I first started noticing arthritis in my hands about five or six years ago. Initially, I dealt with a slight stiffness when I tried to make a fist. Just recently, my fingers swelled up so badly that I was forced to cut my rings off. I struggled to complete everyday tasks such as braiding my hair, tying my shoes, pulling weeds and typing on a keyboard. Since my job is entirely handled by way of my computer, I need the use of my fingers. Arthritis can be very painful. My symptoms come and go, depending largely on the weather. Whenever I feel the start of a flare up, I make a trip to the cannabis dispensary. Cannabis is an effective, plant-based remedy for pain and inflammation. CBD in particular has proven effective for relieving the symptoms of arthritis. I shop for indicas that are typically higher in CBD compounds with anywhere from high to low amounts of THC. Along with the cannabinoid ratios, I pay attention to the terpenes. Different terpenes work on pain in different ways. Some of them provide anti-inflammatory properties, while others seem to reduce the level of pain. In an effort to get the most benefit from cannabis, I’ve done some research into terpenes. Linalool is a common terpene that sounds exotic but is actually the same active chemical compound found in lavender and around two hundred other species of plants. In cannabis, it creates a floral, spicy or woody aroma and has a lovely flavor. Linalool is known for anti-inflammatory and nociceptive properties. Pinene is another terpene that is gaining recognition for providing pain relief. It is found in cannabis as well as a variety of trees. It smells very much like a pine forest and offers a refreshing flavor. I also look for cannabis products containing caryophyllene, which is a pain-relieving terpene that is also found in cloves and cinnamon.