CBD Benefits

CBD Oil for Pain: Everything You Need to Know

Written by David Ericson

If you’ve been paying attention to mainstream media for the past year or two, you must have heard of CBD. The natural chemical has taken the UK by storm, and millions of people looking for natural medicines are turning to CBD. Also known as cannabidiol, it is extracted from industrial hemp, a variety of cannabis that produces minimal amounts of THC, the chemical that creates cannabis’ well known ‘high,’ and it is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced by the plant.

Unlike THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive and does not have THC’s signature mind-altering effects. Its strengths lie elsewhere, specifically in its ability to interact with the body and bring forth certain effects. Users have claimed that CBD is effective against a wide variety of illnesses ranging from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression to insomnia, and circulatory diseases.

However, CBD oil for pain may be the most common use for the hemp extract. And with around 28 million people in the UK thought to be living with chronic pain, many of them have turned to CBD to relieve their pain naturally. There are plenty of pharmaceuticals that can be used to manage pain, but the beauty of using CBD oil for pain management is that you get all the benefits with none of the side effects.

How Does CBD Work to Reduce Pain?

Back in the nineties, researchers studying cannabinoids and how they interact with mammalian bodies discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a peripheral nervous system which regulates functions that contribute to the balance or homeostasis of the body. The functions include but are not limited to mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and pain.

The ECS is crucial as it ensures your body stays in physiological equilibrium; if your body’s internal balance is out of whack, it can lead to a variety of ailments ranging from mild ones like headaches to more advanced ones like arthritis, epilepsy, stroke, or obesity. Experts believe that plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD mimic the endocannabinoids produced by the body and bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to bring forth certain effects.

In this case, CBD binds with the neuroreceptors in the brain resulting in anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that reduce pain. And since CBD oil for pain relief works by interacting with your nervous system on a cellular level, it is able to manage and reduce many kinds of pain. Keep in mind, though, that CBD hasn’t been officially approved to treat pain, and patients should consult a doctor before taking CBD, especially if you are pregnant or on any other medication.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss two types of pain CBD has been found to treat effectively; inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain.

Inflammatory Pain

Inflammatory pain, as described by Sciencedirect, is the spontaneous hypersensitivity to pain that occurs in response to tissue damage and inflammation (e.g., postoperative pain, trauma, arthritis). Commonly known as inflammation, it is part of the body’s defense system against a foreign body such as a pathogen, an irritant, or a thorn. However, the body sometimes perceives its own tissues or cells as harmful, leading to a wide range of chronic diseases which include arthritis and other joint diseases.

Although arthritis generally refers to joint inflammation, it can also be used to describe around 200 conditions that affect the tissues around your joints. Some types of inflammation caused by arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis. There certainly are pharmaceuticals that work, but you may experience side effects like diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, and addiction. CBD oil for joint pain, on the other hand, won’t result in such side effects.

According to Jeremy Riggle, Ph.D., the Chief Scientist at Mary’s Medicinals, a brand that specialises in producing CBD oil for back pain, joint pain, and just general pain and inflammation management, CBD oil could be a very effective anti-inflammatory agent. “Overall, the research literature shows that cannabinoids, including CBD, could potentially be very effective anti-inflammatory agents for nervous tissue inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritic, vascular inflammation, and certain types of cancer that are triggered by chronic inflammation.”

Based on the evidence at hand, it isn’t surprising that people are using CBD oil for knee pain and similar chronic pain conditions caused by inflammation. However, make sure you contact a doctor before you take CBD for back pain, arthritis, and other joint diseases, especially if you are on medication as it may have a negative interaction with the CBD.

Neuropathic Pain

Often described as shooting or burning pain, neuropathic pain is usually the result of chronic, progressive nerve disease but it can also be caused by injury or infection. The pain may be constant, or it may occur intermittently and it tends to get worse over time. Neuropathic pain can be a symptom of;

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • Alcoholism
  • Nerve or spinal cord compression from herniated discs or from arthritis in the spine

As with most chronic pain conditions, pharmaceuticals will do the trick, but again, you may have to put up with a variety of side effects, not to mention addiction. Taking CBD oil for pain won’t result in such side effects (except in extremely large doses) and the CBD may even help manage the root cause of your pain. If you are on chemotherapy, the best CBD oil for pain will also alleviate other symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotective properties make it effective at treating symptoms like spasticity, muscle soreness, and sleep disorders.  According to an article published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology in 2018, CBD has the potential to offer positive pharmacological effects as it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective effects. 

So although the research is scant, it does show that you can use CBD oil for pain with encouraging results, especially if you are consistent with your dosing. And speaking of dosing,

How Much CBD Oil For Pain Should You Take?

It’s easy to get caught up in all the science and forget to talk about how to use CBD oil for pain. Since CBD technically isn’t approved as a medicine in the UK, there are no officially recommended dosages. Additionally, the same dose of CBD oil lotion for pain may not be as effective in some people as it is in others. Your dosage will therefore depend on factors like your body weight and individual body chemistry.

Regardless of the condition causing you pain, experts recommend starting with a small dose, say 20 to 40mg of CBD oil, and gradually increasing it. You probably won’t feel the effects right away so whether you’re using CBD oil for tooth pain, lower back pain, or a painful knee, you’ll have to be patient. Start slow and up your dose by 5mg per week until you feel the effects kick in. To ensure the highest chances of success, make sure you find the best CBD oil for pain Amazon or what your local CBD stores have to offer.

A high-quality CBD product will most likely have no contaminants and will contain the actual amount of CBD advertised on the label. So before you start looking for CBD oil for pain for sale, do your research and make sure you’re informed. Most importantly, consult your doctor before you start using CBD oil for pain, especially if you are pregnant or on a different medication.

Have you used CBD oil for pain before? What was your experience like? Feel free to share in the comments below!

About the author

David Ericson

I've been interested in CBD research ever since it helped me with my insomnia back in 2014. My goal is to reserach and provide the most accurate information about CBD so that the public can build their own opinion.