Using CBD Oil for Pain Management: Does It Work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in cannabis (marijuana and hemp) plants. CBD doesn’t cause the “high” feeling often associated with cannabis. That feeling is caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a different type of cannabinoid.
Some people with chronic pain use topical CBD products, in particular CBD oil, to manage their symptoms. CBD oil may reduce:
- overall discomfort related to a variety of health conditions
The research on CBD products and pain management has been promising.
CBD can offer an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on medications, such as opioids, that can be habit-forming and cause more side effects. However, more research is needed to verify the pain-relieving benefits of CBD oil and other products.
Epidiolex, a drug prescribed for epilepsy, is the only CBD product on the market that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.
There aren’t any FDA-approved, nonprescription CBD products. They aren’t regulated for purity and dosage like other medications.
Keep reading to learn more about the potential benefits of CBD use for pain. You can also talk with your doctor to see if it’s an option for your condition.
Everyone has a cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Some researchers think that CBD interacts with a core component of the ECS — endocannabinoid receptors in your brain and immune system.
Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells. They receive signals, mostly chemical ones, from different stimuli and help your cells respond.
This response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil and other products may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.
One 2018 review assessed how well CBD works to relieve chronic pain. The review looked at studies conducted between 1975 and March 2018. These studies examined various types of pain, including:
Based on these studies, researchers concluded that CBD was effective in overall pain management and didn’t cause negative side effects.
A 2016 study looked at CBD use in rats with arthritis.
Researchers applied CBD gel to rats for four days in a row. The rats received either 0.6, 3.1, 6.2, or 62.3 milligrams (mg) per day. The researchers noted reduced inflammation and overall pain in the rats’ affected joints. There were no obvious side effects.
Rats who received low doses of 0.6 or 3.1 mg didn’t improve their pain scores. The researchers found that 6.2 mg/day was a high enough dose to reduce the rats’ pain and swelling.
In addition, rats who received 62.3 mg/day had similar outcomes to the rats that received 6.2 mg/day. Receiving a substantially larger dosage didn’t result in them having less pain.
The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD gel could potentially help people with arthritis. However, more human studies are needed.
Some people with cancer also use CBD. Research on mice has shown that CBD can lead to the shrinking of cancerous tumors. However, most studies in humans have investigated the role of CBD in managing pain related to cancer and cancer treatment.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has pointed to CBD as a possible option for reducing chemotherapy side effects, such as:
- lack of appetite
In a 2010 study on cancer-related pain, study subjects received oral sprays of a combination THC-CBD extract. The THC-CBD extract was used in conjunction with opioids. This study revealed that using the extract provided more effective pain relief than using the opioids alone.
A 2013 study on THC and THC-CBD oral sprays had a similar finding. Many researchers from the 2010 study worked on this study as well. More evidence is still needed.
Studies on CBD and migraine are limited. The studies that currently exist also look at CBD when it’s paired with THC, not when it’s used alone.
However, results from a 2017 study indicate that CBD and THC can lead to less acute pain and less intense pain for people with migraine.
In this two-phase study, some participants took a combination of two compounds. One compound contained 9 percent CBD and almost no THC. The other compound contained 19 percent THC. Doses were taken orally.
In phase I, there was no effect on pain when the doses were under 100 mg. When the doses were increased to 200 mg, acute pain fell by 55 percent.
In phase II, participants who received the combination of CBD and THC compounds saw the frequency of their migraine attacks fall by 40.4 percent. The daily dose was 200 mg.
The combination of compounds was slightly more effective than 25 mg of amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant. Amitriptyline reduced migraine attacks by 40.1 percent in study participants.
Participants with cluster headaches also found pain relief with the combination of CBD and THC compounds, but only if they’d had a childhood history of migraine.
CBD doesn’t pose significant risks for users, and most topical CBD products don’t enter the bloodstream.
However, certain side effects are possible, such as:
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
- certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
- prescription medications
- dietary supplements
Proceed with caution if any of your medications or supplements contain a “grapefruit warning.” Grapefruit and CBD both interfere with enzymes that are crucial to drug metabolism.
Like other drugs and supplements, CBD may also increase your risk of liver toxicity.
One study on mice concluded that CBD-rich cannabis extract increased their risk of liver toxicity. However, some of the mice had been force-fed very large amounts of the CBD-rich cannabis extract.
While there isn’t conclusive data to support CBD or CBD oil as the preferred method of pain management, researchers agree that these types of products have a lot of potential.
CBD products might be able to offer relief for many people who have chronic pain, all without causing drug intoxication and dependence.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for chronic pain, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine a starting dosage that’s right for you.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, made from cannabis, is sometimes used for chronic pain. We’ll review the research on whether CBD oil is effective.
Best CBD Oil for Pain: The Ultimate Self-Care Guide (2021 Update)
How do you choose the right CBD oil for pain relief? Royal CBD
Finding the best CBD oil for pain can be time-consuming, not to mention the money and hard work involved with classic trial-and-error. If you want to save both time and money on buying CBD oil, you can use our experience and transfer those resources to one of the three brands we recommend.
Top 4 Best CBD Oil Products for Pain Relief
CBD oil can significantly improve your wellbeing as long as you’re using the right product. Whether you’re dealing with pain, anxiety , or sleeplessness , quality is paramount to your experience.
But how do you choose the right CBD oil for pain relief?
We’ll cover that later in the article, but first, let’s introduce you to some of the best CBD oils we’ve ever tried. Each of these products have been carefully reviewed to make sure you find the best CBD oil for your type of pain.
1. Royal CBD: Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Royal CBD. Royal CBD
Royal CBD oil is made from organic ingredients. The company uses organic hemp plants and supercritical extraction for its products, resulting in pure and potent extracts.
Even its packaging is processed in a sustainable way, so if you value ethical consumerism, then Royal CBD should be high on your list.
When it comes to the quality of Royal CBD oil, “premium” is the right way to describe it.
The oil is suspended in organic MCT oil for improved absorption and additional benefits for the heart and brain from the oil’s essential fatty acids.
Royal CBD oil is available in four strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg and 2500 mg. You can choose between the natural, citrus and mint flavors.
This is a full-spectrum extract, so you’re getting the entire range of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, as well as trace levels of THC (below 0.3%), terpenes and other compounds from hemp.
2. Gold Bee – Best Organic CBD Oil
Gold Bee. GoldBee
Similar to Royal CBD, Gold Bee specializes in full-spectrum CBD oil from all-organic ingredients. The company combines two superfoods: CBD-rich plants from Colorado and organic honey from Brazilian Rainforest. The Gold Bee CBD oil is a full-spectrum product, so you’re getting the synergistic effects of all cannabinoids and terpenes from the original plant. The maximum potency here is 1200 mg, which translates to 40 mg in each milliliter.
Full-spectrum extracts are generally considered more effective when it comes to easing physical discomfort due to the aforementioned synergy. Suspension in hemp seed oil makes the CBD more available for the body. If you’re not a fan of natural CBD oils, you can try the Kiwi option, which is flavored with honey. Gold Bee also offers high-potency CBD capsules (up to 40 mg per capsule) and delicious honey sticks — a great product selection for a brand with a Bee in its logo.
3. CBDPure – Runner Up
CBDPure is one of the most transparent brands on the market. The company broadly explains every stage of making its CBD oil and has lab reports for each batch of product.
The golden color of the oil is a good indicator of its quality—it means that someone did a good job while filtering the extract from the excess chlorophyll and plant material.
The oil has an earthy scent, which is typical for full-spectrum hemp extracts, but it tastes surprisingly good for one.
It’s not the most potent oil out there. You can choose between three strengths: 100 mg, 300 mg and 600 mg. The lowest potency offers 3.3 mg of CBD per serving, which may be good for very mild pain, or if you’re using CBD oil for the first time.
CBDPure sells both full-spectrum and pure (THC-free) oil. The pure version is better for those who want to benefit from CBD without any THC in their system. Some people just want to err on the side of caution, whereas others can’t use full-spectrum products because they’re subject to regular drug tests at work.
4. NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals. NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals has been selling premium CBD oil for over five years now, and surprisingly, the company decided not to extend its line of products.
NuLeaf only sells traditional CBD oil drops—and nothing else.
If you’re looking for a wider product selection, we suggest that you stick with Royal CBD, but if you’re aiming for a full-spectrum CBD oil formulated to perfection, then this company is one of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry.
NuLeaf Naturals offers its CBD oil in five bottle sizes:
- 5 mL — 240 mg of CBD;
- 15 mL — 725 mg of CBD;
- 30 mL — 1450 mg of CBD;
- 50 mL — 2425 mg of CBD; and
- 100 mL — 4850 mg of CBD.
The potency of this oil doesn’t change with the bottle’s size, so it’s a good option for people who know their effective dosage and are looking for several months worth of supply.
The only downside about NuLeaf Naturals—aside from the limited product lineup—is that these oils are priced higher than other brands in this ranking while offering similar quality.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a natural alternative to over-the-counter supplements—and a modern panacea for a wide range of health concerns. Some people use it to relax and ease their mind after a tense day, whereas others take CBD oil for chronic conditions involving inflammation, pain and poor mood.
CBD is extracted from the flowers of mature cannabis flowers and then processed into an oily extract. The extraction process, as well as the solvents involved, can heavily impact the quality of the end product.
The way CBD produces its effects is still unclear to scientists. However, most experts agree that CBD modulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), without directly stimulating cannabinoid receptors, in a similar way that THC does.
THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, mimicking the actions of a similarly built chemical produced by the brain (anandamide), hence the psychoactive effects.
CBD, on the other hand, affects dozens of pathways throughout the human body. It may change the way we experience anxiety, inflammation and pain.
Most Notable Studies on CBD and Pain
CBD oil has a plethora of health benefits, and you can probably name a few right away. It’s considered to be one of the most beneficial cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Let’s see what studies say about using CBD oil for pain management.
A 2008 review of the existing studies on CBD in relieving chronic pain concluded that CBD was effective in managing pain without causing unwanted reactions.
In 2007, a double-blind controlled study found that CBD can assist patients suffering from neuropathic pain.
Finally, a 2016 study showed positive correlation between the use of CBD and reduced inflammation in arthritis patients. In this study, the researchers applied CBD topical to rats for four consecutive days.
The study concluded that rats who were given CBD showed lower levels of pain and inflammation in the affected areas.
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain
Full-spectrum CBD oil is considered to be the most effective form because it features all compounds that are naturally found in the plant. These include not only cannabinoids, bu also terpenes and essential oils. Studies have found full-spectrum extracts to be more effective at treating pain and inflammation than their single-molecule counterparts.
You can buy CBD oil in a bottle with a dropper. The dropper allows you to measure just the right amount of oil and transfer it under the tongue, where you have to hold it for about 60 seconds before swallowing.
The effects of CBD oil should come within 20 minutes, with benefits lasting for four to six hours, depending on your dosage and metabolism.
There are no strict dosage guidelines to follow when it comes to using CBD oil for pain. That’s because everyone reacts differently to CBD oil.
For starters, we suggest that you determine the severity of pain.
Decide what kind of pain is “manageable” for you, and try to level it down to that point.
For low pain, it’s a good idea to start with 5–10 mg of CBD per day. For medium to high pain, the dosage ranges between 20–100 mg. For more convenient usage, you can also consider choosing high potency CBD edibles .
Why should you go low and slow?
Because some people are very sensitive to cannabis compounds. There are individuals who benefit from ridiculously low doses. Lower increments allow for more accurate dosing, making sure you won’t experience any side effects aside from its benefits.
CBD Oil or CBD Cream: Which One Should I Use for Pain?
Having pain on your leg may lead you to think that applying CBD cream on the affected area will yield better results than swallowing CBD oil.
Well, this isn’t actually the case.
Using CBD topicals on painful areas is a good option if the pain is shallow. Using CBD topicals on painful areas is a good option if the pain is shallow. CBD topical creams only work on anatomical structures that are located up to one-centimeter under the skin.
And when you struggle with joint inflammation or muscle soreness, the problem is probably more complex than that.
CBD topicals generally call for a liberal splash over the affected area. If you have a generous hand with creams, there’s a chance that some of it will penetrate the skin down to your muscles.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use topicals at all. In fact, they make for a great addition to CBD oil because they approach the problem from a slightly different angle.
How to Determine a High Quality CBD Oil
If you’re trying a new product for your well-being or symptoms for the first time, you want to make sure it’s the highest quality possible.
Here are the most important buying criteria:
The source of CBD is paramount to the quality of the end product. Hemp plants are bioaccumulators, meaning they absorb every substance from the soil they were planted in—including both the bad and the good substances.
When grown in fertile soil, without using pesticides and other toxic chemicals, hemp will be high in CBD and nutrients. It will also be free of contaminants. That’s why it’s important to choose companies that make their products from organic hemp.
This is the second-most important factor to consider when buying CBD oil for pain. Potency tells you how much CBD there is in the bottle, as well as in each milliliter of the oil.
Look for brands that sell CBD oil in a wide range of concentrations. That way, you’ll be able to choose the most efficient option, both in terms of the effects and your budget.
Please remember that higher potency doesn’t mean the oil will work better for you. As noted, some people benefit from low doses, so if a 250 mg bottle does the trick for your pain, there’s no need to look for stronger options.
Extraction means pulling CBD and other compounds from the plant material using some kind of solvent. The golden standard for making CBD products is CO2 extraction.
CO2 is used as a solvent that changes its state from gas to liquid, penetrating the plant and extracting cannabinoids from it. Eventually, the CO2 will dissipate, leaving behind an oily, viscous extract.
Alternative extraction methods include olive oil or alcohol (tinctures). Steer clear of CBD oil that was made with butane, as this solvent is difficult to work with and may leave toxic residue at the bottom of your oil if handled improperly.
CBD companies can send samples of their products for content analysis to independent laboratories.
These laboratories check the potency of CBD and look for common contaminants in the end products. Before CBD oil makes it on the shelves, the company should ensure that there are no inconsistencies in the CBD concentration and purity levels.
Third-party testing is the only way to confirm that you’re getting exactly what you’re buying. Most reputable companies display lab reports on their websites.
Where to Buy CBD Oil
It’s quite easy to find CBD oil for sale these days because the market is growing and new CBD companies are popping up each month. You can either get your CBD oil online or buy it from one of the local dispensaries in your state.
We don’t recommend head shops, food stores or other brick-and-mortar stores, as they usually carry overpriced products whose quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Buying CBD oil online gives you access to a wider range of products, attractive seasonal deals and other perks for registered customers
You can easily verify the credibility of your potential vendor by simply reading how they manufacture their products, checking the Certificates of Analysis, or looking at reviews from other customers and ratings at CBD-dedicated websites.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil
Your safety should be your top priority, so it’s important that you understand the possible risk of taking CBD oil.
The good thing is that CBD oil doesn’t really have serious side effects. The World Health Organization has acknowledged it as a safe product that doesn’t cause dependency.
The most common reaction to CBD oil is the sensation of dryness in the mouth. This is typical to all cannabis products and results from the effect of cannabinoids on salivation. You can avoid this side effect by staying well hydrated after applying CBD oil.
Experiencing dizziness due to lowered blood pressure is also common among CBD users. At extremely high doses, CBD can cause diarrhea and nausea. It happens when you take more than your body can handle, so you simply flush the excess oil out of your system.
Having a dry mouth can also temporarily suppress your appetite, but these effects should pass over time.
Last but not least, there are a couple of medications that can negatively interact with CBD.
For example, CBD is a blood-thinning agent. By lowering your blood pressure, CBD oil can result in harmful levels of hypotension.
If you take any prescription drugs, it’s best to consult with a doctor prior to buying any CBD product.
Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Pain
CBD oil comes with a myriad of health benefits, including relief from different types and levels of pain. The lion’s share of these benefits result from CBD’s interaction with our endocannabinoid system.
By altering pain transmission from nerves to the brain, CBD can help people manage pain and improve their quality of life in a safe and natural way. However, it’s important that you only use high-quality products that come from reputable manufacturers. Only then will you be able to get the most out of CBD’s analgesic properties.
We hope that this guide has helped you get a better understanding of CBD products. Feel free to use our recommendations and let us know how CBD oil helped you with your pain!
What’s the best CBD oil for dealing with different types of pain? How does using CBD oil for pain compare to traditional remedies? Find these out and more in our ultimate buying guide.