Although cannabis has recently exploded onto the mainstream medicine scene, evidence suggests that people have used cannabis for medical purposes for more than 5,000 years. 3 Common uses for medical marijuana include treatment of epilepsy, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and pain (including back, neck, and chronic pain). More recently, people have sought out cannabis and CBD products as alternatives to opioids, which have been linked to addiction and death.
For people who have struggled with chronic back or neck pain, the list of treatments tried is likely long. Some traditional therapies for pain, namely opioid medication, pose significant risks. Seeking safer alternatives, people are increasingly using cannabis, hemp, and cannabinoid products (such as cannabidiol, or CBD) to manage spine pain. But because marijuana-related pain management is legally conflicted in the United States and a relative newcomer to mainstream medicine, questions remain about its safety and efficacy.
How and why might some people use cannabis for medical purposes?
2. Rubin R. Cannabidiol Products Are Everywhere, but Should People Be Using Them? JAMA. 2019;322(22):2156. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2756099. Accessed January 29, 2020.
The FDA admits research about the safety of CBD products is quite limited. To date, Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is the only FDA-approved prescription drug, and this medication is only indicated for treatment of 2 rare types of epilepsy. Bear in mind that just because a product is FDA-approved doesn’t mean it’s completely safe without potential side effects that could be serious. 4
A 2018 study found that CBD reduced nerve-related and inflammatory pain in animals, supporting a promising future for CBD as a mainstream pain relief option. Evidence has also found that CBD is a safe effective addiction therapy, leading CBD to rise in popularity for it’s potential to treat opioid abuse and prevent it as a viable chronic pain-relieving alternative. 1
Kiara is a family-owned business that makes everything by hand, in small batches in Appenzellerland, Switzerland under strict GMP standards. Their products are used by natural health practitioners all over Europe due to their high-quality ingredients and certifications.
Cons: Similar to PureKana, Charlotte’s Web’s products can be pricey compared to other brands, so this could be their disadvantage.
6. Pure Kana
The brand that is second on our list is HealthWorxCBD. This company is based in Denver, Colorado same as Try The CBD and uses the finest hemp that Colorado can offer. Many people turn to HealthWorxCBD oil to treat pain and the reviews on their website speak volumes about the quality of their products. Visit their shop and choose from the palette of CBD products – tinctures, gummies, balms, capsules all in different flavors.
Pros: One of the best features of Charlotte’s Web’s website is the product finder option. This brand helps you determine which CBD product would be the most suitable for your needs and condition. Based in Colorado, Charlotte’s Web offers a high-quality CBD oil for pain made of organic CBD. They created their original formula and added other flavors such as lemon twist, mint chocolate, and orange blossom. If you are a first-time user of CBD you can try their starter size CBD oil and decide whether the product is good for you.
Pros: Royal CBD is a California-based company that offers top-quality CBD oil. They use Colorado-grown hemp to extract CBD and test their products with a third-party lab.
CBD pushes excess quantities into the bloodstream, reducing pain throughout the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
There’s no definitive answer yet, but a 2016 animal study published in European Journal of Pain found that topical application may be more effective than the sublingual method. The research team discovered that while CBD had poor oral bioavailability in lab rats, topical CBD application provided more constant plasma levels, bypassing gastrointestinal administration and first-pass metabolism, which is a phenomenon where the concentration of a drug is reduced before it reaches circulation.
When CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an internal system that regulates our bodies, it enhances the signaling of anandamide, a pain-regulating compound found in the brain that is linked to feelings of well-being and happiness. By preventing the absorption of this molecule, CBD pushes excess quantities into the bloodstream, reducing pain throughout the body.
In a 2012 study, also conducted on lab mice, researchers found that CBD targets alpha-3 glycine receptors to suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain associated with dysfunctional glycine receptors, an important target for pain processing by the spine, without causing any noticeable analgesic tolerance.
CBD has also been examined as a treatment for other conditions that cause intense bouts with back pain. For instance, a 2014 study demonstrated that CBD reduced the severity of damage caused by disc degeneration in the vertebrae. After inflicting lab rates with a spinal injury, the research team injected them with various concentrations of CBD, and concluded that higher doses of CBD provided an anti-degenerative effect and “attenuated the effects of disc injury.”