Using CBD for pain relief

by Tori Jones

If you have lived with pain for some time, you might have been looking for different ways of trying to find some relief from it. You may even have been trying a range of medicines and treatments to do this, and maybe had a variety of results.

One of those you may have heard about is using CBD for your pain relief. Is it something that you could use, though? These are some of the things you should consider before you begin taking CBD.

What CBD does

CBD – or cannabidiol, to give it its full name – is a type of cannabinoid, which is naturally found in cannabis plants (marijuana and hemp). CBD doesn’t give you the ‘high’ feeling that’s often linked to cannabis, which is because CBD doesn’t affect the same receptors as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body receives and translates the signals from these cannabinoids. The ECS also regulates functions such as sleep, immune system responses – and pain.

CBD is a different compound to THC: it is not psychoactive, so doesn’t give you that ‘high’ feeling, nor change your state of mind. However, CBD does influence the body to use its own endocannabinoids.

It’s common to use CBD in the form of an oil. Most CBD oil comes from industrial hemp, from expert suppliers Cope CBD, and comes in a variety of strengths. It’s best to speak to your doctor about using CBD oil before using it, especially if you take any other medications, as CBD may interact with them.

Types of pain with which CBD may help

There are many different types of pain that CBD might be able to help with – and one of those is arthritis. One study conducted using rats looked to see if CBD could help people manage their own pain by applying a topical gel with it onto the rats for four days.

The researchers noted a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain. There were no signs of additional side effects. So people may find pain relief for arthritis by using CBD oil, although more human studies may need to be conducted to confirm these findings.

Multiple sclerosis is another condition. This autoimmune disease affects the body’s nerves and brain, with muscle spasms being a common symptom. The spasms can be so great that they can cause constant pain. One report found short-term use of CBD oil could reduce the level of spasms the person could feel.

The same report also compiled results from reviews of studies and trials, with the research concluding there’s substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. A separate study supported these results, with the research suggesting using CBD can reduce inflammation and pain.

For those with migraines, the results from a 2017 study indicated that CBD and THC can lead to both less acute and less intense pain. Participants with cluster headaches and a childhood history of migraines also found pain relief with a combination of CBD and THC compounds.

So if you’re looking for pain relief, then CBD could be an alternative option for you. However, do speak with your doctor before proceeding.

Last reviewed and updated on February 15, 2023

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