CBD on Pain Management: Back Pain

July 30, 2019 7 min read

CBD products are all the rage, but that's old news at this point.  Now, the name of the game is to assess whether the discomfort you're feeling could be managed the infamous compound.  Conditions ranging from Scoliosis to Osteoporosis, and everything in-between cause some degree of back pain.  Given CBD's restorative properties and countless users consuming the stuff consistently, can CBD be incorporated into your existing treatment plan to bring some degree of comfort back into you life?

understanding back pain

As it stands, the American Academy of Pain Medicine concludes that over 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent back pain.  While lower back pain is a more common complaint, many adults experience a massive variety of back pain from time-to-time.  If said pain exceeds a period of three months, medical professionals tend to diagnose them with chronic back pain.  Spinal Stenosis, Osteoporosis, muscle strain, Herniated Discs, Arthritis, Scoliosis and many other issues may cause back pain to become chronic, often without much relief - giving its patients a continuous, dull pain with added acute episodes for added discomfort.

While CBD may be able to restore the body back to a feeling of normalcy against a wide variety of issues from Osteoporosis to Degenerative Disc Disease, the compound is a not a cure.  CBD does not cure, treat, or prevent any form of disease.  In fact, CBD's best results are to help mitigate the feelings experienced from said discomfort.  Given the compound's ability to act as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, or even anxiolytic type of supplement, it's use is almost always combined with existing treatment plans as prescribed by your physician.

cbd on anti-inflammation

There have been a variety of studies that cover CBD's effects on inflammation.  Starting with early research on CBD's potential to be a novel anti-inflammatory drug, the compound shows promise in that it can help to reduce inflammation against aches and pains that would otherwise be the result of a condition or disease.  For example, one of the defining characteristics of patients suffering from Scoliosis includes muscle spasms in which the muscle itself reacts violently against the rest of the body; generating acute pain stacked on a constant, dull pain.  According to the study, at least 90% of patients that incorporated CBD alongside existing treatment reported a reduction in the intensity of symptoms; further reaffirming cannabidiol's surging interest in its potentially-therapeutic properties.

To further reaffirm CBD's ability to lower inflammation in the body, the compound binds to receptors in the brain that help regulate the response to inflammation and temperature throughout the body.  Using Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) as a precursor, researchers highlight that both the CSCL-1 and CCL-2 receptors are primarily responsible for the brain's response to pain and inflammation.  According to the study, patients undergoing a consistent dosing of CBD in the weeks following injury, reported a significant decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, thus generating a positive response to the reduction of inflammation throughout the body.

CBD on pain management - post-surgery RECOVERY

The Journal of Pain Research published a study in early 2018 detailing the effects of chronic pain patients in managing post-back surgery and the inclusion of both CBD and THC into the recovery process to mitigate the intensity of subjective pain.  It is worth noting that subjective pain is generally the experience felt by the patient due to individual differences in physiological, emotion, and cognitive states.  Subjective Pain in the context of pain management through cannabidiol research can only go so far unless clinical trials are tailored to a wider breadth of pain analysis. Despite the drawback against the study, patients were administered CBD in fixed dosages under a twelve-month window.  Given the analgesic properties contained in both CBD and THC, study participants reported to experience significantly less pain, generating a positive encouragement that hemp, in general, could play a role in chronic pain relief.

cbd on pain management - scoliosis

Often caused by increased pressure on the spinal discs or strained muscles across the back, you might experience scoliosis pain differently than someone else.  Scoliosis pain can result from pinched nerves, overall inflammation against the muscles, or even both; making treatment a toss-up on what would work versus not work.  When it comes to treatment for Scoliosis, a number of treatment options exist; and almost always it includes some combination of physical therapy and drugs to effectively manage the pain.  The absolute, last option for treatment is invasive surgery, which poses its own sets of problems for patients that opt to take this route.

Another option to consider in managing Scoliosis pain is through CBD.  Despite its relatively new place in the field of pharmacology, CBD's chemical properties include analgesic effects, anti-inflammatory properties, and overall mental wellness - giving way to a wide variety of symptom suppression that ultimately improves quality of life despite living with a condition that would otherwise cause discomfort.

While dosing CBD may vary widely depending on the user that is taking it, a good rule of thumb is to start with a low dosage and adjust over time.  For example, 25mg per day with our CBD Tinctures would be a great place to start.  Be sure to document your experiences and adjust accordingly.

cbd on pain management - fibromyalgia

Unlike Scoliosis, where the pain experience can be caused by so many variables and ultimately provide a trial-and-error type of approach to comfort; conditions such as Fibromyalgia is more predictable.  This chronic pain disorder effectively causes cognitive and musculoskeletal pain that would otherwise just come down to severe back back if left untreated.  The general rule of thumb to treatment is through pain management, which CBD has already shown promise in effectively mitigating.

According to a 2009 study in which CBD and other cannabinoids showed a therapeutic benefit in mitigating pain through its analgesic properties, the study concludes that conditions such as Fibromyalgia, which causes nerve damage may be managed through the consistent dosing of CBD.

While the FDA has not approved a drug specifically using CBD for Fibromyalgia pain management, a wellness routine may be curated with the assistance of your physician.

cbd on pain management - degenerative disc disease

Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition in which a damaged disc causes pain.  The discs throughout our back act as shock-absorbers between the bones of the spine and are designed to help the back stay flexible while resisting forces in many different planes of motion.  Degenerative Disc Disease may occur through age, lifestyle, traumatic injury, or a combination of the sort.  When it comes to treatment of the condition, Cedars-Sinai Medical center suggests the following:

  • Artificial Disc Replacement:Replacing discs with synthetic intervertebral discs to restore movement and flexibility.
  • Surgical Intervention:Invasive surgery in which rods are implanted into the discs to support existing discs in performing its role without replacing the discs themselves.
  • Nonoperative Treatment of Symptoms:Includes pain management, acupuncture, yoga, and physical therapy to manage pain according to symptoms.  Often resulting in life-long treatment.

The key option for many would be to avoid invasive surgery.  While you will not necessarily rid yourself of the condition without surgery, simply managing its symptoms proves to be an attractive option.  Nonoperative Treatment of Symptoms in relation to Degenerative Disc Disease may also includes the use of CBD into wellness program or run concurrently with an existing treatment program as prescribed by your physician.

In a recent study published by North American Spine in which rats were induced with the disease analyzed CBD's efficacy in a positive pain management outcome.  Given a consistent, daily dosing of cannabidiol, researchers further re-affirm the compound's ability to reduce damage to the spine areas while simultaneously reacting to receptors in the brain that control the response to such pain.

cbd on pain management - acute back pain

Effectively managing pain, particularly that of acute back pain, is an abstract term.  Due to its ambiguous nature, just about anything and everything can cause it occur; and how one manages that pain can range from using over-the-counter drugs to non-traditional medicine, and even to some of the most hardcore narcotics.  CBD has also shown promise and popularity in using the compound to effectively lessen the symptomatic effects caused by acute back pain.  When taken as an overall wellness supplement, users have reported a significant decrease in pain versus only relying on specific drugs.

cbd on pain management - sciatica

Sciatica is a condition in which pain is generated by the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, applying pressure throughout the lower back.  The nerve impeding on the spinal discs often produce feelings of numbness, tingling, and weakness in your leg or foot.

While we already touched on how CBD can help relieve neuropathic pain, it is also worth noting that Nociceptive pain management is another facet of relief CBD may assist with.  CBD binds with CB2 and G-Protein-coupled receptors located in primary afferent pathways that help to restore balance and homeostasis.  Given its pain response threshold, these same receptors effectively control the intensity in which pain is realized.

cbd on pain management - osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, produces too little bone, or both.  As a result, the bones become weak and may break from a fall, or in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.

Between autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, neurological disorders, and medical procedures, Osteoporosis can be caused by just about anything' and it does get worse with age.  Research, however, has shown promise in narrowing down the mechanisms in which bone degradation occurs and offers some degree of relief.  The balance between acidity of two types of cells within the bone helps to determine the bone density to a significant degree: osteoclasts, o r cells that can degrade bone and osteoblasts, cells that can produce bone.

While it would be easy to assume that because osteoclasts are the cells responsible for degrading bone, one would just need a treatment option that reduces the activity of those cells; and this is where CBD has shown its promise in doing so.  According to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, CBD is effective in blocking the GPR55 receptor that drastically reduces the activity of osteoclasts.

the bottom line

There is a massive range of back-related conditions that users report the inclusion of CBD into their treatment plans have vastly improved their experiences in managing its symptoms.  While we need more clinical trials testing its effectiveness at managing said symptoms, the potential is there to at least bring up in consultation with your physician.

If you experience back pain and haven't found a way to manage it, maybe it's time to give CBD a try to see what you've been missing out on.  Not only may it provide comfort on the affected areas of the condition, but you may also experience other benefits that promote overall wellness, stability, and enjoyment.


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