Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a relatively new and understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. It has anti-inflammatory properties, so it addresses symptoms directly at their source rather than simply masking pain. CBD is generally considered a whole-body treatment, meaning that it doesn't specifically focus on back pain, except in the case of topical products, but rather contributes to an overall sense of relaxation and pain relief. Bypassing the CB1 and CB2 receptors means that CBD can silence pain without the euphoric feeling produced by THC.
Researchers understand CBD much less than THC, although there is anecdotal evidence that it may ease pain in some people. CBD cream bypasses CB1 and CB2 receptors and directly targets a neurotransmitter intermediate that blocks pain and itching signals by acting through agents called anandamide and 2-AG. Yes, you may experience relief before you're fully healed, but CBD also helps the body repair itself. Scientists believe that CBD may help alleviate anxiety, which in turn could affect a person's perception of pain and potentially make them feel more comfortable.
However, the research is still under way and it is too early to draw anything conclusive. Until there is high-quality scientific evidence in humans, it is difficult to make a recommendation for the regular use of CBD in the treatment of chronic pain. CBD is best taken in pill or capsule form for slow, prolonged release or as an oral tincture (infused oil containing CBD) for a faster onset of effect. Given the rapid change in the legality of cannabis, coupled with the increase in appetite for something new and the push for unprecedented profit margins, the advertising of cannabinoids in general and CBD in particular has gone crazy.
And in states where CBD is legal, laws may vary as to the amount of THC allowed in CBD products to be legally sold. If you're interested in trying CBD or THC to control pain, talk to your doctor and experiment to see if CBD or THC (or both) ease the pain a little. Researchers looking for safer pain treatments want to take advantage of this action because it means that CBD won't cause addiction. Given its promising results in animal models, along with its relative safety, its non-psychoactive properties and its low potential for abuse, CBD is an attractive candidate for pain relief.
Bryan says he believes that a combination of THC and CBD together holds the most promise for pain relief. CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have demonstrated promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good choice for back and neck pain.