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CBD in Patients with Low Back Pain Caused by Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: an Observational Study


  1. Brock K. Bakewell, MPH 1

  2. Matthew Sherman, BS 2

  3. Kimberly Binsfield, MS 3

  4. Asif M. Ilyas, MD, MBA 1,2

  5. Stephen A. Stache, Jr., MD 2

  6. Saloni Sharma, MD 2

  7. David S. Stolzenberg, DO 2

  8. Ari C. Greis, DO 1,2


1 Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Foundation for Opioid Research & Education, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

3 Lambert Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA



Spinal stenosis is a degenerative narrowing of the spinal canal with encroachment on the neural structures by surrounding bone and soft tissue. This chronic low back condition can cause restrictions in mobility, impairment of daily activities, opioid dependence, anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life. Spinal stenoses can be treated through surgical and nonsurgical methods, but neither has proved consistently reliable. CBD has also been observed to have anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and antipsychotic behaviors. CBD may provide greater nonsurgical treatment options for the pain associated with spinal stenosis while minimizing the need for opioids; an observational study was undertaken to assess CBD's effects for patients suffering from chronic spinal stenosis.


This observational study was investigator-initiated and designed to determine the effect of hemp-derived CBD gel caps for patients with spinal stenosis related to low back pain and leg pain relative to patient outcomes, medication utilization, and quality of life outcome measures. A total of six physician visits would be required where a set of surveys would be filled out each four weeks apart.


The study population consisted of 48 patients. The patient population's age ranged from 63 to 95 years and was normally distributed, with a mean age of 75 ± 7.13 years. The sex distribution was 33% male and 67% female patients. The pain was broken down between the six visits for each of the four questions: pain right now, usual pain level during the week, best pain level during the week, and worst pain level during the week. Usual pain levels (P < 0.001) and worst pain levels (P < 0.005) demonstrated statistically significant improvement over time, while pain right now (P > 0.05) and best pain level (P > 0.05) stayed consistent throughout the without statistical significance.


This open-label, prospective, observational study found that treatment with hemp-derived CBD gel caps was associated with significant improvements in pain scores and several quality-of-life measures. Improvements in pain scores ultimately led to improvements in patients' quality of life.


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