CBD for back pain?

Back pain.  It's one of the most common complaints that can not only limit enjoyment and participation in sports, activities, and daily tasks, but also may result in significant pain, immobility, anxiety, and sleeplessness.  Back pain may result from overuse, injury, disease, or aging and may cause stabbing pain, muscle soreness, or a nagging dull ache in one or more areas of the back or spine.  If, like many active people, you suffer from back pain -- acute or chronic, a result of injury, arthritis, overuse, or disease -- you may be wondering about cannabidiol (CBD) to help alleviate the discomfort.  While additional well-designed clinical studies are needed to establish regimens for safe and effective therapeutic CBD regimens for treatment of pain in humans, a growing body of evidence suggests that CBD might be a promising approach for reducing pain and stiffness and maintaining function and mobility.

Anatomy of the back, in brief [1]

The spinal column (vertebral column or backbone) provides both structural and nervous system support for your entire body.  The spinal column holds the body upright, allows it to bend and twist, and provides a conduit for major nerves running from the brain to the tips of the toes and everywhere in between.

The entire spinal column consists of 24 individual bones called vertebrae, plus two sections of naturally fused vertebrae—the sacrum and the coccyx—located at the bottom of the spine. When most people talk about the spinal column, they’re actually referring to the vertebral column:  the 24 circular vertebrae that align down the center of the back.  The vertebral column can be divided into three regions:  the cervical spine, the seven vertebrae of the neck C1-C7); the thoracic spine, the twelve vertebrae of the mid back (T1 - T12); and the lumbar spine, the five vertebrae of the lower back (L1-L5).  The normal curves and structure of the vertebral column give the spinal column great strength and shock-absorbing qualities.

The sacrum is a triangular-shaped bone located below the last lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum sits between the left and right hip bones (iliac bones) and forms the back of the pelvis. The sacrum connects to the pelvis at the left and right sides by the sacroiliac (SI) joints.  Immediately below the sacrum are three to five small bones that naturally fuse together at adulthood forming the coccyx or tailbone.  Although the tailbone is very small and may seem insignificant, it plays an important role in supporting your weight when you sit.

The spinal column doesn’t consist only of bones. To maintain its structure, provide skeletal support, and route the nerves where they need to go, the spine also relies on a number of supporting structures, including shock-absorbing discs, facet joints, and spinal ligaments, tendons, and muscles.  The vertebral column together with its supporting structures serve to protect the spinal cord and nerve roots, which are part of the central nervous system that starts at the base of the brain.  If something disrupts this network -- overuse, injury, disease, or degeneration -- the result may be inflammation, reduced mobility, and back pain.

Causes of back pain

Back pain is a debilitating issue that may arise from a variety of sources.  While injury and age may be contributing factors, there are many conditions that can result in pain, stiffness, and limitations on mobility in the spinal column and surrounding supportive cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Traumatic injury (herniated discs, sprained/strained/torn ligaments or cartilage, fractures)
  • Degenerative disease/disorders/illnesses
  • Overuse/repeated stress
  • Age/lifestyle/fitness level/posture
  • Pregnancy/weight gain
  • Post surgical rehab

Diagnosing the cause of back pain includes a medical examination and typically the use of diagnostic imaging or procedures such as x-ray, MRI, CT scan, nuclear bone scan, or arthroscopy.  Both non-operative (medical/pharmacological) and surgical treatment options are available to treat back pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.

How can CBD help with back pain?

It can be comforting to know that you don’t always have to go the surgery route when addressing back pain. Every case of -- and person with -- back pain is different, and what works for one individual may not work for another.  Luckily, there is a wide array of alternatives you can try, either on your own or with your treatment team.

Since many cases of back pain are managed without the need for surgery, medication is usually one of the front-line treatments.  A variety of over-the-counter drugs address many cases of back pain, and prescription drugs including opioids are available if more pain moderation is needed.  But it's no surprise that many of the conventional medication options to treat pain and inflammation come with undesirable side effects, including intolerance, GI upset, mood alteration, and even addiction.  Together with your medical care team, you may find that CBD offers an alternative that may provide a variety of benefits, including reduced pain from inflammation, lessened anxiety, and improved sleep.

The National Institutes of Health have weighed in concerning the potential utility of CBD for addressing pain and inflammation resulting from arthritis:

Currently recommended pharmacologic treatment options for the symptomatic management of osteoarthritis include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), low-dose steroids, and viscosupplementation. However, each of these modalities is fraught with side effects when used for long periods of time, and given the insidious time course of osteoarthritis, CBD may prove a useful drug for those with an aversion to other therapies. Additionally, the evidence for viscosupplementation relies on the results of controversial, randomized-controlled trials, and intra-articular preparations have notable contraindications to therapy. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that CBD is a safe, useful alternative or adjunct for the treatment of neuropathic joint pain due to secondary osteoarthritis. [2]

How does CBD work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 100 chemical compounds unique to the cannabis sativa or hemp plant.  These compounds are referred to as cannabinoids.  You likely have heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid most commonly associated with marijuana.  However, unlike THC, CBD is non psychoactive and has been shown to offer a myriad of wellness benefits without the "high" effect of THC.  Research and experiential evidence shows that CBD may be helpful in promoting calm, addressing pain and inflammation, and supporting the GI, nervous, and immune systems, among other useful applications.  Adding to these benefits, CBD is non psychoactive, non habit-forming, and well tolerated, making it a potentially desirable supplement choice for your addressing your back pain.

Cannabinoids are naturally effective in our bodies because, throughout our evolutionary development, we have been hardwired to gain the benefits of the cannabis sativa plant through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex signaling network within the mammalian body that functions as a lock and key mechanism when cannabinoids are present or introduced into the bloodstream. These receptors exist throughout the body -- nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive, immune, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, and other systems -- and are the reason why cannabinoids can have such diverse and profound effects. [3] All mammals, including humans and companion animals, have an ECS, and the body produces "endo" (internal) cannabinoids (naturally occurring substances such as anandamide) that operate to keep the body's systems in balance. [4] However, when an external force such as injury, illness, or stress is introduced, our body's own endocannabinoids may be depleted, resulting in an interruption to homeostasis that can manifest as anxiety, pain, inflammation, sleep disturbance, compromised immune function, and more.  CBD and related "phyto" (plant) cannabinoids are natural compounds that can supplement the body's own cannabinoids and lock into cannabinoid receptors to address the imbalance and restore homeostasis. [5] In addition, research suggests that CBD may also interact in potentially beneficial ways with other neurotransmitter systems and receptors that support normal levels of other "feel good" brain chemicals such as serotonin. [6] [7]

How can Trove CBD help address my back pain?

Trove CBD Body Balm 750 is a natural way to target a specific area of back pain, making it a great choice for soft tissue injury, aches, and specific areas of soreness, tension, or inflammation.  Trove balms have a high, 15 mg/g CBD concentration, designed for fast action and intense, long lasting relief.  It is not uncommon to feel relief within minutes following topical application, and results will often last from two to four hours, allowing for greater comfort, increased mobility, and improved mental focus.

If you are seeking systemic relief, you may want to consider an ingestible tincture or capsule.  A daily dose of Trove CBD Oil 750 taken under the tongue will help enhance calm and mental focus, while also providing relief from pain and inflammation throughout the body, assisting in your mobility regimen, and often aiding in a restful and restorative sleep.  Trove CBD Capsules 25 offer similar benefits in a convenient capsule form.  The specific dosage regimen will vary from person to person, and also depends upon the nature of the issue you are seeking to address.  Once you, along with your healthcare provider, determine the amount and frequency of supplementation that works best for you, you can develop your own Trove CBD wellness routine.

The bottom line about CBD and back pain

If, along with your medical team, you are considering a CBD product as part of your regimen to address back pain, choose a product that has been independently tested for purity, quality, and potency.  CBD should be a part of an overall pain management plan that includes lifestyle and treatment options such as exercise, mental health support, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture and other therapies.  Establish realistic goals, monitor progress and improvement, and adjust CBD dosage to the lowest dose that provides desirable results.  If certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disease, or related conditions are implicated in your back pain, be sure to consult your care team prior to modifying any prescribed medications as they may be providing important protection against future damage.

Trove CBD is triple tested, THC free, and offers a full line of premium products that taste great, feel luxurious, smell delightful. . .and they work!  Read more about "Why Trove CBD" [here] 


Copyright © 2022 Deborah Carter All rights reserved


[1] https://www.spineuniverse.com/anatomy

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7176325/

[3] Lutz, B et al. The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015;16(12): 705-718

[4] Hillard, CJ. Stress regulates endocannabinoid-CB1 receptor signaling. Seminars in Immunology, 26(5), 2014, 380-388

[5] Bluet, RJ et al. Central anandamide deficiency predicts stress-induced anxiety: behavioral reversal through endocannabinoid augmentation. Translational Psychiatry (2014) vol 4, e408

[6] Bedse, Guarav et al. Therapeutic endocannabinoid augmentation for mood and anxiety disorders: comparative profiling of FAAH, MAGI, and dual inhibitors. Translational Psychiatry (2018) vol 8, 1 92

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161644/