Did you know that back pain affects about 31 million Americans at any given time? This health complaint is the most common reason for missed work. Depending on its symptoms, it may limit your flexibility and range of motion, disrupt your sleep, and keep you from staying active.
While it’s true that back pain can be due to a more severe condition, sometimes it takes just one wrong move to injure your spine. A poor posture, bad exercise form, prolonged sitting, and other lifestyle factors contribute to backaches.
One option to combat the pain is to use medical marijuana. Using medical marijuana as a natural remedy has a good safety profile and few or no side effects. It’s safer and better tolerated than most medications, including painkillers and NSAIDs.
But how effective is medical marijuana? Most importantly, is it right for you? Here’s what you should know about using medical marijuana for back pain so you can make an informed decision!
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and has a wide range of therapeutic uses. It has been proven effective in treating migraines, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and insomnia.
Also known as medical cannabis, this product contains more than a hundred cannabinoids with antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory effects. The most abundant ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, including Washington, New York, Ohio, Colorado, and others. However, federal law only allows the use of hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC. CBD products come in different forms, from tinctures and creams to pills and gummies.
Current research confirms the therapeutic value of medical cannabis. This compound may help with both acute and chronic conditions, including but not limited to:
- Arthritis and other inflammatory disorders
- Chronic back pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart disease
- Bipolar disorder
Note that medical marijuana is higher in CBD and lower in THC than its recreational counterpart. For this reason, it’s safer and carries a reduced risk of side effects.
THC, the primary compound in recreational marijuana, makes users feel “high” or intoxicated.
Does Medical Marijuana Relieve Back Pain?
Marijuana has been used as a natural pain reliever for thousands of years. Both CBD and THC, its primary compounds, may reduce pain and inflammation. As you would expect, some CBD strains are more effective than others to treat back pain.
A recent study investigated the effects of medical cannabis on patients with low back pain related to fibromyalgia.
Subjects who received both analgesic therapy and medical cannabis reported more significant improvements than those receiving conventional treatment alone.
Their range of motion increased within three months of treatment and continued to improve over the next six months. None of the study participants had to stop the treatment due to adverse reactions. As the researchers note, medical cannabis has significant analgesic effects.
Sometimes, back pain is due to musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle contractures. Medical cannabis may help with these problems.
One in five people with chronic musculoskeletal pain has used cannabis to get relief. Most patients experienced significant improvements.
Other studies report similar findings. More than half of back pain sufferers stopped using opioids after switching to medical marijuana in a large-scale study.
Note that 51% of subjects were intermittent opioid users, while the remaining 49% were chronic users. Yet, they were able to quit these drugs despite using them for years.
Best Marijuana Strains for Back Pain
As you can see, a growing body of evidence supports the use of marijuana for back pain and other aches. But not all strains are created equal. Some work best for anxiety, stress, or insomnia, while others can relieve pain.
Not sure what to look for? Book an online appointment with PrestoDoctor to get a medical marijuana evaluation. Our state-licensed providers will assess your needs and develop a custom treatment plan.
Generally, the best medical cannabis strains for back pain are OG Kush, ACDC, Harlequin, and Sour Diesel. You may also opt for CBD products containing the strains Northern Lights, Blueberry, or White Widow. Each has distinctive characteristics.
Sour Diesel, for example, is widely available in medical marijuana dispensaries across the country. It alleviates not only pain but also wards off depression and improves mental focus. Most users also report a better mood and feelings of relaxation.
Harlequin, a popular Sativa-dominant strain, is high in CBD and low in THC. It’s not as uplifting as Sour Diesel, but it does wonders for those in pain. When used in adequate dosages, it can relieve lower back pain, nerve pain, achy joints, and fibromyalgia symptoms.
ACDC is one of the highest CBD strains, making it ideal for patients with severe back pain. It may also reduce the intensity and severity of seizures, improve concentration, and relax the mind. Due to its low THC content, it has little to no intoxicating effects.
Don’t Let Back Pain Slow You Down
Now that you know more about the benefits of marijuana for back pain go ahead and contact a healthcare provider to get your MMJ Card. PrestoDoctor operates in New York, California, Illinois, and other states.
A licensed medical professional can determine the appropriate dosage and strain for your needs. He will also create a personalized treatment plan to help you get back on your feet. Plus, you may qualify for special discounts on medical cannabis and other products that may help back pain.
Please don’t spend another second dealing with unnecessary back pain – Schedule a video consultation with one of our licensed physicians to discuss your needs and see how we can help!Get Your Card Now