THC-rich inhaled therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating lower back pain
Is cannabis therapy more effective for chronic low back pain? Israeli researchers have found that medical cannabis can significantly relieve lower back pain, but not all types of cannabis.
According to new research carried out by Israeli scientists, as reported by the The Jerusalem Post. Doctors Dror Robinson and Mustafa Yassin, from the orthopedic department of Hasharon Hospital, Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, and Sivan Ritter, from the University of Haifa, have discovered that any type of cannabis can do the case, but that smoking weed is a more effective solution than CBD extracts for people with lower back pain.
The researchers recently published the results of their study in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal under the title “Comparing Sublingual and Inhaled Cannabis Therapies for Low Back Pain: An Observational Open-Label Study.”
Making progress in the treatment of back pain is very important, given that it is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention or miss work, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, this condition is considered one of the main causes of disability in the world.
Cannabis and Back Pain Study Highlights
Scientists provided two types of marijuana-based treatment to patients with chronic low back pain. The first was a cannabidiol (CBD)-rich sublingual (under the tongue) extract treatment for 10 months. Then, after a month without cannabis treatment, the same group was treated with whole dried cannabis flowers rich in delta Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They smoked it as marijuana cigarettes for 12 months.
The results showed that while CBD did not have a significant impact on patients' back pain, smoking cannabis did.
“Our results indicate that THC-rich inhalation therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating low back pain and that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for chronic low back pain,” the scientists concluded.
The study looked at 24 people whose MRI or CT scan of the spine confirmed a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. As for the initial side effects, the most common were nausea, sore throat, dizziness, fatigue and drowsiness and all were temporary, as they disappeared once the determined good dosage. Most adverse effects were recorded in female patients.
Scientists have pointed out that medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular for pain relief, even though the established scientific basis is not sufficient. Other traditional treatments for lower back pain include cortisone injections, physical therapy and manipulation, and in extreme cases, surgery.
“One of the major barriers to the widespread legal use of cannabinoid (CB) medical therapy is the lack of sufficient evidence. However, the natural variation between and among the phytoconstituents of different cannabis cultivars makes it difficult to quantify and compare studies and subjects,” the researchers wrote.