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Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in cannabis. However, it is not the compound that creates the “high” people commonly associate with cannabis use. Research into the benefits of CBD for back spasms is limited, although many CBD products are available, which supporters claim can relieve back pain and soreness.

This article discusses the research on using CBD for back spasms, product options to consider, and alternative remedies.

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Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Back spasms are painful, uncontrollable, and frequently sudden contractions of the back muscles.

There is widespread interest in finding nonaddictive and safe treatments to relieve back spasms. Although there is no conclusive evidence that CBD can cure this health issue, research indicates potential benefits.

Studies have found that CBD may offer modest improvements in spasm symptoms for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Although CBD is only one of its many active ingredients, researchers have found medical cannabis could help control spasms for individuals with certain conditions.

Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD here.

One of the concerns some experts have about using CBD for back spasms and pain management is that some products may not contain as much CBD as companies claim, or that they may carry harmful ingredients. Therefore, people need to exercise caution when taking them.

Read our in-depth guide to buying CBD products here.

No CBD products are proven to treat back spasms specifically, although many supporters claim they offer pain-relieving benefits.

A person may experience greater back spasm relief with topical CBD products, such as oils, creams, balms, and lotions. Individuals can rub these gently on the affected area as they would a moisturizer.

Below is a list of CBD products that may help those with back spasms.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best CBD cooling formula for back spasms: CBDfx Muscle & Joint – Cooling Formula

Price$39.99–129.99
CBD typebroad-spectrum CBD
Potency500, 1,000, or 3,000 milligrams (mg) of CBD
Weight1.7 fluid ounce (fl oz)
Procruelty-free and vegan
Conmay be costly

This cream contains menthol, white willow bark, and caffeine.

CBDfx states this product may help relieve muscle aches and joint pain. Users can rub a small amount of the cream on the affected area.

The company uses organic hemp. It also states that its products do not contain solvents and are cruelty-free and made in the United States. Products include a traceable QR code that people can scan to check the laboratory reports.

CBDfx claims that its carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction process produces potent, high quality CBD. CBDfx also sells edibles, tinctures, creams, and topicals, with several other products for specific use as pain relievers.

Use code “HEALTHLINE” for 15% off.

Best CBD warming cream for back spasms: CBDistillery CBD Warming Cream

Price$35
CBD typeCBD isolate
Potency500 mg of CBD
Weight1.7 fl oz
Progluten free
Conmay not suit all budgets

CBDistillery states that people can use this topical cream for targeted pain relief. The cream contains camphor for its warming properties and does not leave a lasting fragrance. It is also free from gluten, parabens, and sulfates.

The company uses non-genetically modified industrial hemp in its products. It also sells CBD oils, softgels, gummies, topical lotions, and powders.

CBDistillery products undergo testing by a third party for quality and consistency. People can review the test results online or by scanning the QR code on the product.

Best CBD balm for back spasms: NuLeaf Naturals CBD Balm

Price$26.99–71.10
CBD typefull-spectrum CBD
Potency300, 600, and 900 mg of CBD
Weight0.5, 1, and 1.5 ounces (oz)
Profree shipping for orders within the U.S.
Conpotentially difficult to apply, according to some reviews

This balm contains just two ingredients: shea butter and full-spectrum hemp extract. NuLeaf Naturals claims this balm can help relieve discomfort after topical use.

The company uses independent laboratories to certify that its products contain an appropriate amount of CBD and that they are free from pesticides, herbicides, and other contaminants. Customers can scan their product’s QR code to check the results of third-party laboratory tests.

NuLeaf Naturals also sells CBD oils, softgels, topicals, and products designed for pets. Its products contain whole plant CBD extract from organic hemp.

Best CBD softgels for back spasms: PlusCBD CBD Softgel Capsules

Price$79.99–149.99
CBD typefull-spectrum CBD
Potency50 mg of CBD
Count30, 60, or 90 softgels
Pro90-day money-back guarantee
Conmay not suit all budgets

PlusCBD claims that people can take these full-spectrum softgels orally to manage back spasms. The company recommends individuals who are new to full-strength CBD products start with a lower dose and gradually increase the amount.

All of the brand’s products comprise hemp and undergo testing from independent laboratories.

The company says its sprays, balms, roll-ons, and gels can be helpful for athletes and people with aches and pains, as well as for the skin. PlusCBD Oil Gold Formula is its most concentrated CBD oil.

Best CBD body oil for back spasms: Papa & Barkley CBD Relief Body Oil

Price$39.99
CBD typefull-spectrum CBD
Potency400 mg of CBD
Weight2 fl oz
Profree shipping on orders over $75
Conmay be costly

Papa & Barkley claims that this CBD oil absorbs fast into the skin and helps provide relief and skin hydration. The product does not contain isolates, distillates, or chemical solvents.

There is a discount for people opting for subscription orders.

The company recommends massaging the oil for 15 seconds or more, and individuals can use it as often as they need.

Other Papa & Barkley products include CBD oil drops, balms, and softgels.

Best CBD cooling gel for back spasms: Charlotte’s Web Hemp-infused Cooling Gel with CBD

Price$39.99
CBD typefull-spectrum CBD
Potency510 mg of CBD
Weight1.7 oz
Prosuitable for vegans
Conmay not suit all budgets

This CBD cooling gel contains menthol and arnica. According to Charlotte’s Web, the product does not contain gluten, parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, or dyes.

The company states that people can apply the gel on the area they want to treat, once or twice per day.

Best CBD pain relief cream for back spasms: Medterra Pain Relief Cream

Price$39.99–59.99
CBD typeCBD isolate
Potency500 and 1,000 mg of CBD
Weight1.7 fl oz
Proavailable with subscription
Conmay be costly

This product is a registered over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for joint pain. Medterra also claims it is suitable for relieving sore backs and stiff necks.

Ingredients include menthol, arnica, jojoba oil, and aloe vera. Users apply a small amount of the cream topically to affected areas.

This company’s CBD comes from industrial hemp using CO2 instead of solvents. Medterra says it grows and extracts hemp under the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Pilot Program guidelines.

The company’s products undergo third-party testing for heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, mycotoxins, and microbes, the results of which are available on the Medterra website. The company also has certification with the U.S. Hemp Authority.

Other Medterra products include gummies, tinctures, and capsules.

Common approaches to managing back spasms include:

  • Stretching: Gently stretching the affected area may bring relief.
  • Massaging: A person can massage the parts of the body where spasms occur.
  • Doing gentle exercise: One example is walking.
  • Using heat or cold treatment: Individuals can apply ice packs or heat the affected area with a heating pad or hot bath.
  • Using OTC nonsteroidal pain relievers: These include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • Taking supplements: Vitamin B12 might be beneficial.

Learn more about treating back spasms here.

People who find that their back spasms interfere with their daily lives should contact a doctor for treatment. A person should also consult a healthcare professional if they:

  • experience any swelling or numbness
  • notice unusual changes in their skin
  • notice fluid abnormalities, such as excessive water retention
  • experience disturbed sleep because of back spasms

A doctor can also offer advice on CBD products or alternative remedies for relieving pain or treating any underlying conditions.

Below, we answer some common questions about CBD for back spasms.

Does CBD really help with back spasms?

CBD may help improve spasm symptoms in people with MS. However, some products may contain harmful ingredients that companies have not listed on the label.

A person should consider seeking guidance from a doctor before buying any items containing CBD.

Can I use CBD over long periods to help with back spasms?

Many companies recommend that people start taking a product with the lowest dose if they are new to CBD. Those with chronic pain may find higher doses to be effective to treat their symptoms.

Also, a 2019 study involving people using opioids to manage chronic pain found that CBD may help improve chronic pain and require less frequent opioid use.

However, it is advisable to contact a doctor about managing long-term back spasms.

Does CBD help with overall back pain?

There is no research to support the use of CBD for back pain.

However, the authors of a 2018 review explored the effectiveness of CBD in addressing fibromyalgia, cancer, and neuropathic pain. They found that CBD may help with pain management. Moreover, the participants did not develop serious side effects.

It is of note, however, that a person considering CBD to manage back pain should consult a doctor first.

Is CBD a muscle relaxant?

Yes, CBD can act as a muscle relaxant.

Back spasms are a common and frequently debilitating health issue. However, many people find relief with conservative self-care.

While there is little scientific evidence confirming the effectiveness of CBD to treat back spasms, some initial studies suggest it may offer some benefits.

People using CBD for this health issue should ensure products contain what they claim and are free from contaminants. Researching a range of brands and products, including looking through customer reviews and independent test reports, may help.