Can CBD oil help me with pain management?
One of the common reasons people cite for using CBD is as a pain management tool. But why does it work, and is it an effective tool? This post will dig into the research and attempt to answer these questions.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of one hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant.
Unlike the vast majority of cannabis and hemp-related products, and in contrast to medical marijuana, CBD oils and other products (including tinctures, e-liquids and vapes, consumables like gummies and more) won’t get you high.
This is because processed CBD oil made for pain relief is missing a key component of the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC). THC is the chemical in cannabis that has psychoactive effects, and it’s this fact that makes it completely safe for human use, and absolutely legal to buy, sell and own.
How can CBD oil help me with my pain?
One of the major effects of CBD, which is highly supported by ongoing research, is the effects it can have on pain relief and long term pain management.
According to studies, CBD oil may reduce the effects of:
- Short term and long term types of pain, for example, headaches, back pain, joint pain and arthritis pain
- Comfort levels regarding long term health issues
The effects are sufficient enough that many people who rely on long term pain management medication, for example, opioids, are turning to CBD as an alternative.
Whilst you can’t currently get CBD product on prescription, there are several ways you can guarantee that you are getting the highest quality product available to you.
How does CBD reduce my pain symptoms?
As we mentioned earlier, every single person’s body contains a complex system of signals known as the endocannabinoid system.
This system is a key part of your nervous system, and even though it isn’t fully understood, considering that science has only been fully aware of its origins since the 1990s, what is known is that it plays a key part in regulating several autonomic body systems, for example:
- Sleep functions
- Memory and learning
- Mood and anxiety
- Pain and the immune system
- Cardiovascular functions
Our bodies already produce endocannabinoids as and when it needs them, with two already identified:
- Anandamide (AEA)
These compounds are processed by receptors found in the brain, and as part of the nervous system, and they can have a wide range of effects. However, like any other bodily process, endocannabinoid production can be changed, interrupted and supplemented, allowing us some measure of control over these systems.
According to the research, CBD interacts with these endocannabinoid receptors in the same way as the chemicals produced by your body, which supposedly affects the way we process inflammation and pain relief, as well as affecting blood pressure, and a wide variety of other potential medical conditions.
This study, conducted as recently as 2018, looks specifically at the pain management effects of CBD across multiple studies over 30 years.
It concluded, after looking at the health benefits of CBD oil on multiple varieties of chronic pain including; fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain and pain from cancer, that CBD could be effective in managing chronic pain.
More importantly, it noted that, compared to standard methods used for pain relief, generally opioids and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,) CBD has no long term or majorly debilitating side effects.
CBD and Chronic Pain
Both the study on patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, as well as a second study, concluded that CBD can work as an effective treatment for chronic and long term pain management.
Both studies also found that long term use of CBD doesn’t increase tolerance, meaning that an effective dose is most probably going to remain an effective dose for a significant amount of time, meaning that unlike opioids, someone using CBD for pain management won’t have to continuously increase their dosage.
CBD and Arthritis
A study conducted on rats in 2016 suggests that topical CBD could be an effective treatment for arthritis symptoms and pain management.
Clinical trials were performed on rats with arthritis and inflammation. It ran for only four days, with four groups of rats treated with varying dosages of CBD: Low doses of 0.6, 3.1, and high doses of 6.2 and 62.3 milligrams.
Rats who received the two lowest dosages of 0.6 and 3.1 milligrams saw no change in symptoms.
However, rats who received the two higher dosages saw reduced swelling and pain in arthritically affected joints.
It was also noted that the outcomes of rats given both of the high doses were similar, with no real difference in effectiveness despite the dosage being 10 times higher.
This study points to several key findings:
First, that CBD oil is an effective treatment both for arthritis and inflammation and for managing the pain that comes with these symptoms.
Second, an effective dosage of CBD can be found, with no increases required.
Third, the effects of CBD can be observed incredibly rapidly, considering the study was only over four days with a noticeable effect on the rats.
Fourth, and finally, that there were no side effects observed in any of the rats participating in these test, meaning CBD is at the very least, completely safe in the short term.
CBD for the treatment of cancer
CBD is already used by some people suffering from cancer, but research suggests that there may be further benefits of CBD use beyond pain management.
This study on mice has shown that CBD treatments have caused a reduction in cancerous tumours. According to the National Cancer Institute, CBD might also have potential effectiveness in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, including long term and short term pain, lack of appetite and vomiting.
In a pair of studies on pain treatment for cancer patients, a THC-CBD combination oral spray was issued to the participants. Both studies found that these oral sprays, used in conjunction with the standard opioid based pain treatment, were much more effective than only using opioids.
However, despite promising research, based on the limited number of studies it’s still too early to put forward a secure hypothesis. Whilst CBD might be effective in treating pain in cancer patients, it is recommended to wait for more studies to further confirm what is shown here.
CBD and MS
Multiple Sclerosis can be incredibly debilitating, but research suggests that CBD might be effective in helping to treat the symptoms.
As MS predominantly affects the nervous system, CBD, with its focus around endocannabinoid receptors, which as previously discussed also affect the nervous system, could be an effective treatment.
This study found that CBD could reduce muscle tightness and spasms in sufferers of MS. From other research and the known effects of CBD, it could prove to be an effective management treatment, though more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness.
Does CBD have side effects?
CBD is generally seen as an extremely low risk, low impact form of medication, but use might still bring mild side effects, which may include:
- Changes in appetite and weight
CBD might also have interactions with prescription and over the counter medication, as well as certain dietary supplements.
It’s worth noting that if you take any medication which has a ‘Grapefruit warning‘, then proceed with caution, as CBD is known to interfere with enzymes that affect drug metabolism, meaning it could affect these medicines in particular. Always consult with your local GP or doctor for professional medical advice.
CBD and pain management, the conclusion
Whilst the research on CBD and pain management is still considered inconclusive by the medical community, the fact that almost all studies point in the same direction, supported by the absolutely massive amounts of personal testimony, heavily suggest that CBD is an effective treatment for managing long term or chronic pain.
It’s also worth noting that, compared to other pain management medication options, CBD has a remarkably short activation time, far fewer side effects and no tolerance build-up. This means that there is almost no risk of trying CBD as a pain management option.
Blessed CBD is a premium quality, organically grown CBD oil that can be taken sublingually as a food supplement. It comes in three strengths, including a maximum strength 1800mg option. To read our latest customer reviews, click here – or if you have any questions, send us a message.