Can cannabis help my back pain

possibly! you might want to seek out light amounts and avoid heavy ones to test it out- sometimes it can help pain but for some the other effects are not enjoyable. consuming cannabis in edible form is more efficiant as a pain killer- just do not add as much cannabis oil as is ”reccomended” for a cannabis edible and add something closer to a cannabis oil solution with 0.1g cannabis if its weak- or 0.02g-0.05g if its hash, or if its very good weed go for something like 0.05g-0.07g
lower doses lessen your chances of ”getting used”to the cannabis, avoid having you get unexpectidly high, and orally consuming cannabis will make the pain killing effects last 4-7 hours instead of 1-2hours when smoked. I reccomend this method: add your desired amount of hash, or cannabis- cook on a low heat in butter, margerine or oil until the hash dissolves or for 7-15 minutes if working with cannabis in its plain form. from there take it off the heat and let it sit for a minute or so before then adding milk- this will be your ”tea”- personally i use the milk in a tea with cat mint for help with chronic pain- but drinking the milk alone is fine. the oil also works in baked goods.
many report a good pain killing effect from this- and you can adjust the dose as suited- but be warned many ”edible” recipies call for high amounts of cannabis- thus is why people say having one edible leaves them super high for hours- with pain killing you may want to stick to low doses.


Back pain, particularly chronic back pain, is a common reason patients consult me regarding use of medicinal cannabis. They are often seeking alternatives to opioids to manage their back pain after finding that chronic back pain cannot be effectively managed with just opioid treatment. One clinically well demonstrated effect of cannabis is enhancing the pain relieving effects of opioids, allowing patients to reduce the opioid dose needed to control their back pain. Chronic pain involves the nerves, but also the mind and emotions, as patients try to cope day after day with their pain. Pain management physicians know this well, and this is one of the ways medicinal cannabis can be helpful for patients with chronic back pain; it moderates mood. Some patients with chronic back pain have reported topical cannabis preparations are helpful, and I’d certainly give that a try, but for many patients it’s a matter of cautious experimentation with different varieties and CBD:THC ratios to find what helps the most.


Hello there! As my esteemed colleagues have mentioed, cannabis products can be very useful for treating all types of back pain, from the neck (cervicalgia) all the way to the lower back (lumbago) and everything in between. Chronic back pain usually has multiple causes/ etiologies and this can help guide the treatment. For example, if the pain is more in the muscle itself (i.e. myofascial pain), then administration of a topical med cannabis agent might be useful. In these cases, I often administer a small amount of heat and even a small bit of myofascial release/ "self massage" while administering the topical agents. There are many topical agents (HelloMD also has a recipe for topicals if you type "topical" in the search bar at the top of the website). I specifically like topical cannabis products that also use other active ingredients for analgesia/ pain control. For example, I’m a fan of products like Arni-Cann (a topical that also contains arnica gel which we use in physical therapy often to help with joint range-of-motion and pain mgmt in general). I’m also a fan of topical agents like cannabis oil infused epsom salts for soaking extremities the the body from MakingYouBetterBrands.com (epsom salts in hot baths have been used for over a century to help people with joint, foot, back pain. If pt’s also have more acute/ recent injury to the back, another cannabis delivery method that has quick time of onset are inhalation agents (i.e. pipes, vape-pens etc).


Chronic back pain is one of the most common reasons for which patients seek a medical marijuana recommendation; and as several studies demonstrate, those back pain patients have good reason to do so.

In fact, in a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health polling 2290 patients using cannabis for chronic pain, 61% of those patients reported significant pain relief, while only 10% reported little or no pain relief. Additionally, "the benefits extended beyond reduction in pain severity … the benefit described second most often was improved sleep (27%), which likely has a synergistic (and reciprocal) relationship with reduction in pain severity … Improved sleep, reduction of other pain medications and their side effects, decreased anxiety, improved mobility and function, and other quality of life factors were also cited as important benefits."

A very recent retrospective cross-sectional survey with significant social implications, reported that "among study participants, medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use."

Similarly, in a literature review evaluating the interactions between cannabinoid and opiod analgesics,
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the author relayed findings that THC enhances the potency of opioids in animal models in a synergistic way — allowing for significantly lower doses of opioids in order to achieve similar levels of pain relief. Interestingly, rather than via the cannabinoid pathway in isolation, "the analgesic effect of THC is, at least in part, mediated through delta and kappa opiod receptors, indicating an intimate connection between cannabinoid and opioid signaling pathways in the modulation of pain perception."

In another interesting study — this time performed on rats — researchers found higher levels of CB1 (cannabinoid1) receptors in an area of the brain (basolateral amygdala) which is intimately involved in modulating how we experience pain. When blocking the CB1 receptor in the basolateral amygdala, while in the presence of a chemical that mimics the action of THC, they found there was an intensified response to pain stimuli in comparison to that of rats not given the CB1 blocker. This finding strongly suggests that THC binds specifically to CB1 receptors in the basolateral amygdala, resulting in less pain perception.

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A paper published by the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, stated that "the fact that both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found on immune cells suggests that cannabinoids play an important role in the regulation of the immune system. Recent studies demonstrated that administration of THC into mice triggered marked apoptosis in T cells and dendritic cells, resulting in immunosuppression. In addition, several studies showed that cannabinoids downregulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs) as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses."  Simply put, THC has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects when bound to cannabinoid receptors found on cells involved in the inflammatory response.

And while cannabis research has historically focused on THC, synthetic cannabinoids, or our own naturally occurring cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), there is an evergrowing body of research regarding the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. In a study with very exciting implications — this time performed on mice with artificially induced arthritis — researchers concluded that, similar to THC, "CBD, through its combined immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions, has a potent anti-arthritic effect" which may even "block the progression of arthritis."

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Further, a very recently published study concluded that "topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects."

When treating chronic back pain patients, I often recommend a high CBD:low THC product for daytime use; and if there are no objections to psychoactive effects, a product with higher levels of THC for PM relief.
For example:

  1. https://www.cbd.org/products/cbd-sublingual-spray 18:1 OR https://treatwellhealth.com/products/wellness-and-balance-blends/ (the "Wellness Blend") for daytime relief of back pain.
  2. https://truefarma.com/product/sweet-releaf-extra-strength-2oz/ apply to back as needed.
  3. https://www.cbd.org/products/cbd-chocolate (2:1) at nighttime

*Please consult with a physician before starting any cannabis treatment regimen.


Hello, I’m not a doctor, but I can say that my partner, who’s mending from a bulging disc that’s causing him pain in his lower back, has found temporary relief from his back pain with the use of a few different cannabis topicals. He was skeptical about whether they would actually work to relieve his back pain, but was then subsequently amazed that after applying a generous amount of the marijuana topicals to his lower back, his pain eased up for a few hours at a time. Of course, we’re aware that this isn’t a cure-all. However, it’s certainly helpful to have these cannabis topicals on hand when his back pain gets to be too much. He’s also avoiding any physical activity that exacerbates the bulging disc; is seeing a sports MD; and is going to physical therapy. For good measure, he’s added a daily CBD dose to his rehab regimen as a means of helping keep the painful inflammation in the muscles of his back in check. In any case, it would be best to consult with an orthopedic doctor to find out what the source of your back pain might be (if you haven’t already), and then follow their recommendation around rehabilitating and mending that area. Cannabis can be a potential complementary therapy to pursue for back pain. That said, I’d suggest you also consult with your doctor on incorporating the plant into your road to recovery. Best wishes!


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