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Living: Eight strains for back pain

By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record

There was one customer question that came up almost every day during my brief stint doing social media, public relations and web development at one of Washington’s largest pot stores.

(Farmer Tom Lauerman)

(Farmer Tom Lauerman)

Overwhelmingly, customers were looking for strain recommendations for back pain or other medical ailments.

Under Washington law, however, recreational stores can’t make any medical claims about cannabis – even claims that have substantial research to back them up. And this puts stores in the awkward position of not being able to fully help their customers understand what they’re buying.

As an independent media group, however, and as a medical marijuana patient (which I am), Cannabis Daily Record isn’t bound by those laws.

Neither is – which I would highly recommend using before hitting a rec store if you’re looking for a strain for a specific medical purpose.

I personally do use cannabis for back pain, digestive issues and as a sleep aid.

But to get a broader range of strain suggestions for back pain, I decided to ask an expert: Farmer Tom Lauerman, who’s been a medical grower in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade and is also a patient that uses cannabis for back pain.

He gave me a list of four sativas and four indicas to help with daytime and nighttime back pain issues.

So, without further throat clearing, here’s his list:


  1. Cinex – this mix of Cinderella 99 and Vortex is Lauerman’s personal favorite for daytime use. “It helps me a lot,” Lauerman said. “It’s got a good muscle relaxer but it keeps you working.”
  2. Cinderella 99 this mix of Jack Herer and Shiva Skunk is well known for its uplifting properties, as well as its use as a pain reliever. “That’s another one that’s great for getting you through the day,” Lauerman said.
  3. Super Lemon Haze – this mix of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze is often described as uplifting with a pronounced head high. Although be warned, it can sometimes be linked to paranoia.
  4. Amnesia Haze – this mix of South Asian and Jamaican landrace strains is great for keeping you in the moment and away from past memories, as the Amnesia name implies. It’s a strong cerebral head high that’s also great for stress. “It’s uplifting and it gives you a lot of energy,” Lauerman said.



  1. Albert Walker – this strain has a strong head and body high that will leave you feeling relaxed and loose as you head off to dreamland. It’s great for all kinds of pain and also depression and anxiety.
  2. Black Knight – this strain, which Lauerman grew after getting a mystery seed, may be his personal favorite for nighttime use. “After a hard day of working while smoking Cinex, the desired nighttime effect I want is to be sleepy,” Lauerman said. “The Black Knight really does a great job. It relaxes me with total body relaxation and puts me to sleep.”
  3. Granddaddy Purple – this heavy indica cross of Purple Urkle and Big Bud is one of the best sleepy, pain relieving strains on the market. With deep muscle relaxation and happy euphoria it’s perfect for late evening use. It’s also probably the easiest pain relieving indica to find in the recreational market.
  4. Master Kush – This mix of Hindu Kush and Skunk provides a strong body feel without an overwhelming head high. It’s great for body relaxation while also keeping your mind relatively clear.

What about you? Do you have any personal recommendations for back pain relief strains? Please feel free to share in the comments section!

Sue Vorenberg is the founder of Cannabis Daily Record. She has 20 years of experience as a journalist covering a wide array of topics, including cannabis legalization and consumer markets. She also founded The Columbian’s Cannabis Chronicles blog and spent about three months working in the industry. You can reach her at

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