The use of medical marijuana has been on the rise since the 1970s, and now states around America have legalized its use for a variety of medical purposes. These include the alleviation of pain, chronic nausea, anxiety, and appetite loss, to name a few. But what about the other side of the medical marijuana coin: is there anything to learn from using marijuana? In other words, is there research documenting the positive effects of medical marijuana?

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a common degenerative condition experienced by millions of people. It occurs in the thoracic spine and is the result of a combination of degeneration of the intervertebral discs and compression of nerve roots. The symptoms of degenerative disc disease include severe back pain, severe neck pain, and pinched nerves in the shoulders. The symptoms may vary, depending on the level of disc disease in an individual.

The human body is a constantly evolving machine. Our genetic blueprints contain the information necessary to create a functioning body. However, the human body is not perfect, and these genetic blueprints are not entirely complete. As the body composes itself over a lifetime, it can experience mutations that can cause severe health issues.  The primary cause of these mutations is degenerative disc disease (DDD).

Degenerative disc disease is a general term used to describe a range of spinal conditions. It comes with both physical and psychological factors.

There are several spinal conditions, and thanks to the evolving medical systems around the world, medical marijuana has been incorporated into the recommended drugs for these conditions in some countries.

Research shows that cannabinoids might play a vital role in treating the mental stress and physical injuries that come along with degenerative disc conditions.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

DDD refers to a group of spinal illnesses that results in the degeneration/degradation of the spinal discs. These intervertebral discs are found in all major areas of the human spine. From the cervical to the thoracic, and the lumbar region.

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The spinal column is made up of a total of 23 vertebral discs. These discs help you stay flexible, as they act as a shock between the bones.

From observation, as a person gets older, he/she loses his flexibility. This is because with time the spinal discs wear down and varying levels of pain are felt; depending on the origination of the pain.

Degenerative disc disease is a specific problem that a human undergoes when regular changes within the spinal disc cause pain. These problems may prompt other unique symptoms, but the most common symptom is pain.

A World Riddled With Back Pain

One of the leading causes of disability and chronic pain in the aging population around the world is back pain.

It results from multiple nervous system and musculoskeletal conditions. DDD affects a person’s quality of life and inhibits their ability to function efficiently in their respective place of work.

Why Does DDD Occur?

Strains due to daily activities

A person’s occupation, sports, and other repeated activities expose the musculoskeletal system and the spinal discs to strain due to excessive force.

Exercise helps people keep fit, however, too much of these activities can also add to the damage and leave out don’t, muscles, tissues, and spinal discs in an unhealthy shape.


The body’s ability to heal itself declines as its advance in age. At a certain age, cells being to lose their capacity to divide and proliferate. The regeneration of tissues gets slower. Degraded collagen is then accumulated throughout the body; some along the spinal column. Leaving the body exposed to DDD.


Recent studies have identified that the presence of certain genes may leave an individual with a high risk of having degenerative disc diseases. The spinal disc located in the lower back has a high risk of degrading in an accelerated manner if there is 5A allele polymorphism.

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Symptoms Of DDD

These include:

  • Inflammation in the affected area
  • Pain in love back
  • Pain in thighs
  • Difficulty standing and walking
  • Increased pain from twisting movements
  • Varying levels of pain
  • Pain in buttocks when sitting
  • Numbness

Most times, patients only find relief when they lay on their backs.

How CBD Fits Into All Of This

Currently, different medications are accessible for treating back pain, especially NSAIDs. However, more studies are being carried out to determine the possibility of cannabis being a better treatment option for treating musculoskeletal conditions like degenerative disk disease.

For thousands of years, cannabis has been used traditionally to treat a host of physical and mental conditions. The intriguing plant has resinous flowers which are loaded with over 100 cannabinoids and 200 terpenes. Cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be the most promising cannabinoids from the various clinical trials.

Observed Impacts Of CBD On DDD

Reduces inflammation

DDD induces the release of inflammatory molecules to the affected areas. CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound that will inhibit the dispersal of inflammatory molecules to the affected areas. With this, it accelerates the healing response of the body.

In 2014, a study suggested the potential of CBD to stop, reduce and hold back the inflammatory response of the body that increases swelling and pain. Researchers were able to establish the any-degenerative effects of CBD at the end of their research. They also went on to suggest that CBD is better suited to treat the condition, with emphasis laid on the non-psychoactive status of the compound and the minimal risk attached.

Stimulates the endocannabinoid system and increases anandamide production

CBD reacts with the ECS receptors, CB1 and CB2, which can be found all over the body in high concentrations present in the immune and nervous systems. These reactions reduce the prevents the degradation of anandamide.

Anandamide is commonly called the “bliss molecule”.

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By slowing down its degradation, the molecule stays longer in the body system—Relieving pain and inflammatory effects that play a role in DDD healing.

One thing about chronic pain and DDD is that it could lead to mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and catastrophization. These disorders leave the patient in a bad mental state. This is another point anandamide comes in. It uplifts the mood of the patient long enough to improve his/her psychological state.

Research carried out years ago states that CBD reduces symptoms of stress, this way it alters the way a patient perceives and deals with pain.

Observed Side-Effects Of CBD On DDD

This varies depending on the sensitivity and tolerance of a person to cannabis compounds. These side effects include;

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness

Bottom Line

While we understand that DDD is a complex and very wide disease condition, it is important to note that it doesn’t equate to tissue damage.

It is possible to have experienced none of these symptoms of DDD and have a considerable degeneration in your spinal discs. In the same way, it is possible to have a few symptoms and be in the clear.

In addition to this, those who feel a high level of pain are predisposed to negative mental states.

Fortunately, now we know that CBD has the potential to provide both physical and mental relief to the patients — just more reasons for the medical bodies to approve the use of CBD in treating degenerative disc disease.

With further research, added therapeutic benefits will be uncovered and utilized to formulate the right dose and administration method needed.There are many ways to treat degenerative disc disease, and marijuana is often seen as one of the more natural ways to achieve results. (It is also one of the less effective ways, but that doesn’t bother me.) In a recent study published in the journal Spine, a team of researchers examined the effects of CBD (a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant) on spinal disc degeneration in older mice. Despite the presence of some promising results, the researchers found that the CBD had no significant effect on the animals’ disc health.. Read more about cbd gummies for back pain and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD oil good for degenerative disc disease?

CBD oil is not recommended for degenerative disc disease.

What supplements are good for degenerative disc disease?

There are no supplements that have been proven to help with degenerative disc disease.

What is the best pain relief for degenerative disc disease?

The best pain relief for degenerative disc disease is a combination of physical therapy, exercise, and medication.

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