CBD Oil For Pain Relief

Naturally, most people will deal with a form of physical pain at most stages of their lives. From minor muscular aches to more serious chronic pain linked to conditions like arthritis or cancer - there’s a drug to help manage almost all forms of injuries or pain.

While there is an astounding variety of medicinal drugs available today, many prefer to look to more natural solutions to their ailments. One of those alternatives is cannabidiol, better known as CBD.

CBD’s various derivatives have been growing in popularity over the last few years, helping people deal with conditions like anxiety, depression, epilepsy, skin issues or even insomnia. It has also been linked to helping alleviate pain, though the stigma attached to cannabis-based products has prevented it from reaching a wider audience.      

Here we delve deeper into CBD, and how it may or may not help those suffering from pain.

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid, a natural compound that is derived from the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different cannabinoids, including THC - the substance that is primarily responsible for producing the “high” effect in traditional marijuana.

We all have a cell-signalling system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system contains endocannabinoid receptors and can be found in your brain and immune system. These receptors are basically proteins that are attached to our cells - and they receive signals from different stimuli (like CBD) and respond in specific ways.

The effects of these interactions vary depending on which area of the brain is involved - running from affecting your pain perceptions or your reward/pleasure responses.

CBD products have been shown to have a positive effect as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic - after interacting with our ECS.

Why are CBD-based products not more widely accepted or used?

Because CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, there will always be those who make the connection between cannabis and weed/marijuana. Also with laws and regulations slowly being lifted, there hasn’t been as much research available as with other health products.

What we do know is that CBD has no THC, meaning that it doesn’t give a user any form of “high”, and is safe to use.

As CBD becomes legalised across the world and more readily available, we’ll see many more clinical studies conducted as to the effects of CBD products. The initial research on using CBD products for pain management is very promising.

One benefit of using CBD for chronic pain is that it’s less likely to be habit-forming and cause side effects when compared to other medicines (like opioids). 

Here is what we currently know:

Does CBD oil help alleviate chronic pain?

There is definitely evidence pointing towards CBD providing benefits for those suffering from chronic pain. A few of the most common types of chronic pain include:

  • Migraines
  • Lower back pain
  • Cancer pains
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

Many over-the-counter medicines that are prescribed for pain relief for any of the above ailments can have side effects and damage organs such as the kidneys or liver. This is why people look for more natural forms of treatment - such as supplements or CBD products.

Most studies thus far have been performed on animals, for example, this study found that CBD can suppress chronic inflammatory pain in mice by targeting specific receptors. 

For humans, there was a 2018 study for seven 7 patients who were given CBD to treat their chronic pain following kidney transplant operations. The majority, 6 out of the 7, reported that their pain was lessened. Further observations were made as to which dosages worked best, with one patient faring much better on lower dosages.

Which CBD product is best for pain relief?

The good news is that CBD is now readily available, with a host of products to consider. 

Before purchasing any CBD products, we do recommend you perform your own research to make sure you are dealing with a reputable brand / product. Here are a few good questions to ask:

  • Are the ingredients high quality and free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides and heavy metals?
  • Was the product tested by a third party for contaminants?
  • Does it have a recommended dosage guide?
  • Is there an available certificate of analysis?

You should be able to have these questions answered by looking at the product packaging - a sign of transparency from the brand that everything has been properly manufactured, tested and approved.

As for which product to use, that will be down to your own preference - and the condition you suffer from. CBD is available in oils, topical creams, edible products and even patches - so it’s recommended that you find the product that works best for you (as well as the best dose).

CBD oils are more versatile and can be combined with your choice of foods and drinks. Or for the simplest application, a few drops under your tongue.

Also remember that different brands produce their own unique set of products, so find the one that works best for you. There are no addictive qualities to CBD, so take the time to test with low doses. 

Can CBD cause any painful effects?

While CBD products don’t cause any painful effects and are generally safe to use, there are some potential side effects, including:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight changes
  • Fatigue

A more serious side effect to consider is potential liver damage. Always consult your healthcare provider before adding CBD products to your daily routine, and especially if you are taking other medications or pharmaceuticals.

Should I use CBD oil for my pain relief?

If you have a chronic pain condition, that regular prescribed medication can’t manage, please talk to your healthcare provider about alternatives such as CBD oil. While large-scale clinical trials still need to be performed, the small studies on CBD oil for pain relief are very promising.

More natural and lifestyle therapies such as exercising and yoga can also be considered to help you cope with chronic pain.