Indica or Sativa for Headaches

indica or sativa for headaches

Many people have asked whether to use indica or sativa for headaches. We answer that question here and provide information on some of the best strains for headaches.

Indica or Sativa for Headaches

Cannabis can soothe headaches and sometimes even replace prescription medications. Some prescriptions it might replace include opioids, triptans, and muscle relaxers (Journal of Headache and Pain).  

When comparing indica or sativa for headaches, hybrids were typically preferred. The most influential factor for easing headaches are the terpenes in cannabis. Caryophyllene and Myrcene are the best for this condition. As a result, choosing indica or sativa for headaches is less important than obtaining the right terpenes. Hybrid, indica, and sativa strains will be beneficial as long as they contain these.

How to Effectively Use Cannabis for Headache

cannabis concentrate

The most effective way to treat headaches with cannabis is through smoking, vaping, and dabs (PubMed). Additionally, it’s important to treat the headache as soon as it is felt. This will help to ward off a full-blown headache. Using cannabis 2-3 times throughout the day was found to be the best way to treat this condition.

Furthermore, most people benefited from choosing a high-THC strain. As a result, strong medical strains for headaches tended to perform best. However, everyone is different. Reach out to your doctor with any questions. 

Terpenes for Headaches

Research has shown that Myrcene and Caryophyllene are the best terpenes for headaches. They treat headache symptoms directly, including inflammation, nausea, and pain. 

Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis. It has a lemongrass, earthy, and fruity aroma. This terpene can be found in both indica and sativa strains. Strains with more Myrcene tend to have indica effects, whereas strains with less myrcene have sativa effects (Leafly). Myrcene is beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it releases muscle tension and calms the body and mind. It has a sedative effect on some people as well. Furthermore, it lessens pain and inflammation and has antioxidant effects. 

Caryophyllene is another common terpene. It has a wonderful spicy, peppery, and herbal scent. It can also have notes of cinnamon and hops. Like Myrcene, it’s found in both indica and sativa strains. However, it’s unique because it can attach to CB2 receptors. As a result, it’s uniquely able to reduce inflammation and pain. This terpene can also treat anxiety, depression, and seizures (Weedmaps). These are frequent symptoms in people who suffer from chronic headaches. 

Together, these terpenes work to reduce headaches and their severity. Additionally, cannabis with these terpenes can be used instead of prescription medications.

Let’s discuss some strains with these terpenes that are most beneficial for headaches.

Top 5 Best Strains for Headaches

OG Kush

OG Kush is one of the Top 10 Kush strains. This strain is known as the “godfather” to many of the newest weed strains. It’s the offspring of Chemdawg and Hindu Kush. This strain is a nearly-balanced indica dominant hybrid (55/45). OG Kush is very potent, containing 22-26% THC and low CBD. Its dominant terpene is Myrcene and it has a pine, spice, and lemon aroma. This strain offers full body and cerebral effects. At first, people experience an increase of energy and euphoria. Afterward, the high mellows to deep relaxation and ravenous hunger. Many people use this strain to soothe headaches and migraines, as well as to increase appetite. Also, it is useful in treating anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Try OG Kush to dispel nausea and headaches, as well as boost your mood.


Candyland is a California strain that is the offspring of Granddaddy Purple and Platinum Cookies. It’s a sativa-dominant hybrid (70/30) that has 19%-24% THC and 1% CBD. This strain’s dominant terpene is Caryophyllene. As a result, it has a spicy, sweet flavor. This strain eliminates muscle spasms, reduces pain and fatigue, and enhances mood. Many people also use this strain for social or creative activities. Candyland can be used for treating migraines, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Novice users should consume it slowly as it is potent. This strain can treat headaches in multiple ways and increase the quality of life.


This list would not be complete without Harlequin. Harlequin is one of the best strains for treating headaches and migraines. It’s beloved in the medical community for its many uses. Harlequin’s dominant terpene is Myrcene and it has an herbal and spicy aroma. This strain is a sativa dominant hybrid (75/25) and earned its name from its lineage. Its parent strains are Thai, Swiss Landrace, Nepali indica, and Columbian Gold strains. It’s also unique for its CBD vs THC ratio. It contains 15% CBD to 10% THC. Harlequin is excellent at reducing headaches by relieving pain, inflammation, anxiety, and muscle aches. After use, people experience euphoria, mind and body relaxation, but also retain the ability to focus. This strain is also effective for depression, chronic pain, and fatigue. Additionally, people use it for autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. To experience one of the best remedies for headaches, give Harlequin a try. 

9 lb Hammer

This heavy and long-lasting strain is well-known for its medical benefits. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid (80/20) containing the terpenes Myrcene and Caryophyllene. This strain has a tasty sweet grape aroma with earthy undertones. It has 18-23% THC and 1% CBD. 9 lb Hammer’s parent strains are Jack the Ripper, Hell’s Angel OG, and Gooberry. After use, people feel euphoria and a cerebral high. The high completely relieves pain, anxiety, and headaches. Many people start to feel sleepy after use and fall into a deep slumber. 9 lb Hammer is beneficial for treating insomnia, chronic pain, and glaucoma. Others use it for depression, loss of appetite, and muscle spasms. Using too much of this strain can lead to couch-lock, so proceed carefully.

Purple Urkle

This purple strain soothes headaches and pain. It’s a potent indica (70/30) with the primary terpene Myrcene. Additionally, it has Caryophyllene in its profile. Purple Urkle has a delicious grape and berry smell. This strain contains 18-21% THC and low CBD. Despite its low CBD, it gives a strong body buzz which relieves muscle spasms and tension. It also alleviates nausea and anxiety. Make sure to have snacks handy, as it can make people very hungry. Also, Purple Urkle can help treat insomnia and has sedating effects. Make sure to use it at nighttime. In addition, this strain treats ADHD, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, and anxiety. It has many medical uses and should be in your arsenal to treat headaches.

There are many other strains that can treat headaches. Some additional strains include Northern Lights, Grape Ape, and ACDC. Furthermore, Purple Kush, Blue Dream, and Pineapple Express are excellent choices.  

JANE Dispensary can answer questions about indica or sativa for headaches. Speak with our cannabis consultants at our Santa Rosa Dispensary or our Cotati Dispensary to find out which products may work best for your symptoms. Additionally, you can shop our online dispensary.

Need a medical card? If you have a chronic medical condition like headaches that’s normally treated with a prescription medication that can cause dependence, you’re likely to qualify. Get your medical card online in three easy steps here.


You May Also Like:

Best Strains for ADHD and Anxiety

Best Strains for Pain and Fatigue

Top OG Strains



Clinical Pain Advisor, Journal of Headache and Pain, Leafly, PubMed, Weedmaps, Wikileaf