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Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Back Pain in Ohio?

Back pain is a common, though slightly stigmatized, condition that almost everybody will experience at some point in their life. It can range from acute to chronic and may be caused by a range of illnesses and diseases. Chronic back pain can make it more difficult to work and live in general, so many people with it have started looking for new ways to combat it, with varying degrees of success. If you, or someone you know, are looking for nearby Ohio medical marijuana doctors, the team at DocMJ is here for you! We can easily be reached at our website where we offer an eligibility survey which can show you if you may instantly pre-qualify!

The Many Faces of Back Pain

Back pain, and especially lower back pain, is the leading cause of long-term pain and physical disability across the globe [1]. Fortunately, though, most back pain will go away within a month or two. This would be known as acute back pain if it lasts less than a week, or subacute back pain if it lasts between one and three months. If it lasts beyond three months, it is called chronic back pain. 

Chronic back pain is difficult to both diagnose and treat, leading both doctors and patients to seek out alternative ways to reduce or cure the pain. It can have many causes, including injuries and degenerative problems, and may not even be related to the spine itself, kidney stones, for example, are known to cause back pain. In order to diagnose chronic back pain, a physician may order an x-ray, MRI scan, blood test, or several other methods of imaging or testing to find the cause. 

In some cases, the initial cause of chronic pain may never be found. In cases like this, physicians tend to focus more on managing the pain. This does not just include medications in most cases, as general opinion seems to be shifting to a more holistic view of treatment and can also involve monitoring sleep patterns, overall mood, and activity levels of the patient [2]. 

Medical Marijuana Recommendations for Back Pain

In Ohio, chronic pain is a qualifying condition, meaning that having chronic back pain may qualify you for a medical marijuana card. To get a recommendation, you must first find a certified physician and go over your symptoms and previous diagnoses with them. If they determine that you would benefit from medical marijuana, you can then log in to the patient registry, where you will be given an electronic copy of your card. You may print out the card if you would like a physical copy, but dispensaries will also accept it if you are able to access it from your phone or other mobile device. 

How Medical Marijuana Helps

Traditional analgesics that someone with chronic pain might take range from over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and Tylenol to incredibly strong opioids. In the case of the latter, the CDC has released guidelines for their prescription in response to some of the research that has shown high levels of misuse and an increase in long-term side effects [3]. On top of that, long-term use of opioids can result in a reduction of their effectiveness over time, leading some users to require higher and higher doses. Long-term opioid use has also been linked to worsened chronic pain that no longer responds to treatment, meaning that even increasing the dose no longer reduces perceived pain [4].

It is commonly thought that CBD can reduce neuropathic pain, and that has been found by several studies. How it accomplishes this, though, is still not fully understood. One hypothesis states that it may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. A study found that CBD is able to bind to a glycine receptor in the spine that has been linked to synaptic inhibition in mammals. It asserts that the analgesic effects of CBD are independent of the endocannabinoid system and showed no analgesic effect in mice who lack the glycine receptor [5].

On the other hand, there is also extensive research showing the endocannabinoid system having important roles in chronic pain. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in areas of the CNS that are involved in pain transmission, such as the dorsal root ganglion and medulla. One study also found that the number of cannabinoid receptors in rats with neuropathic pain after a spine injury were higher and that this may be the cause of CBD’s increased ability to treat certain kinds of neuropathic pain [6]

In Conclusion

Chronic back pain is very common and can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Luckily, most back pain will go away on its own, but for those who have chronic pain, it may be hard to find a treatment that works. In Ohio, if you have been diagnosed with chronic pain of any kind, you may be eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation. If you are interested in becoming a medical marijuana patient and want to book an appointment with a certified Ohio medical marijuana doctor, DocMJ can help! Pre-qualify instantly by completing our eligibility survey or speak with a Patient Care Coordinator at (877) 899.3626.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572548/pdf/14710501.pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6731975/

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/rr/rr6501e1.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmmwr%2Fvolumes%2F65%2Frr%2Frr6501e1er.htm

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26142224/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14499445/