Using CBD Oil For Back Pain Relief: How Does It Help 2023?

Reviewed by Drew Sutton, MD

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cbd oil for back pain

I have had clients who have come to me with all kinds of back pain. Inflammation and nerve issues were the most common. Simply supplementing with CBD brought my clients from an RPP of 10 (painful) to a 3 (mild). If you are interested to reap similar benefits and a better understanding of how CBD helps, stay tuned as we cover:

  • What Is CBD”
  • “Types of CBD”
  • “Types of Back pain”
  • “How does CBD oil work for back pain”
  • “Is CBD oil legal?”
  • “Safety And Side Effect Of Taking CBD Oil For Back Pain”
  • “How Long Does CBD Take To Provide Pain Relief?”
  • “How We Chose The Best CBD Oils For Back Pain?”
  • “How to use CBD oil for back pain”
  • “Dosage”
  • “Conclusion”
  • “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)”

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol[1] or more commonly known as CBD is a marijuana extract. Unlike the cannabis plant, High-quality CBD oil has low levels of THC, which induces negative side effects like hallucinations and intoxication. 

So basically, CBD is the ‘good stuff’[2] taken out of cannabis. High-quality CBD oil has many medical benefits. One of these benefits includes acute and chronic pain relief, which is relevant to this current article. 

There are many CBD products and types that we will explore. You can attain; full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

cbd oil for back pain

Type Of CBD

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum[3] CBD oil is normally available in the form of Plain oil, gummies, and topicals. This is nice to know, but what is so different about full-spectrum CBD? Full spectrum CBD consists of 3 main ingredients, which include:

  • Cannabinoids- Full spectrum oil includes a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD, as you know has great therapeutic benefits. Full spectrum has a very low THC content and therefore poses a low risk of negative side effects.
  • Flavonoids- Flavonoids are found in food products like fruits and vegetables. They have anti-inflammatory and neurogenic properties. For this reason, we could agree that as they are present in full-spectrum CBD, they can really aid in back pain management.
  • Terpenes- Terpenes may help reduce anxiety and depression through their natural fragrances. Other than smelling nice they do not have any other benefits. Speaking for myself, this is important as a bad odor could put you off from a product.

Broad Spectrum CBD

The broad-spectrum CBD oil is free from THC[4], so that adds value to the product right off the bat. This variant does not only contain CBD but some very unique ingredients including:

  • Cannabinol (CBN)CBN is an excellent inclusion into the broad spectrum. It has an antibiotic properties so it can help gut health. More importantly for us, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which it may help reduce inflammation around the back. This would be great for chronic pain management.
  • Terpenes- As we have already mentioned, the odor of a CBD product can really influence one’s decision to use it or not. Lucky for us, the broad spectrum also contains plant-based terpenes.
  • Cannabichromene- cannabichromene also has some anti-inflammatory properties, thus it may help towards the cause of fixing back pain.

CBD Isolate

As the name suggests, this is an isolated form of CBD[5] (pure CBD oil). So basically it is amongst the purest hemp-derived CBD products. We all know that CBD has many therapeutic properties. There are many ways in which CBD is extracted for the ‘isolate’ CBD oil. Without going into too much detail these include:

  • Carbon Dioxide Extraction
  • Lipid Extraction
  • Steam Distillation
  • Solvent Extraction

Type Of Back Pain

cbd oil for back pain

There are 3 different types of back pain[6] that are common. These have been highlighted below:

Acute Back Pain

Acute is another word for the short term. This type of back pain shows up and usually subsides within a few days. Nevertheless, CBD products can still be used to treat pain in the area. 

Subacute Back Pain

Subacute back pain takes a little longer to make its appearance. It may also take around 1-3 months for it to settle. Perhaps CBD oil can help.

Chronic Back Pain

Last but not least to be worried about, is chronic back pain. Chronic back pain can occur quickly or over time. It usually lasts over 3 months and can come from time to time. 

How Does CBD Oil Work For Back Pain?

CBD works around the muscles and nerves that have been mentioned below:

CBD And Chronic Back Pain

It reduces inflammation around the back, thereby it can indeed reduce or eliminate pain depending on the exact issue.

CBD And Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain can be caused by a variety of issues like nerve compression, multiple sclerosis, chemo-induced nerve pain, surgical damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and diabetes. This can occur around the nerves of the body, including the back and spine.
CBD has been shown to relieve the pain associated with neuropathy. It works by weakening or eliminating the neuropathic pain signals that are being sent to the brain.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

CBD is perfectly legal[7] in over 33 counties around the globe. Although their rulings on the quantity of THC may vary. In most of these countries, CBD can be brought over the counter. 

Research on CBD began in the year 2015 due to permission from the FDA. In 2018 hemp was legalized, which can now be used to extract CBD. However, some forms of CBD can only be prescribed by your medical doctor.

Safety And Side Effect Of Taking CBD Oil For Back Pain

There have been documented side effects[8] via the use of CBD and MCT oil. Side effects are generally nausea, headaches, and frustration. 

Furthermore, it may be more difficult to break down prescription drugs, as liver enzymes may be used on the CBD oils. This is common in blood tests.  

How Long Does CBD Take To Provide Pain Relief?

Perhaps to your surprise, but the relief in pain is quite rapid. After consuming your CBD supplement, it may enter the bloodstream within around 15-45 minutes. 

The time it takes really varies from person to person. At times you may come across outliers who take longer to respond or do not respond at all.  

Once CBD reaches the bloodstream, it can interact with the brain and promote some pain relief around the back.

How Strong Does CBD Need To Be For Back Pain Relief?

CBD research is relatively new, so a lot of the recommendations do go off trial and error. For back pain specifically, you could try a 2:1 ratio tincture. 

This contains 2 parts CBD and 1 part cannabigerol (CBG). You could choose between the 1000 mg to the 6000 mg solution depending on tolerance and what works for you specifically. 

This formula should have the correct anti-inflammatory and anti-pain effects

How We Chose The Best CBD Oils For Back Pain?

There are 4 criteria of CBD that we look at before purchasing or recommending to clients.

Certificate of Analysis

Some companies have their CBD oil analyzed in a lab to ensure that it does not have any other foreign substances, which is then certified. 

This would give you the peace of mind that you are not getting a dangerous product with adverse effects.


Typically you would go for a product with organic ingredients and low in THC. As you know THC induces the negative side effects that we see in marijuana. Perhaps even an organic hemp seed oil? Other helpful ingredients could be flavonoids, terpenes, and perhaps some micronutrients. 

Spectrum Types

All of the spectrum types will work as they contain CBD. Personally, I do admire the full spectrum CBD for its inclusion of flavonoids and terpenes, which both have therapeutic effects. 


Take into account that the industry average is currently $30-$127 for products containing 500-2000 mg of CBD. I do not have an issue with paying a little extra as long as the product is authentic, good quality, and certified.

Avoid paying an exaggerated amount, say $500 for a product. I try to stay at 40% ± of the industry average. So, personally, I would not pay more than $177.8 for 1 bottle of the highest-content CBD oil. 

How To Use CBD Oil For Back Pain?

So we suggest getting around 15mg+ twice a day. Simply place the drops underneath the tongue, which is a capillary-rich area. This allows the oil to reach the bloodstream as rapidly as possible. 

I would suggest taking CBD at times of the day when you feel the most pain in the back. I have worked with clients who were taking it once after breakfast and once at night where they felt the most back pain. 

Not only did this help back pain, but promoted a good restful night of sleep, without pain disturbances. 


The research is still scarce, so at this moment in time, we are unsure of what the optimal dose for ‘over-the-counter’ CBD products is. 

In the practical setting, we know a good starting dose to be 20-30mg/day and then +5mg every week until you feel symptoms of back pain subside.


All in all, CBD is excellent for back pain. CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, which can be formed into CBD oil products. 

It is available in an isolate, broad, and full spectrum CBD oil. All of these variants have slightly different ingredients but have similar therapeutic effects. 

Back pain comes in the form of acute (short term), subacute (medium term), and chronic (long term). These types all have different onset and recovery times. CBD oil can help reduce back pain from its anti-inflammatory properties and is neurogenic (nerves). It can get to work in 15-45 minutes. 

CBD is perfectly legal in 33 countries including many states in the USA.

The side effects are rare and minor in most cases. You could experience nausea, headaches, and frustration. At worst, they may interact with liver enzymes, making it more difficult to break down other medicines in the short term. 

The CBD concentration for your condition would depend on how you respond, I have used 6000 mg of CBD oil. 

We like CBD oil brands that are; lab tested and certified for authenticity. They must also have good quality ingredients, a full spectrum, and a reasonable price. 

We generally recommend taking 15-20mg of CBD oil twice per day at times when you may feel the back pain the most. So you could start off with 30mg per day and increase it by 5mg every week until your pain symptoms heal.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD legal?

Approved nonprescription CBD products are legal and can be picked up from a store or online. Do the due diligence to check the product thoroughly before purchase.

Best CBD oil

I like the quality of the Joy Organics CBD product. High-quality CBD products,  concentration, organic ingredients, and lab tested.

CBD oil or CBD cream for back pain

Both of these products were extracted from the hemp plant. The one you decide on will depend on your preference. Personally, I like oils.

What is broad spectrum extract?

Broad-spectrum oil retains high amounts of phytochemicals but removes THC.

+ 8 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. NHS Choices (2023). Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  2. NHS Choices (2023). Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  3. CBD Oil Australia. (2022). Different Types of CBD Oil Explained | Full Spectrum CBD Oil. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  4. CBD Oil Australia. (2022). Different Types of CBD Oil Explained | Full Spectrum CBD Oil. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  5. CBD Oil Australia. (2022). Different Types of CBD Oil Explained | Full Spectrum CBD Oil. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  6. Annals of Internal Medicine. (2017). Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians | Annals of Internal Medicine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  7. NHS Choices (2023). Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
  8. NHS Choices (2023). Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].


Zaakir Shakoor, Nutritionist
Nutrition, Exercise & Health Specialist/Writer
Zack Shakoor Kayani was born and raised in the South East of England/London. Zack has attained a bolus of knowledge regarding biosciences through academia and his career experiences. In terms of his educational background, he has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Hons.), a Postgraduate diploma in sports nutrition with the International Olympic Committee, and a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Middlesex University. Zack has been fortunate enough to apply his Exercise Science and Nutrition Knowledge to aid Hundreds if not Thousands of Patients and Athletes, providing 1-1 consultation, Personal training, Information sheets, offering recommendations to collate nutrition and exercise programs, etc. Not to mention, in 2022, he authored a book called 'The 'Good' Coach Weight Loss Solution.


Drew Sutton, MD
Medical Writer & Editor
Drew is a retired ENT doctor who now lives in the Southeastern US. He was a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and an MD degree. He completed his internship in General Surgery and Residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and practiced for almost 30 years in all aspects of ENT, including a specialization in disorders of the ear and skull base. Drew is passionate about communicating his clinical experiences and making his knowledge more accessible to the general public by medical writing.