CBD for Back Pain and Inflammation: Does It Help?

Women with back pain and doctor checking

If you’ve struggled with back pain, you’ve likely tried various approaches like pain relievers, chiropractic care, acupuncture, TENS, yoga, and meditation. Unfortunately, it can be frustrating and exhausting to  find a solution that works long-term.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. At any given time, hundreds of millions of people around the world deal with back pain. Additionally, 8 in 10 Americans report experiencing back pain at some point during their lifetime. 

Back pain is one of the biggest reasons for missing work, the leading cause of disability globally, and the third most common reason for doctor visits. Moreover, the annual cumulative monetary strain on the U.S. economy totals hundreds of billions of dollars from back pain-related medical costs, lost wages, and decreased productivity.

This data highlights theurgent need for alternative treatment options. Depending on the type and severity of back pain, there are options like taking NSAIDs and opioids to chiropractic manipulation and even surgery. But chiropractic care and surgery are not for everyone and there are severe health risks and side effects that come with long-term opioid and NSAID use.

Could there be an effective, all-natural back pain remedy free from dependence and side effects?

Science shows CBD can help manage several types of back pain as well as related symptoms and complications.Keep reading for an overview of back pain types, causes and effects, and the many ways CBD could work to fight lower back pain.

Please, eep in mind this article is not medical advice. Seek prompt medical attention for back pain or other health concerns that significantly compromises your quality of life.

CBD and Back Pain

Hemp plants produce many fascinating compounds called cannabinoids with therapeutic properties, the foremost of which is CBD. It’s one of the most abundant cannabinoids in all cannabis plants and the most extensively studied. 

Recently, CBD has gained increasing attention from the medical/scientific community and has risen in popularity as a natural remedy for pain, inflammation, and much more. One potential use of CBD is alleviating back pain and itsaccompanying problems.

Back pain can stem from a range of causes:

  • Sprain or strain
  • Sciatica
  • Ruptured or bulging disc
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Scoliosis

Many people with the above issues rely on anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), nerve pain medication, narcotics, antidepressants, and injection therapy. Some even turn to surgery. Each of these interventions comes with its own laundry list of risks and side effects. 

For example, excessive NSAID use can eventually lead to life-threatening vital organ damage and failure, and narcotics, like opioids, frequently lead to dependence and major health complications. Back surgery can backfire and cause further issues. Like any surgery, it always comes with a slight risk of life-threatening complications.

While there is still a need for more research,CBD is proving to have a shorter and milder list of side effects and risks than current back pain treatments. The most common side effects of moderate CBD use are dry mouth, low blood pressure, dizziness, and light-headedness.

Here are some of the back pain symptoms that CBD’s therapeutic properties may address:

  • Pain, including neuropathic and chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness

Acute and Chronic Back Pain: Common Causes

There’s a big difference between waking up one morning with back pain that lasts a day or a week versus nagging back pain that lasts months or years. Let’s differentiate between acute and chronic back pain and look at common causes for each.

Acute Back Pain

Acute back pain has a sudden onset, usually from muscle strain or injury. This type of back pain may improve with ice, heat, and rest. However, acute back pain from an injury to the spinal column, like fractures or disc ruptures, can develop into chronic back pain if left untreated.

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain persists for six months or longer with pain lasting days, weeks, or months without letting up. It can develop from an old injury or gradual spine degeneration. Most chronic back pain patients undergo a long process of finding an effective therapy. Here are the most common chronic back pain causes:

  • Arthritis of the spine- the spine’s cartilage slowly thining
  • Spinal stenosis- the spinal canal narrows, usually in the lower spine, leading to nerve pain
  • Bulging disk- the spongy ring-shaped disks between the vertebrae can compress, causing the outer part to weaken until the inside bulges out
  • Herniated or ruptured disk- disk breakdown puts stress on the spine until the inner part ruptures out, pressing on nerves, causing pain, weakness, numbness, and other sensation changes
  • Myofascial pain syndrome- unexplained muscle pain and tenderness

Is CBD Effective as Pain Relief for Back Pain? 

Yes, CBD can work for lower back pain and other types of back pain. CBD is already understood to relieve general neuropathic and chronic pain and inflammation*. There is a pharmaceutical CBD and THC drug approved in some countries for treating pain in cancer and MS patients. 

Specifically for back pain, there are studies demonstrating the efficacy of CBD for back pain:

For more information read our blog post CBD For Inflammation

How CBD Can Possibly Treat Back Pain

There are multiple functions CBD can help with, back pain and the other symptoms and complications back pain sufferers experience.

Analgesic/Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is a healthy immune system response to infection or injury. Prolonged inflammation can cause a cycle of increased pain, sensitivity, and irritation. CBD’s relationship with the immune system appears to have anti-inflammatory effects in people with neuropathic (nerve) and radicular (inflamed or compressed nerve root) pain and osteoarthritis.


CBD can help fight neuropathic and radicular back pain through antinociception, altering pain perception by interacting with the nervous system.


The most common source of back pain involves the disruption of the nerves. Another way CBD keeps the progression of nerve pain under control is neuroprotection. Meaning, CBD preserves the healthy structure and/or function of neurons.

Calming Muscle Spasticity

CBD has shown to be effective incontrolling muscle spasticity, and is used in some countries to treat muscle spasticity in MS and forms of epilepsy.

Improved Sleep

Understandably, back pain can interfere with sleep. Sleep is an important part of the healing and recovery process, and sleep deprivation can exacerbate chronic pain. In one study, CBD improved sleep scores for two-thirds of patients within the first month.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Mental stress and anxiety are key back pain complications that can drive and maintain chronic pain. In another study, researchers found  57.6% of chronic pain patients had anxiety relief from a THC/CBD treatment, and 78.8% had less stress.

Providing an Opioid Alternative

Opioids have been a standard treatment for chronic pain, including back pain. However, these drugs cause tolerance in patients, causing themto take more and more to get relief. Opioids also introduce the risk of addiction, cognitive impairment, depression, sleep-disordered breathing, falls, injuries, infections, impaired wound healing, and mortality.

Most people tolerate CBD well without withdrawal, misuse, or abuse since it lacks psychoactive effects. Patients using CBD for back pain and other conditions don’t appear to build up a tolerance to it. Meaning, they don’t have to increase their dose over time to get the same positive effects on pain and sleep, even after four years.

It’s very encouraging that more than half of chronic pain patients may be able to reduce or eliminate opioid use within two months of using CBD. Compared to the quality of life detriments that can occur with opioids, 94% of CBD users saw quality of life improvements.

Three Effective CBD Products for Back Pain and Inflammation and How to Use Them

Talking to a doctor about t taking CBD for lower back pain and inflammation could show you there are many different ways to take it. Trying different options and learning what works best for you is important.

CBD Oil for Back Pain

Depending on your size and pain severity, you can use the dropper to measure a dose from 5-20 mg once or twice daily.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil 2000mg + 3600mg CBG For Pain, Sleep & Anxiety- Best CBD Oil for Back Pain

This full-spectrum CBD oil for back pain includes all the naturally-occurring hemp plant components for enhanced potency. For back pain, drop the CBD oil under your tongue, swish it around, and swallow, or add it to food and drinks.

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CBD Gummies

Pre-portioned gummies containing 50 mg CBD each are a convenient one-step method of taking CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD Gummies 1500mg- Best CBD Gummies for Back Pain

These are the strongest CBD gummies on the market for calm, stress management, and general wellness.

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CBD Creams

Applied onto the skin, topical CBD absorbs locally into affected tissues and reaches the bloodstream for full-body effects.

CBD Freeze Cream 500mg- Best CBD Cream for Back Pain

This cream combines CBD and other ingredients with calming, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties like menthol, camphor, safflower seed oil, arnica, chamomile, and aloe vera.

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FAQs About Using CBD for Back Pain and Inflammation

How long does it take for CBD to relieve pain?

There is no single answer, but most people find that CBD’s effects set in within 15-20 minutes.

How does CBD help pain?

CBD can reduce inflammation, pain perception, stress/anxiety, sleeplessness, and muscle spasticity while introducing neuroprotection.

How strong should CBD be to relieve pain?

Some people are satisfied with 5 mg doses of CBD, while others may need 20-50 mg.

Will I get “high” if I use CBD or hemp products to manage my back pain?

No, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and does not cause a high. By definition, hemp-based products don’t contain more than 0.3% THC, the high-inducing cannabinoid. 

Should you talk to your doctor if you use cannabis or cannabinoids?

If you’re curious about the effects of cannabis and hemp-based remedies, always talk to your doctor first.

Are you feeling optimistic about possibly relieving back pain with CBD?

Chronic back pain can become quite demoralizing since it makes moving, sleeping, and functioning so difficult. Does the idea of CBD give you some hope about naturally and effectively managing it?

When you’re ready to buy CBD products for back pain and inflammation, Nature’s Legend has a quality, hemp-based, and potent selection.

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