When you think of heavy-hitting cannabis strains, it may conjure up thoughts of “Stoner Steve.” You know, that stereotypical marijuana smoker whose only objective is to get as high as possible.
But the most potent cannabis strains also have a place in the medical marijuana landscape. High quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are good for relieving severe pain that often accompany cancer and chemotherapy treatments, intense migraines and chronic back issues. The cannabinoid imparts an intense full body relaxation that melts away pain.
Sometimes the psychoactive effects are a good thing, too. Many folks treating anxiety, depression and other mood disorders report that THC helps them feel calm and happy.
Here are eight cannabis strains you can try if you think a potent, high-THC strain may be what you need to quell pain and feel good. But of course, these are intense cannabis strains, so start low and go slow until you know how they affect you.
1. OG Kush Will Relax Body & Mind
With a THC content typically hovering around 20%, OG Kush will impart a relaxing body high—just what you need if you’re looking for pain relief. Some consumers mention that it also results in couch lock, so it’s best to take OG Kush when you don’t have too much to do and can just relax at home.
OG Kush also imparts a nice cerebral high that uplifts mood. So, if you’re in the market for something that will relax your body and mellow out your mind, OG Kush could be a good place to start. Alzheimer’s patients, folks with gastrointestinal disorders and people suffering from nausea say OG Kush is their go-to cannabis strain.
2. Granddaddy Purple Imparts Strong Sedative Effects
This strain has widely reported sedative effects, so Granddaddy Purple would be a good choice for the evening or for a time when you don’t have any critical tasks to accomplish. Granddaddy Purple is hard-hitting all around, with cerebral but mostly body-altering effects.
For anyone who needs pain relief, this could be your strain; though start low and go slow on account of its nearly 20% THC content. Consumers report that Granddady Purple also stimulates appetite, quells pain and muscle spasms, and helps folks fall asleep.
3. Chemdawg Magnifies Your Senses
If you’re looking for a heavy-hitting all-arounder, give Chemdawg a try. Known for inducing an intense body and head high, Chemdawg can feel overwhelming for some consumers. With a THC level around 20%, you’ll definitely feel all of your senses heightened; some report that the high amount of THC helps lift their mood.
As far as pain relief, this strain will probably get the job done. Though it’s strong, users describe its effects as uplifting and energizing, so Chemdawg is some people’s choice for a daytime cannabis strain. Medical marijuana patients suffering from chronic pain, PTSD and depression may want to give Chemdawg a shot.
4. Sour Diesel Is a Fan Favorite for a Cerebral High
Even if you’re new to cannabis, you may already know the name Sour Diesel. Many cannabis consumers have chosen this strain for decades because of its stimulating effects. Some liken a dose of Sour Diesel to drinking an espresso, so be aware that too much could leave you feeling jittery with an elevated heartbeat. But, if you take the right amount for you, you could end up feeling energized, ready to hit the town or accomplish all that you need to on a busy day.
Though Sour Diesel features a THC level typically between 19–25%, the effects are generally cerebral instead of a body high. So, it may not be the best strain for someone seeking pain relief. Instead, if you’re looking to help ease conditions like stress and depression, Sour Diesel may be a good option.
5. Get the Classic Marijuana High From GSC
If you’re in the market for a cannabis strain that will give you a fun, cerebral buzz combined with a body high to ease pain, GSC could be a good choice. Formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies, GSC was named as such because of its minty and spicy flavor profile.
Though GSC is an indica-dominant hybrid, consumers mention that they can feel the strain’s sativa characteristics, too. On the body buzz side, it’s used to treat pain, nausea and insomnia because of its relaxing properties. On the mental side, its uplifting features are good for folks suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression. The THC levels can reach up to 28%, so if you’re new to GSC, start with a very small dose and see how it affects you.
6. Bruce Banner Is a Rare, Balanced Strain That Packs a Punch
Well, a marijuana strain named after the Incredible Hulk’s alter ego says all that you need to know. Bruce Banner buds are bright green and pack a punch with between 24–29% THC. If you can find this rare strain, it may be just what you’re looking for if you want a strong but balanced high.
Bruce Banner’s cerebral effects are said to be very euphoric, energetic and great for spurring creativity, while also providing pain relief. So, that makes Bruce Banner the cannabis strain of choice for patients looking to treat stress, chronic pain, ADD/ADHD and depression. Some negatives you could encounter if you take too big a dose range from dry mouth to paranoia.
RELATED: THE PROS & CONS OF PSYCHOACTIVE THC
7. Ghost Train Haze is Energizing—If You Get the Dosage Right
This award-winning strain, with a THC level ranging between 23–28%, was named one of the most potent marijuana strains on earth by High Times magazine. So first and foremost: Start with a tiny dose and wait a while to see how Ghost Train Haze hits you before consuming more. In smaller amounts, this strain can be a useful tool for uplifting mood and feeling energized. A microdose of Ghost Train haze could be a great way to get ready for a party or other social outing.
But in larger doses, Ghost Train Haze has been known to impart psychedelic effects and some sedative characteristics. It could also induce paranoia if the dose is too large, and you’re especially prone to feeling anxious with heavy-hitting cannabis strains. But apart from the mental aspects of the strain, Ghost Train Haze also provides a nice body high. So, if you’re suffering from pain or need to relax your muscles, it could be a good strain to try.
8. GG4 Can Help Ease Pain, but May Leave You Couch Locked
GG4, formerly known as Gorilla Glue #4, will provide a full-body buzz that’s effective for easing depression as well as physical pain, like migraines. While the cerebral effects have been reported to be energizing and stimulating, the body high is described as more sedative. So, GG4 would be a good choice for an evening in—when you can relax and don’t have much to do, as opposed to before a night out or when you have lots to get done.
Coming in at typically 18–25% THC, GG4 is a fan favorite for a reason: After consuming, anything bothering you mentally or physically tends to melt away. But be aware that the strain was originally named after the glue not only because the buds can be sticky, but because it can also result in you sticking to your sofa for hours.