It can suddenly hit you, out of the blue – a pain in your lower, middle, or upper back that causes you to stop in your tracks. It almost never happens at a convenient time or place, and for most of us, it will always happen when you’ve got something highly important to do. Before we show you the year’s best strains for back pain, let’s understand a little bit more about back pain and how marijuana can help.
Unlike what most people think, back pain is very common. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 80% of all Americans will suffer from lower back pain at least once in their lives. Furthermore, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years.
What Is Back Pain?
Back pain can appear in all shapes and sizes, and it is a completely different experience for each individual. For example, one person may have a large herniated disc and experience hardly any pain at all, and another person may have a simple muscle strain that causes excruciating back pain.
Back pain is extremely complicated, and for some people, the pain can last for an hour or two, while others will suffer for days or even weeks at a time.
To determine the exact cause of most back pains is an extremely difficult task, and it often puzzles doctors. The spine is a complex chain of bones that keeps us upright and connects the different parts of our skeleton to each other. It is interconnected to many different parts and functions of our body, and many parts of these overlapping structures are capable of producing back pain. Due to the anatomical structures in the spine, it is often hard to pinpoint the exact injury and determine the cause.
Causes of Back Pain
The most common causes of back pain are strained muscles and ligaments and muscle spasms, which can be a result of lifting something improperly, an abrupt and awkward movement, or even an infection.
Other causes of back pain can be a result of structural problems. Some include:
- Ruptured disks – Each vertebra in our spine is padded by disks. If the disk ruptures, it will place immediate pressure on the nerve, causing back pain.
- Bulging disks – Similar to a ruptured disk, a bulging disk can result in pressure on a nerve, causing back pain.
- Sciatica – A shooting pain that travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg.
- Arthritis – Patients can experience osteoarthritis in their lower back.
The causes of back pain are never-ending, and with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, simple things such as a bad mattress, sleep disorders, work pressure, poor posture, and more can also result in back pain. Even a simple sneeze can throw your back out, especially for those who have a weak back.
Pharmaceutical Back Pain Remedies
Just as there isn’t one type of back pain, there isn’t just one treatment. There are those who believe in simple rest, heat and ice packs, and there are those that will treat the pain with medication, depending on the intensity of the pain.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a common over-the-counter pain reliever used to treat back pain. There are also prescription-only aids such as Celebrex, Voltaren, and Relafen. Severe back pain is commonly treated with opioid narcotics.
While these prescription based medications may relieve severe pain, they can be extremely addictive and have significant side effects, such as stomach upset, kidney problems, and gastric bleeding.
Medical Marijuana and Back Pain
Over the last couple of years, medical marijuana has slowly become a popular choice for many chronic back pain patients. In 1975, scientists began studying the use of THC in cancer patients and found that marijuana was effective in relieving pain without significant side effects.
Other studies have also contributed to the field. A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) presented evidence that spinal cord injury and other forms of acute pain could be treated with cannabinoids, which are found in marijuana.
Another study released by the University of Colorado Spine Center found that cannabis relieved back pain in a safer and more effective way than opioids. According to the results, 90% of patients reported a significant reduction in pain, and 80% considered the cannabis-based treatment equal to or greater than opioids.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
The benefits of medical marijuana are endless, but if we had to name a few, then the following would rank at the top of our list.
- Marijuana may help to reduce or eliminate pain, allowing you to continue being active
- Cannabis can allow users to eliminate the use of potentially addictive medications and their resulting side effects
- Marijuana may help combat side effects that result from back pain, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
5 Best Marijuana Strains for Back Pain Relief
Marijuana Strain #1 – OG Kush
OG Kush is an Indica dominant marijuana strain, and it is known for its high levels of THC, allowing its patients to achieve a euphoric high that helps relieve them from pain and muscle spasm. This marijuana strain has approximately 23% THC and only about 1% CBD. OG Kush is also one of the more psychoactive strains of cannabis on the market.
Marijuana Strain #2 – Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue, also known as 420 Glue, is a well-balanced hybrid strain created through cross-breeding Chocolate Diesel and Sour Diesel. With an average of 25% THC, this marijuana strain packs a punch and can leave you couch-locked for a few hours. Due to its strong effect, it is often used for serious back injuries and chronic conditions. It is best to use this cannabis strain before bedtime as it may result in a long deep sleep.
Marijuana Strain #3 – ACDC
ACDC is a sativa-dominant hybrid that is high in CBD (20:1). CBD can range between 16-24%, and THC levels can range between 0.4-1.2%. Due to its high CBD levels, it hardly has psychoactive side effects but is an amazing painkiller for chronic pain sufferers.
Marijuana Strain #4 – Uncle Andy
This cannabis strain isn’t one of the more popular ones, but it may be effective at relieving back pain. It is a Grade A marijuana strain that is covered with trichomes. You’ll be able to smell this strain from a mile away due to its fruity, skunky smell. It provides an instant high and normally lasts up to 3 hours.
Marijuana Strain #5 – Harlequin
Harlequin is a hybrid marijuana strain that is sativa dominant. It is a cross between Colombian Gold, Thai and Swiss Landrace. It has a relatively high level of CBD (4%-10%) compared to other cannabis strains, which is why it is perfect if you are looking for relief with no euphoric high. Harlequin is known to act as a viable relaxing and calming solution and is perfect to use during the day.
Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Back Pain
Those of you who suffer from back pain know that when the pain hits, you need an immediate solution. We hope these cannabis strains will provide some relief, and if you’ve got any experience with other strains, please share your knowledge on our Facebook Post.