CBD for Back Pain – Does It Really Help?
Posted on March 2nd, 2021
Since the passage of the 2018 farm bill, hemp became legal in the US, and so did CBD, its most famous product. The explosion in popularity of this compound hinges on the fact that enthusiasts swear by its purported therapeutic effects. These supposedly include providing improved relaxation by reducing anxiety and pain-relieving effects. So, it’s no wonder that some attempt to use it to soothe one of the most common pains we experience nowadays – back pain. But is using CBD for back pain really viable? The following read will explain why that might be the case.
What Is Back Pain?
Back pain is, unfortunately, one type of pain that we are very likely to encounter these days thanks to modernity. What we call back pain comes in the form of a stingy, burning, poignant sensation that we painfully feel in our back muscles.
The pain might only extend to your upper back or go from the lower back and travel down your leg, which makes things even worse. At its best, back pain will be mild and will not impede you from moving, turning, or twisting since it would be only a minor discomfort.
At its worse, it can even prevent you from walking or allow you to do so while experiencing excruciating pain at each step. Back pain is actually one of the leading causes of physical disabilities that it’s not technically an illness. Yet, it can affect you chronically like one would if steps are not taken to address the underlying causes.
Why Do We Experience Back Pain?
There are several reasons why your back can start hurting, and they range from lifestyle habits to being one of the symptoms of an illness. For example, you are likely to suffer from back pain if you regularly do any of these in your day-to-day life:
- Sitting for long hours with bad posture.
- Lifting heavy objects frequently.
- Refrain from doing any kind of exercise.
- Remain overweight for a long period of time.
- Wear high heels or any discomforting footwear for long.
Taking steps to avoid those situations when young might prevent you from suffering from chronic back pain later on.
However, a series of illnesses and physical conditions might also cause chronic back pain to you, even if your lifestyle habits are great. Some of those are:
Ruptured or bulging disks: Your spine is made up of vertebrae, and each vertebra features a disk for cushioning. Both injuries and lifting more weight than you can handle can either rupture or displace a disk. In each case, it would result in inordinate amounts of pressure applied to the spinal nerves as a result which translates into back pain for you.
Curved Spine: Ideally, your spine should have an ‘S’ shape if it formed correctly. However, bad posture when growing up and genetic factors can prevent that from happening.
Arthritis & Osteoporosis: Both the inflammation of the spinal joints or the progressive weakening of the bones are likely to result in back pain.
Kidney Issues: Kidney stones and kidney infections cause pain in the lower back which is where they locate.
When caused by an illness, there’s the chance that, if possible, to address it, the back pain might go away. However, some illnesses are likely to be chronic and so will be the back pain thewy cause. Worry not, CBD for back pain might be a treatment option whichever the case.
Treating Back Pain
There are a lot of ways in which people dealt with back pain in the past. For centuries, a higher level of physical activity than what we require today prevented widespread back pain from lack of movement.
That is no longer the case; the more time we spend sitting, the more likely we are to suffer from it at some point. Traditionally, prescription medication is the way to go for most people that do not have the time to fit a workout on their schedule.
The main problem with prescription medications is that, the stronger the back pain, the stronger the medication must be. Strong medications tend to come with some side-effects, yet, by far, the strongest side effect is withdrawing from using them.
If you ever take painkiller medication for back pain for an extended period of time and try to quit, you will find it hard to do so. It is not only the fact that your pain will likely come back but that also that your system became accustomed to the medication. If the painkiller medication you took to manage your back pain is an opioid, you can expect the following symptoms:
- Belly cramps
- Fast heartbeat
- High blood pressure
The reason why CBD for back pain is becoming an alternative for enthusiasts suffering from this ailment is because of its little side-effects. At most, anecdotal evidence points out diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue as its side effects. Yet, these side-effects appear to only happen if you ingested an exaggeratedly large amount of the compound. Keep your dosage in check and you will be fine.
Enter CBD for Back Pain
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s one compound belonging to the family of cannabinoids that are present within the cannabis plant. The compound recently became incredibly popular thanks to online word of mouth about its purported therapeutic effects.
When talking about CBD and the cannabis plant, it’s always necessary to mention there are two main varieties of cannabis. First, it’s marijuana, a variety that has within it much THC, a different cannabinoid. Second, it’s hemp, also called industrial hemp, a variety that has high CBD content but very little THC.
Legally speaking, hemp is whatever cannabis plant that has 0.3% of THC content by dry weight or less. The emphasis on THC comes from the fact that the cannabinoid is psychoactive. Thus, it’s the reason you get high from marijuana.
Since industrial hemp has so little of it becomes the perfect source of CBD. CBD, in turn, is better for anyone who wants to experience similar, possibly therapeutic, effects to those of marijuana but without the psychoactive aspect.
How Does CBD for Back Pain Work?
The mechanism behind CBD’s delivery of potentially therapeutic effects to your body has to do with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex web of receptors and neurotransmitters that extends all over your body up to your brain. Its main purpose is to regulate key bodily functions like sleep, mood, and pain sensation.
The receptors that make up your ECS divide into two different categories: CB1 and CB2. As the name implies, the ECS works with endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that your body naturally produces.
Phytocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids coming from plants, can also interact with them in the same way. Thus, CBD, a phytocannabinoid, might supplement your body’s endocannabinoids. Through its therapeutic effects, CBD can help the ECS further regulate your bodily functions.
When CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors, it might deliver pain-relieving effects. That includes not only numbing you from pain but might decrease inflammation throughout your body. Thus, the interaction with the ECS’ CB2 receptors it’s the actual mechanism that allows CBD for back pain to work.
The Different Presentations of CBD for Back Pain
If you ever online searched CBD, you might have read the words ‘CBD oil’, the most popular presentation of CBD. Yet, it’s not the only one. A little more research, and you will find CBD creams, ointments, gummies, vaping pens, isolates, salves, etc. The creativity of manufacturers is certainly not something to underestimate.
Each presentation has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to each user to research the pros and cons of each and pick the best for them. However, when it comes to CBD for back pain, we might just lend you a hand in picking the best ones, those are:
As said, CBD oils are the primary presentation of CBD. Oil is either applied topically or sublingually. The latter involves using a dropper to place a couple of drops of oil under the tongue and wait around one to two minutes before swallowing. However, when using CBD for back pain in oil form, it’s best to apply topically in the affected region.
There two kinds of CBD creams – one made for skincare and another one for pain relief. Both might subdue inflammation, yet, it’s the latter type you want to get for your back pain. As with any cream, simply take it and massage the affected area, gently rubbing it where it hurts. You can also ask somebody else to do it for you if you have trouble reaching. This is by far the most recommended presentation for using CBD for back pain.
CBD For Back Pain – How About A Massage?
One popular alternative that is gaining much traction right now is that, instead of doing it yourself, why not go for a CBD massage? Yes, CBD massages are a thing. It’s simply a masseuse performing your preferred massage technique on you but using CBD oil or hemp oil instead of regular massage oil. As we all know, massage is GREAT for back pain if they focus on that area. Add the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, and you might just have hit the back pain-relieving jackpot. Try them out if you feel that you could use some extra comfort in your journey of using CBD for back pain.