Cannabis for Back Pain

Back pain is a terrible feeling, and you’ve most likely had the displeasure of knowing how bad that pain can feel, considering how common it is. Did you know the CDC says back pain is actually the number one cause of disability, all over the world?

It’s shocking to think so many people become disabled from how bad their back pain is. At the same time, it’s also very interesting to know that cannabis could potentially help so many people, since one of the most well known medical benefits of cannabis is pain relief. 

Back pain can be caused for a number of reasons. You could have suffer a simple sprain in a muscle or ligament, be involved in an accident or get injured playing sports. Even things like poor posture, obesity, and stress, can cause back pain to start or get worse. For whatever reason your back may hurt, you know how bad you can wish for back pain relief, so how can cannabis help?

Cannabis has the potential to ease several symptoms of back pain, including reducing muscle spasms, lowering levels of inflammation, and lessening the nausea and vomiting that can accompany pain, or be caused as a side effect of pharmaceutical pain medications typically prescribed for back pain.

Many patients are prescribed opioids, which come with a high potential for addiction. Several states with legal cannabis programs have seen reductions in opioid prescriptions and addiction rates, making cannabis a solid contender in the fight against the opioid epidemic as well as back pain. 

Although there is much anecdotal evidence of patients reporting cannabis helps with back pain, and there is sufficient scientific evidence to support that cannabis can reduce pain, there is not enough research currently on how well, or how effectively, cannabis works on back pain specifically. One impressive piece of anecdotal evidence was presented by the University of Colorado’s Spine Center. Their researchers talked to 200 people suffering from back pain. What they found out was, “according to the users, marijuana worked. A total of 89% said it greatly or moderately relieved their pain, and 81% said it worked as well as or better than narcotic painkillers”. Knowing how common and difficult it can be to live with back pain, this sounds like promising news. 

Reducing or eliminating the pain is the primary reason why physicians recommend cannabis for pain, but it’s not the only reason. The positive effects of cannabis on a person’s mood can also provide an uplifting sense of relief from psychological symptoms caused by the pain, like anxiety and depression. Cannabis is known to help people fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer, so it can help treat insomnia and other difficulties sleeping, which are common among people with back pain.

All of these different medical benefits of cannabis are ways the plant can work together to help patients with back pain ease their symptoms. For some, this can mean regaining mobility, providing mental relief from coping with the stress of pain or disability, and enjoying a better quality of life, or in other words, getting your life back. 

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