Elderly Patients Find Relief From CBD For Treating Leg And Lower Back Pain, Says New Study
Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the space within the backbone is too small. As a result, the nerves on the spine as well as the spinal cord are exposed to pressure which causes pain in the neck and lower back.
Spinal stenosis usually affects men and women aged 50 and up. However, younger individuals who were born with a narrow spinal canal are also at risk for this condition, as well as those who suffer from other spine disorders including scoliosis or injuries. Wear and tear in the spine, such as what happens with arthritis, is the most common reason why people suffer from spina stenosis. In mild cases, individuals will not have any symptoms but others will suffer from pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.
Treatment for spinal stenosis varies depending on the severity of symptoms. Doctors will usually prescribe NSAIDS and pain killers, though these pharmaceutical medications have dangerous side effects and can be addicting – and the addictions are life-threatening. Antidepressants, opioids, and anti-seizure drugs can also be recommended. For severe cases, the use of physical therapy together with medications can improve the symptoms.
However, there is a need for natural medication to help alleviate the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Cannabis may help.
A new study conducted by researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia analyzed the impact of hemp-based CBD gel caps on 48 patients with an average age of 75, all of whom had spinal stenosis. The researchers reported that these patients, all of whom had lower back and leg pain, reported improvements after taking 15mg of hemp-derived CBD twice daily.
They added that there was a 2 point reduction using an 11-point scale during the trial phase. The patients’ sleep quality, appetite, and overall quality of life were improved – and they did not experience any side effects using CBD.
“This open-label, prospective, observational study found that treatment with hemp-derived CBD gel caps was associated with significant improvements in pain scores and several quality-of-life measures,” the researchers concluded. “CBD gel caps were not associated with any adverse effects. Using CBD to help alleviate pain in spinal stenosis is supported by the evidence in this study,” they wrote.
There are several other studies that back up the efficacy of cannabis for treating and improving the symptoms of spinal cord conditions.
In a 2019 study, also by researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University, they assessed patients who suffered from spinal cord injuries (SCI) and who also had a history of cannabis use. Out of a national sample, 42% of respondents said they were either current or past cannabis users. Sixty-three percent of them said marijuana offered “great relief” especially for treating spasticity and pain. Meanwhile, 30% said it provided limited relief and just 6% said they experienced no relief.
Most respondents also said that the use of marijuana was more beneficial in treating spinal cord injury symptoms compared to prescription drugs. “Our findings support the notion that MC (medical cannabis) may have an important role – either as adjuvant therapy or as monotherapy – in treating a number of common symptoms experienced by individuals living with SCI. There is certainly a need for expedited clinical trials evaluating efficacy of MC in chronic SCI, and no justification for cannabis’ continued classification as a Schedule 1 drug, a designation indicating that it has no accepted medical use,” the authors wrote.
A 2021 study conducted by University of Sao Paolo investigators sought out to assess how CBD affected the motor function of animal subjects – rats – who had cryogenically induced injuries of the spinal cord. The rats were given either CBD or placebo through injections before, after, and daily for 6 days after surgery.
The researchers concluded that treating the rats with CBD resulted in better locomotor skills by the end of one week. “Cannabidiol improved locomotor functional recovery and reduced injury extent, suggesting that it could be useful in the treatment of spinal cord lesions,” the concluded.
Medical researchers have discovered various ways that cannabis helps people with spinal cord injuries. For example, in a University of Manitoba study, synthetic cannabis called Nabilone was given to people who were experiencing muscle spasms, which is a symptom of people with spinal cord injuries as well as other conditions. The researchers found that 90% of people given Nabilone reported improvement in symptoms.
CBD can also help alleviate nerve pain associated with spinal injuries. Investigators for one study concluded: “We report that systemic and intrathecal (spinal injection) administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major non psychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.”
It can also help address insomnia, bladder problems, and quality of life among patients.
More researchers and scientists are studying the impact of cannabis as well as CBD on spinal stenosis, as well as other kinds of spinal disorders. The growing body of evidence we have so far reveals that consuming marijuana products, whether orally or topically, is beneficial in treating a vast range of symptoms associated with conditions and injuries affecting the spine.
If you or a loved one is suffering from spinal cord disorders and would like to explore using cannabis products, be sure to speak to your medical provider and let them know beforehand any existing medications you are taking.
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