An increasing number of people turn to CBD for back pain, instead of prescription pain killers or, well… just suffering through it. Chronic pain, especially back pain, is one of the most common conditions treated by doctors. Maybe you have only ever tried prescription medication, and have no experience with medical marijuana so far. Those suffering from chronic back pain who aren’t afraid to veer off the beaten path recommend cannabis, so if you are willing and able to give it a try, CBD seems very much worth a shot. Patients find that cannabinoids help them manage pain, as well as allowing them to sleep better despite having pain.
The research Dr. Patel explains in the video below sounds promising. Even if it wasn’t for this particular study, just the sheer number of testimonials of people all over the web who find their back pain alleviated by the CBD component of cannabis would be quite compelling.
What Causes Back Pain?
When back pain is chronic, and not due to pulling a muscle or making a “wrong” movement, it can be the result of degenerative disc disease. This is due to inflammation, and the inflammation in turn is due to a breakdown in the components of the inter vertebral disks. The round discs are filled with a jellylike material, and are located between the bones in your spine. Their purpose is to prevent bone on bone contact when we move our back.
Medical Research: Studying Degenerative Disk Disease
The study in question was done fairly recently, in 2014. It looks specifically at back pain from degenerative disc disease, which is due to inflammation. As mentioned earlier, the inflammation is due to the components of the intravertebral disks breaking down. These intravertebral discs, as the name implies, are located in between the vertebrae. They are filled with a jelly-like material, and act as a cushion between the bones in your spine. When turning your back, it prevents the bone from rubbing up against bone.
In this particular study, researchers aimed to mimic the degenerative disc disease in rats. They used a needle to puncture their intra-tubal discs. (Which is horrible animal torture indeed, but that’s a different story we won’t get into right this moment.) Doing so caused a breakdown of the components of the intratubal disks.
Next, they split the rats up into three different groups. The first group was injected with 30 nmol of marijuana. The second group was injected with 16 nmol of marijuana, and the third group with 120 nmol of marijuana.
When they looked at the spines of the rats on an MRI, they found that the group injected with the 120 nmol of marijuana had significantly less breakdown in the components of the intravertebral disks.
The researchers believe that this is because marijuana has very potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Patients’ Experiences with Marijuana
- The patients treated with cannabis in doctor Patel’s practice report back with good news.
They say the marijuana helps to alleviate or eliminate their back pain, allowing them to do activities like:
travel over long distances, whether it’s by plane or by car
- sit at a desk and work on a computer for an extended period of time
- stay asleep, as they’re no longer woken up in the middle of the night by their pain.
The most surprising thing is that patients come back saying that they have managed to completely come off the pharmaceutical medications that they were on. Instead, they are controlling their back pain just with marijuana on an as needed basis.
Marijuana versus CBD/Cannabidiol
We need to keep in mind that the study in question uses “marijuana”, and not CBD or cannabidiol alone. There may be CBD present in what they injected the poor rats with. Actually, it is very likely that the substance contained at least some CBD, but also some (or a lot) of other canabinoids. The main takeaway from this particular study is that marijuana as a whole inhibits inflammation and can be helpful for back pain. It doesn’t specify all that much about the specific cannabinoid called cannabidiol or CBD.
If back pain dominates your life to the point where you are willing to look at every possible option… Well, it isn’t a totally crazy idea to contemplate the idea of moving to a state with recreational marijuana! If you need something stronger than CBD, marijuana as a whole is known for being able to provide pain relief. If you aren’t allowed or granted a medical card, moving is a drastic, but valid thing to consider.
Think I’m joking? Nope, not at all. It may not be logistically achievable for everyone, but sometimes entire families move across state lines, to be able to provide their child with medical marijuana for the treatment of epileptic seizures. They shouldn’t have to, but unfortunately they do.
Reasons to Try CBD for Back Pain
Since CBD or cannadidiol for back pain is easy to acquire and relatively affordable compared to prescription pain medication, it would seem worth a try. Not much is lost if it doesn’t help as much as hoped.
Even though the study doesn’t zone in on CBD in particular, there are a few good reasons to give it a try if you or a loved one suffer(s) from back pain.
The rather large amount of people suffering from back pain and other kinds of pain absolutely rave about what CBD can do for them. It may not be what they call a peer-reviewed medical study, but is you consider other folks with back pain as your peers… In that light, we could say CBD has definitely a lot of good reviews from peers. (That’s a joke, of course. Don’t have a go at me in the comments for poking a little fun at scientific research. I am well aware of the seriousness and importance of the field.)
CBD is not illegal, whereas marijuana is still not legal in many states. Do you have a medical marijuana card, or are you able to get one? Great! If not, CBD is probably your only legal option to get as close to a cannabis-related form of medication as possible.
CBD is Non-Psychoactive
CBD is not a mind-altering substance. This can be a huge perk for those who prefer not to get high.
It is also readily and widely available (as a result of not being illegal – or that definitely helps), in many different forms and strengths.
I hope you find this information valuable, and I hope it’s helpful to anyone looking for information on treating their back pain with medical marijuana. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment with your personal experience, we’d love to hear from you!