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Best Cannabis for Back Pain Relief in 2024

19 March 2024

Image of a woman stretching her back by leaning backwards while sitting at a table, with her eyes closed and a hand on her lower back, suggesting relief from back pain.

In 2024, individuals seeking relief from persistent back pain are increasingly turning to natural solutions, with many considering the best cannabis strains as a preferred option. This shift reflects a broader acceptance and understanding of how certain strains can offer significant ease without the drawbacks associated with traditional remedies. 

To this end, our guide dives into the top eight picks that have shown promise in soothing back aches that hinder daily life, providing hope for those looking to reclaim their comfort and mobility.

Medical Cannabis vs Black Market Products: Understanding the Difference

Before delving into how the best weed for back pain might serve your needs best, it’s essential to understand the differences between regulated items and those procured from unverified sources.

Illicit, unregulated products often come with risks like questionable potency, potential contamination, and possible legal consequences. More specifically, the plant from unverified sources may contain unpredictable levels of THC or CBD, leading to unanticipated effects. The absence of regulation may mean the presence of harmful substances like pesticides, mould, or heavy metals. Additionally, engaging in illegal trade activities can lead to substantial penalties, varying based on location and severity.

Regulated products, by comparison, offer safer alternatives and present multiple advantages. For instance, opting for medical marijuana ensures access to products that are not only legal but also tested for safety and potency, providing peace of mind and a more reliable approach to managing back pain. This regulated environment also offers the advantage of professional advice and support, tailoring solutions to individual needs.

The Science Behind Medical Cannabis and Pain

A horizontal infographic illustration of the endocannabinoid system.

The human body possesses a complex network known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis. This system, comprising receptors, enzymes, and endogenous cannabinoids, regulates various physiological processes, including pain sensation, immune response, and mood. [1]

It has two main components:

  • CB1 receptors: Mostly located in the CNS or central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), influencing mood, appetite, and pain perception. [2]
  • CB2 receptors: Found mainly in peripheral organs, especially cells associated with the immune system, affecting inflammation and pain. [3]

The compounds in the plant, particularly cannabinoids, interact with the ECS by binding to or influencing its receptors. For instance, certain cannabinoids can bind directly to ECS receptors, mimicking the action of endogenous cannabinoids. This binding action can help reduce pain signals sent to the brain. Also, by interacting with the ECS and other cellular pathways, cannabinoids can reduce the release of pro-inflammatory substances, thereby alleviating pain caused by inflammation.

CBD, THC, and Other Cannabinoids: Their Roles, Differences, and Effects on Pain

Cannabinoid Role in Pain Management Psychoactive Effects Mechanism of Action
CBD (Cannabidiol) Reduces inflammation and neuropathic pain. No Modulates ECS receptors indirectly, reducing inflammation and altering pain perception.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) Alleviates chronic pain and muscle spasms. Yes Binds directly to CB1 receptors in the brain, reducing pain perception.
CBG (Cannabigerol) Potential to treat inflammation and pain. No Binds to CB2 receptors, reducing inflammation.
CBN (Cannabinol) May have analgesic properties. Mild Interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, potentially reducing discomfort.

Why Marijuana Strains Matter for Back Pain Relief

As just discussed above, the complex cannabinoid profiles in marijuana can influence the effect they have on various individuals experiencing back discomfort. Different strains, indica, sativa, and hybrid, defined by their botanical lineage, can yield varying therapeutic effects.

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid: What’s the Difference?

The classification into indica, sativa, or hybrid is fundamental, with each category associated with distinct properties and effects.

Strain Type Typical Effects Potential for Pain Management
Indica Produces a sedative, body high. Often preferred for nighttime use to help with muscle relaxation and reduce discomfort.
Sativa Produces an uplifting and energising head high. May be beneficial for daytime use, helping to alleviate pain while promoting alertness.
Hybrid Can lean towards indica or sativa, or be a balance of both, depending on the parent strains. Selected based on the dominant effects desired for pain management and personal preference.

The Role of Terpenes in Pain Relief

The aromatic compounds found in the plant, known as terpenes, also play a significant role in enhancing its pain-relieving properties. Each terpene has unique effects and can synergise with cannabinoids to enhance their therapeutic potential. [4]

  • Myrcene: Known for its muscle relaxant and sedative properties, myrcene can help in reducing muscular tension and discomfort.
  • Limonene: Possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially aiding in managing inflammation-related pain.
  • Caryophyllene: Binds to CB2 receptors and is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic outcomes, making it beneficial for pain relief.
  • Pinene: Exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and may help in improving airflow to the lungs, enhancing the overall discomfort alleviation experience.
  • Linalool: Known for its soothing effects, linalool can aid in stress and pain management, promoting relaxation.

8 Best Cannabis for Back Pain Relief 

A gloved hand holding dried cannabis buds.

The search for effective natural remedies for back pain relief has led to a focus on specific strains known for their therapeutic properties. In 2024, the following strains stand out for their ability to address discomfort, each with unique THC and CBD content and effects.

1. OG Kush

Known for its potent pain-relieving properties and strong lemony aroma, OG Kush is a go-to for those seeking both physical ease and a sense of euphoria. With a THC content that can reach up to 26%, it’s known to help ease mental states while assisting with chronic pain symptoms.

  • Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid
  • THC/CBD content: High THC levels; CBD content varies
  • Effects: Energising, happiness, relaxing

2. Northern Lights

This strain is celebrated for its deeply relaxing effects, attributed to its high THC content. It’s particularly beneficial for those with muscle spasms and chronic discomfort, promoting restful sleep.

  • Strain: Indica
  • THC/CBD content: Mid-to-high THC; minimal CBG
  • Effects: Sleep-inducing, relaxation, calming

3. Blackberry Kush

Another solution ideal for chronic pain and muscle spasms, Blackberry Kush, offers a fruity aroma and a potent body high. Its effects are primarily sedative, making it suitable for nighttime use.

  • Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid
  • THC/CBD content: Mid-to-high THC
  • Effects: Sedative, relaxing, pain relief

4. Sour Diesel

Offering a stimulating and analgesic experience without heavy sedation, Sour Diesel is favoured for daytime use. Its high THC content is effective in managing pain while keeping the mind alert after intake.

  • Strain: Hybrid
  • THC/CBD content: High THC
  • Effects: Energising, uplifting, stimulating 

5. ACDC

With a high CBD content, ACDC is a standout for pain relief without psychoactive effects. It’s particularly effective for inflammation and neuropathic aches, making it another top choice for daytime relief.

  • Strain: Hybrid
  • THC/CBD content: Little-to-none THC; high CBD
  • Effects: Focused, pain relief, relaxed

6. Harlequin

This strain features an even CBD/THC ratio, ideal for individuals looking for alleviation with reduced psychoactive impacts. More specifically, Harlequin, with its balanced ratios, mitigates THC’s potential paranoia while enhancing its analgesic benefits.

  • Strain: Sativa
  • THC/CBD Content: Balanced THC/CBD ratio
  • Effects: Clear-headed, focused, energetic

7. Gorilla Blue

Gorilla Blue’s high THC content has been recognised for its potential in managing severe pain, including both radicular and axial conditions, while also being an option for those seeking assistance with sleep disturbances like insomnia.

  • Strain: Hybrid
  • THC/CBD content: Very high THC
  • Effects: Creative, pain relief, relaxing

8. Candyland

A sativa-dominant hybrid, Candyland is energising and effective for muscle spasms and tension. Its uplifting effects make it suitable for daytime use, helping to manage pain while maintaining energy.

  • Strain: Sativa
  • THC/CBD content: High THC; low CBG
  • Effects: Uplifting, energising, pain relief

How to Use Cannabis for Back Pain

Cannabis-derived products are gaining popularity as alternative solutions to conventional medication for managing back aches. However, the manner of consumption is just as important as the strain you select.

Method Pros Cons
Smoking Immediate onset 

Easy-to-control dosage

Potential lung damage 

Unwanted Smell

Instant but short-lived relief

Vaping Faster absorption 

Reduced smell 

Less harmful to lungs than smoking

Requires equipment 

Potential for misuse

Less researched

Edibles Longer-lasting 

Discreet 

No damage to lungs

Takes time for onset 

Difficult to measure dosage 

May be impacted by digestion and metabolism

Topicals Targeted relief

No psychoactive highs 

Excellent for localised pain

Only penetrates skin-deep 

Not suitable for deep or systemic pain

Dosage Consideration 

Determining the optimal dosage is a process of trial and error, as everyone reacts differently to various strains and intake methods. Here are three key points to keep in mind:

  1. Start low, go slow: It is recommended to begin with a small dosage and gradually increase until the desired result is achieved.
  2. Track your dosage: Conveniently, most products detail their cannabinoid content, enabling users to monitor their dosage with precision.
  3. Factors affecting dosage: Physical characteristics, such as weight, metabolism, and tolerance, can dramatically impact one’s response to a certain dosage.

The Importance of Consulting With a Healthcare Provider

Given the large array of products and the individual nature of the response to these compounds, it’s crucial to seek professional advice, as healthcare experts can provide guidance based on a detailed understanding of your health history and current situation.

Moreover, regular check-ups ensure that medical cannabis is alleviating discomfort without causing harmful side effects. Also, with their in-depth knowledge, healthcare providers can identify potential interactions between these solutions and any other medications or treatments you are receiving.

Trust in Lyphe: Your Expert Partner in Medical Cannabis Therapy

The logo of Lyphe Clinic.

At Lyphe, we are pioneers in treating patients with medical marijuana in the UK, boasting doctors with unparalleled experience and expertise. We make your life easier by offering 100% online services, from booking to doorstep delivery of your medication. Plus, our commitment shines through our dedicated patient support team, who ensure seamless support throughout your treatment.

So, schedule your online consultation today and embark on a path to better health with us at your side.

Final Takeaway

In conclusion, finding the right solution for back aches can seem complicated, with so many options available. However, understanding your choices helps you make the best decision for your needs. Also, always remember to take it slow, be safe, and talk to a professional before trying anything new. With the right approach, you might just find the best cannabis for back pain, offering you a natural way to feel better and move more freely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does cannabis help lower back pain?

Weed is known to have analgesic properties, which can help reduce the aching sensation in the lower back. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in treating underlying causes, such as inflammation.

Is indica or sativa better for inflammation?

Indica strains are generally considered better for inflammation because they often contain higher levels of CBD, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. However, individual responses can vary, and thus, personal experimentation or consultation with a healthcare professional may be beneficial.

How fast does CBD kick in for pain?

The onset time for CBD’s effects on pain can vary depending on the method of consumption. When CBD oil is taken sublingually (under the tongue), the effects can typically be felt within 15-20 minutes, as this method allows for quicker absorption into the bloodstream. On the other hand, when CBD is ingested in the form of capsules, edibles, or mixed with food, it must pass through the digestive system, which can delay the onset of effects to about 45 minutes to an hour.

References

  1. Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System and the Brain. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143739
  2. Howlett, A., Blume, L., & Dalton, G. (2010). CB1 cannabinoid receptors and their associated proteins. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(14), 1382–1393. https://doi.org/10.2174/092986710790980023
  3. Benito, C., Tolón, R. M., Pazos, M. R., Núñez, E., Castillo, A. I., & Romero, J. (2007). Cannabinoid CB2 receptors in human brain inflammation. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153(2), 277-285. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjp.0707505
  4. Raz, N., Eyal, A. M., Zeitouni, D. B., Hen-Shoval, D., Davidson, E. M., Danieli, A., Tauber, M., & Ben-Chaim, Y. (2023). Selected cannabis terpenes synergize with THC to produce increased CB1 receptor activation. Biochemical Pharmacology, 212, 115548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2023.115548

 

Author: Bojan
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Bojan Ambrus, Head of Marketing & Digital Product at Lyphe Group, is a data-driven growth marketing professional with over 15 years of rich experience. His background includes roles such as Head of Marketing at Vaping.com and growth marketing roles in various enterprises, startups, and scale-ups. His expertise in building and positioning businesses is particularly valuable in the cannabis sector, where he navigates its complexities and regulatory challenges. His strategic marketing insights make Bojan a key player in shaping Lyphe Group's marketing and digital product strategies.

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