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CBD for Back Pain: Properties and Effects that might give you relief

CBD for Back Pain: Properties and Effects that might give you relief

Can CBD help back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 80% of the world's population at some point in their lives.

Back pain involves the musculoskeletal system, can occur at any point of the back and generally appears acutely, lasts for days or weeks and subsides spontaneously, without representing a serious health problem.

There are, however, chronic conditions that last more than three months and can affect the quality of life of the person more.

The most common back pains are those affecting the upper and lower back:

  • Neck pain: this is almost always associated with pain in the neck muscles and sometimes with headaches.
  • Lumbar pain: known as lumbago, it affects the maintenance of posture and can be temporarily disabling.

Causes: How CBD works against back pain

Back pain is generally non-specific and can be caused by overexertion, sudden movements and incorrect positions when working or resting, which facilitate the development of contractures, inflammation and ailments. Advancing age is also a risk factor.

Some back pains are more problematic because of their neuropathic origin, caused by osteoarthritis, herniated discs or neural inflammations such as sciatica. There are also back pains caused by systemic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and osteoporosis.

CBD for neck and lower back pain

To prevent and treat mild back pain, it is advisable to perform specific stretches and exercises and try to rest while maintaining daily activities and avoiding long periods in bed. In the first 48 hours it may help to apply cold compresses, while successively heat can be used. Our CBD creams with cold effect will help you in these first phases.

You can also turn to physiotherapists or masseurs and use analgesic and anti-inflammatory products of natural origin as well as drugs for internal and/or external use.

If there is no improvement, it is advisable to see a doctor for appropriate tests.


CBD oil for back pain

The Endocannabinoid System, responsible for maintaining the balance of our organism, has a very close relationship with the Nervous System, the Musculoskeletal System and the Circulatory System, influencing inflammatory and pain processes (8).

CBD Oil, due to its capacity to stimulate the functioning of the Endocannabinoid System, can represent a very valuable tool for the relief of back pain, thanks to its different properties and effects:

  • Analgesic effect: thanks to its activity on the TRPV receptors responsible for pain transmission, CBD helps to relieve back pain, both in its mildest forms and in its more chronic forms or those involving neuropathic pain. (9)
  • Anti-inflammatory effect: CBD is able to modulate the body's inflammatory response, stimulating or inhibiting it as required and acting on both muscle and bone and also on the nervous system (6) (7).
  • Regenerative effect: if back pain is due to muscle injuries, CBD can help to stimulate and optimise tissue regeneration for faster and more effective recovery. (10) (11)
  • Muscle relaxant effect: thanks to its hypotensive, vasodilator and antispasmodic properties, CBD promotes muscle relaxation, which is very important for facilitating rest, especially in the case of minor muscle contractions and fatigue associated with back pain (12).
  • Mental relaxant effect: CBD is an excellent mental relaxant, partly because of its hypotensive properties and above all because of its involvement with the physiological systems involved in emotional and mental processes. The relaxing effect on a mental level favours rest and helps to relieve stress associated with the presence of pain. (13)

Clinical Cases of CBD use for back pain

Although a current clinical trial on back pain has shown no improvement with a single 400mg oral intake of CBD (14), there are observational studies on low back pain in which improvements in pain, stress and fear are observed using CBD both internally and externally (15) (16).

Internal use of CBD has also been shown to help reduce opioid use. (17)

Many studies on Cannabis and back pain have shown significant improvements when using CBD in combination with THC, as the synergy between the two phytocannabinoids enhances their analgesic effect and is particularly effective in cases of neuropathic pain. (18)

How many CBD drops do I take for back pain?

Different CBD products can be used to relieve back pain both internally (not regulated in Spain) and externally.

  • Internal use (not regulated in Spain): through inhalation and/or sublingual and ingested use, a systemic effect can be obtained, maximising the benefits and effects of CBD. In the medicinal field, the sublingual form is used, very useful especially in cases of neuropathic pain associated with herniated discs or sciatica, advising the use of a medium concentration oil (5% or 10% depending on the case) 2 or 3 times a day, starting with 1-2 drops and gradually increasing until the effects begin to be felt. Before using internally, it is advisable to consult a specialist.
  • External use: through external use, the effect is concentrated in the area of application of a product that can be an oil, a cream or a recovery balm with CBD. Although the effect is more limited to the surface of the treated area, external application can be very useful for relieving back pain, especially if accompanied by a good massage. In cases of back pain, it is advisable to apply the product 3 to 4 times a day, applying it to the area of origin of the pain and around it and massaging gently until it is absorbed, thus ensuring a duration of effect of 2-3 hours. Using it externally can be very useful in relieving cervical pain, helping to prevent the onset of tension headaches, and also lumbar pain, helping to maintain postural stability.


Thanks to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and relaxing effect, CBD can help to alleviate the symptoms of back pain in both its acute and chronic forms, facilitating rest and physical and mental recovery and improving quality of life and daily functionality.


CBD is a very safe substance even if used in large quantities, however care must be taken when taking medication or if you suffer from heart or blood pressure problems. For this reason in these cases it is always advisable to contact a health professional.


Side effects are usually mild to moderate and may include tiredness, drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness and decreased appetite.


  1.  https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/backpain.html
  2.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/
  3.  https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Living-Well-with-Rheumatic-Disease/Dolor-de-Espalda
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/003025.htm
  5. https://espanol.ninds.nih.gov/es/trastornos/forma-larga/dolor-lumbar
  6. Burstein S. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 2015 Apr;23(7):1377-1385.
  7. Hobbs, Jack & Vazquez, Allegra & Remijan, Nicholas & Trotter, Roxanne & McMillan, Thomas & Freedman, Kimberly & Wei, Yuren & Woelfel, Keith & Arnold, Olivia & Wolfe, Lisa & Johnson, Sarah & Weir, Tiffany. (2020). Evaluation of pharmacokinetics and acute anti?inflammatory potential of two oral cannabidiol preparations in healthy adults. Phytotherapy Research. 34. 
  8. https://www.fundacion-canna.es/sistema-endocannabinoide
  9. Mlost, J., Bryk, M., & Starowicz, K. (2020). Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22), 8870. 
  10. Rojas-Valverde D. (2021). Potential Role of Cannabidiol on Sports Recovery: A Narrative Review. Frontiers in physiology, 12, 722550. 
  11. Isenmann, E., Veit, S., Starke, L., Flenker, U., & Diel, P. (2021). Effects of Cannabidiol Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Regeneration after Intensive Resistance Training. Nutrients, 13(9), 3028.
  12. Baranowska-Kuczko, M., Koz?owska, H., Kloza, M., Sadowska, O., Koz?owski, M., Kusaczuk, M., Kasacka, I., & Malinowska, B. (2020). Vasodilatory effects of cannabidiol in human pulmonary and rat small mesenteric arteries: modification by hypertension and the potential pharmacological opportunities. Journal of hypertension, 38(5), 896–911. 
  13. Henson, J. D., Vitetta, L., Quezada, M., & Hall, S. (2021). Enhancing Endocannabinoid Control of Stress with Cannabidiol. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(24), 5852. 
  14. Bebee, B., Taylor, D. M., Bourke, E., Pollack, K., Foster, L., Ching, M., & Wong, A. (2021). The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. The Medical journal of Australia, 214(8), 370–375. 
  15. Xantus, G., Zavori, L., Matheson, C., Gyarmathy, V. A., Fazekas, L. M., & Kanizsai, P. (2021). Cannabidiol in low back pain: scientific rationale for clinical trials in low back pain. Expert review of clinical pharmacology, 14(6), 671–675.
  16. Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. Journal of opioid management, 16(3), 215–218.
  17. Nielsen, S., Sabioni, P., Trigo, J. M., Ware, M. A., Betz-Stablein, B. D., Murnion, B., Lintzeris, N., Khor, K. E., Farrell, M., Smith, A., & Le Foll, B. (2017). Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 42(9), 1752–1765. 
  18. Kim, T. E., Townsend, R. K., Branch, C. L., Romero-Sandoval, E. A., & Hsu, W. (2020). Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Back Pain. Neurosurgery, 87(2), 166–175. 

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Author information

Neuropsychologist | Specialised in treatments with Medical Cannabis

Tommaso Bruscolini

Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italy) is a neuropsychologist and phytotherapist based in Barcelona, where he has been running his private practice since 2014, both in person and online, where he formulates and produces different preparations with all kinds of medicinal plants, as well as making personalised recommendations.

A member of the Official College of Psychologists of Catalonia and qualified as a Health Psychologist, he is a specialist in Neuropsychology, the branch that studies the brain and its neurological function. Tommaso complements his training with studies in Phytotherapy and Herbalism at the Guild of Herbalists of Catalonia and two Masters, one in Nutrition and Herbal Dietetics and the other in Mindfulness.

In recent years she has specialised in Medical Cannabis, through private training and collaborations with different entities in the world of Medical Cannabis, coordinating for a year a clinic specialising in cannabinoid medicine, carrying out consultations, writing articles, talks, training courses as well as carrying out consultations and patient follow-up.

He currently collaborates with several entities of the cannabis sector in Spain, among other things he is the coordinator of the therapeutic area of the magazine DolceVita España, consultant in the SmokingMap portal, collaborator of the Unión de Pacientes por la Regulación del Cannabis (UPRC) and Alpha-Cat certified technician to perform cannabinoid analysis.

What fascinates him most about the Cannabis plant is the possibility it has to change the current medicinal and therapeutic paradigm towards a more holistic vision as it acts on our body, mind and mood, in a synergic way.

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