How to Use CBD for Pain Management
Perhaps the most prevalent use for CBD is for pain management. The reality is that pain will affect everyone at some point in his or her life, and it’s comforting to know that there is a natural remedy that can help. The use of a natural remedy is especially important for those suffering from neuropathic pain and chronic pain – or pain that lasts for more than a few months. Chronic pain affects more than 3 million people in the United States every year – and the worst part? It can’t be cured. However, it can be treated and the irony is that in the United States, the most common medical treatments are nerve blocks, steroids, and narcotics (opioids) – many of which carry significant risk of side effects and addiction. Even over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin and ibuprofen are dangerous when used regularly – hospitalizing over 100,000 people each year and killing approximately 15,000. However, dangerous narcotics and NSAIDs are not your only option for pain relief! In addition to physical therapy and self-care, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimin for natural, plant-based pain relief. CBD is fundamentally different than most prescribed painkillers, as it’s not addictive, non-toxic, and has very minimal (if any) side effects.
Whether the chronic pain is in your back, neck, hands, feet, or elsewhere – CBD can help! In order to understand how CBD helps provide pain relief, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of pain. We will address the results below.
A 2007 study looked at the effects of cannabinoids on treating the debilitating pain experienced by 50-70% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The double-blind placebo-controlled study concluded that “cannabinoids including the cannabidiol (CBD)/THC buccal spray are effective in treating neuropathic pain in MS.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17257464
Another 2007 study evaluated the long-term tolerability ad effectively of a THC/CBD pharmaceutical known as Sativex. The study concluded that, “THC/CBD was effective, with no evidence of tolerance, in these select patients with CNP and MS who completed approximately 2 years of treatment.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18035205
A 2014 study stated that, “The endocannabinoid system has been elucidated over the last several years, demonstrating a significant interface with pain homeostasis. Exogenous (plant-based) cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25160710
Another 2014 study suggested that, “Analgesia is one the principal therapeutic targets of the cannabinoid system and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of neuropathic pain.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25150831
A 2014 study investigated CBD’s therapeutic potential in treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CIPN). Scientists concluded that, “adjunct treatment with CBD during PAC chemotherapy may be safe and effective in the prevention or attenuation of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117398
A 2008 study found, “that a controlled cannabis extract, containing multiple cannabinoids, in a defined ratio, and other non-cannabinoid fractions (terpenes and flavonoids) provided better antinociceptive efficacy than the single cannabinoid given alone…” This is why the use of full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective in treating pain than taking CBD isolate alone – you want the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids contained in the plant.
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18618522
A 2011 study evaluated the effects of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), on pain management. The study concluded that, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20942863
A 2012 study reported that, “systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance…These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases…”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736
A 2010 study looked at the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. “This study shows that THC:CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain not fully relieved by strong opioids.”
Recommended CBD Regimen for Pain Management
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness (like chronic or neurological pain), it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute flair ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.
In order to manage pain, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from any kind of pain start with 5-10mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain 25mg of CBD per pill – there is no harm in starting at 25mg CBD daily as you cannot overdose on CBD nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
For pain located in the skin, bones, muscle, ligaments, tendons, or myofascial tissue, we also recommend supplementing with a topical salve like the Deep Rub. This extra strength salve penetrates deep beneath the skin layer to reduce inflammation and pain. Relief can be felt within 15 minutes and lasts several hours. Simply re-apply as necessary.
Managing Acute Flair Ups
In addition to the daily pain management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flair ups. Whether it’s caused by a recent injury, cold weather, or general aggravation – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute pain flair ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
You can also ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures or pills to combat these flair ups, just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing. CBD topical salves can also be used to manage acute pain flair ups.