Cannabis for Pain Relief: How It Works & How to Get Results

As study after study shows, Americans are turning to cannabis for pain relief in record numbers. Not only can it effectively treat several types of pain, but it’s helping reduce our dependence on objectively harmful pharmaceuticals such as opioids.

It shouldn’t be a surprise as to why. As long ago as 2900 BCE, Chinese physicians were using cannabis to treat pain and inflammation, as well as many of the other conditions we depend on it for today. Today, a growing number of clinical studies only confirm what those ancient doctors already knew: That when it’s used properly, cannabis can be a game-changer in the treatment of pain, easing symptoms and boosting overall quality of life.

But many of us—including many doctors—don’t know how to use cannabis for pain relief. In this article, we’ll talk about the roots of pain, how cannabis helps treat it, and how to choose the best types of cannabis for different kinds of pain.

Cannabis for Pain Relief: Understanding The Causes of Pain

Cannabis for Pain Relief

Pain, much as we might dislike it, is a fact of life. For most of history, we understood it to be a symptom of an injury. But recently, that’s begun to change. that researchers have begun to shift their thinking on chronic pain, recognizing that it’s a serious disorder with several types. Here are the three major ones:

  • Nociceptive Pain: Resulting from a physical injury, this type of pain is often treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Neuropathic (or “Nerve”) Pain: This type of pain can also be caused by a physical injury, but it refers to injury to a nerve. It doesn’t typically respond to anti-inflammatories.
  • Central Pain: Sometimes called “mystery pain,” this occurs in the absence of a physical injury. One example is fibromyalgia, a difficult-to-diagnose condition.

Cannabis for Pain Relief: Using Cannabinoids to Manage Pain

While each of these types of pain is different, they’re all alike in that cannabis has the potential to treat them. And the principal way it does it is through a group of natural chemicals called “cannabinoids.” You’re probably familiar with the two most important ones: THC and CBD. THC, of course, is the one responsible for the cannabis plant’s euphoric “high.”

What’s important to know here is that THC and CBD work with the body in different ways to help reduce pain and swelling at injury sites. And every cannabis product we sell is labeled with a cannabinoid ratio, which tells you exactly how much THC, CBD, or both it contains. This is important when it comes to choosing which products will work best with each type of pain.

Speaking of which, let’s revisit that list of specific pain types again. 

  • Nociceptive Pain: Many clinicians recommend using a cannabis product that contains a roughly balanced 1:1 ratio between THC and CBD for nociceptive pain. Because each one works differently, you’ll get the maximum benefit of each one’s anti-inflammatory and other pain-fighting properties. And if you find THC distracting, the high proportion of CBD will help mitigate some of its psychoactivity.
  • Neuropathic (or “Nerve”) Pain: For this type of pain, high-THC products can provide relief through their euphoria. But CBD may actually be more useful here; though the results weren’t conclusive, one study found that CBD might be effective against neuropathic pain. And a groundbreaking study funded by the Dutch government aims to find definitive answers to the question.
  • Central Pain: While there are many unanswered questions about this puzzling type of pain, there are signs of hope. In one study on 26 fibromyalgia patients, every single subject found that cannabis improved their pain. Another recent study came to much the same conclusion. But doctors aren’t sure which cannabinoid ratio is best for central pain; some clinicians suggest trying a product with an equal ratio of THC of CBD to take advantage of both of these powerful pain-fighting compounds.

In Conclusion

Cannabis for Pain Relief

As you see, there are a number of ways cannabis can help with pain relief. But no matter which strain or product you use, we want to point out the importance of regulating your dosage. That’s because cannabis is biphasic, meaning that its effects change depending on its dosage. 

While it may sound strange, research indicates that the majority of us experience greater pain relief (and other medical benefits) from using less cannabis, not more. That’s why we always suggest you use the least amount of cannabis needed to achieve optimal results. It may require a little more trial and effort to find that amount, but once you do, you’ll experience gentler, more effective, and more sustainable results!
Do you have more questions about using cannabis for pain relief? Just reach out; we’re always here to help!

Shatter: What You Need To Know

Concentrates have become some of the most popular products in the legal market—and for good reason. Concentrates feature exceptional terpene and cannabinoid content that makes them super potent and extraordinarily tasty. Shatter, sometimes called shatter wax, is one of these concentrates. 

What Is Shatter Wax?

shatter wax

Shatter is a cannabis extract known for its intense potency and flavor. It is a thin sheet of solidified oil that can range in color anywhere from translucent to dark amber. This concentrate gets its name from its extremely fragile consistency. Because it is so brittle, it tends to shatter into many little pieces when handled.

Not all shatter is equal. Some shatter extractions are of better quality than others. A good general guideline is the darker the shatter, the lower the quality. Darker shatter may contain fewer terpenes, fewer cannabinoids, and more contaminants. And if your shatter has a rich aroma and flavor, that’s a good sign that it’s loaded with terpenes and is of high quality.

How Is Shatter Made?

Shatter can be made using several different extraction methods, but it is most commonly made using butane hydrocarbon extraction

It is made using a closed-loop system where cannabis source material is placed into a tank before being blasted with liquid butane, stripping it of its trichomes, terpenes, and more. This mixture of solvent and concentrate is then heated for up to forty-eight hours to vaporize and remove as much of the butane solvent as possible—ideally all of it.

Of course, for health and safety reasons, the production of shatter is best left to experienced professionals who have the right equipment and who know what they’re doing.

shatter wax

What’s The Difference Between Shatter And Wax?

Wax is another popular cannabis concentrate that is commonly found in medicinal and recreational dispensaries. Since shatter is also sometimes called ‘shatter wax,’ it can be easy to confuse the two. 

There’s no difference between wax and shatter when it comes to the effects they produce and how long they last. But there are some other differences worth noting.

One difference between wax and shatter is that these two extracts have very different consistencies. Shatter is a smooth sheet of solidified oil, while wax is a solid and chunky concentrate that is creamy and buttery in texture. This means that wax is easier to handle as it can be more easily manipulated without the worry of it immediately breaking into pieces as shatter would.

Additionally, shatter tends to last longer because the molecules in its chemical structure are bound together more tightly. Wax also tends to degrade more quickly because it has a greater surface area than shatter.

shatter wax

How Do You Use Shatter?

Shatter is typically vaped out of a vaporizer or dabbed out of a dab rig as shatter wax dabs. Shatter wax dabs are known for their intense and delicious flavor and quick-effect onset. It can also be added on top of the ground cannabis in bowls and joints to give them a serious potency boost. Additionally, shatter can be used to bake edibles or can be melted into a more liquid form to be placed into gelatin capsules. 
Interested in trying out some shatter, wax, or another cannabis concentrate? Check our online menu for a selection of cannabis concentrates that you’re sure to love! And while you’re at it, drop by our deals page to take advantage of special offers on concentrates and other outstanding cannabis products!

What Are Terpenes And Why Are They Important?

By now you’ve probably heard about THC and CBD, two cannabinoids believed to be responsible for most of the mind-altering and therapeutic effects of cannabis. But there’s much more to cannabis than just cannabinoids. One of these compounds that have recently been getting attention is terpenes. 

What Are Terpenes? What Do Terpenes Do?

cannabis terpenes

What are terpenes? Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbon compounds that exist in all plants, including cannabis. What do terpenes do? These compounds are responsible for giving plants their signature scent. Whether it’s the sweetness of a strawberry or the refreshing scent of mint, you can bet terpenes were responsible for it. 

When it comes to cannabis, terpenes give buds their aroma and flavor. When you catch a whiff of your favorite strain, it’s the terpenes that you’re smelling. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, although some are much more common than others. 

It is thought that plants developed terpenes as part of their evolutionary process to help them lure pollinators and deter threats. Each cannabis strain features a unique terpene profile (different terpenes in different concentrations), giving it a unique scent and flavor. Some strains are named after their aroma, making it easier to guess which terpenes it contains. For example, Lemon Kush gets its lemony taste from the terpene limonene, a terpene that is common in citrus-flavored strains. 

But the terpene content of your buds will depend on more than just their genetics. It is also dependent on factors like the plant’s growing environment, growing soil, age, the curing process used, and how carefully the buds have been handled. 

What Are Terpenes Used For?

cannabis terpenes

Now that you know what they are, you may be wondering, “What are terpenes used for?” As previously mentioned, terpenes give cannabis its iconic aroma. But recently, researchers have found that cannabis terpenes may do much more than that. 

Terpenes are now thought to contribute to the therapeutic effects produced by cannabis. Recent research found that certain cannabis terpenes may be able to modulate pain perception and may even have anti-inflammatory effects

Additionally, cannabis terpenes are believed to work in synergy with cannabinoids and other plant compounds to produce more comprehensive effects than cannabinoids could on their own. This phenomenon has been termed ‘the entourage effect’. 

You can see the entourage effect in action whenever you vape full-spectrum oils. When compared to THC distillate, full-spectrum oils produce more intense and long-lasting effects because they contain the full spectrum of cannabis compounds instead of just THC. But terpenes don’t just boost THC’s effectiveness, CBD terps can work to boost the effectiveness of full-spectrum CBD products as well. As a result, many people consider full-spectrum products to be superior to isolates. 

The Most Common Cannabis Terpenes

cannabis terpenes

Here are some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis strains and what you should know about them.

Myrcene: The most common terpene in cannabis. Has a herbal and earthy aroma and may potentially have anti-inflammatory effects.

Pinene: The most common terpene in the natural world. Smells like pine needles and fresh-cut grass. 

Caryophyllene: Peppery and spicy. This terpene is also thought to act as a cannabinoid and may produce anti-inflammatory effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. 

Limonene: Fruity and citrusy smell. Could potentially alleviate anxiety and stress.

Terpinolene: A multidimensional terpene that smells piney, floral, and citrusy. Believed to have uplifting effects. Only one in ten cannabis strains feature terpinolene as their dominant terpene. 

Check out our online menu for a selection of terpene-rich cannabis products you’re sure to love and take a look at our deals page to enjoy these products for even less!

What’s the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?

difference between indica and sativa

With so many different cannabis strains producing a bevy of effects, properly categorizing them is crucial to ensuring that patients know what to expect from their cannabis. The simplest way to categorize these strains is by breaking them up into three simple groups: indica, sativa, and hybrids. 

What’s the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?

Indica and sativa strains produce very different effects.

Indica strains are known for their strong physical buzz and sedating effects. Indica weed will calm you and relax you both physically and mentally. Indica strains are known for their ability to produce a full-body buzz that is sedating, relaxing, sleep-inducing, and appetite-stimulating. Additionally, indica weed produces a spacey and stoney head high that is much more toned down than that produced by sativas. Because of their sedating effects, indica strains are best used at nighttime and are preferred by those seeking relief from pain, insomnia, and eating disorders. 

What’s the difference between indica and sativa? Sativa strains are known for their uplifting cerebral stimulation and their strong cerebral euphoria. These strains are prized for their head buzz and typically feature only a mild body high. They have also been known to boost creativity, improve focus, energize, and instill a sense of happiness. Because of their uplifting effects, these strains are perfect for daytime use and can be useful to those who seek relief from anxiety, stress, and depression. 

difference between indica and sativa

There are also differences between the plants that produce these buds. Indica plants tend to grow shorter and bushier, while sativa plants tend to grow tall and lanky with thinner leaves. Additionally, physical differences can also sometimes occur in the buds themselves. Indica buds can sometimes be wispier and looser while sativa buds tend to be a little more solid. 

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Not all strains fall into either category. Some strains contain a combination of genetics from both types of plants. These strains are called hybrids. 

Depending on how much of its genetics are influenced by each side, hybrid strains can be either indica-dominant or sativa-dominant. These strains will produce a mix of physical and cerebral effects depending on their genetics. Some strains are a perfect 50/50 mix of both categories. These strains produce both a significant head buzz and a significant body buzz. When it comes to indica vs. sativa vs. hybrid, patients seeking both physical and mental relief are usually better off with a hybrid strain. 

Where Do the Terms Come From?

Originally, the difference between indica and sativa had nothing to do with effects. The two terms originated in the 18th century as a way to describe two species of cannabis: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. Sativa referred to the hemp plants that originated from Europe and Eurasia, while Indica was used to refer to the mind-altering and intoxicating variety of cannabis that originated from the Hindu Kush mountain range in India and Pakistan.

Today, these terms have been repurposed to refer only to the effects produced by strains. In reality, all cannabis strains that produce any kind of intoxicating or mind-altering effects are of the cannabis indica variety. 
Looking for top-shelf cannabis? Check out our online menu and deals page for a selection of cannabis products you won’t be able to resist!

Everything You Should Know About Cannabinoids

How is cannabis able to produce its intoxicating, mind-altering, and therapeutic effects? Mostly through the use of cannabinoids. The two best-known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). But there are actually many, many more in the cannabis plant worth knowing. 

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a group of lipophilic molecules found in the cannabis plant. The precise number that exist in cannabis is unknown, but so far more than 100 individual cannabinoids have been detected.

Cannabinoids are believed to be responsible for producing most of the therapeutic and intoxicating effects of cannabis. It has been theorized that other cannabis compounds, like terpenes, work together in synergy with them to produce more complete effects (the entourage effect). Nevertheless, the overwhelming therapeutic and intoxicating potential of individual ones is undeniable. 

The Effects

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are considered to be ‘phytocannabinoids’. This means that they are external cannabinoids that are introduced into the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a physiological system that helps the body to remain well-balanced (homeostasis). It is believed that the ECS is responsible for modulating functions like sleep, mood, appetite, pain perception, and much more.

The ECS is primarily composed of protein cell receptors, endocannabinoids, and phytocannabinoids. Cannabinoids produce their effects by interacting with these cell receptors in various ways. For example, THC has been known to bind directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors. By comparison, CBD has been found to stimulate these receptors, even changing the shape of CB1 receptors and making it harder for them to bind with THC. 

That’s why, when THC and CBD are consumed together, some of THC’s stimulating effects are muted. Some people tend to experience anxiety or paranoia when consuming THC, but adding CBD into the mix can help to negate some of the negative effects of cannabinoids like THC. Their effects can be seriously altered by bringing other cannabinoids into the mix. 

But phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD aren’t the only cannabinoids that work with the ECS–there’s also the role of endocannabinoids to consider. Endocannabinoids are endogenously produced cannabinoids made by the body specifically for the purpose of interacting with the ECS to maintain homeostasis. 

After endocannabinoids finish their job, they are broken down by enzymes and recycled, kind of like they were edible cannabinoids that the body eats up. But research shows that phytocannabinoids can alter this process. For instance, CBD is believed to inhibit the breakdown of endocannabinoids, allowing them to work for longer.

Common Cannabinoids and Their Effects

Now that we’ve addressed the common question “what are cannabinoids?” let’s take a look at some of the most common ones found in cannabis and what they do. 

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol. This intoxicating cannabinoid is responsible for the mind-altering high cannabis produces. Most of the negative effects of cannabis (anxiety, paranoia, drowsiness, overeating) are associated with THC. 

CBD: Cannabidiol. A psychoactive yet non-intoxicating cannabinoid with serious therapeutic potential for alleviating pain, anxiety, and more. 

CBG: Cannabigerol. Found in small concentrations in cannabis. Is believed to have the potential for fighting inflammation, pain, nausea, glaucoma.

CBN: Cannabinol. A mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is more abundant in older and aged cannabis. 

CBC: Cannabichromene. May have pain-relieving effects. Believed to stimulate the release of the endocannabinoid anandamide. 

THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid. The acidic precursor to THC. Visible as the crystals that cover the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant. Is converted into intoxicating THC when exposed to heat.
Looking to take advantage of a specific cannabinoid? Check out our online menu for a selection of cannabis products that can harness the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. While you’re at it, check out our deals page as well for some serious savings.

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