The 5 Best Cannabis Strains for Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms can be painful and affect your quality of life, but some people have had success treating muscle spasms—either formally or informally—with cannabis. If you get frequent muscle cramps from heavy exercise or experience sudden involuntary movements due to a condition like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or a spinal cord injury, testimonials suggest that these cannabis strains might help to relieve pain.
If you have a health condition, take any other medications, or don’t find relief with cannabis, please consult a medical professional.
Best Strains for Muscle Spasms as Recommended by Consumers
Afghan Kush is a 95:5 Indica-dominant hybrid from the Hindu Kush mountain range near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia. THC levels in Afghan Kush range from a moderate 17% to more than 20%, and some samples have tested at up to 6% CBD. Afghan Kush is rich in the terpenes myrcene, limonene, and beta-caryophyllene, which have been shown to have analgesic or antinociceptive properties and also give the strain a spicy, citrusy aroma.
Some people use Afghan Kush to treat muscle spasms in the evening due to its calming, soothing, and sedative effects. According to fans, this popular medical marijuana strain offers a potent body high that can quickly lead to couchlock. Newbies to cannabis should go slow to avoid unpleasant side effects, which for this strain can include anxiety, paranoia, and dizziness.
If you’re looking for something you can smoke in the morning for frequent muscle spasms during the day, White Widow is a popular choice. This sativa-dominant hybrid strain has become popular in the recreational and medical marijuana communities for its energizing high, feelings of alert relaxation, mood-lifting potential, and high THC levels (18-25%). It’s also reported to be one of the best strains for arthritis.
The product of Brazil Sativa x South Indian Indica, White Widow has peppery, citrusy aromas with a lemon-like aftertaste. Its primary terpenes are 3-carene, myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, phellandrene, and pinene, all of which offer either pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory properties.
OG Kush is a slightly sativa-dominant hybrid with THC levels between 20% and 26% and around 1% CBN. In the medical cannabis community, this balanced strain is often used for chronic pain, inflammation, and sleep, and by those looking for uplifting, euphoric, and calming effects.
If you’ve never tried OG Kush pre-rolls or concentrates in Seattle, expect lots of giggles followed by an attack of the munchies and a generally happy and relaxed sensation. The aroma is pleasantly kushy (as expected), with a mix of dank, spicy, citrusy, and woody aromas.
Northern Lights is a pure indica bred from Afghani and Thai landrace strains and is one of the parent strains of the famed Super Silver Haze. With THC levels between 16% and 21% and high levels of limonene and myrcene, this strain is popular with people who experience muscle spasms, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties.
If you’d like to try this strain for muscle spasms, medical marijuana consumers recommend smoking or vaping it in the evening because of its sedative effects. Expect pleasant citrus and pine flavors and a feeling of deep relaxation.
Blue Dream is ideal if you’re looking for some non-sleepy marijuana for muscle spasms during the day. This West-Coast strain is a 60:40 sativa-dominant hybrid, created through a cross between Blueberry and Haze. It has moderate to high THC levels (17% and 24%) along with 2% CBD and 1% CBN.
When smoked or vaped, the first thing you’ll notice is the delicious sweet berry aroma and feeling of alert, full-body relaxation. Then, as the pinene, caryophyllene, and myrcene enter your system, you may start to feel some pain relief and a release of muscle tension.
How Does Marijuana Help with Muscle Spasms?
Because research on the therapeutic uses of marijuana is restricted at the federal level, the way in which marijuana for muscle spasms works isn’t entirely understood by scientists. We do know that the cannabinoids in marijuana act on receptors in the motor cortex of the brain and throughout the nervous system and that cannabis has helped with similar problems before:
Research shows that cannabidiol (CBD) might act on nerve receptors that support correct motor functioning.
In a retrospective observational study, 80% of the participants experienced an improvement in multiple sclerosis-related spasticity with THC/CBD inhalation, with a median dose of five inhalations per day.
Research indicates that THC could reduce painful muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, although it may exacerbate problems with balance.
Prescription Drugs vs. Marijuana for Muscle Spasms
In conventional Western medicine, muscle spasms patients are frequently prescribed pharmaceuticals including:
While these medications are often helpful, they have short-term and long-term side effects and risks and don’t always effectively treat the issue. Marijuana, while it also has some potential side effects, provides an alternative for people who haven’t had much success with prescription medications or who are looking for a more “natural” source of relief for a particularly painful muscle spasm.
In contrast to prescription medications, the side effects of marijuana are often a result of starting out too high (pun intended) rather than starting with a low dose and giving your body time to adjust.
Give It a Try
Whether you’re looking for the best strains for muscle spasms because of a medical condition, injury, or cramps after training, the strains listed in this article can form part of your strategy to control muscle spasms along with any other supplements, cannabis-compatible medications, and treatments suggested by your doctor.
And again, if you have frequent and severe muscle spasms or your symptoms don’t resolve with cannabis, seek professional medical advice.