Anyone who has dealt with chronic back pain knows how frustrating it can be to resolve. The spine, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones in the back are interconnected in complex ways, and when one part is out of alignment, it can radiate to the surrounding structures.
Back pain isn’t always indicative of a problem in the back; it can stem from many different origins, even including imbalances in the hips and feet.
Back pain is common in athletes who consistently push their bodies in new and challenging ways. If an athlete has a muscle weakness in a minor muscle group, they may compensate by using a larger muscle group, like the back, to complete the maneuver. This can lead to injury and long-term problems in the back. But once back pain sets in, it can be tricky to heal.
Anyone suffering with chronic back pain should first seek qualified medical advice. There are a number of prescription medications for back pain. However, these often come with undesirable side effects including dependence, cognitive dysfunction, weight gain, drowsiness, and digestion issues.
Many people look for alternative treatments that are just as effective without some of the risk. As such, CBD is growing in popularity as a pain therapy of all kinds, including back pain.
Let’s take a look at whether CBD is effective for back pain, and what you can do to feel better.
Can You Use CBD For Pain Relief?
Using cannabis-based therapies for pain is not new. In fact, it has been used for thousands of years to manage a variety of health ailments and pains.
CBD, or cannabidiol, was first isolated from the cannabis plant in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s and 90s that CBD started to establish a following for its applications in pain relief.
Many people swear by CBD’s pain relieving effects, but are there any studies to support these anecdotal claims?
A 2018 meta-analysis of clinical trials found evidence that cannabinoids exhibit analgesic activity, especially in neuropathic pain. This review analyzed studies on cannabinoids conducted between 1975 and March 2018.
Researchers were looking for how well CBD relieves chronic pain including cancer pain, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain. This study concluded that CBD generally caused no or few negative side effects and was effective in pain management overall. However, more long-term studies are needed to better assess the risks and benefits.
Researchers noted that “In conclusion, the evidence from current research supports the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain in adults. Careful follow-up and monitoring of patients using cannabis/cannabinoids are mandatory.”
Another 2012 study supported these findings, concluding that THC:CBD oral sprays consistently decreased reported pain levels in cancer patients.
The research demonstrated that the long-term use of THC:CBD spray was generally well tolerated. Plus, effectiveness did not decrease in cancer patients with long-term use.
This table demonstrates the participant’s reports of pain as the study progressed:
Notably, patients receiving THC:CBD oral spray treatment did not seek to increase their dose of THC:CBD or other pain-relieving medication over time. For people wanting to avoid the psychoactive effects of medical marijuana, CBD is an excellent alternative with very low amounts of THC.
While more human studies are needed to determine how CBD can treat pain, these results are promising.
Whether your back pain is acute or chronic, you may find that legal hemp-derived CBD helps you find some welcome pain relief.
Inflammation and Back Pain
Inflammation can be a contributing factor to chronic back pain. Inflammation is not always harmful- it’s simply the body’s natural response to injury and resulting pain. But if inflammation becomes chronic, it can cause serious discomfort and other health concerns.
There are many pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory products on the market, but those looking to avoid the side effects have numerous, more natural options.
Promisingly, CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This 2015 review and 2009 study demonstrated CBD’s application in fighting chronic inflammation. This is exciting news for those who would rather fight inflammation with nonprescription CBD products than pharmaceutical heavy-hitters.
Isolate or Full Spectrum CBD?
CBD comes in three types: isolate, broad spectrum CBD, and full spectrum CBD.
Isolate: CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD with no other compounds from the cannabis plant. It is typically derived from hemp plants which contain only trace amounts of THC. CBD isolate is a crystal which can be ground and used in numerous applications.
Full spectrum CBD: Full spectrum CBD contains numerous cannabis plant extracts. These include essential oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids like cannabinol. This typically contains trace amounts of THC.
Broad spectrum CBD : Like full spectrum CBD, true broad spectrum CBD contains the full profile of cannabinoids as derived from the cannabis plant except for the THC, which is removed through various processes.
Which is the right CBD for you?
While all three types of CBD have benefits, we recommend CBD isolate. Here’s why:
As the purest form of CBD, isolate is great for first-time CBD users who want to try it on its own, without the intrusion of other cannabis compounds.
With CBD isolate you can take a higher dosage, offering more pain relief, without worrying about increasing levels of THC.
Also, because CBD isolate is purified, it contains no taste or odour.
Nowadays there are a wide variety of CBD products to treat pain. The best CBD products are tested by a third party ISO certified laboratory and contain low amounts of THC.
There are many ways people can ingest CBD. These are the four most popular:
- Edibles: This CBD consumption method is becoming more popular for those looking to add CBD to their daily routine. Often available in gummies, these products are easy to eat as they can taste like candy or other commonly consumed foods.
- Smokables: One of the quickest and easiest ways to get CBD into the system is by smoking it. CBD is easily obtained from hemp flowers, so the options for smokable CBD products can range from pre-rolls, to hemp sticks, to raw flower buds. However, inhaling any type of smoke into your lungs is not great for your respiratory system, so consult with your doctor before choosing this route. If you have respiratory conditions like asthma, this method may not be for you.
- Concentrates: These are pure and potent CBD products, mostly used as concentrated options for those looking to make their own edible CBD products. Due to their high potency, CBD tinctures or edibles may be a better place to start for beginners.
- Topicals: Such as salves and roll-ons: These are a great option for acute back pain because you can apply your CBD directly to the area of your back experiencing pain. The targeted relief absorbs into skin and the bloodstream quickly, offering effective relief exactly where you need it.
- Tinctures and CBD oil: See our heading below for more information on CBD oil.
When choosing your CBD product, pay attention to the amount of CBD per each dose so you can develop a feel for the right CBD dosage for you. Ultimately, the best CBD product for you is the one you enjoy taking.
Ensure you buy your CBD isolate from a reputable brand, as some low quality CBD products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD Oil for Back Pain
CBD oil is great for back pain. CBD oil, also called tincture, helps manage the pain from the inside out by reducing inflammation and interacting with the body’s pain-sensing systems.
CBD oil works on back pain systemically, and can have longer-lasting effects than topical treatments. Plus, it’s easy to transport and is discreet.
Find a CBD oil that is tested by a third party ISO certified laboratory, so you can trust that the oil really contains the dosage the package describes.
How Many Mg of CBD should I take?
The right dosage of CBD will depend on your individual body and needs. Everyone metabolizes it slightly differently, so you need to experiment to find the right amount for you.
It’s common for people to consume between 10-50 mg CBD per day total, however some consumers ingest several 100 mg of CBD daily. Many CBD gummies contain 25 mg CBD per serving.
Treating Your Back Pain With CBD
Chronic back pain is complex. If you are suffering with back pain, ensure you seek qualified medical advice before making any changes to your pharmaceutical regime.
Back pain can drastically impact your ability to be competitive in your athletic pursuits. If you’re an athlete, it’s important to address any muscle weaknesses or imbalances that may be leading to your back pain in the first place.
Working with an alignment specialist, personal trainer, and physiotherapist is a good place to start. Ensure you address any potential structural misalignments in addition to your pain management.
If you still have pain once you address any alignment issues, you may want to try CBD for your back pain. Using CBD is an effective and safer alternative to many pharmaceutical medications.
With few side effects and many people reporting incredible benefits from CBD, there is little to lose from giving it a try!
For more information on using CBD to address your pain, contact MojaveRx today.