Your Guide To Medical Cannabis
two hands reaching behind and down to touch lower back with a marijuana leaf next to this

Nearly 80% of adults in Australia are affected by back pain at some point in their lives, most often in the lower back. It can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain starts suddenly and is usually the result of misusing the body in some way.

Chronic backache keeps recurring and can be brought on by almost any movement, for no particular reason. It is one of the most common reasons for hospitalisation. A variety of problems in the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, or an underlying organ, such as the kidneys, may also cause backaches. Attempting to move or lift heavy objects is said to be the primary cause of back problems in Australia, sometimes because of damage done to a spinal disc.

Treatment of back pain can be complex, involving management of pain using ice and heat, physical therapy, lifestyle changes and even surgery.

Recently, researchers have investigated how using CBD Oil for back pain could become an alternative method of treatment

Developing an effective treatment plan for lower back pain takes into consideration the severity of the pain and its root cause. Most often, treatment includes a combination of a variety of approaches. Hot and cold packs can be used to provide relief from pain and reduce swelling and inflammation. While bed rest used to be a common approach to managing lower back pain, it is now believed that reducing physical activity could make the pain worse. Instead, stretching and strengthening exercises are often a part of the treatment for low back pain, in for form of supervised physical therapy. Medication is also used to manage low back pain.

The most commonly used medications include anti-inflammatory medications, and in some cases, opioids. Use of medication to treat back pain isn’t without risk. Long-term use of anti-inflammatory medications is associated with the development of ulcers, heartburn and fluid retention. The use of opioids for pain management is concerning because they are habit-forming drugs. Lastly, surgery is used as a last resort for managing back pain.

CBD Oil for Lower Back Pain

Because of the concerns associated with long-term use of over-the-counter and prescribed medication, along with the low success rates of back surgery, interest in alternative pain management options is increasing. CBD oil has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and shows promise as a therapeutic alternative method for managing back pain.

In 2012, a study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD oil was effective in the suppression of both inflammatory and neuropathic chronic pain in mice. Their findings suggest that CBD oil could be a safe and effective method for managing hard-to-treat chronic pain. A small study on human subjects in 2017 was published in the Journal of Pain Research that observed improvement in chronic pain over the course of 12 months. In this study, the dosage was THC and CBD combined.

close up of a spine with a healthy compared to a degenerated disc

For many years, it was assumed that most back pain was the result of spinal degeneration or injury, especially damage to the intervertebral discs. These structures are located between the vertebrae and act as cushions. Each disc consists of a tough, fibrous outer layer surrounding the soft interior, which provides the cushioning. With the ordinary wear and tear of living, the discs show signs of aging, and may be inured. When a disc begins to degenerate, at strain – even something as small as a sneeze – can cause the disc to rupture, or herniate, allow the soft interior material to protrude out of the disc and press against the spinal cord. This situation is sometimes erroneously referred to as a slipped disc.

illustrated medical diagram of sciatica

Herniated disc, prolapsed disc, and slipped disc are all names for the same problem, and are usually found in the lumbar region of the back (the lower back). A herniated disc can result in severe intermittent or constant back pain, particularly if it presses on the sciatic nerves and causes a condition known as sciatica.

The sciatic nerves are responsible for transmitting all signals from the lower body. They are the longest nerves in the body, and any pressure on them, typically by a disc protruding from the vertebrae, results in a shooting pain, usually in the foot or leg. Infrequently, if the lower part of the spinal cord is inflamed, people may experience loss of bladder or bowel control.

It is difficult to pinpoint disc disease as the cause of most cases of back pain. That is because many adults past the age of forty – whether they experience back pain or not – can be shown to have some degree of disc degeneration. Further, in many instances, disc degeneration and even herniation do not produce any symptoms.

medical illustration diagram of lower spine

Simple muscle strain is another leading cause of back pain. Although symptoms may come on suddenly and can be acutely painful, this is actually a problem that develops over a long period of time. When muscles contract, lactic and pyruvic acids are produces as by-products of muscular activity. It is the presence of lactic acid in the muscles that produces the familiar sensation of muscle fatigue following strenuous activity. If high levels of these acidic by-products accumulate in the muscles, they cause irritation that can eventually turn into pain and interfere with the normal conduction of electrical impulses in the muscle tissue. This results in a phenomenon called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Lumbago is a traditional term for muscle pain in the lower back, near the pelvis.

medical illustration of spine of pregnant woman

Lower back aches during all stages of pregnancy are commonplace. The abdominal muscles are becoming shorter and tighter.Coupled with this, your spine has to support additional weight, so your posture may change and backaches can result.

How CBD Oil works for Lower Back Pain Relief

Cannabis has over 80 Cannabinoids illustrated diagram

The marijuana plant contains a number of different compounds, each with different effects on the body and brain. The compounds associated with the “high” experienced from the drug are in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) family, but it’s another compound, cannabidiol (CBD) that has been most prominently linked with therapeutic effects.  CBD is not psychoactive, so when it’s isolated from the other compounds, you don’t get the psychological effects of intoxication associated with marijuana use. This makes it much less controversial. Today, marijuana strains are being cultivated that contain virtually no THC, but extracts of just CBD, usually in the form of oil, are available and legal.

This compound stimulates a part of the brain called the cannabinoid system. This stimulation helps reduce the intensity of pain and aids in the reduction of inflammation in the body. It also provides an alternate path for pain management.

Where opioids are effective, they are also habit-forming and associated with numerous side effects. With CBD oil, researchers have found reduced central nervous effects, effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory actions. As CBD and other cannabis compounds are researched, and as applications for pain management are further tested, a consensus about healthy use and advantages is emerging. Evidence is mounting in favour of CBD as a beneficial end effective treatment in reducing lower back pain.

Most cases of low back pain also have an important psychological component, usually a deep-seated emotional or stress-related problem. Other contributors can include poor posture, improper footwear and waling habits, improper lifting, straining, calcium deficiency, slouching when sitting, and sleeping on a mattress that is too soft. Kidney, bladder, and prostate problems, female pelvic disorders, and even constipation may produce back pain. Chronic conditions that can cause back pain include arthritis, rheumatism, bone disease, and abnormal curvature of the spine. Fractures are rarely the cause of back pain. The two biggest factors are likely being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle.

Because the great majority of back pain cannot be explained – and is not due to protruding discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, poor posture, or any other discernible illness – it is always advisable to take back problems seriously and have them checked out.

Pain is a message sent by the body to the brain, signaling that disease, injury, or strenuous activity has caused trouble in some area. Without pain, you would remain unaware of many problems – from torn ligaments to appendicitis – until the disorders became serious. At low levels, pain can motivate you to rest the injured area so that tissues can be repaired and additional damage can be prevented. When severe, pain can motivate you to seek treatment as well.

Not all pain appears to serve a useful function, though. While acute pain, the pain described above, can alert us to a problem that needs immediate attention, in some cases pain lasts long after an injured area has healed. In other instances, pain may be caused by recurring backache, migraines and other headaches, arthritis, and other disorders. Referred to as chronic pain – which may be defined as pain that occurs, continually or intermittently, for more than six months – this pain may signal an ongoing problem that cannot be eliminated through treatment. In such a case, pain management often becomes the treatment goal.

3d illustrated x-ray of lower back pain

For some people, pain is cyclical. Pain produces anxiety, and this anxiety intensifies the pain. Fear and anticipation of the physical problem can also heighten the pain, leading to feelings of depression and helplessness. When experiencing such pain, it is natural to limit one’s activities. This can lead to a “chronic pain cycle,” which can adversely affect one’s confidence and self-esteem.

Being aware of the chronic pain cycle as well as understanding its psychological effects can help you avoid being drawn into it.

  1. The cycle generally begins with prolonged periods of rest and inactivity, causing a loss in physical strength, endurance, and flexibility. As a result, you may begin to lose confidence in your ability to do things, causing a lowering of personal goals.
  2. Inability to perform usual activities at home or work is likely to promote feelings of frustration, and you may begin perceiving yourself as unproductive. This sense of lowered self-esteem may further lead to depression.
  3. During times when the pain subsides or is more tolerable than usual, you may overexert yourself in an effort to prove to yourself and others that you can still do the things you did before the chronic pain began.
  4. As a result of the overexertion, the pain often returns and may be more severe than before. You may find yourself unable to finish tasks or accomplish goals. Discouraged and in pain, you begin limiting your activities, and the cycle begins again.

One way to keep from getting caught up in the chronic pain cycle is through pain management. Often, the reduction of physical pain can prevent the cycle from starting.

There are a variety of treatments that can alleviate pain. Some do so on a purely physical level, perhaps by interrupting the pain process or desensitising nerve endings. Others approach pain control on a psychological level, by affecting the mind’s perception of the pain. When treating pain, the physical and psychological can be inter-twined. Just as a physical reduction of pain may decrease anxiety and improve outlook, so can the mind be used to relax muscles and effect other physical changes that then reduce symptoms. There has been substantial interest in the potential utilisation of medicinal cannabis for use in chronic low back pain conditions, which impose considerable burden on patients by adversely affecting multiple facets of their lives.

At iCannabis we are focused on bringing the purest and most bioavailable medical cannabis to Australian patients and their families.

We are a group that specialises in educating and helping Australia patients gain access to Cannabis for Medical purposes. Through education and real-life experiences with the healing powers of this plant.

Once you discover the documented benefits tens of thousands of patients around the world have received from the medicine, you too will realise how this can potentially change and improve the lives of you and your family.

The positive impact this plant has already had on the quality of life for patients and their families is nothing short of miraculous.

At iCannabis we are committed to establishing an Australian medical cannabis community comprised of passionate and caring people, focused on the highest quality organic medicine made with love and integrity.

If you need any advice or help with CBD for Low Back Pain care or sourcing full spectrum cannabis oil treatments please contact us. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of CBD treatments in complete confidence.