Can Topical CBD Help with Lower Back Pain?

What is CBD?

According to the science surrounding CBD, this compound could hold the key to providing relief for those suffering from lower back pain. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found predominantly in cannabis and hemp plants.

The structure of cannabidiol, also known as CBD

This cannabinoid is growing in popularity and showing up in products everywhere. CBD, unlike the more well-known cannabinoid THC, does not produce intoxicating effects. This compound works with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide potential benefits to patients suffering from lower back pain and many other ailments.

Cannabidiol or CBD molecular structural illustration

Simulation of the Endocannabinoid system

Through the interaction with these receptors, CBD is thought to affect various physiological responses from the body, such as those related to pain, mood, and appetite. CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found throughout the body, including in the pain pathways of the brain and spinal cord. When CBD binds with these receptors, it may offer anxiolysis and analgesic effects.

How CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation

While many would argue that much research is still needed, there is quite substantial evidence from a scientific perspective that cannabinoids such as CBD could play a significant role and offer substantial benefits in pain management. In a study published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website titled “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain,” it states that the “endocannabinoid system is tonically active in control of pain, as demonstrated by the ability of SR141716A (rimonabant), a CB1 antagonist, to produce hyperalgesia upon administration to mice.”

Another study looked specifically at CBD for pain relief through topical delivery methods, and the results were quite promising. According to the study, “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.”

While these are only two studies, many others have come to the same conclusion, which can be easily found with a quick internet search on the topic.

What is topical CBD?

CBD topicals are products that include CBD oil that is intended to be applied to your skin. CBD topicals come in a wide variety of lotions, creams, salves, serums, balms, and other topical derivatives.

Other common ingredients

Many of the CBD topicals on the market today include essential oils and other natural ingredients. Among their ingredient lists, two other common items are found regularly in CBD topical products. These ingredients are menthol and camphor.

Let’s dive into why these make for great additives in CBD topicals for lower back pain! Not only do each of these ingredients offer their own unique benefits through their specific mechanism of action, but together they also create a synergistic effect.


Camphor is a prevalent ingredient in CBD topical products added for its analgesic effect. An effect commonly presented as a warm sensation due to the activation of what is known as heat-sensitive TRP vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) and TRPV3 receptors.


Menthol, like camphor, is often added to CBD topical products because it has been proven to desensitize transient receptor melastatin-8, aka TRPM8, which is a receptor in the body that offers pain relief via this vasoactive compound.

Together these ingredients offer synergistic effects that could provide substantial pain-relieving properties to those suffering from lower back pain.

How to Apply Topical CBD

Topical CBD products are quite simple to utilize. Topical CBD products are applied directly to the skin. When using to target pain or inflammation, the product is most commonly applied specifically to the area of concern.

Once applied, it is recommended that you allow at least 1 hour for the effects to take place before applying more. Most product manufacturers also suggest cleaning the area in which the topical will be used before applying to the skin for the best results.

Why You Should Use CBD Topically for Lower Back Pain Relief

While we are big fans of CBD in all of its forms, when it comes to utilizing CBD in hopes of addressing lower back pain, there are many benefits to using CBD topically in comparison to the oral delivery method. When applying CBD topicals, you can directly target the area of concern. This not only allows you to pinpoint your treatment better, but it also allows you to utilize much less product as none will be distributed to the rest of your body.

No matter what the cause of your lower back pain is, CBD topicals carry great potential to improve your quality of life.

Source: CBD Education articles by Green Valley Nation