My CBD Pain vaporizer isn’t helping. Should I try medical marijuana?

High Court,

I’m really struggling with back and nerve pain from a herniated disc. My doctor scheduled surgery, but it’s months away, followed by months of recovery and physical therapy. I tried a CBD vaporizer for the pain, but it didn’t help much. I wonder if one with THC instead would be more effective. Should I ask my doctor for a medical marijuana recommendation?


High Jamie,

There is a body of evidence that cannabis can be an effective treatment for back pain. Both CBD and THC have proven anti-inflammatory properties that may help your back, but the pain-relieving properties of CBD without THC are not proven. What we know for sure is that THC and CBD work best together and are even more effective at pain management when the other medicinal compounds in cannabis are preserved. You don’t need THC instead of CBD – for maximum effect, you want a product that includes both, and terpenes too!

It’s not necessary to get a medical marijuana recommendation, and in California, there isn’t much point anymore. Medical marijuana and recreational cannabis products are now the same. The key difference is the amount of tax a medical patient and recreational customer pay. If you want to save money on taxes, you can get a medical marijuana recommendation online for about $40.

It is still absolutely critical that you discuss cannabis use with your doctor, so that they are aware of all of your medications. Just like eating and drinking, s/he will provide you with instructions about when you must stop using cannabis immediately before your surgery, to prevent a possible adverse reaction with anesthesia. Cannabis use can also affect the amount of anesthesia required, so be honest with your doctor and accurate about your dosing and consumption method.

Since you have vaped CBD and smoking and vaping are the fastest, most effective consumption methods, I’ve identified two vaporizers that offer benefits specific to your requirements. Dosist vape cartridges vibrate when you inhale 2.25mg of cannabinoids. This will help you track how much medicine you need to manage your pain – and also help make sure your foray into medical marijuana doesn’t leave you uncomfortably high.

  • Try dosist relief to knock out the pain with a 2:1 THC:CBD. Each dose (inhale) has 1.5mg of THC and .75mg of CBD. It also has terpinolene, for relaxation, and β-caryophyllene, another pain reliever. Both are naturally-occurring terpenes in cannabis. You might start with one or two doses and see how you feel in 10-15 minutes. If you want more relief, it’s okay to try a little more. The CBD tends to balance some of the intoxicating effects of the THC. You might find it takes several doses, but start small. Remember, no driving, as you will be “under the influence”.
  • I’m sure there are times you can’t be under the influence – like when you have to drive to and from a PT appointment – but there is help for you then too. Dosist calm is a 9:1 CBD:THC with only .0225mg of THC per inhale. You likely won’t feel intoxicated, but the 10% THC improves the effectiveness of the CBD. It also brings the pain-relieving properties of β-caryophyllene as well as additional anti-inflammatory benefits from the terpene limonene.

β-Caryophyllene is unique among cannabis terpenes because it interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system. This allows it to work as a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic, making it an effective ally in managing back pain. β-Caryophyllene is a dominant terpene in cannabis strains Royal Cookies, GSC, Candyland and others in the Cookie family, as well as Death Star, OG Kush, and White Widow.

Back pain notoriously requires high doses of medical marijuana. If the dosist vaporizers don’t offer enough pain relief, the next step would be a high-THC vape pen, but only take that route if you are comfortable with stronger psychoactive effects. You could ask your budtender to recommend a high THC:CBD vaporizer, like a 9:1, 11:1 or even higher, from a high-quality manufacturer. Kurvana and Absolute Extracts both produce THC/CBD vaporizers that are terpene-rich and offer targeted effects.

Best wishes for a smooth and successful surgery. I hope that including THC in your pain-management will help you throughout your recovery.