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CBD for Back Pain Relief in the UK

CBD Back Pain

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Back pain. Unless you are very careful with your health and keep as limber as middle-aged creeps up, chances are back pain will hit at some point. You should be incredibly lucky if you are past  the big 4-0 and have never been laid on the couch for a few days due to back pain.

Key Takeaways

  • Quality matters: Always choose CBD products that are third-party lab tested, contain full or broad-spectrum CBD, and are made with natural, organic ingredients.
  • Different forms for different needs: Topical creams and lotions can provide targeted pain relief, while sublingual CBD oil offers overall chronic pain management.
  • Potential mild side effects: Be aware of minor side effects like dry mouth, diarrhoea, dizziness, changes in appetite or weight, and fatigue, and consult your GP if you experience any concerns.
  • Interactions with medications: CBD can interact with certain prescription drugs, so it’s crucial to discuss with your healthcare provider before starting a CBD regimen if you’re on medication.
  • Personalisation is key: Dosage and efficiency depend on individual factors such as the method of administration, metabolism, weight, and health status. Tailoring the dosage through titration can help achieve the desired relief with minimal side effects.
  • Medical cannabis may offer stronger pain relief: THC, a psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is known to provide more potent pain relief than CBD alone. However, it comes with its own set of risks and side effects.

Modern life is all about being sedentary. From long hours in front of the computer to extended periods of sitting in traffic or on the couch, our bodies are not designed for this lifestyle. And even if you do have an ‘active’ job and lifestyle, throwing your back out can still happen unexpectedly.

While rest, ice, and soft stretching can all significantly reduce pain and inflammation when back issues strike, pain medication is often also necessary. But most people are now waking up to the fact that many of these medication options are actually pretty bad for you in the long run.

That’s where CBD comes in. An all-natural, plant-based therapeutic option that offers an extremely safe and effective alternative or complement to traditional pain/anti-inflammatory medications.

CBD Back Pain

What is CBD, and how does it work for back pain?

Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a cannabinoid that is produced by cannabis and hemp plants.

We produce our own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that work as the signalling chemicals in the endocannabinoid system. This system is the largest or second-largest neurotransmitter system in your body (depending on who you ask), and is responsible for regulating a surprisingly hug range of our vital (and non-vital) bodily functions. The pain response and inflammation are directly regulated by the endocannabinoid system.

How does CBD interact with the body?

So, CBD is a cannabinoid – what does that actually mean?

Well, it means that it has the ability to interact with our endocannabinoid system and modulate its function. CBD does not bind directly to our cannabinoid receptors (although it does have a weak affinity to CB2), but instead works by inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide – one of our natural endocannabinoids (also called the ‘bliss molecule’). This leads to increased anandamide levels in the body, which plays a key role in regulating pain and inflammation.

On top of its relationship with the ECS, CBD also interacts with other receptors and channels.

The TRPV1 receptor, also known as the ‘vanilloid’ receptor, is responsible for detecting and regulating pain and inflammation in the body. CBD has been shown to bind with this receptor, with researchers suggesting this as a possible explanation for its analgesic effects.

CBD Back Pain

What are the different forms of CBD available in the UK for back pain?

While cannabis remains recreationally illegal here in the UK, medical cannabis options containing THC have been legal through prescription since 2018. CBD options containing less than 1 mg of THC per container or less than 0.2% THC are fully legal for OTC counter sale.

That means that the true variety of CBD options available in the UK is truly staggering. From oils and tinctures to capsules, topicals to vapes, and pretty much everything in between – the only limit is your budget.

Not all CBD products are created equally – That’s the main reason behind CBD Ratings – we wanted to create a place where the UK CBD community could come and leave real reviews, ratings, and feedback on all the top brands and products available in the UK.

While most people look to choose between an oil, a topical, or an edible CBD option, the real choice to make is between full-spectrum/broad-spectrum/isolate…

Full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum vs isolate

Understanding the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolated CBD products is vital.

  • Full-spectrum: This means that the extract contains all naturally occurring compounds found in the source cannabis/hemp plant, including other cannabinoids (such as CBG and THC), terpenes, and flavonoids. Full-spectrum CBD products in the UK are sourced from hemp strains that produce less than 0.2% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum: Similar to full-spectrum, but with the THC removed during a refining process. This option is ideal for those who are sensitive to THC or have concerns about drug testing.
  • Isolate: Pure CBD extract without any other compounds. Isolates are typically cheaper than whole plant extracts, but may not offer the same level of therapeutic benefits as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum options.

Why are full and broad-spectrum options preferred for pain and inflammation?

The combination of all-natural compounds found in full and broad-spectrum CBD products is believed to have a greater therapeutic effect than isolated CBD. This is known as the ‘entourage effect‘ – where the different compounds work together to enhance and amplify each other’s benefits.

Some studies have shown that full and broad-spectrum options may be more effective at treating pain and inflammation than isolated CBD products. This is because the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together to modulate the endocannabinoid system in harmony, while isolated CBD may not be as effective on its own.

What are the best CBD products for back pain?

Everyone reacts slightly differently to cannabis-based products, so making sweeping statements like “this is the best CBD oil for back pain” or “these are the top CBD capsules for inflammation” is impossible.

However, there are some key things you can look out for when choosing a quality CBD product for back pain:

  • Third-party lab testing: Make sure the brand conducts independent third-party testing and makes these results available to customers.
  • Full or broad-spectrum options: As mentioned before, these types of CBD products may be more effective at treating pain and inflammation.
  • Quality ingredients: Look for natural, organic ingredients in the product. Avoid products with added chemicals or fillers.

With that said, topical creams and lotions have been shown to offer targeted relief for inflammation and pain. CBD oil options taken sublingually also provide overall relief for chronic pain. Using a combination of the two may be the best plan of attack when trying to combat back pain with CBD.

Before you run out and buy the first topical or oil option you see, check out the real customer reviews we have for all the big names in the UK CBD market.

CBD Back Pain

Are there any side effects or risks of using CBD for back pain?

Yes, like all therapeutic options out there, CBD does come with a few potential side effects and risks. But these are considered to be mostly mild, and CBD has been shown to offer a generally high safety profile, even in very high dosages.

The most common side effects reported by CBD users include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Fatigue

Does CBD interact with any medications?

Yes, CBD can interact with certain prescription medications.

This is because CBD affects the same enzymes in the liver that are responsible for metabolising many medications. If you are taking any prescription meds, its best to talk with your GP or clinical team before you start using CBD products.

FAQs – CBD for back pain in the UK

How long does it take for CBD to work for back pain?

That depends on many factors.

  • The route of administration heavily influences how quickly the effects of CBD will be felt. For example, vaped CBD and sublingually dosed CBD oil will offer quicker relief than a topical cream that needs to penetrate the skin or an edible that passes through the digestive system.
  • Every person’s body is different, and it can take time for the cannabinoids in CBD product to be effective will largely depend on your metabolism, weight, and overall health status.
  • The severity of pain or inflammation also plays a role. Some people may feel relief within minutes, while other may need to take CBD for a few days before experiencing noticeable effects.

How much CBD should I take for back pain?

The ideal dosage for CBD will vary from person to person, but titration is usually suggested.

Titration is the process of slowly increasing the dose size over a week or two until the desired results are achieved. This allows you to find the lowest effective dose, minimising the risk of potential side effects.

Can you develop a tolerance to CBD when using it for back pain?

Yes, our bodies do slowly build up a tolerance to cannabinoids when taken for long periods without a break.

To combat this, some people choose to cycle on and off CBD products, taking breaks for a week or two every few months. Others choose to increase the dosage slightly over time to maintain effectiveness.

Would a medical cannabis option containing THC be more effective for back pain?

Yes, THC has been proven to offer greater pain relief than CBD on its own. However, this comes with certain risks and side effects that may not be suitable for everyone.

It’s important to consult with a medical professional before considering a medical cannabis option containing THC. Private medical cannabis clinics are legally allowed to offer patients suffering from chronic pain a prescription for medical cannabis containing THC.

Concluding thoughts

CBD-containing products can provide an alternative option for those struggling with back pain here in the UK, but not all are created equally. While more research is needed to understand its effects fully, the already realised benefits coupled with a generally low risk of side effects make it an appealing option for many people struggling with the burden of chronic back pain.

If you have tried any UK CBD products for back pain (or any other issue), please do the community a favour by leaving an in-depth review here at CBD Ratings. Your input will help others make informed decisions about which products are best for them!