Cbd oil for lower back and leg pain

10 Best CBD Oil for Back Pain

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Back pain is a condition that impacts millions of people around the world. It makes simple tasks, such as walking or laying in bed, uncomfortable at best. If you live with chronic back pain, you may be willing to try almost anything to make the pain levels more bearable.

Often, traditional forms of therapy do not produce the expected results. In turn, people look for alternative solutions to heal their back pain. Today, there’s an abundance of health advice and innovative products on the market. Many promise to reduce pain and discomfort while supporting a healthier, happier life.

But as you know, you can’t take product promises at face value. There are all sorts of companies out there that promise a miracle product, only for it to offer little to no benefits.

Over the last few years, CBD oil has become a popular choice for treating back pain. Because of its many therapeutic benefits, CBD products have and continue to be in high demand. Ever since the compound was legalized in 2018, there’s a substantial supply of products that can be used to treat chronic pain while also managing anxiety.

With so many products on the market, it can be hard to choose a product that will offer the benefits that you seek.

How to Choose Quality CBD Oil

As you’d expect, there are tons of CBD oils on the market that can be used to treat back pain or pain anywhere on the body. Choosing the right brand and knowing how to choose a quality product from a low quality product isn’t an easy task.

Just as there are reputable CBD companies with high standards, there are others that manipulate you into buying a product that is made with low quality ingredients. This is why it’s so important to know how to choose quality CBD oil.

It starts by researching the brand and their products. In conducting your research, there are various factors to consider.

First, look at the type of CBD that the company uses. Quality CBD comes from quality products. Find a brand that uses CBD sourced from organic, non-GMO hemp. Reputable brands publish a product’s full ingredients list on the label as well as online.

If you find a company that uses organic CBD along with all natural ingredients, chances are that you’ve found a product that you can trust.

The next factor to consider is THC content. CBD is only one of several cannabinoids that naturally occur in hemp. THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is known for causing psychoactive effects.

The type of CBD extract used indicates the THC level. CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD contain no THC. On the other hand, full spectrum CBD contains all of the plant compounds, including THC. However, the product should contain no more than 0.3% THC. Otherwise, it’s illegal and may cause unintended side effects.

A reputable company knows the importance of transparency. Companies that produce the best CBD oil submit their products for third-party lab testing, and the results are publicly available. These tests show the product’s purity and quality. They check for the presence of harmful compounds such as pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.

Top 10 CBD Brands for Back Pain

Because there are countless CBD oil products to choose from, we’ve done all of the tedious research for you. We’ve taken all of the above factors into consideration when ranking CBD brands. Here’s what you need to know about each brand.

1. Penguin

Penguin is a premium brand that creates premium products that contain no THC. All of their products are made using the best Oregon-grown hemp that is designed to rejuvenate the mind and body.

This brand is inspired by nature. Their products are GMO-free and contain zero pesticides. Enjoy your own slice of the penguin life with these CBD products. They’ll keep you cool, calm, and collected all while feeling your best. Goodbye back pain!

Each batch is made using refined broad-spectrum extract. Penguin is available in some of the most delicious flavors including citrus, mint, strawberry, and cookies and cream. CBD oil is available in several strengths, including 250mg, 600mg, 1000mg, 2500mg, and 5000mg.

2. Everest

Everest is a fresh new name in the CBD market, and they’re definitely one to leave an impression. Their CBD oil and gummies are made with the highest standards of quality, which you can see reflected in their independent, third-party lab results. They also offer several Delta 8 products as well.

Pros: One of the best-tasting oils on this entire list, with its sweet blueberry flavor. It’s also one of the most potent, as its formula is stacked with a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. Shipping is free for all 50 states and comes in discreet packaging. Subscriptions can be paused or cancelled at any time without any penalty.

Cons: Everest only offers one flavor at the moment, so people who aren’t blueberry fans might be disappointed. It also only comes in 1500mg strength. Price is a little on the higher side, but that’s expected with a premium quality product.

3. FOCL

FOCL’s CBD drops get rave customer reviews and rank among the best in the industry for three simple reasons – high quality, amazing taste, and great value.

For maximum relief from everyday back pain, FOCL’s 2000mg Natural CBD Drops get the job done.

Made with broad spectrum CBD oil and Organic MCT (coconut) oil, FOCL 2000mg Natural CBD Drops are the perfect dose of CBD for relief from back aches and pains. They are also flavorless, which makes them super convenient for adding to your coffee, smoothies, or just some under your tongue for immediate relief.

In terms of taste, FOCL Natural Drops are some of the best we’ve tried because they don’t have that weird grassy aftertaste. They also offer 1000mg CBD drops in mint, strawberry lemonade, cherry, and orange cream!

FOCL also produces an incredibly powerful CBD Relief Cream made with hemp extract and other proven botanicals – it’s one of the best CBD topicals we’ve tried for aches and pains. For the best value, check out their popular “ Relief Bundle .”

4. Sunday Scaries

For everyday pain management, we highly recommend Sunday Scaries . This CBD oil is made with broad spectrum extract that’s combined with vitamins and coconut oil. To improve the effectiveness of their CBD oil, the brand infuses it with vitamins B12 and D3, both of which are known to help with pain management.

According to the National Institute of Health , studies have shown promising effects of using vitamin D for reducing muscular pain. The National Library of Medicine has found that vitamin B12 may be a supplemental tool to use for treating pain.

Even coconut oil plays a role in managing pain and discomfort. Human studies have found that coconut oil reduces the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

5. Medterra

Medterra hits the mark for all of the most important factors, including quality, hemp source, clean formulations, and testing standards. This is a brand that has very few gaps. Medterra is well known for its high quality products, including CBD isolate and broad spectrum products. They also offer full spectrum products now as well!

The brand’s True Full Spectrum CBD drops are the most advanced tincture on the market. The oil is made with 2mg of THC and is formulated with a 5:1 CBD to other cannabinoid ratio. Unlike most full spectrum oils that contain a trace amount of THC, True Full Spectrum contains a significant amount of THC.

What does this mean for you? Products with higher CBD levels work faster and the effects last much longer. When CBD is combined with THC and other minor cannabinoids, you’ll experience the entourage effect. This magnifies the benefits of each plant compound.

If you’re looking for a quality product that’s effective, Medterra’s True Full Spectrum oil is just the product for you.

Use Code: DM15 for 15% off your order.

6. HealthWorxCBD

Another company that offers trusted CBD oil is HealthWorxCBD . This company is based in Denver, Colorado. Products are made using the finest Colorado hemp that is grown using safe farming products.

The brand offers both full spectrum CBD oil as well as pure CBD oil. Potencies range from 200mg to 5000mg. HealthWorxCBD also offers a unique extract known as terpene-enhanced CBD. According to customer reviews, HealthWorxCBD oil is effective in treating pain.

All products are tested by a third-party lab and results are available on the brand’s website.

7. Kiara Naturals

Looking for a strong CBD product that’s specifically designed for pain? Kiara Naturals is a brand that you can rely on for quality products. This Swiss manufacturer is known for its high potency products that are meant to treat specific health issues.

Kiara Naturals is a family-owned business that makes all CBD products by hand. CBD oils and other products are made in small batches in Appenzellerland, Switzerland following strict GMP standards.

The brand’s products are used by natural health practitioners across Europe.

Kiara Naturals CBD oils are available in strengths ranging from 1000mg to 3000mg. Their pain tincture is specifically formulated using full spectrum CBD along with other natural products that address pain in various ways.

8. Verma Farms

Verma Farms is one of the most trusted names in the CBD industry. While they’re most known for their Hawaii-inspired CBD gummies, they’ve also created a full line of delicious CBD oil. If you’re looking for a high quality oil that’s made with all natural, organic ingredients, Verma Farms is a safe choice.

Verma Farms products are formulated using unadulterated, powerful, and pesticide-free broad spectrum CBD extract that promotes rejuvenation, rest, concentration, and the ultimate pain relief. Place a few drops under your tongue or add oil to your favorite beverage to keep back pain at bay.

The brand offers some of the most deliciously flavored CBD oils, including pineapple, mango, mint, strawberry, watermelon, and others. Oils are available in two concentrations, 500mg and 1000mg.

9. Pure Kana

Pure Kana is another worthy brand that we’re proud to put on our top 10 list. This company is based out of Arizona. Their products are formulated using organically grown hemp plants from Kentucky.

They offer a full line of CBD hemp oil that is designed to meet all of your daily wellness needs. Pure Kana oils are available in many flavors, including:

Oil strengths range from 300mg to 5000mg, so you’re sure to find one that best relieves your back pain.

10. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is well-known for its high quality CBD products, including CBD oil. The brand is based in Colorado and specializes in CBD products made using top notch organic CBD.

Aside from their original formula, CBD oil is also available in some of the most delicious flavors you’ll find on the market, including mint chocolat, lemon twist, and orange blossom.

Whether you’re a first-time CBD user or well-seasoned in using the cannabinoid, Charlotte’s Web has a product that will meet your needs.

When compared to other CBD oils on the market, Charlotte’s Web products are on the expensive side. However, you get what you pay for. High quality products are often sold at a higher price tag.

Bonus: CBDistillery

CBDistillery is well known for creating high quality CBD oil that is made using CBD isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum CBD. Their products have proven to be one of the most effective in treating a variety of health conditions.

Aside from pure CBD oil, CBDistillery also offers full spectrum oil, which can be quite effective in treating back and other forms of pain. Each of their products is lab tested for purity and quality. CBDistillery posts all lab results on their website so that consumers can easily review them.

While most of their products contain no flavoring, CBDistillery does offer a mango flavor for certain products.

Bonus: Balance CBD

Balance CBD was founded by two health professionals with the aim of helping people ease their pain while also encouraging relaxation. All of their products are made using all natural, non-GMO, organic ingredients. Balance CBD products contain no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors.

The brand offers THC-free and full spectrum CBD oil that’s available in various strengths ranging from 500mg to 5000mg.

Balance CBD products are organic, gluten-free, vegan, allergan free, and are manufactured using GMP quality standards. When you buy from Balance CBD, you’re supporting a small business with a big dream.

Is CBD Legal?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived products were legalized. However, the law stipulates that CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC due to the cannabinoids psychoactive products. While the bill is legal at the federal level, not all states regulate CBD products the same way.

For example, in Colorado, it’s legal to use all parts of the hemp plant. In Texas, any product that contains THC is illegal. While most states are friendly towards CBD products, it’s important to check your state’s laws before buying.

CBD regulations also vary from country to country. Check the regulations that apply to you to ensure you can legally buy CBD products.

Buyer’s Guide

It’s not enough to know which brands offer high quality CBD oil. If you decide to give CBD oil or any other CBD product a try, it’s also important to figure out the right dosage for you. Currently, there is no recommended daily intake of CBD that’s regulated by the FDA.

In turn, people rely on the advice provided by CBD manufacturers. Most CBD companies recommend one dropper of CBD per day. But, this dosage may be too high or too low for your needs.

When deciding which dosage is best for you, consider the product’s CBD potency as well as your weight and the condition you’re looking to treat. CBD oil is available in various strengths, which means that a dropper could contain 300mg of CBD or 3,000mg. These potencies will have very different effects.

There are also personal factors, such as your body weight, which impact how you react to CBD. Because there isn’t a standard dosage for everyone, finding your right dosage requires some trial and error.

Final Thoughts

With our top 10 list of CBD oils, finding the right product to ease your back pain has never been easier. While we’ve conducted our research, it never hurts to do your own digging to give yourself peace of mind that you’re choosing a product that will work for you.

Remember, everyone reacts differently to CBD oil. If you’re new to CBD products, start with a low dose (or low potency CBD oil) and slowly increase the amount. This reduces the risk of having an adverse reaction.

As with any product, always consult with a medical professional before adding CBD oil to your daily routine.

Looking for the best CBD you can find? Check out our awards for the best CBD Gummies , best CBD Oi l, Best CBD Oil For Dogs , and Best CBD Oil for cats .

Best CBD Oil for Sciatica: Top Hemp Products for Sciatic Pain (2022)

The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back to the legs, covering a vast and sensitive area that can release painful signals to the brain when pushed too hard.

Sciatic pain can have many causes, from herniated discs to bone spurs. Factors such as advanced age, lack of physical activity, obesity, and diabetes can increase the risk of sciatica and cause deterioration of symptoms.

Other than a few rare exceptions, sciatica typically occurs on one side of the body. People suffering from sciatic pain seek help in over-the-counter painkillers; some of them use prescription analgesics to mitigate the painful sensation; there are also folks seeking natural aid, such as CBD oils and topicals. These two types of hemp-derived supplements are often used as complementary treatments for different types of pain.

In this article, we’ll answer whether or not CBD oil is a viable option for static pain — and how to use it to relieve the discomfort. We’ll also share our list of the top 4 CBD brands whose products actually make a difference.

Let’s take a look at the link between CBD and sciatica.

Does CBD Help with Sciatica Pain?

Mayo Clinic defines sciatica as a painful sensation that radiates from the sciatic nerve, which occurs in the lower back and the buttocks, and down each leg.

Since sciatica typically affects one side of the body, it can be confused with back pain, leg pain, or hip pain. While these are all symptoms of sciatica, having them doesn’t mean you also have the condition.

That’s because the pain doesn’t stem from an injury in one of those areas. Sciatica results from a compressed sciatic nerve, caused by hard bumps forming on the spine (bone spur), herniated disk, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis).

People who partake in heavy physical labor on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing sciatic pain. However, the condition may also affect those with a passive lifestyle, as a consequence of the lack of walking and stretching.

Sciatica can negatively affect one’s daily life. A simple cough or sneeze can heighten the intensity of the sciatic pain. In severe cases, pain prevents individuals from normal functioning.

Although CBD doesn’t cure sciatica — it doesn’t get to the cause of sciatic pain — cannabinoids like CBD have been well documented in the scientific literature as potentially effective anti-inflammatory and painkilling agents.

A 2004 study defined sciatic pain as a combination of neuropathic and other kinds of pain (1). Another study conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), linked sciatica to an inflammation of the nervous system (2).

Neuropathic pain comes from injuries or illnesses of the somatosensory system, which plays an important role in our pain perception, pressure, touch, and mobility.

Inflammation is triggered when the immune system releases antibodies to tackle an infection or injury.

An inflammatory response causes the dilation of blood vessels in order to pump more blood into the injured area — causing that part of the body to become red and swollen.

One large animal study discovered that the topical application of CBD could reduce inflammation and fix behavioral problems associated with arthritis (3).

However, sciatica and arthritis are two different conditions, and no study has yet analyzed the efficacy of CBD specifically for sciatica.

Long story short, CBD oil may not cure sciatica, but it may help mitigate inflammation and pain experienced by sciatica sufferers — translating to the effective management of this condition.

How to Use CBD for Sciatica

CBD is one of the most trending health supplements today, so it’s no wonder you can find it in several forms, including CBD oil, edibles, capsules, vapes, and topical products.

CBD oil is hands down the most popular choice both among beginners and experienced users alike. This form of CBD is applied sublingually (under the tongue); you need to squeeze the product’s dropper and place a few drops in the area beneath the tongue. Once there, hold it for up to 60 seconds, then swallow. The oil will absorb through the tiny blood vessels in your mouth, ensuring relatively fast effects and long duration, up to 6 hours.

Oral products, such as CBD capsules and edibles, provide a fixed dose of CBD per serving. They are the preferred form of CBD among users looking for consistent dosages and low-profile consumption. However, oral products have a delayed onset due to first-pass metabolism in the digestive system. The effects of capsules and edibles usually kick in within 40–120 minutes after consumption, lasting up to 10 hours.

Vapes, such as CBD vape pens and concentrates, are the fastest way to deliver CBD into your body. Inhaled CBD will manifest its effects within around 5–10 minutes after inhalation, lasting up to 4 hours, with peak effects after 1.5–2 hours.

For localized problems like flare-ups from sciatica pain, topical products such as creams and gels may come in handy. They target affected areas, reaching cannabinoid receptors in the skin and bringing relief from pain and inflammation.

Should You Take CBD Oil or Use CBD Cream for Sciatica?

With so many CBD products available out there, it’s natural to wonder which type of CBD will work best for sciatic pain.

Should you take CBD oil or use CBD cream for sciatica?

It largely depends on what you want to achieve with CBD.

For example, if you want to use CBD to reduce inflammation in the sciatic nerve or mitigate pain signals that the nerve sends to the brain, we recommend choosing products such as CBD oil, capsules, edibles, or vapes.

However, if you aim for easing localized discomfort, you can add a CBD cream to your routine, especially if you suffer from sciatica-related flare-ups.

Best CBD Oil for Sciatica

As new companies enter the market every day, offering different forms of CBD with various formulas and potencies, it may be challenging for new users to pick the right product. No two CBD oils are made the same, so it’s important to be able to pick the nuances and effectively narrow down your options to a few trustworthy suppliers.

In this section, we’ve done the job for you.

Here’s the list of the best CBD oils for sciatica according to our team at CFAH.org.

1. Royal CBD (Overall Winner)

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Product Details

  • American-grown, non-GMO hemp
  • CO2-extracted
  • full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and flavors
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Neutral natural flavor
  • Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)
  • Slightly more expensive than competitor brands (but they have a great reward program)
Why Royal CBD Is the Best CBD Oil for Sciatica

Royal CBD is a Nevada-based manufacturer that offers a broad selection of CBD extracts in different spectra, including full-spectrum CBD oil, capsules, broad-spectrum vapes and topicals, and THC-free gummies.

The entire Royal CBD collection comes from organic hemp plants and is extracted with supercritical CO2, ensuring consistent potency and purity throughout every product batch. These products are rigorously tested in a third-party laboratory for potency and the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial impurities.

The Royal CBD oil is available in four concentrations: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg. This is a full-spectrum extract, so you’re getting the entire range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients naturally occurring in hemp. The company has infused this extract into premium-grade MCT oil for higher bioavailability and the added benefits of essential fatty acids for the brain.

If you don’t like the earthy flavor of natural CBD oil, Royal CBD offers three flavored options: Mint, Berry, and Vanilla. The strongest bottle is only available in the natural flavor, as the addition of flavorings would compromise the potency of the final product.

You can try out Royal CBD’s products in a risk-free way by using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Gold Bee (Best Organic Formula)

Product Details

  • Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
  • Great potency range for beginners
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great honey flavor
  • No high-strength CBD oils
Why We Recommend Gold Bee CBD Oil for Sciatica:

Gold Bee makes the best-tasting full-spectrum CBD oil out there. The product is flavored with natural honey and available in a delicious kiwi flavor that is very pleasant for the taste buds. Although Gold Bee doesn’t sell any high-potency oils (yet), the company produces its extracts under lower temperatures than the competition, which helps maintain the original biological profile of the hemp plant. It’s a great company if you’re a new user, or if you already have experience with CBD oil but your daily dosage locks in at 40 mg.

3. CBDistillery (Runner Up)

Product Details
  • Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Very affordable
  • The hemp isn’t organic
  • No flavored oils available
  • The website gets clunky sometimes
Why We Recommend CBDistillery CBD Oil for Sciatica

CBDistillery is one of the largest suppliers of CBD oil in North America and a daughter brand of Balanced Health Botanicals. The brand sells various forms of CBD, from CBD oil to capsules, powders, to vapes and topicals.

The CBD oil comes in two variants: you can choose between full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. The broad-spectrum version contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes, but without any THC. Unlike CBD isolates, broad-spectrum extracts evoke some of the entourage effects.

The CBD oil sold by CBDistillery is available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD; the latter is labeled as “pure oil” and contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes, but with no traces of THC. The THC has been removed later during a series of extraction processes.

CBDistillery covers the entire range of potencies, from 250 mg to a whopping 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The strongest version carries 166 mg CBD in each milliliter, which is a very potent dose, and the oil itself may last for months to come. These are hands down the best CBD oils for sciatica when it comes to shopping on a low budget.

4. CBDPure (Good Value)

Product Details:
  • Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • Low potency
  • No topicals available
Why We Recommend CBDPure CBD Oil for Sciatica

CBDPure is another brand offering low-strength CBD oils, although the guys at CBDPure have recently added a 1000 mg concentration to their collection — catering to users with higher dosage needs. Despite the lack of high-potency extracts, the formula behind these products has been mastered to perfection. CBDPure uses locally grown hemp and supercritical CO2 for extraction, which is the current golden standard in the industry. On top of that, the company offers a 90-day Satisfaction Guarantee for people who aren’t ready to commit to a brand upon the first purchase. If you decide the product isn’t for you, you can send it back for a full refund within 90 days.

CBD Dosage for Sciatica

There are no standardized dosage charts or recommendations for CBD oil and sciatica. In fact, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have yet to investigate its efficacy and safety in this subject.

Existing research doesn’t suggest specific amounts of CBD to relieve pain and inflammation in humans.

Most studies on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD come from animal models.

When trying to determine the right dosage for sciatic pain, you can follow the dosage instruction on the product’s label.

Different brands have unique product formulas, with different concentrations of CBD and other ingredients, so dosage recommendations may vary from one brand to another.

In general, CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans, even in doses as high as 1,500 mg daily. However, it’s recommended to start with the lowest dose (e.g. 5 mg) and gradually work your way up to the point where you experience the desired relief from sciatic pain. You can keep a journal or log to monitor the results, with 7-day trial periods for specific dosages.

Since CBD isn’t the go-to sciatica treatment for patients, we encourage you to consult a doctor experienced in cannabis use before buying any CBD product. Doing so will help you avoid potential CBD-drug interactions on top of figuring out the right dosage for your individual situation.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD for Sciatica

CBD has been shown to have remarkable anti-inflammatory and painkilling qualities, both of which can effectively help sciatica patients manage their symptoms. Not only that, but CBD can also alleviate other painful conditions, including chronic pain and neuropathy.

However, no study has yet investigated the efficacy of CBD specifically for sciatica, so while it’s difficult to deny the above effects, we need more quality research on this subject to draw definitive claims.

People with sciatic pain should consult their doctors before taking CBD oil for sciatica, especially when taking medications that could potentially interact with CBD.

If you’re browsing the web for the best CBD products for sciatica, always do solid research on any company that sells CBD oil out there. The market is still unregulated, with plenty of mislabeled products sold in-store and online. You can use our product recommendations from above if you’re in a hurry; all brands from our list sell organic, lab-tested products that contain the advertised amount of CBD and are safe to use.

Do you take CBD oil for sciatica? Do you use it alone or in combination with topicals? Share your stories in the comment section below!

References:

  1. Baron, R., Binder, A. [How neuropathic is sciatica? The mixed pain concept. Der Orthopade, May 2004, vol 33(5), pp 568-75.
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital. Neuroinflammation seen in spinal cord, nerve roots of patients with chronic sciatica. Press Release, May 9, 2018.
  3. Hammell, D.C. et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, Oct. 30, 2015, vol. 20(6).
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1

CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2

CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.

What Is CBD?

CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.

The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:

  • THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
  • Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.

While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.

Ways CBD Treats Back Pain

Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:

  • Reducing inflammation 3
  • Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
  • Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5

Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.

Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5

Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD

Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

More severe side effects, while rare, include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.

CBD use prior to surgery

Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6