3 Popular Questions About Marijuana & Back Pain Answered

If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 80% of Americans endure back pain of some kind. Doctors mostly prescribe opioids or other powerful pain-relieving medications, which can help, but often just mask the problem and can come with their own set of serious side effects.

Cannabis has proven to be an effective way to treat back pain for some. And with so many treatment options—topicals, tinctures, vape pens—people can find a protocol that fits their lifestyle.

Here are our most popular Q&As about treating back pain with marijuana, with answers provided by doctors and cannabis professionals. As always, head over to our Answers if you have a question about medical marijuana for back pain, and our community will be happy to answer it for you.


Q: What do you recommend for back pain caused by a bulging disc incurred in an accident?

Answer: @drraisen Take one dose a day of a CBD-only-tincture as a first-line therapy for the back pain.

  • See the article:
  • For more pain-relief, add a tincture of CBD/THC that is 50%/50% concentration.
  • For additional pain relief, use a vape pen with Canna Tsu, ACDC or Harlequin. These strains contain around 20% CBD.
  • Use topical cannabis in a lotion or cream to treat to areas of pain and inflammation, one to three times a day as needed; they can give you immediate relief.

Consider nutrition-grade cannabis-infused edibles in 10mg THC dose for extended-duration pain relief as an alternative to NSAIDs and opiates. You can try a 20mg THC dose to promote sleep.

The edibles, will last a long time. REMEMBER, WITH ALL THE CANNABIS, START LOW, AND GO SLOW.

Best of luck.

Q: I suffer from upper cervical nerve/back pain. What product do you recommended?

Answer: @drolson The best cannabis treatment for neck and back pain from nerve inflammation would be a topical cannabis salve applied along the spine, frequently at first because it will block the nerve pain.

In a tie for first place I also include posture. Your body can’t call you on the phone to scream at you, “Stop pinching the nerves!” So, it screams at you internally, but most people cover up the screaming with drugs, and that’s when damage occurs.

Learn to listen to your body and lift your spine up. It takes practice to learn to lift your spine and to build the strength in the supporting muscles, so I advise practicing yoga to learn body awareness and posture with core strengthening.

Medications can give you relief, but please don’t just treat the pain and not correct the posture. Adequate water intake and vitamin D3 are also necessary to keep the spine healthy. Vaporizing high-CBD cannabis is very effective in relieving pain, also.


Q: What’s the best product for back pain and muscle tightness?

Answer: @lyp Hi, we’ve got an article going over the best strains for back pain, which includes potent strains such as Headband, as well as higher CBD strains such as ACDC.

You may also want to consider a cannabis-infused topical to ease your pain. We’ve got a write-up going over the top 3 topicals for back pain: though there are many more cannabis topicals on the market that you may find helpful.

My partner has a bulging disc in his lower back that he’s been applying Farmaceuticals’ High CBD balm on—and he’s found pain relief with that particular product. Of course, it all depends on your biochemistry, whether a high-CBD topical is what you need. There are different ratios of CBD to THC available on the market, and you may need to experiment to see which is most effective for you. Hope this helps!

Photo credit: Jairo Alzate

If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s easy, private and 100% online.


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