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Can CBD help back pain?



It is well documented that CBD is an effective pain reliever

Back pain is one of the most common health conditions in the world. An estimated 15-20% of adults experience back pain every year.

Severity of the discomfort can range from a light twinge to chronic pain that can be debilitating in some cases.

Most patients suffering from acute or short-term back pain will be prescribed NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen. This can be an effective treatment for acute back pain, however if taken over extended periods, NSAIDs can cause nasty side effects such as stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and dizziness.

Since its rise in popularity in recent years, CBD has become a popular alternative to painkillers, offering consumers pain relief without any of the major side effects associated with NSAIDs.

CBD is a one of the major chemical compounds found in cannabis and is extracted from the plant to produce a variety of different products, from beverages to creams.

CBD is derived from industrial cannabis, known as hemp, which contains only trace quantities of CBD’s psychoactive cousin, THC. This means the CBD that is extracted doesn’t create the ‘high’ which is often associated with cannabis.

CBD for back pain remains an understudied area of research, however early studies and anecdotal evidence shows that the compound has a promising future for treating the common ailment.

Research has shown that CBD helps with back pain by reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality and managing anxiety; a common issue associated with chronic back pain.

The analgesic (pain relieving) properties of CBD is thought to come from the interaction between CBD and the body’s endocannabinoid system. This interaction boosts the signalling of anandamide, a neurotransmitter named after the Sanskrit word for “bliss” or “joy”. In short, it is the body’s natural mood enhancer which also regulates pain.

CBD is also used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In an interview with NetDoctor, medical nutritionist and health author, Dr Sarah Brewer said: “CBD oil is one of the most helpful supplements to become available in a long time. It is highly antioxidant so has anti-inflammatory effects on joints, to improve pain and stiffness. CBD also has an analgesic effect to reduce pain perception in the brain.”

CBD products come in all shapes and sizes with different methods of application. Most people will be familiar with CBD oil which can be consumed orally, vaporised or mixed into food and drinks. CBD oil can also be bought in capsule form, making it easier to accurately calculate dosage.

In addition, CBD can be taken sublingually by placing a CBD lozenge or oil beneath the tongue. As the CBD is absorbed through the tissue in the mouth, it bypasses the digestive system leading to a quicker onset.

For more targeted relief, many people suffering with back pain apply a topical or transdermal product to a specific area of the body. These may come as a cream, ointment or patch and are an excellent option for relieving pain in a localised area such as the back.

Unfortunately, not all CBD products are created equal. As the cannabis market grows, the number of brands available grows with it. The number of companies and products to choose from can be daunting for people who are new CBD. It is also important to understand that CBD products remain unregulated, so it is worth putting some time into researching the market. An easy way to check for quality is to look at the product label or company website for third-party testing.

CBD is generally considered to be safe, even at high doses, however some side effects may occur. Reported side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, low blood pressure and drowsiness. As with most natural supplements, CBD may cause adverse reactions when combined with other medications such as blood thinners.

If you are thinking of trying CBD for managing back pain, you should first consult with a doctor, especially if you are considering changing your treatment plan.


Weekend digest: Six big stories from the cannabis world you might have missed



Another week, another rollercoaster in the fast-moving world of cannabis.

At Cannabis Health, our in depth coverage of the ongoing growth of cannabis as a medical and wellness product continues

Meanwhile, over at Cannabis Wealth, we’ve been following all the big industry and policy news in a week which has seen some important developments..

Been busy and want to get caught up in a hurry?

Here are the six things you need to read to stay in the loop this week.

1. Products pulled from shelves

Two batches of medical cannabis products have been recalled by regulators as investigations are carried out, following reports they may be contaminated with mould.

Medical cannabis pharmacy, Dispensary Green and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have issued a ‘precautionary’ product recall since being made aware of ‘defects’ in patient’s medication.

Concerns were initially raised after a number of medical cannabis patients spotted what they believed to be mould spores in their prescriptions.

Full story here.

2. NFL turns to medical cannabis

The National Football League (NFL) in America is providing $1 million in funding for research into pain management and cannabinoids.

The NFL is funding research into medical cannabis.

The pain management committee of the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced it would stump up the funding on Tuesday 8 June.

According to the organisation’s news platform, the move is the next step in a shifting attitude towards players who use medicinal cannabis to manage pain from injuries.

You can read more here.

3. More medical cannabis evidence

Researchers have found that the cannabinoids CBD and CBG, when used in combination, are beneficial for treating inflammation in the lungs.

Scientists at King’s College London, working in collaboration with Sativa Wellness Group have published the first results from a study into the impact of cannabinoids on respiratory diseases.

It aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of the two non-psychotropic cannabinoids alone and in combination, in a model of pulmonary inflammation.

Full details here.

4. Germany to vote for reform?

Germany’s national election on September 26 could be a landmark moment for Europe’s cannabis industry.

As Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to leave the stage, the European Union’s most influential country looks destined for a political shakeup.

Annalena Baerbock could become Germany’s first pro-drug reform Chancellor.

It could mark a huge moment for the cannabis industry as Germany’s parliament might swing in favour of legislation.

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

5. Adapt or fail

The pro-drug reform lobby must accept it has failed and change to push its agenda ahead, leading experts have warned.

Speaking at a Global Cannabis Intelligence event about the state of advocacy in the UK, three leading policy advocates set out how they think greater access can be achieved.

The discussion comes week after the 50-year anniversary of the passage of the The Misuse of Drugs Act.

Read the full story here.

6. Isle of Man steps up

The Isle of Man government has declared it is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.

In a big to create 250 new jobs and generate £3m a year for the island, policymakers want it to become ‘a world-leading exporter’.

Applications are now open for licences to produce and distribute treatments on the island, as well as to use it as an export base.

Full details here.

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New tracking app launches for UK medical cannabis patients

Through the app patients will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage



The free health monitoring app is already being used elsewhere in the world.

UK medical cannabis suppliers Grow Pharma have teamed up with an Australian tech firm to launch a new app for patients.

The partnership with OnTracka will see them launch Calyx, a free health monitoring app already being used elsewhere in the world.

Users will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage, speak securely with their doctor and contribute to gathering evidence about the use of medical cannabis.

The app will also be available in Ireland and the Channel Islands after successful launches in Australia, the US and South America.

Users will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage

Pierre Van Weperen, CEO of Grow Pharma said: “Grow Pharma is currently fulfilling around a third of all prescriptions for the UK’s medicinal cannabis patients.

“Our prominent role gives us a significant advantage to building data insights into how patients are managing their health.

“This is integral to pave the way towards increasing access for patients in the UK through providing doctors with confidence around the safety and efficacy of these products.

“Using the app will generate important insights to provide real-time evidence to doctors and regulators.”

Grow Pharma hopes the app will help ‘rapidly accelerate an understanding of the safety, quality, and efficacy’ of medical cannabis.

Insights gained via the app will ‘advance the industry forward in the service of patients, shaping future legislation and policy based on patient experiences’ by providing real-world data to regulators.

Grow is in the process of raising £6 million worth of capital via a private funding round expect to be completed later this month.

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Isle of Man launches medical cannabis export sector

The Isle of Man is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.



The move could 250 new jobs and generate £3 million a year for the island

The Isle of Man government has declared it is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.

In a big to create 250 new jobs and generate £3 million a year for the island, policymakers want it to become ‘a world-leading exporter’.

Applications are now open for licences to produce and distribute treatments on the island, as well as to use it as an export base.

The island’s regulator – the Gambling Supervision Commission – has set out conditions for the licensing of high-THC cannabis and hemp.

Enterprise minister Laurence Skelly said: “The growing global medicinal cannabis market provides significant opportunity for economic development in the Isle of Man, and the new regulatory framework and guidance will offer stringent and flexible licensing of a broad range of cannabis products, which ranges from outdoor grown industrial hemp to indoor grown medicinal products.

“The Isle of Man Government has every confidence that the GSC will provide a world class regulatory structure required to regulate this new and complex industry.

The Isle of Man wants to be a major player in Europe’s growing medical cannabis industry.

“I am delighted to welcome licence applications and look forward to attracting quality businesses to the Island, transforming the cannabis export sector into a key contributor to the Isle of Man’s post-Covid economic recovery.”

The self-governing British Crown Dependency, which has a population of 83,000, approved new medical cannabis laws in January.

The island’s parliament – the Tynwald – moved to attract the industry to its shores after a public consultation showed 95 percent of residents were in favour of the policy.

Mark Rutherford, director of policy at the island’s regulator, said: “The GSC already has a sophisticated framework for supervising gambling.

‘We have worked carefully to apply the best of that framework to the risks in the new sector and we have educated ourselves in the technical areas that are new to us.

“What we now have will ensure that all stakeholders will be competent, crime free and capable of building a sector that is safe, trusted and efficient.

“As regulators, we aspire to put our regulatory umbrella above as many consumers as possible so that they can benefit from regulations that are well thought out and properly supervised.

“Years of prohibition mean that the markets in which our licensees will be participating are still in their infancy and still contain many uncertainties.

“To address this situation, it is our aim to ensure that consumers who purchase Isle of Man products will be able to understand exactly what their product contains through accurate labelling and independent testing.

“The GSC recognises there are many stakeholders in this newly created field and intends to extend its ethos of cooperation with other government authorities into its approach to cannabis regulation.”

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