September 14, 2022 8 min read

An aching back can really put you down, but so can the prescription medications prescribed for chronic back pain. Strong pain killers aren’t the ideal solution for those looking to get life and mobility back from severe back pain, which leaves many people who experience chronic pain looking at a different solution–CBD cream for back pain. The question is, does CBD work for back pain? And how effective is a topical product against severe pain?

There are a wide range of CBD products and creams available that promise to nip back pain in the bud, but you definitely need to know a bit about how CBD works for back pain before you can choose the best product for you. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

Table of Contents
What is CBD Cream?
What Causes Back Pain?
CBD Topicals for Pain Research
Why Use CBD Topicals for Back Pain?
How to Use CBD Cream for Back Pain
How Much CBD Cream to Use for Back Pain
Is CBD Cream Safe to Use for Back Pain?
Is CBD Cream Legal?
Where to Buy CBD Cream for Back Pain

Key Takeaways

  • CBD topicals are popularly used to combat back pain.
  • They are often chosen for their fast acting effects and lack of side effects.
  • CBD topicals may be paired with systemic doses for increased efficacy.
  • Talk to your doctor before using CBD, especially if you take other medications.

What is CBD Cream?

CBD cream for back pain in a small blue jar

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that can be derived from hemp. Unlike marijuana-derived THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. Because of its hemp source, it’s federally legal and highly accessible. Thankfully, despite its differences from THC, it still interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a similar manner and can provide many of the same therapeutic effects as medical marijuana, and even has a few unique therapeutic benefits of its own.

The power of CBD can be harnessed through oral doses that have a systemic impact on the body, but for localized discomforts many people turn to CBD topicals, like CBD cream for back pain.

CBD topicals can be made using a variety of different formulations and may be lotion-based or oil based. They can also include a variety of secondary ingredients that boost or alter the therapeutic effects. We’ll touch more on this below, but first let’s dive further into exactly how CBD cream can help with back pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain, which can manifest as stabbing or shooting pains or as a dull ache in the upper, middle, or lower back, can occur for a number of reasons. Most commonly, though, back pain is caused by one of the following issues:

  • Muscle exhaustion: This happens when you overuse the muscles in your back, especially when they are used improperly or for lengthy periods of time. For instance, lifting with your back instead of your legs can cause you to put additional, unnecessary strain on your back muscles, causing extended soreness or even injury.
  • Poor posture: This scenario also includes improper use of the back muscles and can cause injury or spinal damage over time.
  • Injuries: Injuries to the back, like pulled muscles or bulging discs can cause severe or debilitating back pain. This is especially true if the misplaced disk is pressing on a nerve.
  • Arthritis or other inflammation. Arthritis not only causes inflammation and pain, but it can eventually cause the space around the spinal cord to shrink, a painful condition known as spinal stenosis.
  • Osteoporosis is a condition where the spinal bones get weak and fracture, causing pressure and inflammation that is extremely painful.

A variety of CBD oils and CBD topicals that may be used for back pain

CBD Topicals for Pain Research

In general, CBD has been demonstrated to be potentially helpful in dealing with various types of pain and inflammation. Most of the research available, however, centers around CBD taken orally where it has a systemic effect on the body. The question is, does CBD cream provide the same benefit?

For now, the evidence we have regarding CBD cream’s benefits for pain is limited.

One 2016 study, for instance, found that CBD, when applied topically to mice, may have long lasting benefits for reducing inflammation and pain-related behaviors caused by arthritis.

Furthermore, CBD may be useful for managing certain pain conditions that are difficult to treat. A 2020 study found that CBD may help to reduce pain related to neuropathy, a condition characterized by nerve damage that causes numbness and weakness in the hands and feet.

More research is needed to fully understand the impact that topical CBD can have on back pain, but consumers aren’t waiting on science to catch up. You can find hundreds of anecdotal reports suggesting that CBD is effective when applied topically for back pain. The best way to determine if CBD works for back pain is to try it for yourself. Here’s how to get started:


Why Use CBD Cream For Back Pain

  • CBD may prevent pain. CBD is thought to help with pain by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. That means that it could work by preventing pain and not just by numbing it.
  • Additional ingredients work fast. CBD topicals may take about twenty minutes to penetrate the skin and provide relief, but most topicals include ingredients that work immediately to help relieve discomfort. For instance, a cream with menthol or camphor may immediately help to relieve pain while waiting for CBD to work.
  • CBDside effects are mild in comparison to common pain relieving drugs. CBD has a sound safety profile (when using a high quality product) and has only rare and mild side effects. CBD is so mild that some CBD-based medications designed for kids have FDA approval.
  • CBD has a lower risk of dependence.CBD is not thought to have any addictive properties unlike opioids and other medications used to treat pain. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD has little to no public safety risks because it has little to no abuse potential.
  • Topicals can be used with systemic doses. Pairing CBD topical with oral CBD doses is an effective way to boost many of CBD's benefits.

How to Use CBD Cream for Back Pain

CBD topicals are not absorbed into the bloodstream, so they only have a local impact. That means that you can apply CBD directly at the source of inflammation for a more targeted approach to relief. That also means that you can double down on CBD relief by taking a systemic dose and using a CBD topical at the same time. Here’s how to start:

Choose a High Quality CBD Cream

The quality of your CBD cream matters, both for efficacy and safety reasons. When choosing a CBD cream, look for one that is:

  • Third party tested
  • Made from high-quality, pesticide free hemp
  • Is free of heavy metals, pesticides, mold, and other contaminants
  • Made in a cGMP compliant facility
  • Produced by an experienced manufacturer
  • Includes accurate potency and ingredient information

The label of the product should include:

  • all ingredients, including botanicals, fragrances, and other additives
  • CBD and other cannabinoid content
  • type of CBD extract used, whether it is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
  • instructions for use

Choose a Types of CBD Cream for Back Pain

There are hundreds of unique CBD topicals on the market, but it generally boils down to two basic formulations:

Vida Optima CBD Skin Cream

Skin Cream or Balm

CBD skin cream or balm is typically intended to treat topical ailments, like skin issues, and may include mild botanicals or other plant derivatives designed to moisturize the skin without further irritating a rash, cut, or blemish. They typically avoid any ingredients that may penetrate deeper or irritate sensitive skin.

Our CBD Skin Balm is designed to soothe topical scrapes, cuts, burns, and more. The functional formula combines nourishing rosehip oil and shea nut butter with rejuvenating essential oils to help support optimal skin health and healing.

Vida Optima CBD Muscle Rub

CBD Muscle Rub

A CBD muscle cream may be a balm or a lotion, but usually includes potent doses of CBD alongside essential oils or other pain-relieving ingredients.

Our CBD Muscle Rub, for instance, combines a potent CBD extract with hand selected botanicals, including cooling menthol, soothing arnica, and a powerful dose of turmeric oil. The combination is designed to support blood flow, lower inflammation, and offer a synergy that helps to calm pain and discomfort in the joints and muscles.

How Much CBD Cream to Use for Back Pain

Unlike typical CBD products, there’s not usually a precise way to measure CBD cream for back pain. You can usually just apply the amount needed to cover the affected area. Because topicals don’t have a systemic impact, meaning they don’t reach the bloodstream, you should be able to reapply them as needed.

Be sure to follow the directions given on the label for reapplication since some other ingredients may cause an adverse reaction with overuse.

Is CBD Cream Safe to Use for Back Pain?

CBD’s safety and side effect profile is often milder than prescription medications used to manage back pain, and may be more comparable to the safety profile of over the counter pain-relief options.

Also keep in mind that CBD may not be appropriate for some people with chronic illnesses that cause back pain, especially those taking certain medications. CBD could interact with some medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor before trying CBD for back pain

The most severe risks come from purchasing a poor quality product. Some CBD products may contain harsh pesticides, solvents, or other unsafe ingredients. Look for a product that’s made from organic hemp material and that has been third-party lab tested to prove label accuracy.

A CBD salve for back pain topped with a hemp leaf

Is CBD Cream Legal?

CBD is most commonly made from hemp, a form of cannabis that’s federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill clarifies that all cannabinoids and other extracts from hemp, except for Delta-9-THC in excess of 0.3%, are also legal by federal standards. That means that CBD cream is federally legal, but you still need to check on CBD laws at the state level to determine the legality of CBD in your area.

Where to Buy CBD Cream for Back Pain

Although CBD has not yet been approved by the FDA as a topical treatment for any condition, many people are eager to give it a shot for managing inflammation. Luckily, because it’s derived from hemp, it’s much more accessible than other cannabis products. In fact, you can order federally legal hemp products online and have them shipped right to your door from almost anywhere in the country.

There’s one drawback–the hemp industry is still poorly regulated, so you’ll need to take care to choose a high-quality, well-formulated CBD cream. At Vida Optima, we follow the same stringent quality standards for all of our CBD products, whether they are meant to be ingested or applied topically.

Our VidaDerm CBD Skin Care line is carefully formulated with premium CBD extract, hand chosen botanicals, and nourishing plant oils to offer a gentle and effective option for combating aches deep below the skin’s surface. Pair it with a systemic CBD dose from our Vitality Collection for a full-coverage CBD wellness routine.

Resources

  1. “Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21238581/
  2. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  3. “The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31793418/
  4. “Public, researchers demonstrate growing interest in cannabis treatment” https://www.aad.org/news/topical-cannabis

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