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  • Dr. James Fonner

What Is the Best MMJ for Lower Back Pain?

Sometimes, pain in the lower back comes on suddenly and makes a person stop in their tracks. It rarely happens at the most convenient location or time, and it usually occurs when something needs to be done quickly. Back pain is a severe issue, and many people suffer from it. However, there are ways to help.

Though traditional treatments are often sought after, some of them are bad for the body. In fact, the best thing to do for back pain might be to try cannabis. It's helpful for many conditions, and more doctors are using it as a pain-relieving option. Before talking about the top strains for pain, it's important to know what back pain is and how marijuana can assist.

What is the best mmj for lower back pain?

What Is Chronic Pain in the Back?

Chronic back pain means that it comes back again and again, lasting for a few days to a few months. Some people never fully stop their back pain, but it becomes bearable, and people can still get around it.

It is a completely different experience for every person. For instance, one might have a herniated disc and have no pain at all while someone else has a strain causing excruciating pain and an inability to sleep.

Typically, it's hard to find the cause of chronic back pain, and doctors may struggle to figure it out. Remember, the spine is complex with bones and ligaments to keep a person standing and connecting the skeleton to itself. With the interconnected abilities and functionalities, chronic pain can occur just about anywhere.

What Are the Causes of Lower Back Pain?

The most common cause of back pain is from strains and spasms in the muscles. These can be caused by lifting something incorrectly, awkward or abrupt movements, or infections. There are many different causes of back pain, sometimes stemming from structural issues. They include:

  • Ruptured disks - Each vertebra in the spine has discs to pad it. If that ruptures, it places more pressure on the nerve to cause back pain.

  • Arthritis - People can have osteoarthritis in the lower back that causes pain.

  • Sciatica - This is a shooting pain traveling through the buttocks and into the back of the legs.

  • Bulging disks - Similar to a ruptured disc, this results in pressure on the nerves, too, causing pain.

There are never-ending causes of back pain. Many people lead busy lives, so sleep disorders, bad mattresses, poor posture, pressure at work, and anything else could be the issue.

Back Pain Statistics

According to the ACA (American Chiropractic Association):

  • About 31 million people suffer from back pain at any time.

  • Almost half of working Americans suffer symptoms of back pain each year.

  • Roughly 80 percent of people suffer from back pain at one point in their lives.

The Bone and Joint Initiative states:

  • The combined cost for treatment of the back pain and lost work is about $253 each year.

  • Roughly 10 percent of all emergency room/hospital visits are related to neck and back pain.

These statistics about back pain reveal that a spinal cord injury is a common occurrence. The impact it has on people and society is tremendous. In various industrial countries, about 70 percent of all people suffer back pain at some point within their lives.

Conventional treatment options can include medications like anti-inflammatories, addictive medications (antidepressants, narcotics, injection therapy), and pills to treat nerve pain.

Sometimes, medical marijuana is used for the treatment of arthritis and other conditions. That way, the patient's life is improved tremendously.

Types of Pharmaceutical Remedies for Back Pain

Three isn't one back pain type, so there can't be just one treatment. Some people believe in ice packs, heat, and rest or use OTC drugs. Doctors can also prescribe drugs, such as Voltaren or Celebrex, and sometimes opioids are used.

However, they can be very addictive and come with severe side effects. Therefore, it might be best to try something else for the pain.

How is medical marijuana effective?

How Is Medical Marijuana Effective?

Medical marijuana might be the alternative to traditional treatment options. It's actually becoming the preferred option for patients who experience chronic back pain. For example, many conventional medications cause side effects, such as insomnia, nausea, anxiety, and other issues. However, medical marijuana can help without bringing on those side effects. Here are just a few ways that medical cannabis can treat back pain:

  • Reduces back pain to a level where the person can live a normal life

  • Allows a person to be free of dangerous or addictive medications while having a better quality of life

  • Back pain causes anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Medical marijuana might reduce or eliminate those symptoms and be more relaxing.

  • Natural substance without chemical from a plant

During one study at the University of Colorado, researchers took 200 patients with severe pain. The pain was caused by degenerative changes in the body. Almost 90 percent of those patients said that the medical marijuana reduced the pain moderately, and 81 percent said that it worked better than conventional medications.

Typically, patients consumed medical marijuana twice a day with few side effects. Therefore, cannabis can treat various conditions that cause pain.

Types of Back Pain Symptoms Treated by Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana can help to alleviate back pain symptoms, which can be plentiful and change frequently. Here are just some of the ways that medical marijuana can help to alleviate problems:

Muscle Spasms and Pain

Medical marijuana can reduce muscle spasms. It is primarily effective to treat back pain spasms. Most states have approved medical marijuana usage for muscle spasms, and it doesn't come with many side effects.

Vomiting and Nausea

Cannabis can also reduce vomiting and nausea. Many medications prescribed to help back pain conditions are opioids, and they have side effects like vomiting and nausea. Since medical marijuana can treat both back pain and nausea and is natural, most patients prefer it to other drugs. With that, back pain may cause depression. Medical marijuana reduces depression and improves sleep.


Most people don't realize that cannabis has very strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can treat arthritis inflammation in patients, but it also works for degenerative changes in the thoracic, cervical, and lumbar regions. With that, many people prefer marijuana for pain because of inflammation.

Ways to Use It

Marijuana is often used internally and topically. Here are a few of the top methods for using it for pain relief:

  • Inhalations - People may vape or smoke the cannabis. It produces quick effects, regardless of the strain.

  • Raw Juice - People can use it through juicing as a dietary supplement. This reduces back pain without the psychoactive effect.

  • Tinctures - These are often placed under a person's tongue and swallowed. It offers a quick result because it is absorbed through mucosal membranes.

  • Edibles - Edible marijuana products offer a slower response because they must be absorbed through the gut. Still, it offers longer-lasting pain relief and a better effect. People often wait a full hour to feel anything.

  • Topicals - The topical marijuana offers a different effect. The injury site is where absorption occurs, and it can be used more frequently to create the right dosage.

Types of Medical Marijuana Strains for Back Pain

It is important to understand which cannabis strains for back pain are ideal, and each person is different. With so many different strains, pain relief is just around the corner. Find out about the top five marijuana strain products for relieving pain with few side effects.

Marijuana Strain - OG Kush

OG Kush is called an Indica dominant marijuana strain because it has high THC levels. Therefore, patients can get the euphoric high that prevents muscle spasms and pain. Ultimately, this marijuana strain offers 23% THC with about 1% CBD. On top of that, OG Kush is a psychoactive marijuana strain on the market.

Similarly, Bubba Kush is an Indica strain with 22 percent THC and 0.1 percent CBD. It decreases stress and muscle spasms, too. Plus, it can relieve pain. CBD doesn't have to be strong for this to occur.

Since both are Indica, they offer higher amounts of THC with fewer CBD options. However, Indica strains are great for the relaxation of the muscles.

Marijuana Strain 2 - Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Glue is sometimes called 420 Glue. It's a balanced hybrid strain created by breeding Sour Diesel and Chocolate Diesel. With about 25 percent THC, the marijuana strain can pack a punch and bring the pain back a few degrees. Most people stay on the couch after using it.

Because of the strong effect, it's primarily used for serious pains and chronic conditions. Most people take this marijuana strain right before bed to help with sleeping patterns while relieving pains.

Marijuana Strain 3 - ACDC

ACDC is considered a Sativa dominant hybrid that is high in CBD with a ratio of 20 to 1. The CBD amounts can range from 16 to 24 percent, while THC levels are about 0.4 to 1.2 percent. Because of the high CBD levels, ACDC has few psychoactive side effects, though it is a great painkiller.

Since ACDC is high in CBD, it is a great choice for those in severe pain.

Marijuana Strain 4 - Uncle Andy

Uncle Andy might is one of the best marijuana strains for various reasons. Though it's actually not popular, it is highly effective, and many doctors prescribe it more than others. If the goal is to relieve pains, this is a great option.

In fact, it is a Grade A strain covered in trichomes. That way, you can smell it from far away because of the skunky and fruity smell. Ultimately, it has more THC than others, but it is great for immediate relief. People get an instant effect that lasts roughly three hours.

Marijuana Strain 5 - Harlequin

Harlequin is also a hybrid version with Sativa dominance. It's the cross between Swiss Landrace, Thai, and Colombian Gold. Therefore, it has high CBD levels (up to 10 percent) when compared to other options. Those who don't want a euphoric effect may prefer Sativa because there's less THC, and it still reduces stress.

Harlequin is well known for offering a calming effect, but the Sativa strain can be used during the daytime. Therefore, there's no need to worry about having issues while using it. However, it does have an earthy smell. Therefore, anyone around the user can smell it and might raise an eyebrow or something to that effect.

Side Effects

Though medical marijuana is effective for treating back pain, there are a few side effects to note. Typically, they are mild and go away when the treatment wears off. However, it's important to know what they are so that patients can talk to their doctors and make sure it's the best thing for them.

Certain side effects should be understood by all patients when using the plant for pain in the back. These are the most common concerns:

  • Eye redness - Many people experience eye redness. This doesn't harm the eyes and is treated with OTC eye drops.

  • Short-term memory loss - This temporary issue goes away when the marijuana wears off. Some people are more susceptible than others.

  • Heightened perceptions - This impacts the sight, smell, hearing, and sense of taste. Sometimes, people have trouble falling back to sleep.

  • Fatigue - When using a high THC amount, this is common. Typically, a person should balance it out with low strains of THC.

How to Get MMJ for Back Pain

For those suffering from severe back pain that interferes with their life, it is important to get the best marijuana strains to have a better quality of life. With that, people may talk to a licensed medical marijuana doctor about their options. They can do a full evaluation, go over symptoms, and give the right diagnosis, recommending the appropriate cannabis strain.


Many medicines are designed to help with pain relief within the body. Whether it was caused by an injury or something else, they may just bring the pain back at a later time.

People do not have to suffer forever. Cannabis can help them reduce their pains, live better lives, and do normal activities once more. Please talk with a qualified doctor, medical professional, or chiropractor in Columbus to find out what options are available.

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