CBD oil is a product that is extracted from the hemp or marijuana plant. It is a yellowish fluid with many biological benefits.
It is free of any intoxicating effect and it does not produce any ‘high’. Therefore it is considered safe for use in every age group.
It interacts with many signalling pathways and receptors in the body including serotonin receptors, GPR555, TRPV-1 receptor, etc. Biological properties of CBD oil could be attributed to these interactions.
CBD oil has been found to be helpful in many disorders including symptoms of heart diseases, PTSD, anxiety, migraine, insomnia, cancer, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
Back Pain: Types, Causes and Treatment Options
Back pain, as the name suggests, is the pain in the back. It can occur in the lower back or upper back.
Although a less serious condition, it can cause a lot of discomfort and disturbance in the lives of people suffering from it.
Back pain is found to be more common in adults of age 35-45 years but it can affect other age groups as well.
Back pain can make people miss work and other important commitments thus reducing their productivity.
Acute back pain is the most common type of back pain and does not last for more than 6 weeks. Chronic pain can last for longer than 3 months. Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain observed in some patients with back pain.
Age, obesity, smoking, genetics, diseases like cancer, arthritis, poor physical health, etc. can be responsible for back pain. It can also be a symptom of a major medical condition.
Common reasons for back pain include muscle spasms, tense muscles, injuries from sprains, falls, scoliosis, arthritis, infection, fibromyalgia, stress, lack of sleep, etc.
Common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin are used to treat acute back pain.
In case of chronic pain analgesic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, anti-depressant, etc. are commonly prescribed. Neuropathic pain requires the use of anti-convulsants.
Benefits of CBD Oil in Back Pain
CBD oil exhibits analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-epileptic and muscle relaxant properties among others. CBD also helps attenuate neuropathic pain. Therefore it could help alleviate back pain caused due to several different reasons without any side effects in the long run.
1. CBD oil is a Good Analgesic
Back pain is characterized by stabbing/dull/burning pain in the different regions of the back. The pain can be acute (less than 3 months) or last for much longer.
Neuropathic pain is also a common type in which the cause of pain is mostly unknown. Constant pain can make people feel uncomfortable and reduce their productivity.
Patients with back pain are prescribed painkillers, which can cause many side effects on regular use.
This can be dangerous for people with chronic and neuropathic back pain. Regular use of analgesic can also lead to the development of tolerance after which the drugs don’t have the same effect at low doses.
Switching to a natural alternative could be helpful in order to avoid such problems. CBD oil can help alleviate pain and thus improve their productivity by reducing discomfort.
CBD has been known to effectively attenuate both inflammatory neuropathic and pain. Studies in which CBD is given to animal models of pain have produced positive results.
CBD administration could alleviate pain without producing analgesic tolerance.
CBD has an influence on the alpha3 glycine receptors, which is known as a target for pain regulation.
The analgesic property of CBD can be attributed to this interaction. CBD shows direct interaction with the α3 GlyR receptor and thus reduces chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
The interaction between α3 GlyR receptor and CBD could provide relief from persistent pain. No major side effects were observed.
Thus CBD is a good natural agent to provide pain relief without developing tolerance or any psychoactive side effects.
CBD has been used for providing relief in arthritis pain as well. Arthritic pain is chronic and affects the joints.
Transdermal application of CBD cream/gel attenuated pain and improved pain score in animal models of monoarthritis. Thus CBD gel could potentially alleviate chronic pain.
Analgesic properties of CBD are attributed to its effect on the concentration of anandamide in the serum.
Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid known to reduce pain and CBD increases its levels in the serum by preventing its degradation.
Back pain can be the cause of discomfort in many people. The pain can last anywhere from a few days to months. CBD oil exhibits analgesic effects and helps reduce pain by several mechanisms.
It is free of any major side effects and thus could be a good alternative to regular painkillers, which have many side effects in the long run.
2. CBD oil has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Most patients who complain of back pain are prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in order to alleviate acute pain.
They are commonly available over the counter. Long-term use of these drugs can have many side effects including stomach ulcers, stomach burns, high blood pressure, thinning of blood, dizziness, etc.
Therefore these drugs should be avoided for management of pain for a longer duration.
Switching to a more natural alternative such as CBD oil with anti-inflammatory properties is a good choice. Studies have proven that CBD oil can suppress both acute and chronic inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory property of CBD is due to its effect on the concentration of various pro-inflammatory mediators in the body.
It decreases the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a pro-inflammatory mediator, and consequently reduces inflammation.
Many studies have proposed and proven that CBD reduces inflammation via its involvement in the adenosine signalling pathway.
CBD increases adenosine signaling by suppressing the adenosine transporter.
The concentration of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid, is also increased by CBD.
Anandamide is known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties thus CBD indirectly reduces inflammation.
In animal models of arthritis (a major inflammatory disorder), CBD administration has led to significant reduction in many symptoms owing to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Topical use of CBD containing gel also led to a reduction in inflammation and pain. This can be helpful for back pain patients.
Another study in the animal model showed that topical application of CBD led to a marked decrease in pro-inflammatory biomarkers as observed in the immunohistochemical of the samples.
Similarly reduction in levels of pro-inflammatory mediators including IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor, etc. was observed in murine models of arthritis.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed to alleviate back pain but these drugs have side effects in the long run. CBD oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and it can be a great alternative to those drugs.
3. CBD has a Protective effect on Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
Disc degeneration is an important contributor to chronic low back pain in many patients.
Prevention and protection from such intervertebral disc degeneration can be helpful in preventing such cases of chronic low back pain.
In a study conducted on rat models, it was observed that CBD administration to the rats with intervertebral disc lesion could help protect against lesion induced intervertebral disc degeneration.
This was attributed to the anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperalgesic properties of CBD.
CBD blocks many pro-inflammatory mediators and decreases the migration of neutrophils. Thus it effectively reduces inflammation. Modulation of the immune response can also help protect from such disc degeneration.
Intervertebral disc degeneration is the cause of chronic back pain in many patients. CBD has been shown to provide protection against lesion induced intervertebral disc degeneration.
4. CBD oil has Anti-depressant and Anti-convulsant Properties
Anti-depressant and anti-convulsants have been shown to benefit the patients of back pain by providing relief from chronic low back pain.
Anti-depressants alter the brain chemistry in such a way that the perception of pain is changed. Thus low doses of these drugs can be used to treat chronic pain.
Similarly, anti-convulsants help prevents abnormal brain activity, which can help reduce chronic low back pain. These drugs can also help by alleviating neuropathic pain.
Anti-depressant and anticonvulsants can have several side effects and might be unsuitable for many patients.
A more natural alternative to these drugs could be CBD oil since it exhibits anti-depressants like and anti-convulsants like properties.
Anti-depressant like properties of CBD has been proven by many studies both in vivo and in animal models.
Review studies have shown that administration of CBD results in reduced anxiety and depression in rat models, which were subjected to Vogel conflict test, elevated plus maze test, etc.
It was observed that animals that did not receive CBD were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. CBD and 5-HT1A neuro-receptor interactions could be responsible for this observation.
CBD administration to ‘depressive’ rats at a dose of 30mg/kg resulted in a prohedonic effect thus indicating the anti-depressant like property of CBD.
A low dose of CBD (45mg/kg) could help improve mood and motivation in animals during novel object exploration (NOE).
Another study showed that effect of CBD was found to be comparable to an anti-depressant drug, imipramine, based on force swimming test. Involvement of the 5-HT(1A) receptors was reported by the study.
CBD oil is also an anti-epileptic/anti-convulsants agent. CBD has been used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy and other seizure disorders due to its anticonvulsant properties.
Many Studies have shown that CBD reduces seizures in animal models in a dose-dependent manner. It also reduces tonic-clonic seizures.
The anti-convulsant property of CBD has been proven through seizure tests and audiogenic tests. CBD has also been shown to enhance the effect of anti-epilepsy drugs.
Anti-depressants and anti-convulsants are often prescribed for treating chronic low back pain. CBD is a natural agent with such properties and therefore it can be beneficial for patients with chronic back pain.
5. CBD oil helps Attenuate Insomnia and Stress
It has been observed that people with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain. People suffering from insomnia often complain of chronic back pain.
Back pain, in turn, disturbs the sleep and thus affects the quality and quantity of sleep. The cycle of insomnia and chronic pain continues and thus insomnia is a common comorbidity.
A study reported that there is a higher prevalence of sleep disorder in patients suffering from chronic low back pain. Thus treatment regimes should focus on treating the sleep disorders and restoring the overall quality of life.
Stress and lasting pain are known to share conceptual and physiological overlaps. Chronic low back pain is often found to co-occur with depression and in such cases; it can lead to prominent stress in the patients.
Chronic back pain can also lead to significant stress, which in turn can result in depression, weight gain, etc.
Therefore alleviation of stress and depressive symptoms is important to allow for an overall comfortable and high-quality life.
CBD oil is a good, natural agent, which can help attenuate stress, insomnia and depressive symptoms.
CBD possesses potent anti-anxiety property, which helps in alleviating general as well as social anxiety.
Case studies have shown that CBD is helpful in providing relief from insomnia by improving the quality and quantity of sleep in users.
CBD shows interactions with receptors, which regulate anxiety, fear and stress responses. CBD alters these receptors in such a way that it results in an anxiolytic effect.
CB1R receptors activation is known to be the target of anti-anxiety drugs. CBD is an indirect activator of this receptor via increased CB1R constitutional activity.
CBD administration to mouse models of generalized anxiety showed that regular use of CBD for 21 days could reduce stress and has anxiolytic effects.
This can possibly be attributed to the 5-HT1A receptor, another target for drugs used to treat anxiety. CBD is known to amplify the adenosine receptor activity, which in turn reduces anxiety.
CBD helps reduce anxiety generated due to chronic unpredictable stress and thus prevents long-term anxiogenic effects of stress.
Use of CBD in the treatment of sleep disorders has also been studied widely.
A case study of a patient with insomnia (due to Posttraumatic stress disorder) showed that CBD intake could improve the quality of sleep. There was also an improvement in the quantity of sleep experienced.
Treatment of rats with CBD led to increased total sleep time in them at the high dose of 40mg/kg. CBD might increase total sleep time and sleep latency at higher doses.
Stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disorders are common amongst patients with back pain. In order to improve the quality of life, it is important to alleviate these co-morbidities. CBD oil can help attenuate these symptoms in the users and provide overall benefits.
6. CBD oil is a Muscle Relaxant
Muscle relaxants are another type of medication prescribed to the patients with back pain for treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions. They are known to alleviate spasms or pain developed due to injury such as low back pain.
CBD has muscle relaxant properties. It has been shown in studies that CBD and other components of cannabis have muscle relaxant properties.
Endocannabinoid system is involved in the transmission of signals to the muscles and alteration of this system can have muscle relaxant properties.
CBD has been found to be instrumental in the treatment of multiple sclerosis by reducing muscle spasticity.
CBD is known to influence the endocannabinoid system by altering the levels of many endogenous cannabinoids including anandamide. This, in turn, can result in the muscle relaxant properties of CBD.
Muscle relaxants are a group of drugs prescribed to the patients with back pain. CBD could potentially help reduce pain in such patients by acting as a muscle relaxant.
Dosage and Use
The effective dose depends on many factors including the strength of the tincture, user’s condition, age, tolerance, etc.
It has been observed that dose between 600mg-1500mg per day is fairly well tolerated in humans without many side effects. Dose above 1500mg per day might result in some side effects.
Tinctures are usually available in 100mg to 600mg concentrations. Patients have been observed to use 600mg per day for conditions like anxiety, depression, etc.
Users should start with low doses and then increase it gradually based on their symptoms.
Taking extra oil is expensive and ineffective in the long run. Therefore the users can start with a 300mg dose and observe their symptoms.
In case of relief, the dose can be reduced to 100mg. If little relief is observed, the dose can be increased to 600mg. Increment should be little and slow.
Oil can be directly consumed by dropping it in the mouth and holding it under the tongue followed by swallowing (sublingual).
CBD oil containing pain cream and gels are available which can also be applied topically. These CBD infused creams can help alleviate pain on application to the affected area.
CBD oil can be vaped by adults and it is a highly efficient method for pain reduction. CBD containing edibles are also becoming increasingly famous.
The effects of CBD intake can be observed after 15-20 minutes of consumption and depends on the way it is being taken.
CBD oil is free of side effects and can be safely consumed for extended periods of time as long as it is pure.
Common side effects include dry mouth, low blood pressure, dizziness, drowsiness, appetite change and lightheadedness. These are commonly observed in users who take more than 1500mg of CBD per day.
It is important to make sure that users obtain the oil from trusted sources, which have been extracted using appropriate methods (without harsh chemicals) as cheap and fake products can cause toxicity and side effects.
CBD oil might show certain interaction with commonly used drugs including certain anti-depressants, beta blockers, antibiotics, anesthetics, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptics/anti-seizure, some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), etc.
This is because CBD oil shows inhibition of the liver enzyme, cytochrome P450, and therefore the medications are not degraded as the usual rate resulting in increased concentration of the drugs in the serum of the users.
The users should alter the dosage of those drugs accordingly to avoid any side effects.
Pregnant and breastfeeding females should not use CBD oil unless recommended by the doctor, as its effects on the fetus/infants are not known.
Users should also try to get an expert opinion on dose and drug interactions to avoid any unwanted effects associated with overdosing, etc.
Recommendation from a doctor can also be helpful. The labels on the bottle should be read well to understand the concentration and potency.
Back pain is becoming more and more common due to increased inactivity, change in posture, unhealthy habits, etc. among people. It can be caused due to many different reasons including injuries, systemic disorders, etc.
CBD oil can provide relief from back pain owing to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, etc. property. Back pain caused due to lack of sleep can also be alleviated as CBD attenuates insomnia.
Pure and high-quality CBD oil can be used by patients of any age group in order to alleviate back pain and experience overall comfort.
There are several ways to consume CBD oil and it can be easily incorporated into one’s lifestyle.
Recommendation from health care provider upon information like dose and drug interaction can help avoid side effects.