Research shows promising results for the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil in the treatment of chronic and difficult to treat pain, especially given its low risk profile. CBD oil has little to no side effects and may provide a safer alternative to habit-forming opioids, such as fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone.
Cannabidiol is one of over 80 active compounds found in marijuana called cannabinoids. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, CBD does not create the feelings of euphoria and intoxication, or being “high”.
If you’re interested to see whether CBD oil may help relieve your pain, keep reading to learn what the available research says.
CBD for chronic pain
Chronic pain can be a complication of many diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cancer, certain autoimmune diseases, and infections. Many of these illnesses can result in the body attacking its own nerve tissues, causing a condition known as neuropathy.
Common symptoms of neuropathy include painful tingling, numbness, prickling, or muscle weakness in the extremities. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are thought to play a role in the development of this disorder.
One animal study showed CBD can significantly diminish neuropathic pain caused by external temperature or pressure changes and reduce the presence of inflammation-causing immune cells in the nervous system.
CBD for arthritis pain
According to statistics gathered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 and older have been diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis limits the daily activities of about 44 percent of these adults.
Some of the clinical treatments for arthritis, while effective, can produce unwanted side effects, such as immune suppression. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, has little to no side effects and has been shown to reduce joint swelling, joint membrane thickening, and pain in animal arthritis models. While more research is needed, the results are promising.
CBD for MS-related pain and spasticity
Many people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis suffer from spasticity, an uncomfortable and frequently painful condition that includes stiffness and involuntary muscle spasms. Spasticity can be mild to severe, ranging from tightness and pain of the muscles, back, and joints to uncontrollable spasms of the arms and legs.
A review of 50 MS patients treated with a combination of THC and CBD revealed 80 percent of participants saw improvements in spasticity. Researchers concluded this combination may be a good alternative treatment for those with difficult to treat spasticity related to MS.
CBD for pain management in cancer patients
According to the National Cancer Institute, Cannabidiol has shown potential in the treatment of cancer and associated pain. Various studies have shown CBD may relieve pain through its anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent nerve issues arising from chemotherapy.
CBD may also enhance certain cancer treatments. One study involving malignant tumor cells from human nerve tissue showed that cannabidiol can boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy. CBD increases cancer cell death while leaving normal cells unharmed.
CBD safety: side effects and dosage
Currently, there is no consensus on the best dosage of CBD in the treatment of pain, as more research is still needed. Dosages will likely vary depending on many factors, including your tolerance level and condition.
Of course, you should always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or changing any treatment regimen, even when taking naturally-derived products such as high-quality hemp oil.