How to Use CBD Oil for Back Pain

Man showing back pain

If you feel like you are constantly searching for a way to obtain lasting relief from recurring or chronic back pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common health complaints in the US, with nearly half of all adults reporting at least occasional episodes.

Accidents and injuries, poor postural habits, weak muscles, stress from being overweight, and a number of health conditions all contribute to back pain. But, while it may be easy to pinpoint the cause (or causes), finding effective back pain treatment can be elusive and challenging.

One of the reasons your back pain may persist or recur is that the drugs commonly used to treat back pain, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and opioids, are largely unsuccessful, with only 10 to 25% of patients achieving meaningful relief of at least 50% pain reduction from any of these drugs or combinations of them.

Plus, each of these categories of drugs comes with a number of serious side effects that can outweigh their benefits. NSAIDS, for example, cause serious gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects. Additionally, drug tolerance, requiring ever-increasing dosage levels to achieve the same effects, as well as the potential for addiction, limit the usefulness of these medications.

Clearly, there is a great need for alternative therapies in the world of back pain management. Recently, CBD has attracted a lot of attention as a possible option. Is CBD oil good for back pain? Let’s take a look at some of the evidence.

Safety First

One of the major safety advantages of CBD is that it lacks the psychoactive effects that occur with THC – the other active ingredient in cannabis, as well as some common prescription pain medications. This means that you can use CBD while you are at work, while driving, and other times when it would be dangerous to take a psychoactive pain drug.

Man working construction

Additionally drug tolerance is not an issue with cannabinoids, so if you take CBD you don’t need to worry about having to take increasing doses over time.

That said, CBD can interact with other medications or have other undesirable effects based on your individual health picture. Check with your doctor before taking CBD to rule out any precluding factors.


Can CBD Help Back Pain?

Relieving back pain with CBD oils

CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, a network of signaling and receptor molecules that helps keep your body in balance. CBD exerts its main effects by indirectly activating CB1 and CB2 receptors, the two main receptors of the endocannabinoid system. 

Your CB1 receptors are prevalent in parts of the central nervous system and spinal cord that process pain while most of your CB2 receptors are located in your peripheral nervous system, immune system and other areas outside of the brain and spinal cord..

Does CBD Help with Back Spasms?

CBD has been studied as a go-to holistic alternative in a variety of conditions. Conditions for which CBD has been studied include:

Post-Exercise Muscle Damage

Man working out

Whether you’ve just run a marathon or spent the weekend getting your long-neglected backyard in shape you can experience a sore back. Along with lactic acid buildup, that soreness may be caused by micro-tears in muscle cells and is known as exercise-induced muscle damage. As with any type of tissue damage, this process induces mild inflammation intended to help repair and regenerate damaged muscle cells.

Normally, muscles respond to exercise-induced muscle damage by increasing their size and strength. However, NSAIDS have been found to inhibit this process. As a result, athletes and others who take NSAIDS to help with muscle soreness after a vigorous workout may be counteracting the muscle-building benefits. 


Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis brings calcium deposits to stabilize an injured area and often goes unnoticed until years after an accident or injury. Low-grade inflammation is a significant component of osteoarthritis, particularly affecting the synovium – the connective tissue capsule around the joint. 

In nearly a third of patients, osteoarthritis progresses to cause nerve damage and neuropathic pain. 

Neuropathic Pain

In neuropathic pain, the sensory pathways that send information to the brain about muscle and joint damage become impaired. As a result, the brain misinterprets incoming sensory signals, confusing signals for pain with non-pain-related signals. 

Neuropathic pain is a frequent occurrence in back pain patients. Evidence shows that blocking transmission of pain signals to the brain can lead to a safe, viable alternative to conventional pain drugs for patients with neuropathic pain.

Autoimmune Conditions

One of the most important ways to reduce pain is by modulating the immune system, which controls inflammation.The autoimmune disease called ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease, affects the spinal nerves and causes progressive muscle stiffness and muscle pain in the back and limbs. 

Fracture Healing

The healing process of bone fractures by inhibiting the breakdown of bone is a process that occurs as a normal part of bone maintenance, as old bone cells are replaced by new ones. There is also emerging evidence that activation of CB2 receptors promotes bone formation. .

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

In some instances of chronic back pain, there may be a deficiency of cannabinoid receptors or cannabinoid molecules. This has been suggested as a contributing factor in fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition which commonly affects the low back.

Best CBD Products For Recovery


Formulated to absorb easily through the skin into the bloodstream, CBD topicals provide consistent CBD levels from one application to the next throughout the day or overnight. 

Sublingual CBD is a liquid form of CBD that absorbs quickly and is easy to use. Simply place a few drops under your tongue and hold it there for about 20-30 seconds while the CBD absorbs into your bloodstream. 

Sublingual CBD is easy to take with you for convenient dosing wherever you go. With regular use of sublingual CBD you can easily achieve and maintain the CBD levels that you have become accustomed to.

Author Bio:

Dr. Tracey Roizman is a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon and holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. Dr Roizman also has postgraduate training in chiropractic functional neurology. Her practice focuses on whole-body health care using traditional chiropractic therapy, nutrition and therapeutic exercise with an emphasis on kinesiology (muscle resistance) techniques.


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