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 2017’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 low back pain at least once in their lives. Furthermore, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years.
Related article: The Best 5 Marijuana Strains For Chronic Pain Relief (2017)
What is Back Pain?
Back pain can appear in all shapes and sizes, and it is a completely different unpleasant 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, 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, 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 with osteoarthritis tend to experience problems their lower back.
The causes of back pain are never ending and with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, simply 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 that 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 are extremely addictive and have significant side effects, such as stomach upset, gastric bleeding, and ulcers.
Medical Marijuana and Back Pain
Over the last couple of years, medical marijuana has slowly become the treatment of choice for many chronic back pain patients. Already in 1975, scientists began studying THC in cancer patients and found that it was extremely effective in relieving pain without significant side effects, apart from munchies.
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 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 top on our list.
- It will reduce or eliminate pain, allowing you to continue being active
- Allow you to eliminate the use of potentially addictive medications and side effects
- Can assist combating side effects that result from back pain, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Will help you lead a better quality of life
5 Best Strains for Back Pain Relief
OG Kush is Indica dominant, and it is known for its high levels of THC, allowing its patients to achieve a euphoric high relieving them from pain and muscle spasm. This 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 and can be found on every street corner and local dispensary.
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 strain packs a punch and will 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 strain before bedtime as it will end in a long deep sleep.
Unlike the Australian rock band, ACDC is a Sativa-dominant hybrid that is high in CBD (20:1). CBD can range between 16-24% CBD 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 pain killer for chronic pain sufferers.
This strain isn’t one of the more popular ones, but it is an effective treatment for back pain. It is a Grade A strain that is covered with trichomes. You’ll be able to smell this strain from a mile away due to its fruity, funky skunky smell. It provides an instant feeling of high after exhale and normally lasts up to 3 hours.
Harlequin is a hybrid strain that is Sativa dominant. It is crossed between Colombian Gold, Thai and Swiss Landrace. It relatively high CBD (4%-10%), compared to other strains which is why it is perfect if you are looking for treatment with no euphoric high. Harlequin is known to act as the most viable relaxing and calming solution and is perfect to use during the day.
Those of you who suffer from back pain know that when the pain hits you need an immediate solution. We hope these strains will provide some relief and if you’ve got any experience with other strains, please share your knowledge on our Facebook Post.