When you suffer from back pain, you just want it to stop. Surgery may not be an option, and neuropathy and physiotherapy can only go so far. After that, you’re left with relying on medications that sometimes do more harm than good. But as marijuana is increasingly legalized, a new treatment is creating even more options. That treatment? CBD oil for back pain.
This new remedy for chronic pain is taking the medical world by storm, but that rise in popularity has led to a whole host of new questions, such as:
- What is CBD?
- What is CBD oil?
- How does CBD oil for back pain work?
- Will CBD oil get you high?
- Does CBD oil have any side effects?
The experts at Honest Marijuana will answer all those questions and reveal everything you need to know about CBD oil for back pain. Along the way, we’ll also discuss how to use CBD oil for back pain and what other types of pain CBD oil can be used for.
Before we get to all that, let’s start with the most basic question of all: what is CBD?
What Is CBD?
CBD—short for cannabidiol—is one of many chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. As a group, these compounds are known as cannabinoids. All in all, 113 different cannabinoids have been isolated so far. Some of the more common ones include:
Because of its psychedelic effects, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the perhaps the best-known, and most vilified, of all these molecules. But CBD is rapidly gaining in popularity and notoriety thanks to its myriad health benefits and uses. We’ll talk more about those uses later on in this article. For now, let’s move to the next question on our list.
What Is CBD Oil?
As the name suggests, CBD oil is oil that contains the chemical profile of the plant from which it came. In this case, CBD oil is extracted from a high-CBD strain of marijuana plant so it can deliver the most bang for your buck. CBD oil is one of a broad category of extracts known as concentrates. Other concentrates include:
During the extraction process, the cannabinoids, trichomes, terpenes, and flavonoids are stripped from the plant matter and concentrated in an oily liquid (hence the name). That concentrate is, gram for gram, more potent than the original plant material.
The extraction process itself can take a number of different forms, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The most common extraction methods include:
- Ice water extraction
- Butane extraction
- CO2 extraction
- Alcohol extraction
- Ethanol extraction
Regardless of how your CBD oil is extracted, it’s essential that you understand how it works for back pain.
How Does CBD Oil For Back Pain Work?
The CBD in CBD oil inhibits neuronal transmission in pain pathways. It also reduces inflammation, which is another natural response that can lead to pain. And it doesn’t matter whether you ingest CBD oil in an edible or apply it to your skin. The result is essentially the same. The only difference is how targeted you wanted the pain relief to be.
Think of it this way. Ingesting CBD oil is like taking an aspirin. You’ll get an all-over reduction in pain. The problem is that it may not be enough to completely cut the pain. On the other hand, rubbing CBD oil directly on the affected area is like getting a massage. You can focus the pain relief on that specific area until the pain is gone.
Will CBD Oil Get You High?
CBD oil won’t get you high because it has been specifically produced to minimize the THC count while maximizing the CBD count. In fact, no CBD product should cause psychedelic effects since the levels of THC in the mix are so low.
Check the labels to be sure, but it’s a safe bet that anything intended for medical purposes will have very low levels of THC (less than 1 percent).
How Should You Use CBD Oil For Back Pain?
CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways. One of the most common ways is to apply a few drops under your tongue (sublingual) and let it absorb into your bloodstream from there. This is one of the simplest and most discreet methods of getting a dose of CBD oil for your back pain. All that it requires is a small dropper bottle and a few seconds to administer the drops.
Another simple way to use CBD oil for back pain is to rub it directly onto your sore spots. This may take a bit of doing on your part, or you may need to ask for assistance to reach certain parts of your back, but it can be an effective way to target chronic back pain.
If sublingual and topical administration isn’t your thing, you could try cooking with the CBD oil instead. CBD oil is very similar to other edible oils (e.g., olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil). You can substitute CBD oil for edible oils in pretty much any recipe you’ve got.
And when you’re thinking about starting a course of CBD oil for back pain, be sure to talk to your doctor and a local budtender. Both of those individuals can give you valuable information on how to find the right dosage for your pain.
Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Though studies have shown that CBD has little to no effect on the autonomic functions of the body (e.g., heart rate, body temperature, respiration, blood pressure), CBD does affect the salivary gland. This results in one of the only major side effects: dry mouth.
Really, dry mouth is a small price to pay for pain relief of any kind, and you might not even consider it a side effect. But it is an unintended consequence of using CBD oil, so we have to inform you that it may happen. If you apply the CBD oil directly onto your back, the dry mouth side effect is only a remote possibility. But if you take the CBD oil sublingually or ingest it in an edible, the chances are good that your mouth will get dry.
Another important side effect of note is that CBD inhibits liver enzymes from metabolizing most of the pharmaceuticals humans take. That means that if you’re taking a blood pressure medicine and you add CBD oil for back pain into the mix, the blood pressure medication will lose effectiveness.
Like dry mouth, only ingesting the CBD oil in some way will cause this side effect. Rubbing it on your skin won’t. Regardless, be sure to talk to your doctor about possible interactions before taking a high-CBD product or CBD oil for back pain.
Can CBD Oil Be Used For Other Types Of Pain?
Pain comes in many forms and can be caused by many different disorders, both mental and physical. CBD oil can be used to treat them all, including:
- Chronic pain elsewhere in the body
In fact, CBD is proving effective at treating many disorders that were once classified as “untreatable.” That’s a welcome relief for those individuals who suffered from chronic pain, loss of appetite due to nausea, and complications from diabetes.
Should You Try CBD Oil For Back Pain?
The short answer is yes! We’ve established that CBD oil (and CBD in general) won’t get you high and that there are very limited side effects, so what have you got to lose? Just your back pain! The only way to know for sure is to try it for yourself.
CBD oil is extremely versatile because it can be eaten, applied to your skin, or taken sublingually. You can even get a dose of CBD in a dissolvable strip (like a breath strip). Whatever method you choose, we recommend starting small and taking it slow.
Begin with a small dose of CBD oil, and see how you feel after using it. Increase just a few milligrams at a time over the course of a few days so you don’t overdo it. Even though CBD doesn’t have many discernible side effects, always take the smallest amount of CBD oil possible to get the pain relief you need. Talk to the professionals at your local dispensary for guidance on how to get started.
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