Let’s face it, life can be tough. Tougher, in many ways, than we would like to let on. From precarious work environments to social pressures, it’s no wonder that the number of people suffering from stress-related conditions has increased dramatically.
Stress manifests itself in the form of muscular pain, cramps, spasms, and other maladies. This is especially common in those who spend a lot of time outside each day or those with mobility issues.
One potential way to help treat this increasingly widespread ailment is the superstar of herbal remedies, cannabis. But how exactly can cannabis help with muscle spasms? And which is the best strain for muscle relaxation? Let’s take a look!
Cannabis for Muscle Pain
It might surprise you to hear that cannabis can actually help fight against muscle pain in numerous ways. This is especially meaningful considering the causes of various muscular conditions vary a lot from person to person.
The mystery ingredient in cannabis that is so particularly powerful in promoting healthy and strong muscles is THC. THC is a cannabinoid, which is an active ingredient unique to the marijuana plant. It interacts with the nervous system in a highly intimate manner, lessening pain and inflammation while supporting the immune system.
As a result, THC has proven successful in plenty of applications, including as a treatment for fibromyalgia, different kinds of nerve pain, and even cancer. Its ability to soothe our muscles is only one of many in a wide spectrum of health benefits.
However, other components found in cannabis also deserve mentioning due to their efficacy in treating muscle pain and other conditions. For example, CBD has long been used as a post-workout supplement by athletes to promote healthy sleep cycles, fight anxiety, and prevent excessive soreness and cramps in the muscles.
Cannabis Oil for Muscle Pain
Particularly for muscle pain, the history of cannabis as a natural remedy goes back a long way. Many native cultures have practiced rituals involving the use of cannabis to treat pain disorders for centuries.
While our scientific knowledge on the subject is just catching up, it is clear that cannabis is a uniquely effective treatment option for those suffering from these kinds of ailments. A particularly popular method of administering cannabis for muscle pain is to use oils, such as CBD oil, THC oil, or hash oil.
These extracts contain a very potent blend of the plant’s most significant active ingredients – the cannabinoids – while being useful for topical application. When using an oil for muscle pain, gently rub it into the skin where the sensation is most noticeable. Compared to edibles, the effects should set in much faster and be more localized.
Terpenes for Spasticity
Some of the compounds of cannabis have been shown to decrease muscle spasticity. That is, they improve circulation and prevent nerve damage, which greatly reduces the risk of spasms, cramps, and chronic pain. This also prevents muscles and joints from locking or seizing up and being in a constant state of stiffness, as is common with various chronic conditions.
One particular class of cannabis ingredients is responsible for the bulk of these health benefits. These are the terpenes; complex chemicals that control the flavors, and aromas that different strains of marijuana are known for. But terpenes serve many more functions beyond flavor.
While there are many kinds of terpenes and each strain of cannabis has its own unique terpene mix, two in particular serve a strong role as muscle relaxants and anti-spasmodic remedies.
Myrcene is one of the most well-known terpenes among cannabis enthusiasts. The majority of strains grown worldwide are myrcene-dominant, leading many to associate its unique properties with cannabis itself.
The mother of all terpenes produces a flavor and scent that is often called musky, spicy, and woody. To many, this is the “classic” set of aromas associated with cannabis, though, of course, other terpenes can display completely different characteristics.
A high myrcene content in cannabis and some other herbs has long been associated with a sedating effect. Myrcene is also a powerful anti-oxidant, and it helps regulate the nervous system, which can greatly benefit those with chronic pain, muscular cramps, and similar conditions.
While not as ubiquitous as myrcene, linalool is actually also one of the most widespread terpenes. Not just found in abundance in a number of cannabis strains, many plants such as lavender also contain linalool. This, along with its distinctive, sweet scent, is why many refer to it as the “flower terpene.”
As for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits, linalool is known for being a potent anti-microbial remedy, preventing and helping treat many common infections. But more recently, particular attention has been given to this terpene because of its demonstrated anti-seizure properties.
Similar to myrcene, linalool sedates and calms the nerves. It’s been shown to work well against symptoms of depression and anxiety, but in particular, as a treatment for nerve disorders, chronic pain, and spasticity, it shows a lot of promise.
Linalool hasn’t been the subject of as much scientific research like some other terpenes, but its documented effects make it a top contender for a natural remedy against muscle pain, cramps, and more.
Best Cannabis for Muscle Spasms
So, which kind of cannabis is the best strain for muscle relaxation? What often surprises beginners is just how much diversity there is between all the countless different strains, varieties, and breeds of the marijuana plant.
You are probably already familiar with the heated debate surrounding the merits of Sativa versus Indica strains. Without overcomplicating things for the purposes of this guide, the bottom line is that Indicas and Indica-dominant hybrid strains will probably be the most useful for muscle spasms.
Indica marijuana produces a mentally more calming “high” compared to its Sativa brethren, which can often energize you to the point of euphoria or physical anxiety. This is why those using cannabis for pain relief often prefer the sensation of Indica strains, as it makes you less on edge.
Similarly, when it comes to the choice between CBD-heavy and THC-dominant strains, you should favor the former. While THC is highly therapeutic and plays a large role in fighting muscle pain and spasms, too much of it can be mentally and physically overbearing.
Go for strains that have healthy amounts of both of these cannabinoids, but lean more towards the CBD, which is more relaxing, calming, and sedating. For ease of use, we also recommend considering liquid oils and tinctures for topical applications and edibles in addition to the classic hemp flower.
High CBD Strains
As we noted above, a strain that’s high in CBD will allow you to fully reap the benefits of muscular and nervous system relief, resulting in pain-free relaxation day in, day out.
A great example of this crop is Delta-8 Sour Space Candy. While regular Sour Space Candy is one of our favorites among cannabis strains today, its high THC content might be too much for those who are looking for a purely medicinal herb to combat their muscle spasms or chronic pain.
This is why Botany Farms chose to modify Sour Space Candy using our own cold-press distillate process. This infuses the Sour Space Candy flower with an extract of Delta-8 THC – an isomer of the same cannabinoid that is milder, causes fewer side effects, and doesn’t lead to euphoric or energetic highs like its more common brother.
Delta-8 Sour Space Candy is the jack of all trades – a hemp flower that is very high in both THC and CBD, calms and relaxes but doesn’t lead to fidgeting, anxiety, or irritability.
Tinctures are your best friend if you want to treat your muscle pain at the root of the problem. Applying these liquid extracts topically allows you to maintain localized and highly potent cannabinoid effects that set in quickly and can last the whole day.
At Botany Farms, we have our very own, unique recipe – the Live Resin CBD + THC Tincture. Unlike others, which usually base their tinctures on CBD extracts alone, our Live Resin is gained from organic Sour Space Candy flowers, retaining the whole spectrum of cannabinoids including THC.
A serving of this tincture contains about 3mg of THC and 50mg of CBD, making for a high-ratio resin that combines the effects of both major ingredients and is excellent for topical use.
If you would prefer edibles for a whole-body experience that is easy to use and easy to keep up with in terms of dosage, then have a look at our selection of CBD Gummies.
Botany Farms Gummies are not like those you might find at your local dispensary. Soft, sweet, and genuinely yummy in any of their eight fruity flavors, they are packed with 25mg of CBD extract each. This makes for a potent relaxant effect that never gets overwhelming for the novice user.
We recommend a serving of between half and one whole gummy for starters. Experienced users with a higher tolerance can have more than one per serving.
Best Strain for Muscle Relaxation
To make your choice easier, we have rounded up some of the best strains for muscle relaxation. Read on; maybe you will find a new go-to bud!
This indica-dominant hybrid strain is known for its extremely colorful buds, which glisten in lavender, green, and orange shades. Its effects are highly sedating and calming, with limonene and linalool being the most dominant terpenes.
Beginners should start off with milder doses of Do-Si-Dos. This is so as not to succumb to the excessive drowsiness that often goes along with moderately high-THC hybrids like the Do-Si-Dos strain.
Ice Cream Cake
A hybrid cross between Gelato #33 and Wedding Cake, Ice Cream Cake is mildly Indica-dominant and displays a very sweet, almost sugary flavor.
Compared to some other popular strains for muscle relaxation, its effects are somewhat more euphoric. However, even with the extra bouts of energy, it still does more than enough to provide a soothing calm and promote relaxing pain relief.
Arguably one of the contemporary hybrid strains with the most storied reputation, OG Kush is what many would call a modern classic.
Originating from an unknown blend of existing strains first produced in the 90s, OG Kush is famous for its distinctive “skunky” taste and cerebral high that can be uplifting, energizing, and relaxing at the same time. It’s many longtime users’ go-to strain for pain and stress relief, and there are good reasons why.
Gorilla Glue, or GG #4, is a hybrid that displays both Indica and Sativa traits in about equal measure. It is known for its highly resinous, sticky consistency.
Though the sour and hearty taste will be something of an acquired taste for some, you can’t complain about GG4’s ability to soothe body and mind. It remains one of the most capable strains for that application.
Girl Scout Cookies
Based on OG Kush and crossed with a Sativa called Durban Poison, Girl Scout Cookies is a high-THC strain that is meant to treat anxiety, pain, and stress, while engaging your mind in a much more potent manner than many similar alternatives.
It generates one of the most extreme examples of a classic Indica “body high,” leaving you soothed and relaxed, often to the point of numbness. For a really powerful relief from pain and cramps, particularly in the evenings, GSC can’t be beaten.
There aren’t many cannabis strains known for their muscle relaxation properties specifically. Granddaddy Purple breaks that mold with a high THC count of over 25%, a sweet, berry-like aroma, and extremely potent relaxant effects that have given it quite a reputation in the cannabis scene.
This Indica-leaning hybrid strain is very high in CBD and low on THC. As a result, it is mentally and physically calming and provides relief from pain and anxiety with little to no effects on energy levels.
Unlike GSC for example, it will neither make you euphoric nor excessively drowsy, no matter the dosage. The strain’s flavor spectrum ranges from fruity and sweet to earthy and woody, with hints of citrus.
Another Indica-dominant hybrid strain, Nordle is pretty unique in containing a roughly even and moderate balance of THC and CBD. It provides pain relief and anti-spasticity benefits alongside a mood lift and increased energy levels.
Breaking stereotypes when it comes to the best strain for muscle relaxation, Sour Tsunami shows how Indica lineages aren’t the only ones that are deserving of attention. A strongly Sativa-dominant blend, Sour Tsunami has one of the highest CBD-to-THC ratios on this list – a whopping 14:1!
This makes it a highly potent relaxant, and it is one of the preferred strains used for treating conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, migraines, and muscle spasms and seizures as well.
Due to its Sativa heritage, Sour Tsunami also encourages creative thinking and generates a faint “head high” – though thanks to the low THC count, this is kept to a healthy minimum.
Stephen Hawking Kush
If you’re looking for a more conventional and time-tested way of treating your muscle pains, tremors, or spasms, take a look at Stephen Hawking Kush. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid strain for muscle relaxation, with a high (but not extreme) ratio of CBD to THC.
Stephen Hawking Kush is a very easy strain for beginners since it is known to cause side effects only in extremely rare cases, and because it is very effective in relaxing and soothing the whole body and mind.
Originally known by Hippie's Disappointment's somewhat less appealing name, Charlotte’s Web is a high-CBD hybrid strain originating from Colorado. Thanks to an ultra-low THC content of less than .3%, it provokes no psychoactive effects.
It gets its name from the case of Charlotte Figi, a six-year-old girl who, in 2013, started taking this strain to treat her debilitating chronic seizures. Not only did Charlotte’s Web work, but it also turned out to be many times more effective than any comparable prescription drug!
The case of Charlotte turned into a national rallying cry for supporters of liberal cannabis legislation, and in her honor, the strain was renamed. However, the recipe never changed, and Charlotte’s Web is still available for purchase online wherever CBD products are legal.
A 50/50 hybrid specifically developed for the treatment of epilepsy and similar conditions, the aptly-named Valentine X counts on its exceptionally-high CBD ratio to relax the body, prevent seizures, and fight chronic pains, spasms, and cramps.
CBD Skunk Haze
One of the most popular strains in recent memory, CBD Skunk Haze is an easy-to-use hybrid with pleasant properties in taste, aroma, and effects. It contains about equal levels of THC and CBD, providing mild effects characteristic of each.
CBD Shark Shock
A strongly Indica-dominant strain with a sharp, spicy taste, CBD Shark Shock actually contains about as much of its namesake cannabinoid as it does THC. This makes for a relaxant mix that treats pain, anxiety, and inflammation incredibly well but without inducing side effects too easily.
CBD Kush was bred from Kandy Krush in an effort to create a strain that is good for muscle relaxation and anxiety treatment without being overbearing or producing too strong side effects associated with therapeutic THC.
In that application, we can only call it a widespread success. CBD Kush is one of the most popular therapeutic CBD-heavy strains today, and for a good reason. Its effects are gentle, subtle, yet powerful. This also makes it very suitable for beginners.
A special hybrid strain bred for the ultimate in CBD potency, Harle-Tsu contains next to no THC whatsoever. It should serve as an extremely powerful remedy for a variety of stress-related conditions, including muscle pains and spasms.
Because of its spicy taste, which can be harsh on the throat, and its propensity for leaving users feeling somewhat dizzy or groggy, larger doses of Harle-Tsu should be avoided at least until your system has gotten used to it.
Sweet and Sour Widow
One of a series of “One-to-one” strains featuring carefully-bred equal distributions of THC and CBD, Sweet and Sour Widow is Indica-dominant and known for its calming, understated effects.
It’s a mild relaxant that eases pain and cramping without causing any mental fogginess or other undesirable side effects. This makes it very suitable, particularly for inexperienced users.
Based on the longtime fan favorite ACDC strain crossed with Harle-Tsu, Ringo’s Gift generates an easy full-body high that lasts and reduces stress across the board.
It can be considered very effective against chronic pain compared to most other strains, and it’s one of our go-to's for muscle relaxation as well. Despite the notable relaxant effects, Ringo’s Gift still leaves the user with plenty of focus and mental concentration to go about their day – no “couch look” with this one!