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Using CBD for Pain Relief: Does It Work?

You might have noticed that lately, every supermarket and health store's shelves are crowded with medicinal products containing CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been a controversial product for years, with some proponents claiming it as a miracle cure while others call it borderline illegal or even dangerous.

CBD Oil for Pain

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So, is it an illicit substance in disguise or the answer to your prayers?

We're going to cut through the controversy and break down what we know about this product and what it can do to help you manage your chronic pain. 

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What is CBD?

CBD is a compound made from hemp, a non-mind altering relative of the marijuana plant. Unlike recreational marijuana, CBD doesn't produce a "high," which is why developers use it in medical marijuana products. 

Instead, cannabidiol contains a concentrated dose of the medically beneficial compounds in the hemp plant.

According to the World Health Organization, "there are no case reports of abuse or dependence relating to the use of pure CBD." 

For these reasons, the hemp plant from which CBD for pain relief derives can be grown and distributed legally.

Most consider it to be a health supplement. 

Testing is still in progress because CBD has been under stigma for years. Yet some trustworthy and peer-reviewed studies indicate CBD may be one of the least addictive methods of pain relief and management and that its side effects are minimal. 

But if you or a loved one suffer from chronic pain, I know what you're really concerned about- does it work?

Chronic Pain Relief

Take a moment to guess how many adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Did you say one in twenty? Maybe one in ten? The number is closer to one in every three

Currently, the most commonly prescribed type of medication for chronic pain is opioids. These highly addictive substances, such as Codeine or Morphine, can cause lifelong dependence, decreased quality of life, or even death. 

CBD is one of the only alternatives to these drugs, alongside physical therapy and acupuncture. 

The existing research on cannabidiol is very promising, but more is still needed to determine the most beneficial strains and doses.  

In one study that researchers performed on chronic pain sufferers who were currently on opioids, over half of them reduced their opioid dosages after just a few weeks of CBD treatment. They reported significantly better sleep and pain relief.  

Not only that, but over 90% of the test subjects, even those who didn't reduce their opioid intake, reported a better quality of life after they added CBD for pain relief to their daily medications.


Migraines are another common but debilitating sickness, especially when they become a chronic problem.

However, some evidence shows a distinct drop in migraine frequency with the use of medical marijuana treatments. 

While more research still needs to be done to determine the most helpful strains and applications, patients reported cutting the number of migraines they had in a month by up to half, with some even claiming that a treatment halted an existing migraine in its tracks.

These results mean that a patient could use cannabidiol in two ways: either taking a daily preventative dose or aborting an ongoing migraine. It is, therefore, unique from many other migraine treatments. It has the potential to be both versatile and effective. 

Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis is the bane of septuagenarians and pro athletes alike, but it can go beyond minor swelling and become an indeed life-changing condition. As the cartilage breaks down, affected joints can become so painful that they are unusable. 

In rat trials, CBD proved to be extremely therapeutic - not only did it reduce joint inflammation, but it also seems to have no psychoactive properties or effect on the brain's function. It doesn't come with any other significant side effects. 

This animal model determined that CBD injected under the skin could drastically reduce inflammation and help manage the symptoms associated with certain common forms of arthritis.

Cancer Treatment Support

While research on CBD's effects on many types of pain relief can be spotty, several human trials have already demonstrated how useful CBD can be as a supplemental cancer treatment and as a tool to manage its symptoms. 

In fact, the first trials that confirmed the effectiveness of medical marijuana for the support of cancer treatment came in the 1970s, when it was still highly stigmatized and seen as a gateway to more harmful and addictive drugs. Since then, we've been building on these early results.

CBD has a generally positive effect on cancer patients who suffer from painful side effects of either cancer itself or its treatments, which is why medical professionals already prescribe the synthetic form to many adult cancer patients in the United States.  

The neuropathic pain associated with certain chemotherapy drugs can be so severe that the chemotherapy must be put on pause or stopped entirely. In mice, researchers found that they could avoid this by managing the side effects with cannabidiol. 

Furthermore, in human cancer patients, cannabidiol is already commonly used to manage nausea and pain. Because of its relatively nonexistent side effects, it can be applied often. 

Even more impressively, while researchers still have a lot of work ahead to confirm this, CBD may even aid in reducing tumor size or halting metastization. They could increase the effectiveness of more aggressive treatments such as radiotherapy or chemo when used together.

The evidence shows that CBD and Paclitaxel, a type of chemotherapy drug, were more effective at targeting breast cancer cells when used in conjunction. The synergistic antitumor effect made the cancer cells less robust and viable.

In one case study using synthetic CBD, a young child's rare brain tumor was reduced 60% in mass using CBD alone, over the course of a year. While one case study does not indicate universal results, it is undoubtedly an impressive basis for future research. 

Essentially, cancer patients are already frequently prescribed CBD to manage their symptoms, but CBD might have even more impressive applications someday. While it is not a cure for cancer, it may have a vital supporting role in future treatments.

Potential CBD Side Effects

So we know that CBD is associated with a better quality of life, reduced pain and nausea, and lower inflammation levels. But every medicinal supplement has its side effects.

During trials, the most commonly reported side effects were:

More rare side effects, some in instances of a single test subject, include:

Many studies found no side effects in their test population, and the World Health Organization describes CBD as having no abuse potential and being "generally well tolerated.

Pros & Cons

Let’s break down what all this means, and whether CBD for pain relief is right for you.

Here are some of the pros of taking cannabidiol:

  • Easily obtained
  • Natural
  • Non-addictive
  • Legal
  • No severe side effects
  • Highly effective
  • Lack of research
  • Lots of unknowns, including dosages
  • Unregulated
  • Minor side effects

According to the research done in the few short years since CBD trials became legal, cannabinoids appear to be generally safe, effective, and non-psychoactive. It does not appear to have any potential for severe reactions. 

You can find CBD over the counter in many health stores, so it is easy to obtain without a prescription. It is also safe to use in substantial doses, it's legal, and it's derived from entirely natural ingredients. 

We know that it can help you manage a diverse array of chronically painful conditions and that it may even have health benefits that are unknown or merely theorized. 

However, this lack of knowledge is also the biggest reason to use caution when taking CBD. We do not know what the most effective dose is or what its long term effects are. We don't know if it is safe to give to children or to people who are pregnant. 

Additionally, because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production and sale of cannabinoids, it's hard to know what you're truly buying and how it will affect you personally when you buy it over the counter. 

Until regulated CBD products appear on the shelves, buying CBD over the counter will always be a gamble. But new studies are still being conducted that could change how we look at CBD forever, and cannabidiol products that are under FDA regulation may not be far away.

How to Use CBD for Pain Management

The first and most crucial step in using CBD to manage your pain is to talk to your doctor. If you are taking another medicine in addition to cannabinoids, some studies have suggested that they may increase the levels of that medication in your body in a similar way to grapefruit

If you're here, then you already know that the second step is to educate yourself. You don't want to be surprised by unexpected side effects, and it's important to remember that there is a difference between medical-grade CBD and the kind often sold in the same aisle as granola. 

While the two are derived from the same natural materials, the type of CBD used in trials is produced specifically for research, and it is pure, strong and unadulterated. The type of CBD that is available over the counter is of unknown quality and purity. 

That said, for most conditions, CBD for pain relief is safe and effective. With the guidance of your primary care physician, it could be the key to managing your symptoms in the long term and providing you the relief you need.

Final Notes

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain or inflammation, it's essential to consider all your options. And with the legal status of hemp-based CBD no longer in question, people like you from all over the United States are adding it to their regimen.

It can be hard to trust new supplements next to "tried and true," drugs you have used for decades. But coupled with the advice of a medical professional, you may find that cannabinoids are the perfect solution or supplement to your treatment.

Recommended CBD Brand: Joy Organics

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With a commitment to complete customer satisfaction and providing the highest quality CBD products available on the market today, Joy Organics is, without a doubt, all it is touted to be.

Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by admin



About the author 

Justin Powell

Justin Powell founded Hemp For Future to give direct answers to many of the questions surrounding THC, CBD, and everything in between. He’s been at the forefront of CBD advocacy for years, and as the go-to guru for many people, he decided to pour all his knowledge into Hemp For Future. He’s here to tell you about the best CBD gummies, how to stay under the legal THC allowance, and the core differences between commercial and in-home marijuana growth.

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