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Cannabis is known for its many benefits, aiding patients in finding relief for a variety of symptoms that typically come with fewer side effects than prescription. An increasing number of patients are finding themselves turning to cannabis while seeking specific strains that best alleviate their discomfort while also enhancing their quality of life.
OG Shark, a potent hybrid strain known for its pain-relieving properties, was identified as a top choice for many pain patients. Indica strains are also popular among EDS patients for their relaxing, body-focused effects. Popular indica strains among EDS patients include Afghani, Alien OG, Blueberry, Bubba Kush, Master Kush, Pink Kush, Purple Kush, and Skywalker OG.
It’s important to remember that you can consume cannabis in a variety of different ways, including smoking, vaping, edibles, and topicals being the most common methods.
Today, we’ll explore the best strains for EDS, including sativa, indica, and hybrids.
Overview Of EDS Symptoms And Causes
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) consists of issues affecting connective tissues, including skin, blood vessels, and many other organs.
Several different types of EDS come with their unique symptoms, with many involving joint hypermobility, hyperextensibility of the skin, fragile tissue, and potentially life-threatening complications.
According to the United Kingdom National Health Service, symptoms of EDS include.
- Joint pain
- Digestive issues
- Stretchy skin
- Fragile skin
- Bladder control
Each type of EDS will have different associated symptoms, each caused by certain genetic faults that cause weaker connective tissues.
Connective tissues are those between other tissues and organs that repair damages, aid in nutrient movement, store fat, and more.
According to Charlie Booras, MD, further symptoms EDS patients can experience include early-onset arthritis, migraine, headaches, osteoporosis, menstrual disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and more.
Since there’s no cure for EDS, most treatment is aimed at symptom relief, mainly pain management.
Common pain management options used are NSAIDs, opioids, and physical therapy.
As reported by Dr. Booras, at least 37% of EDS patients use cannabis for symptom relief.
Further research published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics explains complementary and alternative therapies for managing chronic pain in EDS, focusing on herbal options, traditional Chinese therapies, and cannabis.
According to Dr. Booras’s analysis of the journal, patients reported that marijuana was self-rated as the most effective. Specifically, cannabis was helpful with spasms and cramps.
The medical journal The Lancet (December 2019) goes on to report a story about a 19-year-old with EDS who spent half of her life taking strong opioids plus fentanyl, and it wasn’t until she took cannabis for the first time at ten years old that she was able to manage her pain.
Even though cannabis is legal in approximately 30 countries around the world, UK law has only allowed 100 people to have access to medical cannabis on prescription.
Project Twenty21 was launched to fill the alleged gap of evidence supporting the claim that cannabis provides pain relief.
As of The Lancet publication, those suffering from chronic pain in the United Kingdom will have to keep waiting for the evidence gap to be filled up to the satisfactory standards of regulating authorities.
Best Cannabis Strains For Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Due to the lack of clinical or medical journal research specifically for EDS, there’s no conclusive evidence suggesting that one strain of cannabis is more effective than another for EDS.
Published in The Journal of Headache and Pain reveals a large list of several thousand pain patients reporting their favourite specific cannabis strains they prefer for several types of pain.
Since EDS presents a wide range of potential pains, different cannabis strains may work better for each type of pain or other associated symptoms.
Overall, pain patients enjoyed hybrid strains as their number one choice due to the general balance of cannabinoids and the effects they experience.
After hybrid strains for pain, patients took a keen liking to indica for its strong body relaxation effects. Next on the list of preferred strain types for pain is sativa, followed by cannabis strains with higher levels of CBD with equal amounts of CBD and THC, as well as strains with a 3:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
Taking the number one position as the most preferred cannabis strain for pain is OG Shark, which is known as a rare hybrid strain loved for its high potency, down-to-earth aromas, and it’s strong relaxation effects, plus pain relief.
Many EDS patients choose an Indica-dominant strain that focuses its effects on the body and provides an all-over buzzing relief sensation that also gently allows you to drift right off to sleep.
Since no specific clinical research shows what indica strains EDS patients enjoy most, anecdotal reports from those living with EDS can be an excellent starting point.
Way Of Leaf provides three popular indica strains for EDS: Hindu Kush, Northern Lights, and White Widow.
The Journal of Headache and Pain provides eight indica strains that pain patients prefer.
- Alien OG
- Bubba Kush
- Master Kush
- Pink Kush
- Purple Kush
- Skywalker OG
It’s vital to remember that each strain’s effectiveness can vary significantly between EDS patients, and these suggestions should not replace professional medical advice.
Sativa strains are commonly known for their mood-boosting, uplifting, cerebral effects, making them a popular choice for daytime use to give you a bit of a pick-me-up while providing overall relief.
The following seven strains are sativas that pain patients reported in the above-linked medical journal.
- Green Cush
- Jack Herer
- Lemon Sour Diesel
- Island Sweet Skunk
- Sour Diesel
- Strawberry Cough (SBC)
- Sativa House Blend
Even though sativa strains offer more uplifting effects, they’re typically not the first choice patients go to for pain relief.
Due to each EDS patient having unique body chemistries and severity of condition, each strain may have different effects, requiring a consultation with a healthcare provider.
Since hybrids are the overall preferred cannabis strain for pain patients, users are provided with a bit more options to explore to find that perfect balance of pain relief that provides uplifting energy without the couch-locking sedative effects.
Of the 42 strains preferred by pain patients, 15 of the below-listed hybrids were top.
- Alien OG: Hybrid strain known for its high THC content.
- Black Tuna: Hybrid strain known for its potent effects due to its high THC content.
- Girl Scout Cookies (GSC): A highly popular hybrid strain known for its high THC content.
- Headband: Hybrid strain, named for the sensation of pressure around the head that some users report.
- Hybrid House Blend: As the name suggests, this is a blend of different hybrid strains.
- Jack Herer is a well-known sativa-dominant hybrid strain.
- Lemon Sour Diesel: Sativa-dominant hybrid strain.
- OG Kush: One of the most famous hybrid strains, often used as a genetic parent for other hybrids.
- OG Shark: A hybrid strain is known for its high THC content.
- Pink Kush: An Indica-dominant hybrid strain.
- Rockstar: A hybrid strain often used for relaxation and pain relief.
- Strawberry Cough (SBC): A Sativa-dominant hybrid strain known for its strawberry scent and tendency to cause coughing.
- Skywalker OG: An Indica-dominant hybrid strain.
- Sour Diesel: A famous Sativa-dominant hybrid strain.
- White Widow: One of the most famous hybrid strains worldwide, known for its high resin production.
There’s a vast list of hybrid strains available on the market, and the above list might be the best starting point for finding the best hybrid options for the best overall relief for EDS symptoms.
Final Thoughts On Cannabis Strains For EDS
Choosing the right cannabis strain for EDS symptoms can be a highly individual decision based on the effectiveness of a particular strain on your unique situation, overall health, and genetic makeup.
Depending on the specific symptoms and type of pain, each type of cannabis strain can work differently for each person.
While there are several superb cannabis strains listed above from pain patients published in medical journals, you still may want to consult with professionals who can help you further pinpoint what the best strain might be for your EDS symptoms.