Cannabidiol in low back pain: scientific rationale for clinical trials in low back pain.Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Jun; 14(6):671-675.ER
The pooled worldwide prevalence of low-back pain-related presentations in primary care varies between 6.8% and 28.4% in the high-income countries rendering it a major healthcare/economy problem. To best manage this complex bio-psycho-social condition a 360-degree approach is needed, as the psycho-social components are often more important than the scant pathophysiology. Pattern analysis of cannabis users suggested that attempts to alleviate musculo-skeletal pain is often seen as a major drive to use cannabinoids.
Unlike NSAIDs/opioids, cannabidiol might directly affect more than one modality of pain signaling/perception. The 2019 guideline of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommended further studies with cannabidiol in pain medicine because of its excellent safety profile and presumed therapeutic potential. Therefore, we have researched relevant databases for pharmaco-physiological papers published between 2000 and 2021 to collate evidence in a narrative fashion to determine the clinical rationale for this cannabinoid in low-back pain.
Observational research reported good results with CBD in pain and fear reduction, which are both key factors in low-back pain. Given the paucity of high-quality evidence, further research is needed to determine the efficacy/non-inferiority of CBD in primary/emergency care setting, using multimodal assessment of various patient-reported outcomes.