Back pain is a common complaint and is usually a problem that resolves in a matter of weeks. However, not everyone has such good luck. This pain may require medical treatment. We will examine cannabis as an alternative to opioids and surgery, to treat back pain.
DO YOU SUFFER BACK PAIN?
If you have back problems, you’re certainly not the only one. According to a recent WebMD analysis, 540 million people worldwide suffer from pain in the lower back. But back pain is not limited to low back pain or lower back problems. Many people also suffer pain in the upper area and/or on the sides of the back.
Back pain is probably the leading cause of disability in the world, and studies show an upward trend since the 1990s. For most people, it is a health problem that comes on suddenly and temporarily and resolves. by itself. Unfortunately, other people suffer pain on and off, and some even have chronic persistent pain.
The good news is that cannabis is increasingly recognized and recommended as an effective treatment by medical professionals. Well, at least in the US and Canada. Since 2016, New York has allowed patients with back pain to access the state medical marijuana program.
Furthermore, the latest WHO data indicates that around 2.5% of the world population (about 147 million people) use marijuana. This number could increase significantly with new medical marijuana users seeking relief for back pain.
TYPES OF BACK PAIN AND COMMON CAUSES
A Clinic defines back pain of fewer than 6 weeks as “acute,” while pain that lasts for 3 months or more is classified as “chronic.” The most common type of pain is believed to be simple or “mechanical” back pain. “This means that the pain is unrelated to any serious underlying disease and there are no pinched or pinched nerves,” according to the British Chiropractic Association.
Aging daily wears, and tear poor posture, and stress can lead to simple back pain. Deeper back pain usually stems from trapped nerves and slipped discs. The most common causes are usually sports injuries, slips, trips, and falls. The stabbing pains that go down to the legs indicate a sciatica problem. However, back pain can also be related to other serious underlying conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Surgery is always the last resort, although it is sometimes inevitable whether or not you use marijuana to treat pain.
HOW CANNABIS CAN HELP
Marijuana has been used as a kind of panacea for centuries. Anecdotal evidence from millions of cannabis users can confirm the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of this sacred herb. Currently, with the growing trend of cannabis legalization, we can be more specific. Today, we have strong medical evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment. In the US, patients already receive legally prescribed medical marijuana to treat back pain. We can even go further and say that cannabis is the natural medicine of choice, compared to the pain pills of the big pharmaceutical companies.
As usual, cannabinoids are the key to the effectiveness of the treatment. We already know that THC and CBD play a critical role. THC is best known for its light-hearted qualities, and if your back pain is related to depression, a THC-rich sativa might be enough to boost your mood and revitalize you.
Similarly, CBD-rich cannabis, or CBD oil, is known to alleviate pain and physical discomfort, without generating psychoactive effects. Combined, both cannabinoids can even achieve a synergistic effect through a theory known as the “entourage effect.” The different combinations will produce effects of greater or less intensity in the patients since each person has a unique endocannabinoid system (SEC). The bottom line is that marijuana is an effective treatment. But don’t just settle for our word. The 2017 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine ( NASEM ) report also confirms this.
Inhaling cannabis through a joint or vaporizer offers relief almost instantly. Ingesting marijuana edibles may be more appropriate for constant pain, which requires a longer-lasting effect.
CANNABIS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO OPIOIDS
Post-operative pain management can become slippery terrain toward opioid addiction. According to a comprehensive CDC study conducted between 2006-2015, just by spending a day taking prescription opioid pain relievers, you have a 6% chance of continuing to take pills a year later.
Medical marijuana is not an addictive substance, certainly not in the same way as opioids. Patients from all walks of life are choosing to control their back pain with cannabis, rather than opioids. The best-known advocates are professional athletes from the most physically damaging contact sports, such as football or mixed martial arts (MMA).
A LAST WORD ABOUT CANNABIS AND BACK PAIN
We’ve all seen Nate Diaz consume CBD in his pen vaporizer, and live to receive another beating from Conor McGregor. Even NFL players are thinking twice about queuing up for another dose of Toradol in the butt. Players like Eben Britton are raising their voices. Celebrities are spreading the message everywhere. As a result, cannabis has become an accepted and popularized pain treatment in North America.
Let us hope that the legislators of the European countries reach the same conclusion as soon as possible. Outside of the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Spain, all Europeans with back pain can experiment with CBD products to seek relief. But what they really need is being able to access the full spectrum of marijuana cannabinoids.