CBD Oil For Bulging Disc Pain

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As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University. Spinal stenosis is a physical condition often resulting from a failed surgery. Can CBD help alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with spinal stenosis? Let’s take a look at how its efficacy and safety compare to conventional treatments. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a new medical treatment that may be effective for back pain. It has relatively few side effects and does not come with the high associated with marijuana.

Is The CBD Oil Good For Herniated Disc Nerve Pain?

Talking about back pain, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Pain killers, of course, because that is the only way to treat back pain. But if you have had the pain for quite some time and that too because of the herniated disc, which results in nerve pain, you might have noticed that the OTC drugs don’t do much justice to the pain.

Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to cater to only a portion of the pain. They aren’t strong, especially the over-the-counter painkillers. So what should you do when treating back pain is such a severe case to calm your nerves and enjoy some pain-free time to relax and get back on your feet? Well, the answer to your problems is the CBD oil.

Before we talk about how CBD oil works for your herniated disc nerve pain, you first need to understand what a herniated disc is and why it results in nerve pain, or why it is caused. So let us go ahead and explore it all in detail so you can understand how CBD oil works best as a treatment option.

What is a herniated disc?

Your back is made up of vertebrae, which are supported by cushion-like structures called the discs. The vertebras are bones; therefore, in order to prevent them from collapsing with one another; discs are placed in between to keep the movement as smooth as possible.

These discs are like round, cushion-like small pillows, which have a tough outer layer called the annulus which surrounds the nucleus inside. The vertebrae are stacked on top of one another with discs in between. Due to sudden trauma, the annulus suffers from a rupture, which leads to the nucleus moving out of the disc. This is known as a herniated disc.

Now the problem here is that there is only limited space between the vertebrae and its surrounding area. So when the fragments of the disc move out of their place, they invade the space of the nerves surrounding the vertebrae and kind of press on them, which leads to severe pain.

Although a herniated disc can happen anywhere in your spine but in most cases, it is linked to your lumbar spine. The area where you experience the pain is the area of the spine which is affected. The symptoms of a herniated disc vary from person to person. So might be affected by it while others aren’t so much. So it all depends on how severe the condition is and how badly the nerve in the surrounded area has been affected.

Causes Behind Herniated Disc

The discs are like flexible cushions in your spine. But as you age, similar to your bones, muscles, joints, and tendons, the discs also begin to lose their flexibility, which can often make them prone to wear and tear. The lack of flexibility and endurance in the disc tissues leads to rupture when excess pressure is added to them.

In most cases, herniated discs result from lifting heavy objects in your last 40s or 50s. Most often use our back muscles instead of our leg muscles to lift things, so the extra pressure on your weak back leads to rupture. This is known as the degeneration of the disc, which is quite common among elderly people.

In the case of young individuals with a herniated disc, the cause is severe trauma, mostly resulting from a car accident, a fall, or from a back twisting movement. But it is quite rare in young individuals, so if you are young, you might just have regular back pain and not something serious.

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

People often tend to get confused between a regular back pain resulting from inflammation and back pain resulting from a herniated disc. So before you use CBD for lower back pain, make sure to check out whether it is a herniated disc or not. Here are a few common symptoms that might help you identify it.

  • Arm or Leg Pain – Since every part of your body is connected to your spine. Therefore, you might experience pain in different areas of your body, depending on the herniated disc location. In the case of the lower back, your pelvic girdle and your calf muscles are most affected. In the case of the upper neck region, you might experience throbbing pain in your arms and shoulders.
  • Numbness & Tingling Sensation – Since a herniated disc affects the nerve in that area, it leads to numbness and tingling sensation in which that specific nerve is connected. You might experience a lack of motion as well due to failing nerves.
  • Weakness – In case of severe herniated disc cases, the most affected area can become weak as well. Since your muscles become weak, therefore, you lose the ability to lift things or perform the way you used to.

CBD Oil For Herniated Disc Nerve Pain

For centuries, our ancestors have been using CBD for relieving pain. The thing about CBD is that it is a naturally occurring herbal supplement that is packed with a number of powerful nutrients and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and reduce pain. Furthermore, it is packed with sedative compounds that help render your pain receptors inactive for a while to give you the relief you require.

CBD, like other herbal supplements, has been recently legalized in 33 states in the US. Although it is still not regulated as a legal drug by the FDA due to its number of health benefits, it is commonly available from supplement stores as an herbal supplement to treat pain and other physical and mental disorders such as adding to your immune system and helping you with anxiety, stress, and depression.

The good thing about CBD is that it is available in different forms. You can get a CBD cartridge by CBD genesis to smoke CBD to enjoy its pain-relieving effects, or you can use it in the oil form, as gummies, or in your tea etc. There are endless ways that you can use it, but when it comes to nerve pain, we suggest that you apply the oil on your back.

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The best way to go is to get the best strain for herniated disc and get it in liquid consistency. Ask your massage therapist to use the oil to rub the area affected. The CBD molecules will pass through the pores on your skin to fight the inflammation and numb the affected area to give you instant pain relief for a couple of hours, at least.

Final Words

If you are planning on living a positive life, even with a herniated disc, you need CBD oil to help you get through the day. The low sedative and pain-relieving effects of the hemp plant will help you enjoy your day to day activities without worrying about any side effects or dealing with back pain.

Although the herbal oil has proven to have a number of health benefits with minimal side effects, it is still recommended that you consult your doctor before using CBD oil for pain. It is always better to play safe when it comes to your spine because you don’t want to end up damaging it even more.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.

Can CBD Oil Help with Spinal Stenosis Pain?

CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties, indicating potential benefits for the symptom control of spinal stenosis, also known as spinal injury.

Spinal stenosis refers to a spine issue associated with high inflammation markers. The discomfort is also followed by nerve pain, further deteriorating the quality of life of many patients. People with spinal stenosis often rely on potent prescription medications — putting themselves at a high risk of dependence and severe withdrawals.

Being unable to rest and function properly throughout the day, individuals suffering from spinal injuries turn to natural remedies for relief.

CBD is touted by the medical community to reduce inflammation and mitigate pain signaling to the brain. These qualities put it high on the list of potential natural alternatives to treating spinal stenosis.

Read this article to find out if CBD can help you with symptom control.

Does CBD Oil Help with Spinal Stenosis Pain?

Some studies suggest that CBD oil could help many spinal stenosis symptoms. In a study published in the Journal of Pain Research in 2018, the research team examined the link between cannabinoids and spinal cord stimulation in patients with spinal stenosis from a failed back surgery.

The Italian study analyzed the situation of 11 patients diagnosed with neuropathic pain after their surgery. All participants discontinued other treatments in favor of a cannabinoid-based solution. They were taking a predetermined dose of THC/CBD, which they could adjust to their response. At the end of the study, the patients reported significant improvement in pain while recovering from surgery compared to the beginning of the trial .

Several spinal disorders, including spinal cord injury, spinal stenosis, and radiculopathy (pinched nerve) due to herniated discs, are common triggers of nerve pain.

A research paper published in 2020 in C current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology analyzed the efficacy of CBD oil in managing neuropathic pain in 29 participants with peripheral neuropathy.

The group that received CBD reported that their severe pain and cold, itchy sensations had been diminished significantly. They also didn’t report any adverse effects. The researchers concluded that transdermal use of CBD oil helps considerably improve pain and other types of discomfort experienced by patients with peripheral neuropathy .

CBD for Other Spinal Stenosis-Related Symptoms

Spinal stenosis — and chronic back pain in general — is often accompanied by anxiety. A study posted in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2011 evaluated the effects of CBD on social anxiety disorder (SAD). The authors found that patients with SAD who used a high dose of CBD reported substantial improvements . CBD can help manage anxiety disorders by acting on serotonin and GABA receptors on top of improving endocannabinoid signaling in the brain .

Another study on CBD and anxiety — published in The Permanente Journal — investigated the efficacy of CBD on sleeping disorders and anxiety . The final sample examined 72 adults, 47 of whom reported anxiety as their primary health problem. The other 25 volunteers pointed to sleep deprivation as the main issue.

Almost 80% of participants experienced significant relief from anxiety within the first month. Sleep scores improved in over 66% of the tested subjects . Individuals with spinal stenosis struggle with anxiety and insomnia; when combined, they can take a serious toll on their overall well-being.

How CBD Helps to Alleviate Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

CBD’s potential in controlling the symptoms of spinal stenosis is largely attributed to its interaction with endocannabinoid receptors, serotonin receptors, and TRPV-1 vanilloid receptors.

In a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology , CBD was found to inhibit chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. The researchers discovered that the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD could be produced partly by its interaction with the 5-HT1A (serotonin) receptor .

Interestingly, this interaction can also reduce anxiety levels, a more stable mood, and better emotional control.

A 2019 study further confirmed these findings in a mice model, showing that CBD decreased anxiety-like behavior and normalized serotonin activity .

CBD can also mitigate pain signals by engaging with TRPV-1 vanilloid receptors, which are the same receptors that respond to the terpenes in vanilla beans; these essential oils are responsible for the pain-dampening properties of vanilla — the reason why it has been widely used in folk medicine.

In a 2012 study published in Pharmaceuticals , the authors found a strong link between TRPV1 cells and autoimmune diseases and inflammation. This fuels the hypothesis that CBD’s impact on TRPV1 receptors helps mitigate pain signals and curb inflammation .

Last but not least, CBD can help the body level its endocannabinoid deficiencies. Not only does it signal the endocannabinoid system to produce its own endocannabinoids, but it also acts as the inhibitor of enzymes that break them down. Higher levels of endocannabinoids such as anandamide have been associated with a higher pain threshold and better stress response.

How to Use CBD Oil for Spinal Stenosis

CBD comes in many different forms. The most common format is CBD oil , which contains a CBD-rich hemp extract that is infused into a carrier oil.

CBD oil is taken sublingually (under the tongue). You need to use a dropper attached to the bottle of your oil to measure out the desired amount — then transfer it beneath the tongue and hold it in your mouth for up to 60 seconds.

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From there, CBD, along with other phytonutrients, will travel to your bloodstream using the tiny capillaries under the tongue. Sublingual absorption improves the bioavailability of CBD and speeds up the onset of its calming and relaxing effects. Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that ends up in your bloodstream after ingestion.

The leftover amount of CBD oil is swallowed and processed by the digestive system.

CBD oil combines relatively high bioavailability with dosage precision, which is why many people use it as their go-to way to supplement cannabidiol.

The best type of CBD oil for spinal stenosis is the ful l -spectrum one because it contains all the valuable compounds from hemp; CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work synergistically to create the entourage effect — enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of the product.

However, the problem with full-spectrum CBD oil is that it carries a strong earthy flavor, which may not appeal to many users. If you have a sensitive palate, you may want to consider the following alternatives:

CBD Cream for Spinal Stenosis

CBD cream is a decent option for spinal stenosis if you want to add a targeted approach to your treatment. While products like CBD oil or capsules will help reduce inflammation and dampen painful sensations from within, CBD topicals, such as creams, ointments, and gels, offer localized pain relief.

When you apply CBD directly to the skin, it interacts with the CB2 receptors of the skin’s endocannabinoid system. This results in an anti-inflammatory response because CBD acts on adenosine receptors, which block the inflammatory proteins known as cytokines.

Using CBD topically may help you reduce back pain, swelling, redness, and pain of inflammation.

CBD Gummies for Spinal Stenosis

If you dislike the taste of CBD oil, you may try out CBD gummies for spinal stenosis. They are available in different flavors, potencies, shapes, and formulas and resemble regular gummy bears. Gummies offer a fixed dose of CBD per serving and deliver it to your system through the gastrointestinal tract. This method of administration has some significant advantages, but it also has one drawback.

Speaking of the positives, a predetermined amount of CBD in each gummy makes it easier to calculate the dosage. For example, if you benefit from 50 mg of CBD per day and your gummies have 25 mg each, you need to take two gummies to match your dosage.

Once CBD enters the GI tract, it is metabolized by the liver and then gradually released into the bloodstream, ensuring longer-lasting effects (up to 10 hours).

That being said, the effects of oral CBD products have a delayed onset. This phenomenon is known as the first-pass metabolism; it’s also why CBD gummies offer lower bioavailability than oils (around 20%).

CBD Dosage for Degenerative Disc Disease

The CBD space remains unregulated, so there are no dosage guidelines or standard dosage charts for specific conditions, including spinal stenosis pain and other symptoms.

A review of studies assessing CBD dosages in clinical populations concluded that an optimal dose could vary from 1 mg to 50 mg per 10 kg of bodyweight depending on the user’s metabolism, weight, the severity of symptoms, unique body chemistry, and gender.

It’s generally recommended to start with a low dose such as 5–10 mg of CBD and gradually increase the amount until you find a dose that gives you the best results without making you feel dizzy or lethargic.

To learn more about CBD Dosage, head over to this post for a general guideline.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a medical name to describe a narrowing of the spaces within the spine; it’s also known as the foramina . This condition reduces the space for the nerves to travel, which can happen in the spinal canal or within the intervertebral foramina.

The spinal cord compression or a spinal nerve can cause tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness. The symptoms can vary depending on the time and the severity of narrowing over time. The location of the issue matters too.

Types of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis has two main types. The diagnosis depends on the condition’s location; it’s also possible to have both forms of spinal stenosis at the same time.

Cervical Stenosis

This type of spinal stenosis occurs when the narrowing affects the neck area of the spine. People with spinal stenosis have spinal cords with less space to travel, which may cause them to compress. The contraction could result in dysfunction and pain anywhere beneath the compressed area.

The symptoms of cervical stenosis include:

  • Pain in the neck
  • Problems with movements and balance
  • Weakness or tingling in an arm, hand, leg, or foot
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction (severe cases)

Lumbar Stenosis

Patients with lumbar stenosis have the narrowing of the spine at the lower back. Also known as foraminal stenosis, this is the most common type of spinal stenosis:

You may have lumbar stenosis if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Back pain
  • Cramping in 1 or both legs when walking
  • Weakness, numbness, and tingling in a foot or leg

Conventional Spinal Stenosis Treatments & Their Side Effects

Doctors usually diagnose spinal stenosis via tests such as MRI scan, X-ray, or CT myelogram

Treatments for spinal stenosis depend on the location of the condition and the severity of symptoms. A physician may prescribe conventional painkillers, including:

  • Anti-seizure drugs like gabapentin or pregabalin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
  • Opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline

However, the above treatments come with a risk of dangerous side effects, such as liver damage, kidney failure, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, nausea, and vomiting — not to mention the high potential for dependence and withdrawals when it comes to opioids.

Patients with spinal stenosis tend to become less active physically over time due to the pain experienced when moving. However, this can only cause muscle weakness to deteriorate. Therefore, physical therapy is often recommended as the go-to treatment to improve balance and regain strength and endurance.

Other possible spinal stenosis treatments include:

  • Decompression: People with spinal stenosis can ask their doctor about this procedure. Decompression involves removing compressed ligaments from the back of the spine. The process is known as image-guided lumbar decompression and doesn’t require general anesthesia.
  • Steroid injections: corticosteroids could alleviate inflammation at the site of the stenosis, dampening pain. Patients can only take a handful of injections annually due to the side effects associated with frequent use, such as weakened bones and connective tissues.
  • Surgery: it is performed as a last resort and aims to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This can be achieved by creating greater space in the spinal canal. Surgical procedures include laminoplasty, laminectomy, and laminotomy.

There are also clinical studies involving the use of stem cells to treat degenerative disc disease. Researchers are also testing several genomic medications.

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Summarizing the Potential Benefits of CBD Oil for Spinal Stenosis

Medical researchers are fueling more resources into studies on CBD’s effects on spinal stenosis and other forms of spinal injury. A growing body of evidence suggests that CBD oil can help manage several symptoms related to spinal stenosis, including inflammation, nerve pain, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

The best part about using CBD for spinal stenosis is that its benefits aren’t accompanied by dangerous side effects, unlike most pharmaceutical medications. CBD is safe and well-tolerated, even in doses as high as 1,500 mg per day.

Research so far suggests that the best approach to treating spinal stenosis with CBD is the combination of a sublingual and topical product. Take CBD oil (or gummies) for general supplementation, and apply topicals directly on the site of the pain to relieve localized discomfort by activating the CB2 receptors with CBD.

Reference Links:

  1. Mondello, E., Quattrone, D., Cardia, L., Bova, G., Mallamace, R., Barbagallo, A. A., Mondello, C., Mannucci, C., Di Pietro, M., Arcoraci, V., & Calapai, G. (2018). Cannabinoids and spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of failed back surgery syndrome refractory pain. Journal of pain research , 11 , 1761–1767. [1]
  2. Xu, D. H., Cullen, B. D., Tang, M., & Fang, Y. (2020). The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology , 21 (5), 390–402. [2]
  3. Crippa, J. A., Derenusson, G. N., Ferrari, T. B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F. L., Martin-Santos, R., Simões, M. V., Bhattacharyya, S., Fusar-Poli, P., Atakan, Z., Santos Filho, A., Freitas-Ferrari, M. C., McGuire, P. K., Zuardi, A. W., Busatto, G. F., & Hallak, J. E. (2011). Neural basis of cannabidiol (CBD) anxiolytic effects in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) , 25 (1), 121–130.
  4. Linge, R., Jiménez-Sánchez, L., Campa, L., Pilar-Cuéllar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., Adell, A., & Díaz, Á. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology , 103 , 16–26.
  5. Pretzsch, C. M., Freyberg, J., Voinescu, B., Lythgoe, D., Horder, J., Mendez, M. A., Wichers, R., Ajram, L., Ivin, G., Heasman, M., Edden, R., Williams, S., Murphy, D., Daly, E., & McAlonan, G. M. (2019). Effects of cannabidiol on brain excitation and inhibition systems; a randomized placebo-controlled single-dose trial during magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology , 44 (8), 1398–1405. [3]
  6. Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., Klosterkötter, J., Hellmich, M., & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry , 2 (3), e94.
  7. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal , 23 , 18–041. [4]
  8. Ward, S. J., McAllister, S. D., Kawamura, R., Murase, R., Neelakantan, H., & Walker, E. A. (2014). Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT(1A) receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy. British journal of pharmacology , 171 (3), 636–645.
  9. De Gregorio, D., McLaughlin, R. J., Posa, L., Ochoa-Sanchez, R., Enns, J., Lopez-Canul, M., Aboud, M., Maione, S., Comai, S., & Gobbi, G. (2019). Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. Pain , 160 (1), 136–150.
  10. Tsuji, F., & Aono, H. (2012). Role of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland) , 5 (8), 837–852.
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1

CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2

CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.

What Is CBD?

CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.

The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:

  • THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
  • Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.

While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.

Ways CBD Treats Back Pain

Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:

  • Reducing inflammation 3
  • Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
  • Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5

Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.

Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5

Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD

Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

More severe side effects, while rare, include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.

CBD use prior to surgery

Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6

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