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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 5 min read

    Can I Use CBD Cream for Back Pain?

    Back pain can be a nuisance in our daily lives. Fortunately, CBD cream has analgesic effects proven to relieve pain. This article highlights more about CBD creams, the causes of back pain, how CBD cream helps with back pain, and the benefits and drawbacks of using CBD cream for back pain.

    The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, considering CBD products offer multiple health benefits. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the prevalent chemical compounds in hemp, a plant strain of the cannabis plant. Its quickly gaining traction in the health and wellness factors due to the numerous conditions it can tackle. Furthermore, it does not offer psychoactive effects like its counterpart, tetrahydro cannabidiol (THC). CBD can be infused in various products, including creams, confectioneries, oils, and even edibles. Research suggests that CBD has analgesic properties that relieve chronic back pains. This article reveals whether CBD cream can effectively treat back and other chronic pain.

    What Is CBD Cream?

    Various cream products in the health and wellness sector have proven to be effective in alleviating pain. CBD cream is a regular cream infused with CBD oil as its main active ingredient and incorporated with additional additives such as MCT oil and beeswax. It's no surprise most individuals are turning to CBD cream for pain relief since it stands out from the other creams because of its several therapeutic properties. Additionally, its effects are felt almost instantaneously once applied to the affected area.

    Types of CBD Cream for Back Pain

    CBD cream has three formulations that vary due to their different potencies and chemical compositions. These types include; full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate CBD.

    The full spectrum CBD cream has most cannabinoids with traces of THC (typically less than 0.3 percent) alongside flavonoids and essential terpenes. It is the most preferred type of CBD since users experience the entourage effect. The broad-spectrum CBD cream is rich in other cannabinoids except for THC. It is a favorite for individuals who do not desire THC effects. Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD exhibit the entourage effect – a phenomenon in which the other cannabinoids and chemical compounds in hemp work synergically to enhance CBD's therapeutic effects. On the other hand, CBD isolate cream has cannabidiol solely. It is an excellent option for users who want to benefit exclusively from CBD's therapeutic effects.

    Causes of Back Pain

    There are numerous causes of back pain. According to Wong et al. (2021), some of its symptoms include:

    • An aching sensation
    • Weight loss
    • Inflammation on the back
    • Pain down the legs
    • Loss of control over bowel movements

    Most back pains develop due to different reasons. Some may be due to aging, and others because of injuries. Below are some conditions linked with back pain:


    Belluzzi et al. (2019) noted that osteoarthritis is mainly experienced in the lower back. A point to note is when experienced in the spine, it may lead to a condition known as spinal stenosis, whereby the space in the spinal cord shrinks.

    Bulging Disk:

    The bones may either bulge or rupture and, at times, disfigure. The disk's material is typically soft and may sometimes change shape. When they are pressed against each other constantly, they affect the nerves. In the long run, this leads to significant back problems.

    Muscle Overuse

    Muscle overuse is a result of cold muscles. Additionally, they can be caused when rapid and heavy movement occurs on the back muscles. It is most common in bodybuilders since they strain the muscles, causing the ligaments to overstretch. Muscle overload and poor posture negatively affect back muscles.

    How Can CBD Cream Help with Back Pain?

    Chye et al. (2019) stated that the body consists of a complex signaling system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which manages various body functions such as pain, appetite, and mood. The ECS contains specific cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). CBD indirectly binds to CB2 receptors, leading to the transmission of electric signals that reduce muscle aches and inflammation. Therefore, once CBD cream is applied topically, it activates these receptors leading to pain relief.

    Benefits of Using CBD Cream for Back Pain

    It Reduces Inflammation

    CBD cream is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Eskander et al. (2020) suggested applying CBD cream to the target area instantly alleviates pain. However, more research is needed to support these claims.

    Rarely Produces Any Adverse Reactions

    According to data available, CBD is well tolerated by most body types. Therefore, it rarely causes any adverse reactions.

    It Is Non-addictive

    Unlike other prescription drugs, CBD cream has no addictive potential. Studies point out that CBD cream rarely causes any possible dependence.

    Contains Additional Ingredients

    Various CBD creams contain other chemical compounds that supercharge CBD's therapeutic effects. Therefore, it enhances its ability to reduce pain and provide a soothing effect to the targeted area.

    Disadvantages of Using CBD Cream for Back Pain

    It May Not Work Effectively for Some People

    CBD reacts differently among individuals due to unique body chemistries. That said, CBD cream may not work on everybody in a similar fashion. Some individuals have reported tremendous results, but it did not work for some.

    It May Cause Irritation

    Some CBD creams may be too potent for sensitive skin, causing skin irritation. For individuals with sensitive skin, it is vital to check the constituents of the cream to review if any of its additional ingredients may cause allergic reactions.

    How To Choose the Best CBD Cream for Back Pain

    • Check the Certificate of Analysis: Purchase your CBD cream from companies that offer a Certificate of Analysis for their products. This report confirms the products' ingredients and if it contains other toxic contaminants. It also affirms that the product information is correct and the dosage is ideal for the users.
    • Read the product label and check the ingredients: Some ingredients infused in the CBD cream may cause specific allergic reactions. Different companies add different ingredients. So, before buying the product, ensure its ingredients are safe for your skin. If you want a warm sensation, go for a cream with camphor and for a cooling sensation, look for one with methanol.

    The Bottom Line

    Chronic pain affects most individuals yearly in varying ways. CBD cream can help tackle various forms of pain, including back pain. It boasts potent anti-inflammatory properties that help in alleviating pain. Furthermore, it has soothing properties that have proven helpful in individuals with back pain. However, before choosing a CBD cream, there are various factors to consider. Consult your doctor for further medical clarification on the right CBD cream to purchase and the right dosage to use. Furthermore, confirm the hemp source and the extraction method. Ensure the product has undergone thorough independent third-party testing, and read the product label to ensure the product has no allergic ingredients.


    Belluzzi, E., Stocco, E., Pozzuoli, A., Granzotto, M., Porzionato, A., Vettor, R., ... & Macchi, V. (2019). Contribution of the infrapatellar fat pad and synovial membrane to knee osteoarthritis pain. BioMed Research International, 2019.

    Chye, Y., Christensen, E., Solowij, N., & Yücel, M. (2019). The endocannabinoid system and cannabidiol promise to treat substance use disorders. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 63.

    Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag, 16(3), 215-8.

    Wong, J. J., Tricco, A. C., Côté, P., & Rosella, L. C. (2019). The association between depressive symptoms or depression and health outcomes in adults with low back pain with or without radiculopathy: a systematic review protocol. Systematic reviews, 8(1), 1-8.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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