Many back pain patients have found that medical marijuana significantly improves their quality of life and reduces the need for dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. It can help ease radicular pain, decrease inflammation, and alleviate other symptoms of chronic back pain.
Cannabis can also ease muscle spasms, a common symptom of chronic back pain. It can also control nausea that sometimes comes with long-term pain or when taking prescribed narcotic painkillers.
Cannabis has been used for its potential medicinal properties for centuries. It treats various medical conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and anxiety. Medical cannabis is prescribed by healthcare providers in many countries and states where it’s legal.
Millions of people with back pain have found relief from cannabis, which has few side effects and works better than traditional treatments such as over-the-counter medications.
The cannabis plant produces more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, the most commonly known of which are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). When ingested, these chemicals interact with receptors in our bodies to reduce or eliminate pain, decrease inflammation, relax muscles, improve mood, and increase mobility.
Medicinal cannabis consists of the dried flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. These can be used to make different products, including capsules, oils, sprays, and smoke. This is the kind of cannabis most often used in clinical studies.
Numerous methods of consumption exist for cannabis. Most people immediately think of smoking or vaping marijuana when it comes to consumption, but that’s not the only way. Cannabis can be ingested as edibles, tinctures, tablets, or pills. Moreover, creams or patches can be used topically on the skin.
Medicinal cannabis can treat several conditions, including back pain. Studies suggest it can help reduce neuropathic pain (pain caused by nerve damage) and depression related to chronic back pain.
Few randomized control trials have looked at the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for pain management. However, a task force of experts across nine countries developed a series of recommendations on how to dose and administer medical cannabis for back pain. They recommend starting with a CBD-predominate strain twice daily and only incorporating THC when CBD alone does not relieve enough pain.
Back pain is a complex condition that various issues can cause. By interacting with the mammalian endocannabinoid system and regulating pain signals, CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, may help with back pain relief. Additionally, it possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that might lessen inflammation in the spine’s joints and muscles.
CBD can be found in edibles, capsules, tinctures, and vape pens. People seeking relief from back pain may consider a topical medication like a lotion or salve. This allows the THC or CBD to be absorbed through the skin and provide immediate relief without the psychoactive effects of smoking or vaping.
Taking CBD, in addition to prescribed pain medications, is an effective treatment for back pain. Many patients report that they can reduce their use of prescription pain medications with the help of marijuana.
Using a hybrid approach to treatment selection makes sense; it is likely more effective than standard care. Still, high-quality RCTs are needed to test this hypothesis. A vital component of this hybrid approach is identifying the underlying pain mechanism to guide assessment and treatment selection.