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Unveiling the Connection Between Marijuana and Relief from Back Pain

back pain

Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years in an effort to cure various types of pain. Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of pain in the modern world, and many individuals turn to cannabis as a kind of self-medication to treat their symptoms. But does marijuana really alleviate back pain? Learn what science has to say.

Does marijuana relieve back pain? You’ve probably encountered someone who has said it works for them. The research on this subject is still in its early stages and is not yet definitive. Researchers are more eager than ever to get the answer to this question because this ailment affects millions of individuals worldwide and present treatments have poor efficacy.

In multiple U.S. states, the use of marijuana for medical reasons is lawful; however, obtaining legal access in Yonkers necessitates the possession of a medical marijuana card Yonkers, which can be acquired by either applying online or consulting with a medical marijuana physician. sa

Understanding Back Pain

Back discomfort is considered to be epidemic; in England alone, 1 in 6 persons report having some form of back pain. Along with being common, back discomfort is notoriously challenging to diagnose and cure. According to the conventional biological theory of back pain, pain is a result of tissue injury, such as a torn ligament, a pinched nerve, or a degenerating spinal disc.

Some patients, however, report feeling pain even if there is no tissue injury. Additionally, patients with herniated discs or other conditions that indicate tissue damage or dysfunction may not even notice any pain. The biopsychosocial model of back pain was developed in response to these findings, which cast doubt on the biological perspective.

As the name implies, this method takes into account the biological, psychological, and societal aspects that all affect how much pain a person experiences and perceives to be. For instance, some physicians address the psychosocial factors that can lead to persistent back pain by using a technique called as pain neuroscience education (PNE).

Traditionally prescribed painkillers include drugs like opioids, some antidepressants, and over-the-counter treatments like ibuprofen. Patients frequently go elsewhere for treatment because of the negative effects and abuse potential of these alternatives; many decide to try cannabis in an effort to get their symptoms under control.

The following will start by discussing the many types of back pain. Before looking at what the study says about cannabis in this area, we’ll first take a look at the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in back pain.

Frequent Triggers and Varieties of Back Pain

Even though some types of back pain are complicated, others can be easily linked to a clear cause and just need a minimal amount of care. Back pain is divided into two primary kinds below: acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute Back Pain

Back pain that develops suddenly and doesn’t last for a long time is referred to as acute back pain. This kind of pain typically results from mechanical stress rather than other physiological factors. Acute back pain can have a number of significant causes, including:


  • Muscle spasm: Pain from muscle spasms can range from a throbbing stabbing feeling to a mild discomfort. They are brought on by the uncontrollable contraction of muscle fibers and are frequently brought on by the chronic under- or overuse of the affected muscles.


  • Strain on muscles: The back has a variety of muscles, from the lengthy stabilizers that wrap around the spine to the superficial prime movers that help with shoulder mobility. Any of these muscles may experience a tear or strain from an accident, which can result in temporary pain and function loss.


  • Ligament sprain: While muscles allow us to move, ligaments restrict motion around joints to protect them. Numerous ligaments support the spine; smaller ones connect to specific vertebrae, whilst larger ones cover the full length of the spine. A ligament tear or sprain can result through excessive contortion, flexion, extension, or rotation, which will then result in severe back discomfort.


  • Herniated disc: The spinal discs serve as shock absorbers between each vertebra. Each disc has a gelatinous interior and a fibrous outside. When a disc herniates, the interior “slips” through the connective tissue and occasionally comes into contact with the spinal cord, causing discomfort. Both mechanical stress and aging-related wear and tear can result in herniation. In many cases, this type of damage heals within 4-6 weeks.

Chronic Back Pain

Back pain that is chronic lasts longer than back pain that is acute. If not properly managed, the biopsychosocial component of many types of persistent back pain can delay rehabilitation. Several conditions, such as the following, can cause persistent back pain:


  • Spinal stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on the spinal cord, is known as stenosis. Osteoarthritis, the age-related deterioration of joint tissue, causes structural changes that frequently result in the disorder.


  • Osteoporosis: This disease is brought on by a decrease in bone density. Bones that contain fewer elements and less collagen are more brittle and prone to breaking. Fractures typically cause symptoms to show up. Conditions like radiculopathy, an impingement that affects nerves at the root level, might result from these anatomical abnormalities.


  • Degenerative disc disease: Unlike herniated discs, which usually heal on their own rather rapidly, this condition causes the disc tissue to slowly but inevitably deteriorate. Periods of excruciating pain, numbness in the extremities, and muscle weakness occur as a result of discs starting to lose their water content and function.


  • Chronic neuropathic pain: Damage to nerve fibers causes chronic neuropathic pain, which presents as a severe burning sensation.

While specific medical diseases can cause back pain, a number of psychosocial issues, such as anxiety, depression, fear-avoidance, and post-traumatic stress disorder, are also linked to chronic pain in general. The likelihood of developing chronic back pain is also increased by modifiable risk factors, with obesity having the greatest influence.

Impact of Back Pain on Everyday Living

Back discomfort can have an adverse effect on daily life, whether it is acute or chronic. Their unpleasant symptoms, which can include aching, shooting, scorching, and radiating pain, are severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. These symptoms gradually start to affect one’s capacity for work, sexual function, and psychological condition, possibly contributing to comorbidities of anxiety and depression and necessitating multidisciplinary treatment.

Therefore, how does one escape this predicament? Some people respond well to the variety of drugs that are currently accessible, but they rarely treat the pain’s underlying causes. Although they frequently produce a full remission, exercise programs, strength training, and conditioning also produce excellent outcomes.

In light of this, let’s now look at how cannabis might be used to treat back pain in the future. We must first comprehend the endocannabinoid system in order to have a clear comprehension of this.

Cannabis for Back Pain: Exploring THC’s Role

The ECS exhibits significant promise as a target for the treatment of back pain, and THC is just one of the cannabinoids generated from cannabis that have been shown to bind to ECS receptors. THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, is what causes marijuana’s high. There are countless instances of people who report that their discomfort subsided, at least temporarily, after bonging or hitting joints.

Before we can assert that THC reduces back pain, we must first have strong scientific support. Fortunately, scientists are working to uncover the solutions. One clinical review reviews the data from human studies that are currently available and notes that there is currently only modest evidence to support the use of cannabis for treating low-back pain.

The authors do, however, also look at current epidemiological research that gathered information from a population outside of the confines of controlled trial settings. They discovered that among populations who use cannabis for low-back pain, there is a decrease in the usage of opioid painkillers. Nevertheless, the large number of factors in epidemiological study renders these conclusions dubious.

Cannabis for Back Pain: Exploring CBD’s Role

In the body, CBD behaves differently from THC. It doesn’t have the same psychoactive impact as a powerful agonist because it doesn’t attach to the CB1 receptor in that way. To affect how THC binds to the CB1 receptor, CBD functions as an allosteric modulator of this receptor. CBD has an effect on ECS enzymes as well.

Returning to the previously stated anandamide, an endocannabinoid that plays a role in pain signaling, CBD functions to inhibit the enzyme[14] that breaks down this substance. CBD may do this via raising anandamide levels and maintaining the suppression of pain-inducing neurotransmitters. Human studies are needed to validate this method of action, though.

The Final Verdict on Cannabis and Back Pain

Back pain is still a complicated, subtle, and common medical problem. The disorder is challenging for clinicians to diagnose and treat because of the variety of comorbidities and causes, as well as the interaction of biopsychosocial variables. The evidence on the usage of cannabis and its several elements in cases of back pain is still equivocal at this time. It’s too soon to say whether or not different cannabinoids for various types of back pain work because there aren’t enough clinical trials. 

In Yonkers, having a medical cannabis card is a necessity for cannabis consumption. To obtain an MMJ card, you must meet specific NY medical marijuanas card requirements to qualify for medical marijuana access.