Pain relief is one of the most common reasons why people decide to try CBD oil. Whether you have arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even endometriosis, there are many reviews and testimonials that suggest that CBD can help you manage unpleasant symptoms. And even though more research is necessary to prove the beneficial effects CBD has on your body, thousands of users swear by it.
Of course, before buying any CBD products, you need to learn how (and if at all) cannabidiol can help with your condition. Safety precautions and side effects, medicinal properties, benefits, and, choosing the right product – we’ll cover all that in the article below. Read on and learn how to use CBD oil for pain.
How Does CBD Work?
Let’s start with some basics. There are around 113 cannabinoids isolated from cannabis – the two best-known ones are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
THC is the primary component of the cannabis plant responsible for the psychoactive effects experienced when using marijuana – the “high”, impaired memory, loss of coordination, etc. CBD, on the other hand, does not cause any psychoactive effects, and may even reduce the intensity of those caused by THC.
Both components have many similar medicinal properties – all because they work similarly. Both THC and CBD – as well as other cannabinoids – interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for managing homeostasis and metabolism.
While more comprehensive research has yet to be conducted, this biological system is said to regulate physiological and cognitive processes in your organism, meaning that it plays an important role in the way your brain and body function. It also affects other systems, such as the immune system, and has an impact on neurotransmitters – your body’s chemical messengers.
Put in a nutshell, cannabinoids can help you stay healthy and happy by interacting with your endocannabinoid system. Thanks to that, they have been in wide use since ancient times and are still used today. At the beginning of the 21st century, medical marijuana – high in THC – has been legalized in several countries.
However, with the growth of CBD’s popularity, more and more people switched to the hemp-derived CBD products and dietary supplements high in this component. This is simply explained – cannabidiol has the same medical effects as THC but doesn’t cause unwanted psychoactive effects, which makes it both safer and more effective.
So, What Does It Do?
There’s no doubt that CBD is a fascinating compound with several health-beneficial properties. It’s said to help relieve pain and inflammation, but it can also help deal with some serious diseases, manage anxiety disorders, chronic stress, insomnia, depression, and many other conditions.
Moreover, research suggests that CBD can also help your body in other ways. For example, it can:
- Help prevent neurological disorders;
- Fight certain kinds of cancer cells;
- Lower blood-pressure levels;
- Relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea;
- Help with insomnia;
- Help deal with post-traumatic stress disorder;
- And decrease inflammation.
How Does CBD Oil Help With Pain?
As you already know, CBD interacts with your cannabinoid system, impacting some important processes that take place in your body – neurological, immunological, and pain-sensing. Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, that can provide you with some relief and help ease the symptoms.
However, even though there is some evidence that CBD oil may help manage pain – you can check CBD forums and personal blogs, science isn’t fully clear-cut on this issue. As the experts from the Harvard Health blog remind, too few human studies have been conducted. On the other hand, research has shown that in animals, CBD works great to relieve pain.
What we need to remember is that while cannabidiol may have been discovered in the 20th century, it still hasn’t been studied thoroughly – and research is still ongoing.
So, Why Are People Using CBD for Pain?
While there is no solid scientific evidence that CBD oil has many beneficial properties, including pain relief, it works for many people. There is also no evidence that it doesn’t help you ease the pain. Moreover, the main reason for the increased popularity of CBD use for pain management is that people are looking for new alternatives to pain-relieving prescription medications that can be addictive.
Many chronic pain sufferers and their doctors all over the world are trying to eliminate, or at least minimize opioid use. With the legalization of medical marijuana in many states, this has become easier – but some side effects caused by THC can still be unpleasant, which is why it’s important to know how to use CBD oil for pain.
If you or your loved one suffer from chronic pain and don’t want to experience the high or other psychoactive effects caused by medical marijuana or opioids, it’s only natural that you would like to try CBD oil. It’s mostly safe, and it seems to work – so why not give it a try?
However, CBD oil may not work in certain situations and for certain kinds of conditions. Let’s see what types of pain cannabidiol is said to help with.
Currently, more than 1 in 4 adults have arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Almost 30% of those are suffering from severe chronic joint pain, which leads to the chronic use of opioids and prescription medications.
As reported in the poll conducted by the foundation, 29% of arthritis sufferers use CBD for pain relief, and 79% are currently using CBD, have used it in the past, or are considering using it. Let’s see if this use is backed by science.
According to a 2016 study, CBD did help reduce inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis. Researchers induced monoarthritis in animals, monitored them daily, and when the symptoms started, administered CBD gel. The study has proven that transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation, joint swelling, and relieves pain – at least in animals.
Researchers also assessed the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia of the rats that were subjects in the experiments and concluded a decrease of the pro-inflammatory biomarkers. This suggests that CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect and may help manage arthritis pain.
However, if you have any kind of arthritis and want to give CBD oil a try, talk to your doctor first, experts at Arthritis Foundation suggest. This will help you make the right decision in your situation and be able to track the effects. Moreover, when treating chronic pain, you may also consider using CBD products along with the prescription medications for the best effect – but make sure to consult a specialist beforehand.
Neuropathic pain is hard to treat – and it’s even harder when you can’t find the right painkiller. Pain clinics across the world are packed with people who have some kind of neuropathy and need help. They may be suffering from diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, or even HIV-associated neuropathy. Many of them are using CBD for the relief of their symptoms, and that seems to work.
According to Pure Green Pharmaceuticals Inc, treating diabetic patients with moderate to severe neuropathic pain with CBD does have beneficial effects. A Phase II of the clinical trial conducted by the company and designated to determine the effects of CBD use in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) has shown that the patients receiving the active treatment experienced significantly reduced pain levels. Moreover, CBD treatment also seems to have helped with anxiety, sleep quality, and overall quality of life.
Of course, further research is still needed to confirm the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD oil. Nonetheless, even though the research is really limited when it comes to CBD use in treating neuropathic pain (especially in comparison with other types of pain), there is some promise that it may help.
Another painful condition that affects many people is fibromyalgia. It’s a disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, tenderness, fatigue, and depression – and there are no known causes for it. Fibromyalgia, according to researchers, amplifies painful sensations by altering how your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals. Because your endocannabinoid system can impact that, there is a chance that CBD may help with pain relief.
However, there are very few studies made on treating fibromyalgia with CBD. There are some anecdotal reports suggesting that CBD oil can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms – but science still hasn’t confirmed that yet. A 2020 review refers to “many retrospective trials and patient surveys” that suggest the decreased pain when treating fibromyalgia with CBD products. However, the author concludes that further research is required.
Cancer pain can be very hard to treat. According to researchers, around 38% of all cancer patients experience some kind of pain. It can be caused by spinal cord compression, surgery, treatments, and tests, as well as by cancer itself – for example, if it spreads to the bones. If you have had a body part removed because of cancer (or any other condition), you may also experience phantom pain.
Besides the physical suffering, cancer and the treatments for it can take a toll on your mental health as well. Many people turn to CBD oil in hopes that it may help ease the pain they are experiencing.
And it does seem to work – at least according to some research. The authors of the selective review of medical cannabis in cancer pain management refer to several clinical studies and reviews that suggest a combination of THC and CBD can help control cancer pain.
Moreover, they mention evidence suggesting that medical cannabis can help reduce neuropathic and chronic pain in advanced cancer patients. However, just like with only other types of pain management using CBD oil, further research is necessary.
There is also some solid evidence that CBD can help reduce tumors in animals – as well as increase the potency of some drugs that are used to treat cancer. Nevertheless, you should remember that CBD is not a miracle cure for this condition – and while it is said to reduce tumor growth, it is far too early to say that CBD is a safe treatment for cancer in humans.
According to the 2018 research, around 20% of US adults suffer from chronic pain. Another study conducted in 2018 claims that 5 to 8 million Americans used opioids to manage their chronic pain. This number has been steadily growing for the last decade – and it doesn’t seem to stop.
The problem is that most painkillers are addictive, and they don’t only suppress the pain. Prescription medications like opioids and even over-the-counter painkillers can cause unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, constipation, or even addiction. Some of them even may have deadly consequences – for example, overdose.
That’s why many chronic pain sufferers are trying CBD oil. While there are few studies and anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD can help with diabetes, endometriosis, and other types of chronic pain, further research is yet to be conducted. Sticking to a balanced approach is necessary if you want to give CBD a try.
If you have any issues with your heart, liver, or kidneys, speak to your doctor before using cannabidiol. Also, make sure not to forget that while CBD oil may be legal in many states, it is still not approved by the FDA when it comes to pain relief – and the CBD market is not regulated.
According to some research, CBD may help manage muscle spasms and damage caused by physical activity. Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties (which may help with muscle soreness), the compound may also help you deal with painful tears in your muscles after exercise as well as help treat stiff muscles.
A medical study released in 2017 suggests that CBD may help athletes and people who do regular workouts recover faster and experience less muscle soreness the next day. However, remember – the research on CBD use when treating muscle pain is still in its early phase, and further studies are required.
How Safe Is CBD Oil?
While CBD oil is considered mostly safe, there are several factors you need to take into account. First of all, there is only one CBD product that is FDA approved – and that is Epidiolex, used in the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy.
This is so because there is little scientific evidence that can back other benefits of CBD oil – including its anti-inflammatory properties, impact on the central nervous system, or pain relief. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use CBD oil for pain – you only need to be careful.
Before taking CBD oil to treat pain, make sure to consult your doctor – especially if you have a severe condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or cancer. Moreover, make sure not to use CBD with any other meds unless your physician suggests otherwise – certain medications do not go well with CBD oil.
How To Choose the Best CBD Oil?
It’s very important to know what you’re buying when you try nonprescription CBD products. For example, if you want to try CBD oil for pain relief, make sure that you check where the CBD comes from (hemp or cannabis plant), who makes it, and how it is processed.
The best products are those produced in the USA from hemp-derived CBD. Marijuana-derived CBD products may be high in THC – and that may be something you want to avoid. CBD oil you’re buying should be organic, natural, and safe. Look for non-GMO CBD oil that doesn’t have any additives or preservatives – they may lead to the product’s liver toxicity. Finally, you need to check how the CBD product is used – you may need to mix it with something else or take it on its own.
If you can find CBD oil that fits these criteria, then you can consider giving it a try. Of course, consult your doctor first to see if such treatment will help you – and if it does, don’t forget to track how the effects evolve.
Can I Experience Any Side Effects?
CBD oil is not completely safe – you can experience various side effects, especially if the product is not of high quality. The most common side reactions include:
- Digestive tract issues
- Lack of appetite
How Do I Use CBD Oil for Pain?
There are different types of drug administration when it comes to using CBD oil. You can vape it, eat it, and use it topically. For example, therapeutic salves can help with muscle spasms, while the oil itself administered sublingually (under the tongue) may help with nerve pain or fibromyalgia. Choose a product that suits your situation – or, if you can’t make a decision, consult a CBD advisor or your doctor.
The key thing to remember is that CBD research is still up and running – and even though there is yet little theoretical proof for cannabidiol to work miracles, more and more people worldwide decide to give it a try. This is so because even though CBD oil for pain may not be approved by FDA or WHO, there’s much anecdotal evidence that suggests it works – and people are looking for new ways to manage pain without using opioids.
We at Farm to Health Organics want to give you the most reliable information on CBD. This way, not only will you be able to make an informed decision about including CBD into your daily routine, but you can also learn how to use CBD oil for pain, which products to choose, and what to remember during use. Stay educated about what you put into your body – stay safe.