CBD for Back Pain: It It A Natural Solution to Find Relief?
by Rowan Bailey
CBD for Back Pain: A Natural Solution to Find Relief
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Living with chronic back pain can be debilitating, affecting every aspect of your life. Traditional medical treatments can be limited and may not always provide the desired relief or can come with additional issues such as dependency or liver problems in the long term. This has led many individuals to start searching for alternative options, and one that has gained significant attention over the past few years in this arena is cannabidiol, or CBD.
The issue is there's a sea of information and market spiel out there, and also the tricky fact that any reputable brand cannot talk directly about medical claims relating to CBD. This makes it very difficult to cut fact from fiction, know what to look for and trust that you're purchasing a reputable brand that isn't going to put you in legally ambiguous waters!
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore CBD and why it has been gaining popularity with those looking for back pain relief. As with our talks, we'll be talking about this from our expertise backed by scientific evidence, customer feedback from the five years we've been open as well as personal anecdotes.
So, let's dive in and discover if CBD could be the natural solution you've been seeking.
Understanding CBD: What is it and How Does it Work?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound typically derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not cause the typical psychoactive effects or the feeling of being "high". Though it can promote a sense of calm and help maintain a more balanced routine, it's important to understand how to use CBD effectively. This isn't something you can just take willy nilly and expect miracles.
CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate various bodily functions. The theory being that by interacting with these receptors, it's proposed that CBD may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, making it a potential candidate for managing back pain. Though as with anything health related, this needs to be studied to get confirmation of consistent results, as well as addressing the issues relating to variable tolerances, and get into the data with dosage for specific symptoms.
We are lucky in the UK that THC and CBD's role in managing chronic pain symptoms is currently being studied with an in-depth patient group via Sapphire Clinic, as well as others.
The Science Behind CBD's Potential for Back Pain Relief
Numerous studies have investigated the effects of CBD on pain management, including back pain. One study published in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry found that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation often associated with chronic back pain1. Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggested that CBD may have anxiolytic effects, reducing anxiety often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain2.
Additionally, CBD is believed to contribute to overall relaxation and improved sleep, which can indirectly alleviate back pain by allowing your body to recover and restore more effectively. A study published in the Permanent Journal reported that CBD was associated with improved sleep and reduced anxiety in a large case series3. While these findings are promising, it's important to note that more robust research is needed to fully understand CBD's mechanisms of action and its specific effects on back pain. Everyone is different and as we know with the thousands of customers we've had, there isn't a one size fits all CBD regime. So although these studies are promising, any medical claims derived from them need to be taken with a pinch of salt until further studies confirm these findings. One thing we will say though is that CBD is now a key component prescribed alongside THC to medical cannabis patients. The role that it plays in balancing the effects of these regimes is vital for many including myself.
Different Forms of CBD for Back Pain Relief
CBD is available in various forms, each with its own unique approaches to application. Depending on the method of use, this can effect longevity of effects, speed of onset and also have preferences based upon taste/ consistency. Here are some popular options that are regularly used for those attempting to see whether they can use CBD to alleviate back pain:
CBD Topical Salves and Balms
Topical Salves and Balms infused with CBD have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, making them an excellent option for back and neck pain relief4. Looking at verified reviews on product pages will often highlight this, though it's vital to understand that there's no direct medical claim as to whether CBD can be useful for this. The methodology here is that when applied directly to the affected area, CBD topicals can provide localised relief by targeting specific troublesome areas. Not only helping CBD being absorbed into this area, but also increasing bloodflow as well. These products are typically fast-acting and can be used as and when needed. Many customers will use this by themselves, where as more advanced use cases would have this as a top up as and when in addition to a baseline of CBD Oil Drops daily. One thing we have found is that regardless of your regime, keeping things consistent for a week minimum before making changes is the most effective way to find your right dose and approach.
CBD Oil Drops and Tinctures
CBD oil drops and tinctures are taken orally either sublingually (Under the tongue) or swallowed directly and absorbed through the digestive system. They offer a convenient and discreet way to incorporate CBD into your daily routine and generally speaking are the most cost effective option per dose.
When using CBD oils and tinctures it's important to establish a routine by starting off low and consistent for a week to ten days minimum before slowly building your dosage up every 3-4 days. Not only will this ensure you find the right dosage for you that is effective whilst giving it time to build up in your system, but it will also ensure your regime is as cost effective as possible for your needs.
CBD Capsules and Edibles
CBD capsules/ tablets and edibles provide a convenient and pre-dosed way to consume CBD. Capsules are taken orally and deliver CBD to the body through the digestive system, providing prolonged and consistent results. Counting drops to work out dosages with CBD Oil can be a pain, and let's be honest it's way easier to just take a tablet like you're used to. Although compared to drops the price tends to work out slightly more due to the form, the convenience and consistency of dose is well worth it for most. One thing to note is that when taking CBD capsules or tablets, onset can take up 30-60 minutes on average vs CBD oils under the tongue which can be much more efficient.
CBD Edibles, such as gummies or chocolates, offer a tasty and discreet way to consume CBD. We generally recommend these for those wanting to try CBD for the first time in an easy to dose and great tasting way. Once you know whether CBD is for you, then you can opt for a more cost effective solution such as drops or tablets.
CBD Vaping and Inhalation
Vaping or inhaling CBD involves heating CBD-infused liquids or concentrates and inhaling the vapour. This method allows for quick absorption of CBD into the bloodstream, providing fast-acting results which is why it is a popular option for those exploring CBD relating to chronic conditions. However, it's crucial to exercise caution when vaping, as the long-term effects of inhaling CBD vapour are still not fully understood and the last thing you want is to cause additional problems down the line. Additionally, vaping may not be suitable for individuals with respiratory conditions.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
While CBD is generally considered safe, it's essential to be aware of potential risks and side effects. Some individuals may experience mild side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. These side effects are typically temporary and subside with time. However, it's important to note that CBD may interact with certain medications, particularly those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. If you are taking any medications, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before using CBD to be safe!
The Importance of Choosing Quality CBD Products
When considering CBD for back pain relief, it's crucial to choose high-quality products from reputable brands. This is not only from a legal and safety perspective, but also because you want to ensure they follow manufacturing practices with solid supply chains that will provide you with a consistent product with consistent results. Due to the lack of enforcing regulation in the CBD industry, some products may contain inaccurate labelling or low-quality ingredients. To ensure safety and efficacy, look for CBD products that:
Are derived from organic hemp
Undergo third-party testing for potency and purity
Provide transparent and detailed information about their sourcing and manufacturing processes
Have positive customer reviews and testimonials
- Are present on the FSA's CBD Novel Foods list with an approved application.
By selecting reliable CBD products, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are using a high-quality and safe product.
Consulting with a Healthcare Professional
While CBD studies show early promise for back pain relief, it's important to remember that it should not replace professional medical advice. If you are experiencing chronic or severe back pain, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and explore appropriate treatment options. They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific condition and medical history. You may well find out a different treatment much more effective than CBD, every one is different.
Conclusion: Exploring the Potential of CBD for Back Pain Relief
CBD has emerged as a popular customer alternative option for managing back pain, with the root hypothesis being it offering potential relief from inflammation, anxiety by improving sleep health. While scientific research on CBD's effectiveness for back pain is still in its early stages, anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies suggest that CBD may hold promise as a natural solution for pain management so if you can try it safely, it may be worth exploring. However, it's important to choose high-quality CBD products, consult with a healthcare professional, and be aware of potential risks and side effects. With careful consideration and guidance, CBD may be a great part of your toolkit offer a path to managing relief from chronic back pain.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or supplement regimen.
Burstein S. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015 Apr 1;23(7):1377-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2015.01.059. Epub 2015 Feb 7. Review. PubMed PMID: 25703248. ↩
Crippa, J. A. S., Derenusson, G. N., Ferrari, T. B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F. L., Martin-Santos, R., ... & Filho, A. S. (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130. ↩
Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041 ↩
Jorge LL, Feres CC, Teles VE. Topical preparations for pain relief: efficacy and patient adherence. J Pain Res. 2010;4:11-24. Published 2010 Dec 20. ↩