Strains for Inflammation

Cannabis, a plant with a rich history of medicinal use, has emerged as a promising natural remedy for inflammation and pain. Its therapeutic potential is attributed to cannabinoids like THC and CBD, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing various physiological processes.

This natural remedy has garnered attention for its ability to offer relief without the side effects commonly associated with conventional pain medications.

As research continues to unfold, cannabis is increasingly recognized for its effectiveness in managing inflammation and pain, offering a holistic alternative to traditional medicine.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis reduces inflammation through cannabinoids (THC, CBD) interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
  • Indica strains, rich in myrcene and pinene terpenes, are more effective for inflammation and pain relief.
  • Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) is potent for inflammation due to high THC content and anti-inflammatory terpenes.
  • Strawberry Sorbet, a hybrid strain with a balanced THC level, is effective and beginner-friendly for inflammation relief.
  • Granddaddy Purple (GDP), with high THC and myrcene, is a strong choice for chronic pain and inflammation.

Strain Summary

Don’t want to skim through the entire article? Here’s a quick rundown of the strains we’ll review below:

StrainTerpenesEffectsPotency (THC %)Suitable for Beginners
Girl Scout CookiesFloral, Earthy, SpicyEuphoric, RelaxUp to 28%No
Strawberry SorbetLimonene, Ocimene, MyrceneCalming, Uplift13-19%Yes
Granddaddy PurpleMyrcene, Caryophyllene, PineneSleepy, Relaxed20-27%No
Lemon KushLimonene, Caryophyllene, MyrceneHappy, Uplift16-26%Yes
GG4 (Gorilla Glue)Caryophyllene, Limonene, MyrceneRelaxed, Sleepy22-25.5%No
Blueberrya-Pinene, Myrcene, b-PineneSleepy, Relaxed15-24%Yes

The Science Behind Cannabis and Inflammation

Cannabis’ effectiveness in reducing inflammation hinges on its complex interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vital network in the body that regulates numerous physiological processes.

The ECS comprises endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes, functioning to maintain bodily homeostasis. Cannabinoids from cannabis, like THC and CBD, mimic endocannabinoids, facilitating or inhibiting their actions.

THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, altering pain perception and immune response. This binding can suppress inflammation by reducing cytokine production and modulating T-cell activity, which is pivotal in the inflammatory response. CBD, while not binding directly to these receptors, influences other non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels.

For instance, it interacts with the TRPV1 receptor, which is known for mediating pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. CBD also modulates the activity of FAAH, an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, an endocannabinoid, thus enhancing its anti-inflammatory effects.

Additionally, cannabis contains terpenes like myrcene and pinene, which have their own anti-inflammatory properties, further enhancing cannabis’s overall effect. This multifaceted interaction positions cannabis as a potential therapeutic agent for various inflammatory conditions.

Why Some Strains Work Better as an Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic

Cannabis strains, primarily categorized as Sativas and Indicas, exhibit distinct effects due to their unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Sativas, known for their “head high,” often enhance mood and energy, making them less ideal for inflammation and pain relief. In contrast, Indicas, providing a “body high,” are generally better for these purposes.

They promote muscle relaxation and decrease inflammation, partly due to their terpene composition. Terpenes like myrcene and pinene contribute significantly to cannabis’s therapeutic effects.

Myrcene, for instance, possesses natural anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, while pinene offers additional anti-inflammatory benefits.

This distinction underscores why Indicas and their terpene profiles are typically preferred for managing inflammation, while pinene offers additional anti-inflammatory benefits. This distinction underscores why Indicas and their terpene profiles are typically preferred for managing inflammation and pain.

5 Best Strain for Inflammation

With that said, let’s move on to the six best strains for inflammation that you can buy to potentially aid with your issues.

1. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

1 - GSC

Girl Scout Cookies, often abbreviated as GSC, is an indica-dominant hybrid strain renowned for its potency and effectiveness. Originating from a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison, GSC has become popular for its euphoric and full-body relaxation effects.

This strain is particularly favored by medical marijuana patients for its robust THC content and its ability to alleviate chronic pain, nausea, and appetite loss. Known for its dessert-like aroma and flavor, featuring mint, cherry, and lemon, GSC stands out as a top choice for experienced cannabis consumers.

Terpene Profile

GSC’s terpene profile is rich and diverse, contributing to its unique flavor and aroma. It exhibits floral and earthy notes with spicy, sweet, and pine undertones. This complex terpene composition not only influences the strain’s sensory attributes but also plays a role in its therapeutic effects, such as providing joy, euphoria, and creativity.

Expected Potency

Girl Scout Cookies is known for its high THC concentration, which can reach up to 28%. It also contains about 1% CBD and CBN each. This potent cannabinoid profile makes GSC a powerful choice for pain relief and can produce overwhelming effects for those with a lower THC tolerance.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this strain to beginners. You should only try it out if you’ve used some of the other strains, but the effects were way too mellow to be desirable.

Effects

The effects of GSC are characterized by euphoria and a profound sense of relaxation. Users often report feeling happy and stress-free after consumption.

The strain is effective in relieving symptoms associated with chronic pain, offering deep, full-body relaxation. Despite its indica dominance, GSC can also stimulate appetite and reduce nausea, making it a versatile option for various therapeutic needs​​​​​​.

Why GSC is the Best Strain for Inflammation?

Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) is exemplary for inflammation due to its high THC content, which efficiently targets pain and reduces inflammation. Its rich terpene profile, including pine and floral notes, enhances its anti-inflammatory properties.

Ideal for chronic pain sufferers, GSC offers a potent, full-body relaxation effect, alleviating physical discomfort. Its balanced effects make it a top choice for those seeking effective, natural relief from inflammation-related ailments.

2. Strawberry Sorbet

2 - Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet is a hybrid strain, recognized for its calming and higher-than-average THC potency. It inherits its sweet candy flavor from Heirloom Swiss Strawberry and gains frostiness and smoothness from its other parent, Sorbet.

This strain is particularly noted for its effects that elevate mood and promote relaxation, making it a suitable choice for alleviating daily stresses.

Terpene Profile

The primary terpenes in Strawberry Sorbet are Limonene, Ocimene, and Myrcene. These contribute to its unique flavor profile, which includes fruity, chemical, coffee, and spicy/herbal notes, culminating in a fruity exhale.

Terpenes in Strawberry Sorbet not only impart these flavors but also play a significant role in its medical and experiential effects.

Expected Potency

Strawberry Sorbet’s THC levels range between 13-19%, with about 1% CBG. This potency level categorizes it as a strain with higher THC content than average, making it effective for pain relief and stress alleviation. The THC levels here are a lot more “beginner-friendly.” So, if this is your first time trying cannabis, I would definitely recommend Strawberry Sorbet.

Effects

This strain predominantly induces calming effects. Users can expect to feel tingly, giggly, and hungry, making it suitable for pain, stress, and depression management.

However, it is essential to be mindful of potential negatives such as dry eyes and dry mouth. Strawberry Sorbet’s soothing properties make it an excellent choice for relaxation while maintaining a sense of euphoria and happiness​​​​​​.

3. Granddaddy Purple (GDP)

3 - Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple, also known as GDP, is a famous indica strain, that originated from a cross of Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan. This strain, popularized in 2003, is known for its profound grape and berry aroma, deeply purple-hued flowers, and potent effects on both mind and body.

GDP is often chosen for its ability to combat pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms. Its relaxing and euphoric properties make it a staple for those seeking relief from various ailments.

Terpene Profile

The primary terpenes in GDP are myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. Myrcene, the most abundant in cannabis, offers an earthy and musky aroma, sometimes with fruity, grape-like notes.

It’s known for reducing inflammation and chronic pain. Caryophyllene, with spicy and peppery notes, binds to CB2 receptors, making it useful in anti-inflammatory applications.

Pinene, reminiscent of pine trees, has anti-inflammatory properties and can aid respiratory functions, reducing memory loss associated with THC.

Expected Potency

Granddaddy Purple possesses a THC content ranging from 20% to 27%, with about 1% CBD. This high THC level categorizes GDP as a potent strain, particularly effective for pain relief and inducing a state of relaxation. This one is definitely a no-no for people just starting out in the canna-journey.

Effects

GDP primarily delivers calming effects, often inducing feelings of sleepiness, hunger, and relaxation. While its high THC content provides a cerebral euphoria, it also ensures significant physical relaxation, ideal for alleviating stress, pain, and anxiety. However, users should be aware of potential side effects like dry mouth, dry eyes, and dizziness.

GDP’s potent and comprehensive effects make it a preferred choice for both recreational enjoyment and medicinal use, especially for those dealing with chronic ailments​​​​​​.

4. Lemon Kush

4 - Lemon Kush

Lemon Kush, also known as Cali Lemon Kush, is a well-balanced hybrid strain believed to be a cross between Master Kush and Lemon Joy, or Lemon G and Afghan Kush, depending on the breeder.

It’s celebrated for its sweet, citrusy flavors and uplifting effects, combining the earthy undertones of kush with the zesty appeal of lemon. This strain is popular for its energizing yet relaxing impact, making it a versatile choice for various occasions.

Terpene Profile

Lemon Kush’s terpene profile includes Limonene, B-Caryophyllene, and Myrcene, contributing to its distinctive lemony aroma and taste. Limonene, the dominant terpene, not only gives it a zesty flavor but also offers soothing relaxation without inducing heavy sedation.

This makes Lemon Kush an ideal strain for those seeking relaxation with a motivating buzz.

Expected Potency

Lemon Kush’s THC levels vary, with some sources citing an average of 20% and a high of 26%, making it a potent strain. Its CBD content ranges from approximately 0.5% to 2.34%.

This combination of THC and CBD makes Lemon Kush highly effective in inducing a balanced high, offering both cerebral stimulation and physical relaxation. Beginners could potentially use Lemon Kush, but I still wouldn’t recommend this as your very first strain.

Effects

Lemon Kush is known for inducing feelings of happiness, upliftment, and creativity. It’s effective in managing stress, anxiety, and depression owing to its energizing effects. However, users should be cautious of potential negatives like dry mouth and eyes, and in some cases, paranoia.

This strain’s balance between relaxation and invigoration makes it suitable for use during the day or evening, providing a pleasant and euphoric experience that can enhance mood and foster creativity​​​​​​​​​​​​.

5. GG4 (Gorilla Glue #4)

5 - GG4

GG4, also known as Gorilla Glue or Original Glue, is a potent hybrid strain created from a cross between Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. This strain is a balance of 37% sativa and 63% indica, renowned for delivering heavy-handed euphoria and relaxation. Its chunky, resin-covered buds emit pungent earthy and sour aromas, a legacy of its parent strains.

Terpene Profile

The primary terpenes in GG4 include Caryophyllene, Limonene, Humulene, Myrcene, and Linalool. This rich terpene blend contributes to GG4’s distinct earthy, piney, and sweet flavor profile. Caryophyllene, known for its spicy notes, plays a significant role in GG4’s therapeutic effects, particularly in providing relief from stress and pain. Limonene adds a hint of citrus, enhancing the strain’s uplifting effects.

Expected Potency

GG4 boasts a THC concentration ranging from 22% to 25.5%, marking it as an extremely potent strain. The CBD content varies from 0.05% to 0.72%, with CBN levels around 0.1% to 0.18%. This high THC to CBD ratio contributes to GG4’s strong sedative effects, making it suitable for experienced users seeking powerful relief from stress, anxiety, and pain. Novices should stay far away from this strain.

Effects

The effects of GG4 are primarily calming, inducing a state of relaxation and sleepiness. It’s particularly effective in managing stress, anxiety, and pain. The high THC content provides a significant euphoric experience, yet the strain is also known for causing a couch-lock effect.

Users should be aware of potential side effects such as dry mouth, paranoia, and dry eyes. GG4’s robust effects make it an ideal choice for evening use or when deep relaxation is desired​​​​​​.

6. Blueberry

6 - Blueberry

Blueberry, also known as Berry Blue, is a celebrated indica strain, arising from a cross between Purple Thai and Thai strains. Its reputation was cemented when it won the High Times’ Cannabis Cup in 2000 for Best Indica. Blueberry is cherished for its sweet blueberry flavor and its ability to induce euphoria and relaxation, making it a top choice for managing pain, stress, and anxiety.

Terpene Profile

The terpene profile of Blueberry is complex, featuring a-Pinene, B-Myrcene, B-Pinene, D-Limonene, and B-Caryophyllene, among others. This blend results in a sweet, floral aroma with tropical and pine notes. a-Pinene, being the most abundant terpene, imparts a sweet pine scent and, along with Myrcene and b-Pinene, contributes to the strain’s musky tones.

These terpenes not only define Blueberry’s flavor but also enhance its soothing and sleep-inducing effects.

Expected Potency

Blueberry has a THC content ranging from 15% to 24%, classifying it as a potent strain. Its CBD levels are generally below 2%, with some variations containing up to 0.8% CBD. This high THC content combined with a low CBD level makes Blueberry effective for inducing a calming and sedative high, ideal for evening use. This strain is great for first-time smokers.

Effects

Blueberry’s effects are primarily calming, known to induce sleepiness, hunger, and relaxation. It is widely used for its stress-relieving properties, and its ability to ease pain and anxiety. The strain is also noted for facilitating calmness and easing restlessness, making it an excellent choice for managing chronic pain and insomnia.

Closing Thoughts – Best Strains for Inflammation

In summary, cannabis strains like Girl Scout Cookies, Strawberry Sorbet, Granddaddy Purple, Lemon Kush, GG4, and Blueberry offer significant relief for inflammation, each with unique properties.

Indica-dominant strains like GDP and Blueberry are particularly effective due to their relaxing effects and terpene profiles rich in myrcene and pinene, known for anti-inflammatory benefits.

Sativa-dominant and balanced hybrids like Lemon Kush and GG4 provide a mix of euphoria and physical comfort. The choice of strain depends on individual preferences and specific symptoms, but these highlighted strains stand out for their proven efficacy in reducing inflammation and providing relief.

Apart from that, I would highly suggest following my instructions about the beginner-friendliness of each of those strains. Trying out a strain like Gorilla Glue as a beginner will be a terrible idea and will ruin your life for the next 12-18 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Strains for Inflammation

Which Strain is Best for Inflammation?

Girl Scout Cookies and Granddaddy Purple are highly effective for inflammation due to their potent cannabinoid and terpene profiles, which provide significant relief.

Is Indica or Sativa Better for Inflammation?

Indica strains are generally better for inflammation, as they have relaxing effects and terpene profiles rich in anti-inflammatory compounds like myrcene and pinene. But, certain sativas can be great help too.

Which Strains are Most Anti-Inflammatory?

The most anti-inflammatory strains are Granddaddy Purple and Blueberry. These indica-dominant strains, high in myrcene, offer powerful relief from inflammation and are thus highly recommended for this purpose.

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