Back pain affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the main causes of disability, especially as pain management often seems futile. Unfortunately, with many forms of back pain, there is no cure. It’s something people have had to learn to live with day in day out. And while there are some treatment options out there (including medical marijuana) that may help the chronic pain subside, most involve either highly addictive medicines or expensive, invasive surgical procedures. Thankfully, that’s quickly beginning to change and it’s all down to a little-known compound called CBD which is ideal for pain relief.
What is CBD?
Put simply, CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of the more active cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychoactive properties but holds a number of other properties found to be very useful in treating certain conditions, including back pain. It’s been extensively researched over the past few years and has proven to be quite safe to be used in the majority of circumstances.
Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States recognizes cannabidiol CBD as a dietary supplement. Because of that, there are now a number of different CBD-based products available to buy on the market that can help with chronic pain and pain relief for other ailments.
How does CBD help ease back pain?
While there may not have been quite as many studies carried out on the effects that CBD has in regards to easing back pain, there is enough to suggest that it’s still an effective form of treatment. Putting the clinical studies aside, you only need to look at the thousands of people that have and do continue to use cannabidiol CBD for easing their back pain, to see how effective it is. One thing that research has revealed is that CBD oil for pain has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s found to be so useful at treating back pain. It’s also been suggested that by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD significantly reduces neuropathic pain by increasing the level of serotonin in the body and ensures effective pain management.
CBD and the endocannabinoid system
CBD has a way of interacting with receptors that lie within the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is an integral part of maintaining our overall health and well-being and is made up of three key components, each of which has its own special role. They are:
- Cannabinoid receptors: These are found throughout the body including in the liver, lungs, kidneys, and nerve tissue. They sit on the surface of the cell listening out for any changes that occur within it. When conditions within the cell change, these receptors transmit information about the transformation. As a result, they initiate the correct cell response. The very first two cannabinoid receptors to be discovered are CB1 and CB2. While CB1 receptors are most often found in the brain, CB2 receptors are more commonly found outside the nervous system. However, both can be found throughout the whole body.
- Endocannabinoids: These are the tiny, naturally produced molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The two main types of endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG. Both are made from molecules found within the cell membrane and both are made on demand. Being produced in this way means that there’s no excess and no need to store them unnecessarily like various other biological molecules.
- Metabolic enzymes: The final key components of the endocannabinoid system are metabolic enzymes. These enzymes have the very important role of destroying endocannabinoids once they’ve been used. The two biggest metabolic enzymes are FAAH and MAGL. While FAAH is responsible for breaking down any anandamide within the body, the MAGL breaks down any 2-AG. These enzymes also make sure endocannabinoids get used no longer than needed. This is one of the unique properties of endocannabinoids that makes them different to most other molecular signals of the body.
What are the most effective methods when it comes to using CBD for back pain?
A lot of this comes down to the individual and will depend on a number of factors including where the pain is stemming from and the severity of it. However, some of the most effective CBD methods reported by back pain sufferers are:
- CBD oil: This is probably the most widely used of all CBD products, mainly due to its potency. CBD oil can come in various forms, but one of the most popular to use are tinctures. These are preferred by many as they’re easy to carry around, easy to administer and come into effect pretty swiftly. They’re also a concentrate meaning they’re the strongest form of CBD oil around. Simply place a couple of drops under your tongue for the quickest way to get it into your bloodstream. The only real downside to tinctures is the taste. To get around that issue, some people prefer to put a couple of drops in a drink instead. You can also buy CBD oil tablets that are just as effective but do take slightly longer to digest.
- CBD-based topicals: Many people that suffer from chronic back pain report that CBD-based topicals work wonders for easing the pain. There are plenty of them about and some people choose topical as their preferred method of CBD intake. This may because of the taste of CBD or simply because they like the additional benefits that these topicals bring. CBD based topicals available that may help back pain sufferers come in various balms, lotions and oils. The main difference between topicals and other forms of CBD-based products is that most won’t actually breach the bloodstream. Instead, they merely penetrate the CB2 receptors. Transdermal patches, however, are an exception. These transport cannabinoids directly to the bloodstream and, therefore, could produce a psychoactive effect if the THC content was high enough.
Hopefully, you’ll now feel more informed as to what CBD really is and how it can help ease your back pain. Thousands of people have already reported it works better than any other treatment they’ve ever tried and will never look back. So, if you suffer from back pain and have tried just about everything, why not give CBD a chance. At the end of the day, what have you got to lose?