CBD Oil: A Promising Alternative for Pain Management and Relief

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Aches and pains are inevitable, especially for people with an athletic lifestyle. And while there are many pain relievers available, there’s one that’s been getting attention nowadays—CBD oil. And in this blog, we’ll discuss its benefits in pain management. Let’s get started!

What is CBD Oil? 

CBD oil is derived from the plant species Cannabis. And as you might already know, its strains have many healing benefits more than just getting you high. Yes, you read it right!

 

Cannabis has more than 100 compounds known as cannabinoids. One of them is CBD or Cannabidiol. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this element does not produce that euphoric “high” Cannabis is known for. Instead, it influences the body to use its endocannabinoids more effectively, regulating sleep, immune-system responses, and especially pain. 

 

While the evidence for CBD’s health benefits is limited due to restrictions, the research over the last two decades about its efficacy as a painkiller or analgesic shows great results. Let’s take a look closer at them.

CBD Oil for Pain Management

As of today, there are no CBD-based painkillers authorized in the US but Epidiolex. This medication, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is used to treat uncommon types of epilepsy.

 

Meanwhile, CBD has received approval from various countries to treat particular conditions. In the UK, CBD is approved to treat multiple sclerosis. Canada, on the other hand, approved it for cancer pain.

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More research is required to help us identify the therapeutic potential of CBD and establish safe and effective dosages for pain. But here’s what we know so far about CBD oil’s benefits for pain management based on the current research.

Arthritis Pain 

Arthritis is an umbrella term for numerous joint-related pains and conditions. It’s one of the significant causes of disability in the United States. The common symptoms of this pain include swelling and joint discomfort. 

 

According to the Arthritis Foundation, anecdotal data suggest that some people who have arthritis and are using CBD report a noticeable improvement in their joint pains, sleep, and even anxiety. However, they also note that there are no thorough clinical trials on humans with arthritis to support this. Hence, they’ve urged the FDA to study and regulate CBD-based products.

 

The first controlled trial was conducted in 2006, focusing on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which produces inflammation in the joints and other affected areas. Here, researchers found that Sativex has shown remarkable results in improving their pain levels when moving or at rest and their sleep quality. Additionally, there were no complications with withdrawal, and adverse reactions were low to moderate.

 

In 2018, researchers examined the effectiveness of topical CBD gel on people with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Participants applied an overall 500 milligrams (split into two applications) of it daily for 12 weeks. The result, their weekly pain levels didn’t improve as much compared to the placebo. However, when researchers evaluated the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function ratings and weekly pain scores, those who used 250 mg of CBD daily showed a substantial improvement over those who used a placebo.

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Meanwhile, in 2020, another study concluded that CBD could be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, a type of arthritis that causes whole-body fatigue and pain. However, they also say that the evidence is still limited.

Neuropathic Pain 

Neuropathic pain is one that’s caused by nerve injuries. It usually has symptoms like tingling, muscle weakness, numbness, and burning pain. Besides herniated discs and shingle infections, multiple sclerosis (MS) is the common cause of neuropathic pain. And now, there’s already a CBD product that’s approved for MS treatment—Sativex Spray. It’s supported by studies, saying that patients with MS should receive a daily dose of eight sprays, or around 20 milligrams of CBD and 21.6 milligrams of THC.

 

There’s also a study conducted in 2020 that administered CBD oil as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy. And when you compare it to the placebo treatment, the topical CBD greatly reduced intense pains and cold and itchy sensations in patients.

Chronic Pain 

Chronic pain is a kind of pain that lasts for long months and years. And while there are many ways to manage chronic pain, studies have found cannabis can be an effective pain reliever for different chronic conditions. 

 

In 2012, research in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that using CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation. It was also mentioned that participants were not likely to develop a tolerance to its effects, so there was no need for a dose increase over time. 

 

Meanwhile, Sativex, a spray containing an equal mixture of CBD and THC, has demonstrated notable efficacy as an analgesic for cancer-related pain in clinical trials. It’s now approved in Canada but is still undergoing trials in the US for approval. Moreover, a 2019 study concluded that Sativex is an effective add-on treatment for patients suffering chronic pain that stems from various conditions. Nociceptive (body tissues), neuropathic (nerves), and mixed pain are three types of pain where Sativex is proven effective. 

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The Bottom Line

While studies on CBD oils or CBD treatments, in general, are still limited, the current research shows favorable results, especially for pain relief. The compound’s lack of intoxicating effects than other pain medications makes it a promising alternative for pain management. 

 

Regardless, CBD oil still needs more research, especially with human subjects, to learn everything we need to know about it. If more regions ease their restrictions on using medical cannabis, we will be able to understand the proper use of CBD oil, its benefits, and health risks.