Back pain can be a very debilitating health condition. People commonly seek medical help for medical conditions like back pain. It is also one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Back pain can be a result of injury, activity, or some other medical condition. It can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender.
How Does Cannabis Help To Relieve Back Pain?
You have a higher chance of getting back pain as you grow older. This is due to factors like previous occupation and degenerative disk disease. The human back is a complex structure. It is composed of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks, and bones. They work together to support the body and enable us to move around.
Problems that affect any of these parts can lead to back pain. The damage to these parts can be due to strain, medical conditions, and poor posture. Most back pain can be treated with proper rest, self-care, and some simple home remedies. It usually cures itself in a matter of a few weeks. But you will have to consult a health care provider if the pain is severe and lasts for a long time.
Cannabis For Back Pain
Cannabis has been in use since the time of ancient civilizations. It is used for recreational purposes and has many therapeutic uses like pain and anxiety relief. Cannabidiol, which is commonly referred to as CBD, is studied for its ability to treat pain. It can treat different kinds of pain in our body including back pain. There are studies that suggest that CBD can relieve inflammation, which is a main factor behind chronic pain.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is infused into a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil to make CBD oil, which is used for pain and inflammation. It is one of the many cannabinoids found inside a cannabis plant. Cannabinoids affect the endocannabinoid system in our body and give analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. THC is another important cannabinoid in cannabis plants. It is a compound that has psychoactive properties, that is it creates a sensation of high feeling. CBD does not cause any psychogenic effects of THC and is safe to use.
CBD treats back pain in three ways. Firstly by reducing inflammation which reduces pain. It combats anxiety. Anxiety can cause long-lasting or chronic back pain as it can make the muscles tense. CBD will help to relax muscles. CBD also helps with sleep and improves the overall state of relaxation. CBD does not target a particular part of the body, it is generally considered a full-body treatment. Topical products can target pain in particular parts of the body. CBD is available in a variety of forms like topical creams and gels. These products have shown positive results for inflammation and neuropathy. This makes them a good option for back and neck pain.
Sativa And Indica Strains
There are two main species of cannabis. They are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. They are used for a number of medicinal and recreational uses. Both these strains of cannabis have a considerable number of differences. Their medicinal qualities also differ. We can look at the differences between the two strains in detail.
Cannabis sativa is mainly found in hot, dry climates that has long sunny days. These regions include parts of Africa, Central America, Western Asia, and Southeast Asia. Plants of the Sativa strain are generally tall in stature and have thin finger-like leaves. These plants grow taller than 12 feet.
They also take longer to mature than some other strains of cannabis plants. CBD doses in Sativa are often lower and THC doses in Sativa are higher. It, therefore, causes a euphoric high feeling. It has an energizing, anxiety-reducing effect.
Strains that are Sativa-dominant help you to feel productive and creative. It does not make you relaxed and lethargic. As it causes stimulation, it is better to use Sativa in the daytime. Popular strains of Sativa are Acapulco Gold, Durban Poison, and Panama Red.
Cannabis indica is found in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey. This strain of cannabis is adapted to the harsh, dry, and tough climate of the Hindu Kush mountains. The major difference with the Sativa strain is its physical appearance.
These plants are generally short, stocky, and bushy in nature. Their leaves are wide and broad. They mature faster than the Sativa strain and they produce more buds per plant. The Indica strain has more CBD content compared to the Sativa strain.
But their THC content isn’t that less. Indica strain is much sought after for its highly relaxing effects. It is also found helpful in reducing nausea and pain. It is found to increase appetite. As this strain has got deeper relaxation effects, it is better consumed at night. Popular strains of Indica include Afghan Kush, Hindu Kush, and Granddaddy Purple.
From the information given above it is clear that the Sativa strain produces more THC content than the Indica strains. So it will have more intoxicating and energizing effects. It is thus better to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, and lack of focus and energy.
Cannabis sativa is a more stimulating herbal drug. So it is better consumed during the daytime for experiencing a good day.
Cannabis indica on the other hand has more CBD content than the Indica strain. CBD is especially known for its analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. So it is best suited to treat pain and related discomforts. It further helps in improving sleep. Being able to sleep comfortably in events of pain is a good relief.
So you can use Cannabis indica during the nighttime for a better experience. Cannabis Indica is thus useful in treating a variety of pains like back pain. It can help you to feel more relaxed and pain-free. Cannabis indica has lesser THC content compared to Cannabis sativa. So it does not cause high feelings which is an undesirable effect for many users.
It is to be noted that the classification of Cannabis sativa as energizing and Cannabis indica as pain relieving is not accurate. Many recent studies have found that both these strains can have varying effects on users. Some of the strains of Sativa also have pain-relieving properties. In the same manner, some of the Indica strains also have energizing and intoxicating properties. Below we will discuss some cannabis strains that are useful to treat back pain.
- Bubba Kush
This is an Indica strain. It has high THC content and very low CBD content. It is calming in nature and is recommended to be used in the evening. It is bred from Northern Lights and OG Kush. It has pain-relieving properties and can be used to treat back pain. Buba Kush can give a sedated feeling and can leave the users relaxed but still functional. Its THC content range from 15 percent to 22 percent.
- Grandaddy Purple
This is a popular Indica strain. It has helped many patients to get relief from pain. The terpene contents like Myrcene, Pinene, and Caryophyllene help it to give pain-relieving properties. It has purple-colored buds that deliver grape and berry flavors and aromas. It gives relief from pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms.
It is a popular strain of Sativa. It is rich in CBD and is thus very helpful in treating pain. It contains a good amount of terpenes like Myrcene, Pinene, and Caryophyllene. This makes it good in relieving all sorts of pain. It has an energizing effect than a relaxing effect. It is also known for its clear-headed effects as CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.
- Lemon G
This is a Sativa strain that can help you to relieve pain. It is useful in treating stress and anxiety. It has relaxing effects on the first time of use. Later on, it can cause upbeat, euphoric, and giggly effects. This strain has got a lemon fragrance.
Cannabis is known for its pain-relieving properties. It has been used for ages for this purpose. Some strains of cannabis are more helpful in pain relief than others. It is widely believed that Cannabis indica has more pain-relieving effects than Cannabis sativa. But it is not always a foolproof categorization.
There are strains of Sativa that are good at pain relief and there are strains of Indica that are good at pain relief. It will be clear from the examples of cannabis for back pain that is given above. It is the number of particular types of cannabinoids that are present in a strain that will determine the quality of a strain.
Higher amounts of CBD help in more pain relief and relaxation. Check with a cannabis expert to find out the type of strain that suits you best. Take their recommendations and if the pain still persists, contact your physician.
Dr. Elizabeth Novello
Dr. Elizabeth Novello specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. Her clients range across diverse age groups and she works closely with patients to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account the individual's medical history and the underlying cause of their pain. Dr. Elizabeth Novello also performs procedures such as lumbar punctures or nerve conduction studies. In addition to diagnosing and treating specific conditions, she focuses on helping patients manage chronic conditions and providing support for patients and their families.
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