The Best Product for Lower Back Pain Relief

Written by Cynthia Barnes
August 1, 2019

Restless nights. Aching joints and muscles. Lower back pain will affect an estimated 80% of adults at some point in their lives, interfering with sleep, work, recreational activities and many things that bring enjoyment to life. Whether the result of recent injury or a condition such as osteoarthritis, relieving lower back pain is a crucial component of our wellness and health. As part of a thoughtful regimen of self-care, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil may help reduce the aches, inflammation, and insomnia that are the hallmarks of lower back pain.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a molecule found within the hemp plant (which is a Cannabis Sativa plant with no more than 0.3% THC). Unlike THC, CBD oil doesn’t produce the “high” associated with its cousin, marijuana (a Cannabis Sativa plant containing >0.3% THC).

Is CBD addictive?

Reassuringly, CBD doesn’t have the potential for dependency, abuse or health-related problems, according to the World Health Organization. After allowing researchers to conduct clinical trials, the FDA approved the first drug derived from CBD in 2018.

How does CBD work in the body?

Our bodies naturally contain their own endocannabinoids, which may become depleted over time. Researchers believe that proteins found in CBD synthesize with receptors in our body’s own nervous system and brain. These receptors control functions like appetite, the immune system and --crucial for the lower back-- pain management. Many factors can contribute to a depleted endocannabinoid system. These include chronic stress, lack of sleep, an unhealthy diet, PTSD, and a high consumption of alcoholic beverages. Non-habit-forming CBD can assist in bringing the body back to its natural level of cannabinoids.

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Can I get CBD over the counter?

CBD is currently sold over the counter in retail establishments as well as online through e-commerce websites. The FDA is in the process of determining how exactly it should monitor and regulate CBD products. Because the FDA’s stance is currently in flux, it’s important to ensure that the CBD product you’re purchasing is of a high quality. Look for products that use USA-grown hemp and that test for potency as well as for residual toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and microbials. Additionally, make sure the product actually uses hemp extract -- CBD is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant, so ingredients like hempseed oil, for example, will not contain any cannabinoids.

Can medications be mixed with CBD?

Every body is different - our metabolisms all work differently and we’re all on different prescriptions and supplements, so you should always check with your doctor before starting to take CBD (or any other health/wellness substance). CBD in particular has been shown to interact with Cytochrome P450, a group of liver enzymes that are responsible for breaking down drugs in the body. CBD interacts with pharmaceutical drugs in a similar way that grapefruit does, so if any prescription you’re currently taking tells you to avoid grapefruit, you likely should avoid CBD as well, but again, your best bet is to check with your doctor.

CBD as a powerful natural pain reliever

Inflammatory and neuropathic pain are notoriously hard to treat, and many common remedies carry significant risks. Opioids are often effective, but become less so over time. This contributes to dependency, which can lead to addiction. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can have an adverse effect on our livers. Fortunately, studies show that CBD may offer an option for treating both chronic (long-lasting) and shorter duration pain, and unlike opioids, CBD does not come with the harmful potential side effects. Chronic pain can be extremely difficult to treat, so finding safe and effective ways to help people manage their pain is of the utmost importance. While more human studies are needed, research on animals has shown that topical CBD formulations applied to the skin can reduce both pain and inflammation.

What should I expect?

Topical CBD relief creams vary in strength and quality, and results on lower back pain will vary accordingly. Effects are generally felt in 30 to 60 minutes, and last approximately four to six hours. It is increasingly available online and in stores.

If your lower back pain is extremely deep (not superficial - or close to the surface), a combined program of both CBD oil and cream might be right for you, as CBD oils offer a systemic effect. Studies have shown that cannabinoids potentially function as strong anti-inflammatory compounds, so providing support to the full body to fight inflammation can make for a one-two punch in helping with deeper, chronic lower back pain.

Prior to use, consult a doctor if you have any medical conditions, take any medications, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease or condition. Not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

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