CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (2023)


  1. Addressing the back pain world - where does cbd fit in?
  2. What is degenerative disc disease?
  3. Why does degenerative disc disease occur?
  4. How does cbd help with degenerative disc disease?
  5. How to use cbd for degenerative disc disease?
  6. The future of cbd and degenerative disc disease

Back pain plagues the world as one of the leading causes of disability and chronic pain. Back pain results from a variety of musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions, including degenerative disc disease (DDD). According to the World Health Organization, all these conditions affect a person's well-being, quality of life, and even work ability.

Facing a world plagued by back pain - where does CBD fit in?

However, there are many different methods for treating back painvery few are scientifically validated or produce consistent results. With research still underway for a cure for back pain, how does cannabis work as a viable option?

People have used cannabis for thousands of years in an attempt to treat a wide range of mental and physical ailments.The resinous flowers of this fascinating plant are packed with a rich cocktail of phytochemicals, is not limited to more than 100cannabinoidsi 200terpenes. Among them, CBD - that is, cannabidiol - stands out as one of the most prominent.

CBD already shows promise in a variety of clinical settings, but research is still early. As cannabis science advances, what do we know so far about CBD's impact on DDD?

What is degenerative disc disease?

Unlike a specific diagnosis, DDD is inclusivea group of spinal cord conditions involving degeneration of the intervertebral discs. These vital structures are found in all major regions of the human spine: cervical (upper), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower). In total, there are a total of 23 discs in the spine between the movable vertebrae. Before diving into the details of this spinal pathology, we need to know exactly what spinal discs are.

CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (1)

CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (2)

Spinal discs: an anatomical overview

Intervertebral discs perform many key functions in the human spine. theseallow flexible movement between each vertebrawithout sacrificing strength and stability, andhelp absorb the shockfrom the ground when you walk, run, jump and do other activities.

When looking at spinal discs from an anatomical point of view, they are actually quite simple. They consist of three separate parts:

  • Nuclear core:This structure is located in the center of the disc. The gel-like material mainly consists of water, but also contains different types of collagen and enables movement in different directions. Nucleus pulposus is the unit of resistance to compression of the spinal disc.
  • Fiber ring:This hard outer layer contains many layers of collagen fibers. It is a ring of connective tissue that houses the nucleus pulposus and helps resist excessive movement in certain directions. In contrast to resistance to compression, the annulus fibrosus mainly resists tension.
  • Endeplated vertebral column:The discs of the spine are located between individual vertebrae, which are stacked vertically one after the other along the spine. Vertebral end plates are specialized tissues that fit between each disc, connecting the two structures. They also spread nutrients to the discs, keeping them healthy and strong.

CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (3)

Conditions associated with degenerative disc disease

Many conditions fall under the general term DDD. Although they all have different pathological characteristics, they have at least one common feature:gradual damage and rupture of spinal discs. These conditions include:

  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • spondylosis
  • myelopathy
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Degeneration of the facet joint

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease

DDD causes a variety of symptoms in patients who experience the condition.These symptoms largely depend on the underlying condition causing DDD, but some of them overlap. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain when bending or twisting the spine
  • An "out" feeling that indicates spinal instability
  • Muscle tension and cramps
  • A stabbing or stabbing pain that radiates down the arms or legs
  • Loss of sensation, numbness and tingling

Why does degenerative disc disease occur?

DDD occurs through many mechanisms, from genetic factors to environmental and lifestyle influences. Learn about the factors that cause the following conditions.

  • Genetic

The researchers identifiedcertain genes that predispose individuals to DDD. Polymorphism of the 5A allele increases the risk of accelerated degeneration of spinal discs, especially those in the lumbar region.

  • Aging

As we age, our body's ability to heal and regenerate tissue decreases. Although cellular senescence and the accumulation of degraded collagen are thought to contribute to disc degeneration during aging, the exact cause has not yet been determined. We know that anywaycell concentration decreases throughout the annulus fibrosus as we age. In addition, the remaining cells begin to lose their ability to divide and reproduce.

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  • Mechanical load

Although exercise helps maintain the integrity of our muscles, bones and other tissues, excessive repetitive strain can contribute to deterioration.Occupations, sports, and other daily activities that subject the spinal discs to excessive force can increase the risk of DDD.

  • DDD: Complex condition with biopsychosocial factors

The complexity of the human body means that DDD is not a simple condition. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies show that some people with high levels of disc degeneration feel almost no pain. In contrast, people with a minimal fracture may experience severe pain.

Pain Science takes a biopsychosocial approach to treating back pain. Psychological factors such as catastrophizing and fear of certain movements can improve the perception of pain and reduce the effects of certain interventions.

How does CBD help with degenerative disc disease?

While exposing the body to progressive loads and encouraging a healthy approach to movement are key elements in back pain rehabilitation, new interventions like CBD also appear to have a place in future solutions.

  • Ability to reduce damage to intervertebral discs

Before 2014, there was very little research on CBD and DDD. That changed when a team of researchers from the University of São Paulo in Brazil set out to investigate the effects of CBD on disc degeneration[1]. After creating the DDD model in mice, they gave the experimental group different doses of CBD shortly after.

The researchers used MRI to observe the effects of CBD both two and fifteen days after administration. After the recording, they also examined the injury sites at the cellular level by histological analysis. They found himCBD was able to significantly reduce the damage to the intervertebral discs. Cannabinoids, it turns outparticularly impressive results within the annulus fibrosus. However, changes in the nucleus pulposus were less significant.

  • CBD interacts with the ECS and increases anandamide levels

But how does CBD bring about these positive changes? Well, the molecule acts on many systems throughout the body to create physiological changes. For example, CBD interacts withendocannabinoid system(ECS). The ECS has two types of receptors - CB1 and CB2 - found throughout the body, with particularly high concentrations in the nervous and immune systems.

CBD may help reduce disc damage by interacting with these receptors, although research has not yet located them in the intervertebral discs. CBD also prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoidsanandamide, which enables a longer stay in the body. This endocannabinoid—also known as the “happiness molecule”—appearsanalgesicand anti-inflammatory effects that may play a role in disc healing.

CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (5)

CBD and degenerative disc disease: what you need to know - RQS blog (6)

  • The ability to reduce inflammation

Since degenerative disc disease involves the release of a number of inflammatory molecules, cannabis researchers want to see if CBD offersanti-inflammatory effect.A 2014 study in PLOS One aimed to see if the cannabinoid offered protective effects[2]against intervertebral disc degeneration in rats.

Despite their rigorous efforts, the research team called for further studies on the mechanism by which CBD interacts with cellular signals. Clinical trials are also needed to see how the cannabinoid works in people living with the condition.

  • CBD for psychological symptoms of degenerative disc disease

His treatmentback painrequires a multifaceted approach. Although manual therapy, strength training and specialized exercises play a key role,the psychological state of patients greatly affects their perception of pain and their ability to cope with the condition.

The psychological impact of DDD and chronic pain can lead to negative mental states such as depression,worryand disastrous. In addition to potentially helping to address the physical aspects of DDD, cannabidiol may help reduce psychological symptoms.

Early research is promising when it comes to CBD and our mental state.Cannabinoids interact withserotoninsystem, which can change the way our brain responds to this key neurotransmitter.This in turn can have a profound effect on our state of mind. And as mentioned earlier, CBD keeps anandamide—a molecule associated with elevated mood—in the synaptic space for longer.[3].

Research also shows that CBD can help reduce symptoms of stress[4]. Interestingly, excessive stress can change the way we experience pain and deal with it[5]. The psychological condition appears to feed off of the chronic pain condition, which can cause a cycle of suffering.CBD can help relieve some symptoms of stress, thus changing the perception of pain and its impact.

How to use CBD for degenerative disc disease?

Simply put, there is no clear answer to this question. Research on the effect of CBD on DDD is still very early and underdeveloped. Without clinical trials to use as a basis, no one knowsoptimal dose or methodon the use of CBD for this condition.

The use of CBD to treat symptoms of DDD remains an experimental approach. However, some users find that cannabidiol helps them in one way or another. Of course, always consult your doctor first.

  • Which CBD products to choose?

If you decide to use CBD,we highly recommend buying the best possible products. With a saturated market, the quality of CBD oil varies widely. While there are many good products out there, there are many others that are untested and unreliable.

When it comes to buying CBD oil, we recommend looking for three different features. primarily,in search of full-spectrumoil paintings. These products contain all the beneficial phytochemicals from hemp - not just CBD. They use other cannabinoids, terpenes andflavonoidscreate a synergistic mixture of chemicals[6]which producesmore intense results.

second,look for products that use supercritical CO₂ extraction. This revolutionary method captures all the desired phytochemicals while leaving everything else behind. CO2 extractionit also removes the risk of harmful solvent residues.

The third,we recommend that you only purchase products that have been tested in a third-party laboratory. That way you know exactly what is in your bottle. This type of testing guarantees a clean product without contamination and a product that remains within controlled limitsTHCAmount.

The future of CBD and degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease remains a controversial and complex condition. We know that pain is not the same as tissue damage. A person without physical disc damage may feel pain, while a person without pain may have significantly degenerated discs. In addition, those experiencing pain are likely to experience negative mental states such as fear of certain movements and catastrophizing.

Although the research is still too early to draw firm conclusions, the cannabinoid holds great promise as part of a holistic approach that includes exercise and psychological intervention. Hopefully, further research will begin to reveal the physiological effects of CBD on the condition, as well as the required dosage and method of administration.

External resources:

  1. Protective effects of cannabidiol on lesion-induced intervertebral disc degenerationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Protective effects of cannabidiol on lesion-induced intervertebral disc degenerationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Cannabidiol improves anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophreniahttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. Translational research on the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): towards a new agehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  5. Chronic pain, chronic stress and depression: coincidence or consequence?https://www.m-r-i.net
  6. Taming THC: potential synergism of cannabis and phytocannabinoid terpenoid effectshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov


This content is for educational purposes only. The information is derived from research collected from external sources.


Can CBD help with degenerative disc disease? ›

CBD use has been shown to be protective against disc degeneration, spinal cord injury, arthritic pain, and post-surgical pain. It may promote bone healing after fractures and increase bone density.

What not to do when you have degenerative disc disease? ›

People with degenerative disk disease should avoid slouching and a sedentary lifestyle. They should also refrain from exercise or activities that are high impact or involve heavy lifting. Many people experience lower back pain due to degenerative disk disease.

Is CBD good for herniated discs? ›

CBD can be an effective natural remedy for herniated disc pain. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and swelling associated with herniated discs. It may also help reduce nerve pain associated with the condition.

Can anything reverse degenerative disc disease? ›

While disc degeneration can't be reversed, there is evidence that exercise, lifestyle changes, and pain management can give you a better quality of life. Nonsurgical treatment is the first step. If conservative therapies fail to help you manage and control the painful symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.

What is the best way to take CBD for back pain? ›

How to use CBD oil for back pain
  1. Shake it. Give the bottle a good shake before using it. ...
  2. Place it. Using the dropper (most oils come with one), place the proper dose under your tongue. ...
  3. Hold it. For the strongest absorption, keep the oil under your tongue for anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes before ingesting it.
Apr 12, 2021

What aggravates degenerative disc disease? ›

Long-term repetitive activities that place pressure on certain discs can increase your risk, too. Other risk factors include: car accidents. overweight or obesity.

What irritates degenerative disc? ›

Degenerative disc disease isn't actually a disease, but rather a condition in which a damaged disc causes pain. This pain can range from nagging to disabling. The condition can be caused by the drying out of the disc over time, daily activities, sports and injuries.

What is the best comfort for degenerative disc disease? ›

Degenerative disc disease

Sleeping on the stomach is typically preferred, as this position can relieve pressure on the disc space. People with degenerative disc disease may feel most comfortable using a relatively firm mattress while placing a flat pillow under the stomach and hips.

Does CBD reduce inflammation or just pain? ›

CBD may help to reduce pain by acting on a variety of biological processes in the body. CBD has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic. CBD may also reduce the anxiety that people living with chronic pain often experience.

Does CBD take away nerve pain? ›

Can CBD help with nerve tingling? Nerve tingling may be a symptom of neuropathic pain. Research suggests that CBD may help with symptoms of this condition in the short term. However, there is no research to suggest that CBD helps alleviate nerve tingling specifically.

Is CBD good for your back? ›

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain.

How can you prevent degenerative disc disease from worsening? ›

Pay attention to posture and form

That extra pressure accelerates degenerative disc disease. Your spinal vertebrae have a natural curvature and alignment that offload pressure, ensure proper movement, and support spine strength. Good posture supports your spine's alignment, while bad posture throws it out of balance.

How can I strengthen my back with degenerative disc disease? ›

Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, or taking a low-impact aerobics class, has been shown to help relieve pain, promote a healthy body weight, and improve overall strength and mobility—all important factors in managing DDD.

What foods heal degenerative disc disease? ›

Vegetables are a key component to fighting inflammation and back pain from degenerative disc disease. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are all great vegetables to eat for spinal health. Leafy greens and broccoli are also excellent choices to add into your meals. However, fruits can help as well.

What is best time of day to take CBD for pain? ›

The short answer? There's no wrong or right time to take CBD. You can take it in the AM without worrying it might make you feel drowsy, or in the PM without any fear of a sleepless night. Because the reasons for trying CBD are unique to each individual, it's not going to throw your routine off course.

How long does it take for CBD to work for back pain? ›

Effects may be felt within 15 to 45 minutes. If sprays or tinctures are swallowed, their effects tend to be similar to capsules or edibles. On the skin. Topical products, like lotions and balms, are applied to the skin over a painful joint.

What is the best method of CBD for pain? ›

CBD is best taken in pill or capsule form for slow extended release or as an oral tincture (infused oil that contains CBD) for faster effect onset. Start low, go slow. Take a small amount and slowly increase your dosage until you start to get symptom relief over a matter of weeks.

What drugs should not be taken with CBD? ›

CBD has been reported to interact with several anticonvulsants, including diazepam, lamotrigine, and phenytoin28,29; sedative drugs including barbiturates such as phenobarbital and hexobarbital30; and narcotics such as codeine and morphine.

What type of CBD is most effective? ›

A quick look at the 8 strongest CBD oils
  • Best overall: Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil Drops | Skip to Review.
  • Strongest per serving: CBDMD CBD Oil Tincture Drops | Skip to Review.
  • Best for quality: Spruce Lab Grade CBD Oil | Skip to Review.
  • Best for travel: NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil | Skip to Review.

How do you know if degenerative disc disease is getting worse? ›

he main reason to perform more tests is if the symptoms are getting worse despite treatment, if the pain is severe or if you have signs of nerve damage — particularly nerve damage that is getting worse. The signs of worsening nerve damage would be increasing tingling or numbness, weakness and sometimes increasing pain.

How do you stop disc degeneration pain? ›

Treating the inflammation with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may alleviate pain and swelling. The most common NSAIDs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. All are available without a prescription, and your doctor can recommend how best to use them.

What is Stage 4 degenerative disc disease? ›

Collapsing Stage (Stage 4)

In the final stage of DDD, the spinal discs become dangerously thin and may become herniated, collapsed, and/or disintegrated. The severe pain felt during this stage often results from bone rubbing against bone or from herniated discs pushing into nerves.

Does drinking more water help degenerative disc disease? ›

Does Drinking Water Help with Degenerative Disc Disease? It does. Drinking water and keeping properly hydrated in general supports disc health, and the best way to help with degenerative disc disease is through prevention, including drinking water.

Is a heating pad good for degenerative disc disease? ›

Using heat from a heating pad, adhesive wrap, warm bath or other heat source can relax the surrounding muscles and reduce tension and spasms, a significant contributor to degenerative disc pain.

Is massage good for degenerative disc disease? ›

Massage therapy is a great way to reduce muscle tension and alleviate pain and other symptoms caused by DDD. Using therapeutic massage, practitioners can apply carefully targeted pain and tension relief where patients need it the most.

Do doctors recommend CBD for pain? ›

While many studies have suggested CBD oil is helpful for pain, more research is necessary, especially long-term studies with human subjects. However, CBD oil does show promise as a treatment for pain. Some scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help people manage chronic pain in various contexts.

Is CBD better than pain meds? ›

Cannabis may be an effective alternative to opioid treatment for chronic pain. It seems to have less risk and is much less likely to cause a fatal overdose. Cannabis may also help people reduce or stop taking opioids for pain. But consult a medical professional before you try this approach.

What are the cons of CBD for pain? ›

Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability, according to Harvard Health Publishing. CBD can also negatively interact with coumadin/warfarin and grapefruit juice.

Do CBD gummies work for pain? ›

CBD gummies are a great option for pain relief because they're easy to take and come in various strengths. Most people find that taking 10-20 mg of CBD per day is effective for pain relief. You can take the gummies as needed or regularly for chronic pain.

Is CBD better than ibuprofen? ›

CBD oil can help relieve pain and inflammation and with fewer side effects than taking ibuprofen, both in the short and long term. CBD oils are among the most common compounds used by people today. This is because it allows for better and more effective dosing, as well as a long shelf life.

How do you use CBD oil for spinal stenosis? ›

Different Treatment Recommendations for Spinal Stenosis
  1. Begin with 5mg of CBD twice a day and only add THC if there is no pain improvement with up to 40 mg of CBD.
  2. 2.5mg of THC should be introduced with CBD and gradually increased to 40mg of THC a day.
Feb 24, 2023

Does CBD help with chronic lower back pain? ›

While generally used in tandem, THC and CBD have been shown to have the ability to reduce pain through several pathways such as modulation of rostral ventromedial medulla neuronal activity, antinociceptive effects in descending pain pathways, and anti-inflammatory properties by acting through prostaglandin synthesis ...

Does CBD work for back or hip pain? ›

CBD will not treat the underlying cause of a person's pain. However, it may help numb or alleviate pain. A person should not rely on CBD to treat their pain. They should consider seeing a medical professional who can assess the cause of their joint pain.

What is the best treatment for degenerative disc disease in the lower back? ›

Physical therapy: Participating in strengthening and stretching exercises with a trained healthcare provider. Medications: Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxers or steroids. Steroid injections: Injecting medicine near your spinal nerves, disk or joints to reduce inflammation and pain.

Is coffee bad for degenerative disc disease? ›

But among its side effects, caffeine can leech the calcium deposits in your bone and actively undermine your spinal health. If your diet is not very calcium- and vitamin D-rich to begin with, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis, consider reducing your caffeine intake and see if it helps.

Can turmeric help degenerative disc disease? ›

Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant capable of improving our immune system response. It's important to note; that curcumin will not repair herniated discs, sciatica, or physical problems with the spine. But, it may reduce inflammation, improve oxygen and nutrient flow, and promote the healing process.

What activities are best for degenerative disc disease? ›

Try walking, water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, and stretching. Lifting heavy weights or running marathons might not be a good idea if you have significant disc degeneration or many DDD symptoms. Instead, your goal should be regular, moderate exercise, which will help strengthen your muscles, bones, and joints.

Do any supplements help with degenerative disc disease? ›

Supplements Recommended for Spine Health

For example, supplements for degenerative disc disease, like a herniated disc, include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, manganese ascorbate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

What is good for degenerative disc disease? ›

Pain medication and physical therapy can manage symptoms and help the body adjust to the damaged disc. Together, these treatments can relieve pain and improve function, often long term.

What makes degenerative disc disease better? ›

Physical therapy: Participating in strengthening and stretching exercises with a trained healthcare provider. Medications: Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxers or steroids. Steroid injections: Injecting medicine near your spinal nerves, disk or joints to reduce inflammation and pain.

What makes degenerative disc disease worse? ›

Risk Factors for Degenerative Disc Disease

Excessive strain on the low back caused by sports, frequent heavy lifting, or labor-intensive jobs. Strain on the lumbar spinal discs due to prolonged sitting and/or poor posture. Lack of support for the discs due to weak core muscles. Obesity.

How can I prevent degenerative disc disease from getting worse? ›

Many things can be done to lower the risk or progression of DDD.
  1. Stop smoking, or better yet, don't start — smoking increases the rate of desiccation.
  2. Be active – regular exercise to increase the strength and flexibility of muscles that surround and support the spine.

What vitamin deficiency causes degenerative disc disease? ›

Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be highly associated with patients suffering from degenerative spine disease. 1 Degenerative spine disease is a condition that is characterized by gradual loss of proper functioning and organization of the spine.

Does drinking water help degenerative disc disease? ›

Does Drinking Water Help with Degenerative Disc Disease? It does. Drinking water and keeping properly hydrated in general supports disc health, and the best way to help with degenerative disc disease is through prevention, including drinking water.

Can a chiropractor help with degenerative disc disease? ›

Chiropractic treatment for degenerative disc disease can reduce inflammation in the spinal tissues, improve the range of motion of the spine, and relieve muscle tension. Chiropractic treatments can also reduce pressure on the spine, specifically the spinal discs, to promote healing.

How do people live with severe degenerative disc disease? ›

Consider over-the-counter medications to fight inflammation or prescription medications for pain. Consider physical therapy to strengthen your neck and back muscles (which help to support your spine) Practice back-friendly postures including lifting safely and using good posture when sitting, standing, and walking.


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