Across America, around 300,000 people are living with some form of Spinal Cord Injury. When we consider that figure concerning the severity of the condition itself, it is no wonder that more and more patients are turning to cannabis as a potential relief.
Over recent years there have been many studies looking into the benefits of cannabis on SCI sufferers, and today we are going to be looking at five of the best cannabis strains out there for the relief of some of the most debilitating side effects of an SCI.
So if you or someone you know is struggling to cope with an SCI, check out our list below of five of the best cannabis strains to treat a spinal cord injury.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Before we dive into our top five cannabis strains to help relieve the symptoms of a spinal cord injury, let’s first get a grasp on why this is one of the most debilitating conditions to live with.
A spinal cord injury occurs when damage is done to a section of the spinal cord. Injury can cause either temporary or permanent damage, which can often lead to the loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the injury.
There are two types of SCI: Incomplete, and complete. While both are incredibly serious, one is more debilitating than the other:
- Complete: A complete spinal cord injury means that there is a total loss of feeling and motor function below the site of the injury.
- Incomplete: An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when there is some loss of feeling and function below the affected area.
Whether you have an incomplete or a complete SCI, the effects can be much the same and are incredibly difficult to live with. Our spinal cord is a vital part of the central nervous system, so when it becomes damaged it can lead to a range of side effects such as the below:
- Loss of muscle function
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Extreme chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Changes in sexual function
- Changes in fertility
- Breathing difficulties
- Problems sleeping and insomnia
Depending on the severity of the SCI, someone may suffer from one or all of the above symptoms, which can be incredibly difficult to cope with.
Can Cannabis Help with Spinal Cord Injuries?
Although there are treatments available out there, and sufferers can access medication as well as physical therapies, there is no cure – and many of the medicines on offer come with side effects that can sometimes do more harm than good.
So with this in mind, what can cannabis bring to the table to offer relief and aid to those suffering from an SCI? Well, studies have shown that actually cannabis is a strong contender for the treatment of a variety of the symptoms shown above, and with less harmful side effects when compared to many prescription medications, it is looking pretty promising for cannabis!
A study done in 2006 showed that a combination of cannabis and massage was one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments on offer for spinal cord injury sufferers!
Another study looked into the number of SCI patients who struggle sleeping, with results revealing that a massive 71% of SCI sufferers struggle to breathe effectively during sleep. A further 92% admitted that they had poor sleep quality. With these statistics in mind, we know that some types of cannabis can be incredibly effective in combating sleep disorders such as insomnia, and thus this can be applied to those with an SCI.
Cannabis is a well-known treatment for a variety of pain conditions and can be an effective way to combat both short-term and chronic pain, making it an ideal option for SCI sufferers who can suffer from pain in both areas where there is a sensation as well as areas where there isn’t.
Perhaps most impressive, recent studies have looked into cannabis as not just a treatment for the symptoms of a spinal cord injury, but also as a means of repairing the damage done! Studies have shown that cannabis stimulates a neuroprotective response, which could be break-through for some SCI sufferers as even the slightest improvement can make a massive difference.
Five Cannabis Strains That Can Help with Spinal Cord Injury
We have looked at the whys around cannabis use for spinal cord injuries, now let’s take a look at the what. For those who are new to marijuana, it can be increasingly difficult to know where to begin, with more and more strains being brought to the market each month.
To help you out we have put together our five best strains for the treatment of an SCI, so without further ado – let’s get started!
In our opinion, Romulan is one of those strains that doesn’t get enough credit! A potent indica strain, this is one to opt for if you are looking for a total body unwind – so chronic pain sufferers will love this!
Romulan may be named after a Star Trek alien, and rightly so as the effects are out of this world! Boasting THC levels between 20-24% and a generous 1% CBD, this is a wonderful medicinal strain offering a sedating high that will relieve all your bodily pain and discomfort and leave you in a cerebral state of bliss.
#2 Redwood Kush
As relaxing and serene as its namesake, Redwood Kush will help ease any stress and anxiety and offers an unwinding physical high that will conquer any pain. This indica-dominant strain has between 19-26% THC and as such is recommended for nighttime use due to its potent sedative effects.
With a lovely natural scent of pine and herb, everything about Redwood Kush screams relaxation, and the long-lasting high makes for a great combat against sleep issues. Sufferers of anxiety, tremors, pain, and neuropathy often reach for this strain for its euphoric effects and tingly body high.
#3 Scooby Snacks
Due to the severity of both mental and physical symptoms of an SCI, it is often the case that sufferers lose their appetite which can often make matters worse. If this sounds like you, then Scooby Snacks may just be the ideal strain!
This hybrid strain offers around 22% THC, and is a delightful cross between Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and Face Off OG, making it one of the most uplifting and mood-boosting strains on the market.
This wonderful cross strain will not only leave you feeling super elated and relaxed, but it will also bring about some intense munchies – ideal for times where food isn’t on your to-do list!
This sweet-tasting bud is perfect for pain thanks to its almost numbing high, and can be used to boost motivation during the day.
#4 Banana Kush
When it comes to insomnia and sleep troubles, Banana Kush is the mother of all strains! With an indica background and a THC content between 18-25%, Banana Kush offers incredible sleep-inducing properties that will help even the worst cases of insomnia!
This perfect night time strain eases stress, removes pains and can be great for muscular tensions – but above all else, it is the perfect nightcap! With fruity flavors and deliciously sweet scents, this strain will lull you off into a peaceful and pain-free sleep.
#5 Green Candy
Last but by no means least is Green Candy, the sativa-dominant cross between Green Crack and Candy Kush. Offering a super happy effect, Green Candy is a wonderful strain to brighten the mood and boost productivity. The THC levels around 18%, and the high lasts quite some time offering a focused and calming effect.
If you are struggling with insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety or depression, the uplifting and relaxing nature of Green Candy may be the very thing you need!
Final Thoughts: Could One of These Cannabis Strains Help Relieve Your Spinal Cord Injury?
Injuries on the spine are serious in all cases; However, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to relief. All of the strains we have talked about above offer unique and effective treatment for some of the most common symptoms of an SCI. Please note that we always recommend that patients consult a medical professional before adding cannabis to their medication list, as we are not medically trained professionals.
We would love to know in the comments if you have ever tried any of these strains for an SCI, and if so how did you find it? We would also love to hear from you if you have any other recommendations!