Best cbd oil or cream for lower back arthritis

Best CBD Creams Of 2022

Lenore Cangeloso is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbal medicine practitioner based in Oregon.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is increasingly popular, thanks to its reported myriad benefits and non-intoxicating properties. But it’s no fad—even science is getting behind the plant compound. Clinical studies show CBD topicals like creams, gels and balms may relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis, nervous system damage and ongoing localized muscle aches. CBD creams can provide short-term topical relief for some.

To choose the best CBD creams, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on more than 50 CBD cream products made from plants grown in the U.S. All have a certificate of analysis (COA), are third-party tested by ISO 17025-compliant laboratories and contain no more than 0.3% THC. From price to potency to special effects, see which CBD cream products stand out as our top picks. Note: Product details and prices listed are accurate as of the publication date.

  • Featured Partners
  • Best CBD Creams of 2022
  • Lazarus Naturals CBD Balm
  • Vermont Organic Science Organic CBD Balm
  • Redeem Therapeutics CBD Pain Cream
  • Medjoy Full Spectrum CBD Cream
  • RE Botanicals Menthol Muscle Rub with CBD
  • Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream
  • BATCH CBD Original CBD Balm
  • Appalachian Standard Menthol Salve Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
  • Carmen’s Medicinals Full Spectrum CBD Salve
  • Active Botanical Co. Therapeutic Formulation CBD Topical Salve
  • Methodology
  • What Is CBD Cream?
  • CBD Use in the U.S.
  • How to Use CBD Cream
  • Best CBD Creams Ratings
  • Best Diets
  • Noom Diet Review
  • GOLO Diet Review
  • Best OTC Allergy Medications
  • Best Fitness Apps

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Best CBD Creams of 2022

Lazarus Naturals CBD Balm

The Lazarus Naturals Relax + Unwind CBD Balm is a potent topical with plenty of CBD per application. The balm is geared toward relieving localized muscle pain and inflammation. The balm also passes third-party tests for the exclusion of pesticides, heavy metals and molds.

  • Cruelty-free certified by the Leaping Bunny Program
  • All natural ingredients
  • Two sizes available

Cost: A 2.1-ounce container of Lazarus Naturals CBD Balm containing 3,000 milligrams of CBD costs $42.

Vermont Organic Science Organic CBD Balm

Vermont Organic Science bills this CBD balm as a soothing treatment for sore muscles. The balm is infused with menthol for an additional cooling effect. The balm also includes the non-psychoactive compounds cannabigerol (CBG), which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and cannabichromene (CBC), which can have anti‐inflammatory and antinociceptive (pain-blocking) effects.

  • All natural ingredients
  • Strong potency
  • Includes sweet almond, tangerine, frankincense and lavender essential oils

Cost: A 1-ounce container of Vermont Organic Science Organic CBD Balm containing 1,100 milligrams of CBD costs $35.

Redeem Therapeutics CBD Pain Cream

This affordable CBD cream targets inflammation, especially in joints and muscles, with its addition of menthol, capsicum and arnica extract. The cream also contains aloe, jojoba oil, tea tree oil and vitamin C to aid absorption and further support skin health. The product passes third-party tests for safe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds as well.

  • USDA-certified organic hemp
  • Hemp cultivated from a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified farm
  • 100% THC free

Cost: A 3.4-ounce container of Redeem Therapeutics CBD Pain Cream containing 1,500 milligrams of CBD costs $59.99.

Medjoy Full Spectrum CBD Cream

Medjoy’s Full Spectrum CBD Cream is packed with all natural ingredients, including vitamin C esters to balance, brighten and revive your skin, as well as organic aloe and coconut oil for hydration. It also contains organic blueberry, raspberry and cranberry extracts for their antioxidant properties. This low-potency, low-cost cream is a great option for moisturizing and mild pain relief.

  • U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certification
  • Leaping Bunny Certification
  • Passes third-party tests for safe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds

Cost: A 6-ounce container of Medjoy Full Spectrum CBD Cream containing 300 milligrams of CBD costs $46.95.

RE Botanicals Menthol Muscle Rub with CBD

This Menthol Muscle Rub with CBD aims to provide relief from pain and inflammation with the added cooling effect of menthol. The travel-size product is meant to be rolled on for easier application. What’s more, it’s certified by the Detox Project to be free of glyphosate residue, a pesticide chemical that can be harmful in large amounts.

  • USDA-certified organic
  • 1% of RE Botanicals sales donated to support farmer education and regenerative agriculture
  • Passes third-party tests for safe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds

Cost: A 3-ounce container of RE Botanicals Menthol Muscle Rub with CBD containing 600 milligrams of CBD costs $34.99.

Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream

The Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream is meant for targeted pain, inflammation and stiffness relief on affected areas of your body. In addition to CBD, the cream contains CBG and CBC, as well as cooling menthol, turmeric and arnica flower extract.

  • Made by a Certified B Corporation (a business that meets high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability)
  • USDA-certified organic
  • Levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds all pass third-party tests

Cost: A 3.3-ounce container of Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream containing 750 milligrams of CBD costs $54.99.

BATCH CBD Original CBD Balm

Along with CBD, this simple balm contains lavender and tea tree oils to help relieve irritation. It also comes in a twist-up container so you don’t have to get your hands messy while applying it to harder-to-reach areas.

  • Contains jojoba oil for better absorption
  • Non-GMO
  • Paraben-free

Cost: A 2.5-ounce container of BATCH CBD Original CBD Balm containing 1,250 milligrams of CBD costs $49.99.

Appalachian Standard Menthol Salve Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

This menthol salve is meant to relieve sore and tight muscles with several liberal applications daily. The menthol also provides cooling and moisturizing effects alongside the nourishing mango butter base.

  • All natural ingredients
  • Menthol and herbal scent
  • Includes hemp plant terpenes to enhance CBD effects

Cost: A 2-ounce container of Appalachian Standard Menthol Salve Full Spectrum Hemp Oil containing 500 milligrams of CBD costs $40.

Carmen’s Medicinals Full Spectrum CBD Salve

A mix of all-natural essential oils and terpenes, this CBD salve can provide relief for localized aches and pains while also moisturizing the skin. Carmen’s Medicinals recommends use of the salve on your joints, hands and back.

  • USDA-certified organic hemp
  • All natural ingredients
  • Passes tests for safe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds

Cost: A 1.7-ounce container of Carmen’s Medicinals Full Spectrum CBD Salve containing 1,000 milligrams of CBD costs $44.95.

Active Botanical Co. Therapeutic Formulation CBD Topical Salve

At the highest price point and with one of the highest potencies on this list, Active Botanical Co.’s Therapeutic Formulation CBD Topical Salve is 99.9% pure CBD isolatecombined with the company’s proprietary terpene profiles to help your body get the most relief from the plant compounds. By using CBD isolate, the salve dilutes the earthy scent often associated with hemp.

  • Strong potency for additional relaxation effects
  • Passes tests for safe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and molds
  • 18-month shelf life

Cost: A 3-ounce container of Active Botanical Co. Therapeutic Formulation CBD Topical Salve containing 5,000 milligrams of CBD costs $179.99.

Methodology

To choose the best CBD creams of 2022, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on more than 50 CBD creams products that are:

  • Made from plants grown in the U.S.
  • Have a certificate of analysis (COA)
  • Are third-party tested by ISO 17025-compliant laboratories
  • Are made with all natural ingredients
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We then ranked CBD creams based on price, potency and the inclusion of ingredients that provide additional soothing properties.

We considered a standard application size to be .05 ounce of CBD cream but provided full product pricing in addition to a per-application breakdown to help you determine the best daily value, as well as what works for your budget as a whole.

What Is CBD Cream?

CBD cream, which often includes balms and salves, is a topical application of cannabidiol. This cream offers more localized effects rather than systemic ones that edibles or inhalation can provide.

“When CBD is used topically, it does not reach the bloodstream,” says Robert Milanes M.D., founder of Holistic On Call and a doctor with Heally, an alternative medicine telehealth platform.

This application method makes CBD cream a good choice for people who are new to CBD and less comfortable ingesting it, but still want to benefit from CBD’s potential pain relief abilities.

“Because it’s localized, it’s not the best method of delivery for trying to help yourself sleep or for anxiety,” says Steven Phan, founder of Come Back Daily, a CBD dispensary in New York.

How Does CBD Cream Work?

Compared to ingesting CBD, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect, applying CBD topically allows you to feel the localized effects pretty quickly, according to Laura Fuentes, a licensed compound pharmacist and co-founder of Green Roads, a major CBD brand.

This quick uptake, paired with CBD’s inherent benefits, makes CBD cream a great option for pain, inflammation, soreness and tightness relief in specific parts of your body, she says.

One 2018 study with over 300 participants with knee pain from osteoarthritis found a transdermal synthetic CBD gel significantly improved patients’ worst pain score and physical function averages [1] Hunter D, Oldfield G, Tich N, Messenheimer J, Sebree T. Synthetic transdermal cannabidiol for the treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis . Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2018;26:S26. . These patients were treated with 350 milligrams of CBD gel per day for 12 weeks.

Additional research shows topical application of CBD to have significantly reduced pain in some patients with peripheral neuropathy—a set of conditions damaging the peripheral nervous system—and myofascial pain (localized muscle and tissue pain) in respective studies [2] Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. [3] Nitecka-Buchta A, Nowak-Wachol A, Wachol K, et al. Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial . J Clin Med. 2019;8(11):1886. .

CBD Use in the U.S.

CBD creams are a popular way to use CBD in the U.S., according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll. In fact, 53% of respondents who reported having tried CBD used it in lotion form, and 42% used it in a serum or other topical form.

CBD use in general is increasingly common—60% of U.S. adults have tried a CBD product before. Better yet, 60% believe it has medicinal benefits. The same survey reports that the majority of people use CBD in a variety of forms to help relieve pain.

How to Use CBD Cream

To apply a CBD cream, you rub it into the affected area, such as an achy knee or sore neck. “The cream is absorbed into the skin and then binds to the numerous cannabinoid receptors located in the different layers of the skin,” says Fuentes.

Each topical CBD product may have unique directions, however. Some may instruct you to use a small amount while others encourage using a liberal amount.

Balms and salves have a thicker consistency and often need to be warmed in your hands before applying them to the target area. And some products don’t require getting your hands dirty at all, thanks to roll-on and stick applicators.

Potential Side Effects of CBD Topicals

CBD itself is safe and well tolerated, and it has no risks of abuse or dependence, according to the World Health Organization.

“Additionally, using CBD topically reduces the likelihood of experiencing side effects typically associated with CBD use, such as drowsiness, fatigue and diarrhea,” says Dr. Milanes.

Milanes and Fuentes warn that while CBD itself might be safe, there is a chance you might be allergic or sensitive to another ingredient in a CBD topical, which could cause adverse effects. To avoid unpleasant reactions, they suggest reading ingredient lists carefully.

Phan also recommends talking to your doctor before using CBD if you’re on any medications— especially blood pressure medications because CBD can also lower blood pressure.

10 Best CBD Oil for Back Pain

This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Back pain is a condition that impacts millions of people around the world. It makes simple tasks, such as walking or laying in bed, uncomfortable at best. If you live with chronic back pain, you may be willing to try almost anything to make the pain levels more bearable.

Often, traditional forms of therapy do not produce the expected results. In turn, people look for alternative solutions to heal their back pain. Today, there’s an abundance of health advice and innovative products on the market. Many promise to reduce pain and discomfort while supporting a healthier, happier life.

But as you know, you can’t take product promises at face value. There are all sorts of companies out there that promise a miracle product, only for it to offer little to no benefits.

Over the last few years, CBD oil has become a popular choice for treating back pain. Because of its many therapeutic benefits, CBD products have and continue to be in high demand. Ever since the compound was legalized in 2018, there’s a substantial supply of products that can be used to treat chronic pain while also managing anxiety.

With so many products on the market, it can be hard to choose a product that will offer the benefits that you seek.

How to Choose Quality CBD Oil

As you’d expect, there are tons of CBD oils on the market that can be used to treat back pain or pain anywhere on the body. Choosing the right brand and knowing how to choose a quality product from a low quality product isn’t an easy task.

Just as there are reputable CBD companies with high standards, there are others that manipulate you into buying a product that is made with low quality ingredients. This is why it’s so important to know how to choose quality CBD oil.

It starts by researching the brand and their products. In conducting your research, there are various factors to consider.

First, look at the type of CBD that the company uses. Quality CBD comes from quality products. Find a brand that uses CBD sourced from organic, non-GMO hemp. Reputable brands publish a product’s full ingredients list on the label as well as online.

If you find a company that uses organic CBD along with all natural ingredients, chances are that you’ve found a product that you can trust.

The next factor to consider is THC content. CBD is only one of several cannabinoids that naturally occur in hemp. THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is known for causing psychoactive effects.

The type of CBD extract used indicates the THC level. CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD contain no THC. On the other hand, full spectrum CBD contains all of the plant compounds, including THC. However, the product should contain no more than 0.3% THC. Otherwise, it’s illegal and may cause unintended side effects.

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A reputable company knows the importance of transparency. Companies that produce the best CBD oil submit their products for third-party lab testing, and the results are publicly available. These tests show the product’s purity and quality. They check for the presence of harmful compounds such as pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.

Top 10 CBD Brands for Back Pain

Because there are countless CBD oil products to choose from, we’ve done all of the tedious research for you. We’ve taken all of the above factors into consideration when ranking CBD brands. Here’s what you need to know about each brand.

1. Penguin

Penguin is a premium brand that creates premium products that contain no THC. All of their products are made using the best Oregon-grown hemp that is designed to rejuvenate the mind and body.

This brand is inspired by nature. Their products are GMO-free and contain zero pesticides. Enjoy your own slice of the penguin life with these CBD products. They’ll keep you cool, calm, and collected all while feeling your best. Goodbye back pain!

Each batch is made using refined broad-spectrum extract. Penguin is available in some of the most delicious flavors including citrus, mint, strawberry, and cookies and cream. CBD oil is available in several strengths, including 250mg, 600mg, 1000mg, 2500mg, and 5000mg.

2. Everest

Everest is a fresh new name in the CBD market, and they’re definitely one to leave an impression. Their CBD oil and gummies are made with the highest standards of quality, which you can see reflected in their independent, third-party lab results. They also offer several Delta 8 products as well.

Pros: One of the best-tasting oils on this entire list, with its sweet blueberry flavor. It’s also one of the most potent, as its formula is stacked with a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. Shipping is free for all 50 states and comes in discreet packaging. Subscriptions can be paused or cancelled at any time without any penalty.

Cons: Everest only offers one flavor at the moment, so people who aren’t blueberry fans might be disappointed. It also only comes in 1500mg strength. Price is a little on the higher side, but that’s expected with a premium quality product.

3. FOCL

FOCL’s CBD drops get rave customer reviews and rank among the best in the industry for three simple reasons – high quality, amazing taste, and great value.

For maximum relief from everyday back pain, FOCL’s 2000mg Natural CBD Drops get the job done.

Made with broad spectrum CBD oil and Organic MCT (coconut) oil, FOCL 2000mg Natural CBD Drops are the perfect dose of CBD for relief from back aches and pains. They are also flavorless, which makes them super convenient for adding to your coffee, smoothies, or just some under your tongue for immediate relief.

In terms of taste, FOCL Natural Drops are some of the best we’ve tried because they don’t have that weird grassy aftertaste. They also offer 1000mg CBD drops in mint, strawberry lemonade, cherry, and orange cream!

FOCL also produces an incredibly powerful CBD Relief Cream made with hemp extract and other proven botanicals – it’s one of the best CBD topicals we’ve tried for aches and pains. For the best value, check out their popular “ Relief Bundle .”

4. Sunday Scaries

For everyday pain management, we highly recommend Sunday Scaries . This CBD oil is made with broad spectrum extract that’s combined with vitamins and coconut oil. To improve the effectiveness of their CBD oil, the brand infuses it with vitamins B12 and D3, both of which are known to help with pain management.

According to the National Institute of Health , studies have shown promising effects of using vitamin D for reducing muscular pain. The National Library of Medicine has found that vitamin B12 may be a supplemental tool to use for treating pain.

Even coconut oil plays a role in managing pain and discomfort. Human studies have found that coconut oil reduces the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

5. Medterra

Medterra hits the mark for all of the most important factors, including quality, hemp source, clean formulations, and testing standards. This is a brand that has very few gaps. Medterra is well known for its high quality products, including CBD isolate and broad spectrum products. They also offer full spectrum products now as well!

The brand’s True Full Spectrum CBD drops are the most advanced tincture on the market. The oil is made with 2mg of THC and is formulated with a 5:1 CBD to other cannabinoid ratio. Unlike most full spectrum oils that contain a trace amount of THC, True Full Spectrum contains a significant amount of THC.

What does this mean for you? Products with higher CBD levels work faster and the effects last much longer. When CBD is combined with THC and other minor cannabinoids, you’ll experience the entourage effect. This magnifies the benefits of each plant compound.

If you’re looking for a quality product that’s effective, Medterra’s True Full Spectrum oil is just the product for you.

Use Code: DM15 for 15% off your order.

6. HealthWorxCBD

Another company that offers trusted CBD oil is HealthWorxCBD . This company is based in Denver, Colorado. Products are made using the finest Colorado hemp that is grown using safe farming products.

The brand offers both full spectrum CBD oil as well as pure CBD oil. Potencies range from 200mg to 5000mg. HealthWorxCBD also offers a unique extract known as terpene-enhanced CBD. According to customer reviews, HealthWorxCBD oil is effective in treating pain.

All products are tested by a third-party lab and results are available on the brand’s website.

7. Kiara Naturals

Looking for a strong CBD product that’s specifically designed for pain? Kiara Naturals is a brand that you can rely on for quality products. This Swiss manufacturer is known for its high potency products that are meant to treat specific health issues.

Kiara Naturals is a family-owned business that makes all CBD products by hand. CBD oils and other products are made in small batches in Appenzellerland, Switzerland following strict GMP standards.

The brand’s products are used by natural health practitioners across Europe.

Kiara Naturals CBD oils are available in strengths ranging from 1000mg to 3000mg. Their pain tincture is specifically formulated using full spectrum CBD along with other natural products that address pain in various ways.

8. Verma Farms

Verma Farms is one of the most trusted names in the CBD industry. While they’re most known for their Hawaii-inspired CBD gummies, they’ve also created a full line of delicious CBD oil. If you’re looking for a high quality oil that’s made with all natural, organic ingredients, Verma Farms is a safe choice.

Verma Farms products are formulated using unadulterated, powerful, and pesticide-free broad spectrum CBD extract that promotes rejuvenation, rest, concentration, and the ultimate pain relief. Place a few drops under your tongue or add oil to your favorite beverage to keep back pain at bay.

The brand offers some of the most deliciously flavored CBD oils, including pineapple, mango, mint, strawberry, watermelon, and others. Oils are available in two concentrations, 500mg and 1000mg.

9. Pure Kana

Pure Kana is another worthy brand that we’re proud to put on our top 10 list. This company is based out of Arizona. Their products are formulated using organically grown hemp plants from Kentucky.

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They offer a full line of CBD hemp oil that is designed to meet all of your daily wellness needs. Pure Kana oils are available in many flavors, including:

Oil strengths range from 300mg to 5000mg, so you’re sure to find one that best relieves your back pain.

10. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is well-known for its high quality CBD products, including CBD oil. The brand is based in Colorado and specializes in CBD products made using top notch organic CBD.

Aside from their original formula, CBD oil is also available in some of the most delicious flavors you’ll find on the market, including mint chocolat, lemon twist, and orange blossom.

Whether you’re a first-time CBD user or well-seasoned in using the cannabinoid, Charlotte’s Web has a product that will meet your needs.

When compared to other CBD oils on the market, Charlotte’s Web products are on the expensive side. However, you get what you pay for. High quality products are often sold at a higher price tag.

Bonus: CBDistillery

CBDistillery is well known for creating high quality CBD oil that is made using CBD isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum CBD. Their products have proven to be one of the most effective in treating a variety of health conditions.

Aside from pure CBD oil, CBDistillery also offers full spectrum oil, which can be quite effective in treating back and other forms of pain. Each of their products is lab tested for purity and quality. CBDistillery posts all lab results on their website so that consumers can easily review them.

While most of their products contain no flavoring, CBDistillery does offer a mango flavor for certain products.

Bonus: Balance CBD

Balance CBD was founded by two health professionals with the aim of helping people ease their pain while also encouraging relaxation. All of their products are made using all natural, non-GMO, organic ingredients. Balance CBD products contain no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors.

The brand offers THC-free and full spectrum CBD oil that’s available in various strengths ranging from 500mg to 5000mg.

Balance CBD products are organic, gluten-free, vegan, allergan free, and are manufactured using GMP quality standards. When you buy from Balance CBD, you’re supporting a small business with a big dream.

Is CBD Legal?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived products were legalized. However, the law stipulates that CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC due to the cannabinoids psychoactive products. While the bill is legal at the federal level, not all states regulate CBD products the same way.

For example, in Colorado, it’s legal to use all parts of the hemp plant. In Texas, any product that contains THC is illegal. While most states are friendly towards CBD products, it’s important to check your state’s laws before buying.

CBD regulations also vary from country to country. Check the regulations that apply to you to ensure you can legally buy CBD products.

Buyer’s Guide

It’s not enough to know which brands offer high quality CBD oil. If you decide to give CBD oil or any other CBD product a try, it’s also important to figure out the right dosage for you. Currently, there is no recommended daily intake of CBD that’s regulated by the FDA.

In turn, people rely on the advice provided by CBD manufacturers. Most CBD companies recommend one dropper of CBD per day. But, this dosage may be too high or too low for your needs.

When deciding which dosage is best for you, consider the product’s CBD potency as well as your weight and the condition you’re looking to treat. CBD oil is available in various strengths, which means that a dropper could contain 300mg of CBD or 3,000mg. These potencies will have very different effects.

There are also personal factors, such as your body weight, which impact how you react to CBD. Because there isn’t a standard dosage for everyone, finding your right dosage requires some trial and error.

Final Thoughts

With our top 10 list of CBD oils, finding the right product to ease your back pain has never been easier. While we’ve conducted our research, it never hurts to do your own digging to give yourself peace of mind that you’re choosing a product that will work for you.

Remember, everyone reacts differently to CBD oil. If you’re new to CBD products, start with a low dose (or low potency CBD oil) and slowly increase the amount. This reduces the risk of having an adverse reaction.

As with any product, always consult with a medical professional before adding CBD oil to your daily routine.

Looking for the best CBD you can find? Check out our awards for the best CBD Gummies , best CBD Oi l, Best CBD Oil For Dogs , and Best CBD Oil for cats .

Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1

CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2

CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.

What Is CBD?

CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.

The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:

  • THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
  • Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.

While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.

Ways CBD Treats Back Pain

Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:

  • Reducing inflammation 3
  • Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
  • Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5

Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.

Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5

Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD

Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

More severe side effects, while rare, include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.

CBD use prior to surgery

Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6