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Wednesday July 24, 2019

By Paul Barach


Arthritis sufferers have used marijuana for years to treat the associated pain, stiffness, and inflammation, whether they admitted it to their grandchildren or not. The fact is, most people will deal with some form of arthritis or joint stiffness as their body ages due to the normal “wear and tear” to our joints as we go through our lives. When enough cartilage and joint tissue has worn away, bones begin to grind together, which causes arthritis symptoms. As bad as this is for the elderly, it is unfortunately not limited to just senior citizens. In fact, arthritis can develop in the early 20s and remain throughout someone’s life. 

On the upside, cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis, easing the symptoms and associated pain. There is also growing evidence that the CBD present in cannabis and hemp may be able to slow cartilage destruction and speed the healing of broken bones. Given the well-known anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects of CBD, coupled with the pain relief and mood enhancement of THC, we have listed below our top high-CBD, medium-to-high THC strains that are best for treating arthritis. 


ACDC Strain
ACDC is known for helping focus during the day and sharpen social skills at night.

A calm and happy strain descended from Cannatonic and Ruderalis, ACDC is known for helping marijuana enthusiasts focus on their work during the day and sharpen their social skills at night. ACDC’s 20:1 CBD:THC ratio has been traditionally used for chronic pain and anxiety, which are both common in arthritis sufferers. 


A cultured, diverse descendant of Colombian Gold, Nepali Indica, Thai, and Swiss strains, Harlequin is highly regarded for its relaxing effects that don’t sedate or intoxicate. This strain’s other claim to fame is its consistent CBD:THC ratio of 5:2, exhibiting none of the minor fluctuations common to other high-CBD strains. This pain-relieving strain can help tremendously with joint pain and inflammation.  


DeathStar Strain
DeathStar produces a heavy body effect and "stoney" experience.

An indica-dominant strain through and through from its Sensi Star roots (despite the Sour Diesel in its parentage), DeathStar produces a heavy body effect for the user that comes on gradually before enveloping the user. With a pleasant aroma matched by its taste, it carries a potent soporific, “stoney” experience that’s perfect for arthritic symptoms. The high THC content, usually topping 20%, gives the user that stoney uplift that represses chronic pain and the related stresses.


A cross of Hash Plant and Swiss Big Bud, Ingrid’s strong indica ancestry makes it the Ambien of this list, but without the risk of night driving or tweets you may regret sending. Arthritis pain can lead to sleepless nights, making for a miserable one-two punch for those already having trouble getting through their day. Leading with a strong berry aroma, Ingrid’s potent pain relief comes on in about 20 to 30 minutes, relaxing the muscles and leading the user off to dreamland. Just be sure you’re not too far from your bed with this one.

Blue Diesel

blue diesel strain
Blue Diesel produces a steady, non-intrusive high that lasts all day.

As Ingrid is for the nighttime, Blue Diesel is for the day. A blend of indica-heavy Blueberry with sativa-dominant NYC Diesel, Blue Diesel produces a steady, non-intrusive high that lasts all day. Boasting a smooth lift without any dramatic peaks or valleys for the user, this strain is a perfect daytime treatment for joint pain. As an added bonus, the complimentary CBD ratio in Blue Diesel also helps to slow joint and bone deterioration.

Black and White

Combining the euphoric uplift of White Widow with the pain relief and inflammation reduction of Afghani, Black and White is another recommended strain for those dealing with arthritis. Two heavy-hitters of the medical marijuana community, Afghani’s heavy, full body relaxation is a perfect match for White Widow, which is revered for its anti-depressant effects. To put it mildly; suffering from chronic pain with no cure in sight can be a bit of a downer, which is why White Widow brings so much to the table for this hybrid.  

Best Ways to Consume Cannabis for Effective Arthritis Relief

The classic way to consume cannabis strains for arthritis relief is to put the bud into a joint, pipe, or bong, apply fire, and inhale. If these work for you, read no further. However, many who are suffering from arthritis pain may have other associated health problems. Inhaling the carbonized particles in marijuana smoke can make these worse, since the joint pain, insomnia, and inflammation that arthritis may cause can weaken immune systems.

This is especially true for patients suffering from chronic arthritis, an autoimmune disorder. With their immune systems already primed to overreact, introducing foreign particles like smoke can only make things worse.

Despite this, inhalation remains the fastest method for pain relief. A good compromise is to invest in a vaporizer. There are plenty of dry herb vaporizers on the market, from handheld to tabletop varieties with options like temperature control. These use heating coils to vaporize the THC and other cannabinoids, allowing you to inhale the good stuff while limiting any foreign particles. If inhalation is off the table, then grab your grinder and head to the kitchen. THC and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning you can cook them into any oil and absorb most of the beneficial cannabinoids for arthritis into your gut. A little bit of internet research will provide you with the best methods for making your own cannabis oil to add to any recipe you choose. The effects will last longer, and the only caveat is that it will take about an hour to feel any relief. Also, it is more challenging to ensure a consistent dose, so expect some trial and error.

Do you use cannabis for arthritis relief? Share your tips, tricks, and favorite products in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Carpal Tunnel Gadgets (license)


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.

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