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Can You Use CBD Oil for Pain?

In addressing acute pain and chronic conditions, the benefits of CBD emerge without the intoxicating properties linked to THC. Cannabidiol, or CBD, interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a crucial regulator of bodily functions.

From emotional responses to motor control, this system influences energy balance, making Cannabis a potential player when it comes to relieving pain. Over the past two decades, scientific exploration into CBD’s efficacy as an analgesic has yielded promising results.

Preliminary research indicates that CBD is a valuable tool in pain management, offering relief without the adverse reactions associated with traditional pain medications. In this blog post, we delve into the world of CBD, exploring its effects on pain-related behaviours, its potential benefits, and the current state of research in the field.

How CBD Works for Pain Relief

How CBD Works for Pain Relief

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the active ingredient derived from the cannabis plant that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This system is crucial in regulating various physiological processes, including pain perception.

According to “The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin by R G Pertwee” Studies suggest that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the central nervous system, exerting anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

The cannabinoids suppress inflammatory responses, making CBD a potential game-changer in chronic pain management, particularly in conditions like arthritis pain, neuropathic pain, and even cancer-related pain.

Multiple systematic reviews and meta-analyses support the benefits of CBD for pain relief, showcasing its potential to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain-related behaviours.

CBD for Chronic Pain

CBD has emerged as a promising option for managing chronic pain, defined as persistent discomfort lasting beyond two to three months. Numerous studies highlight the effectiveness of CBD, often in conjunction with THC, as a potent pain reliever for various chronic conditions.

Notably, Sativex, a spray containing equal parts CBD and THC, has shown significant success in clinical trials as an analgesic for cancer-related pain. Approved in Canada for cancer pain treatment, Sativex is currently undergoing U.S. trials for further approval.

A 2019 study identified three types of pain—nociceptive, neuropathic, and mixed—and found Sativex to be an effective and well-tolerated add-on treatment for severe chronic pain. While beneficial for all three types, Sativex demonstrated exceptional efficacy against neuropathic pain.

CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis encompasses various joint-related conditions that manifest with symptoms like swelling, pain, and stiffness. While CBD has proven itself as an analgesic, its potential as an anti-inflammatory substance is evident in animal and preclinical trials, offering hope for arthritis treatment.

Initial controlled trials, such as the 2006 study on rheumatoid arthritis patients using Sativex, demonstrated significant pain improvement. A 2018 investigation into topical CBD gel for osteoarthritis-related knee pain revealed notable benefits, especially with 250 milligrams daily.

A 2019 trial suggested a CBD-THC mix could benefit people living with fibromyalgia, outperforming placebos and individual substances.

CBD for Neuropathic Pain

Various conditions and injuries affecting the nervous system can lead to neuropathic pain, characterized by sensations like tingling, numbness, and sharp, burning discomfort. Among these conditions, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common cause due to its impact on myelin, the protective coating of nerve cells.

Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine, has gained global approval for MS treatment, particularly for its success in clinical trials. Administered as a spray, Sativex has shown efficacy with a median dose of eight sprays daily, providing a balanced mix of CBD and THC.

For those with peripheral neuropathy, a 2020 study explored topically applied CBD oil, revealing a significant reduction in intense pain and sensations compared to a placebo.

CBD Dosage for Pain Relief

In various clinical studies, CBD doses have been observed ranging from as low as 15 mg to 20 mg per day. The effectiveness of CBD in managing pain, whether it’s chronic neuropathic pain, joint pain, or inflammatory and neuropathic pain, has been the subject of extensive research.

Some studies suggest that cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain, making CBD a potential option for those seeking relief from such conditions.

Five Side Effects of CBD for Pain Relief

Five Side Effects of CBD for Pain Relief

There are five side effects of CBD for pain relief are given below:

1. Adverse Reactions and Acute Pain

CBD may cause adverse reactions in some individuals, including nausea, fatigue, and irritability. In cases of acute pain, such as sudden injuries or post-surgery discomfort, users may experience unexpected responses to CBD.

2. Liver Toxicity Concerns with CBD Use

One of the notable side effects associated with CBD is its potential impact on liver function. Studies have indicated that CBD can lead to liver toxicity, raising concerns about its safety, particularly in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions or those using medications metabolized by the liver.

3. Effects on the Central Nervous System

CBD interacts with the central nervous system, affecting neurotransmitter activity. This interaction can lead to changes in perception, mood, and cognition.

4. Central Nervous System Effects in Chronic Pain Management

CBD’s impact on the central nervous system in the context of chronic pain management is a critical aspect. As cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain, their interaction with the central nervous system plays a pivotal role.

5. Potential for Sleep Disorders

While CBD is often explored for its potential to alleviate sleep disorders, paradoxically, some users may experience disturbances in their sleep patterns. The impact of CBD on sleep can vary from person to person, and its use for sleep-related issues should be approached cautiously.

Will CBD Oil Interact With My Current Medications?

Yes, CBD oil can interact with certain medications, and it’s crucial to be aware of potential complications. Research suggests CBD can affect how the body processes drugs, particularly those metabolized by the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzymes.

These enzymes, including many prescription medications, play a crucial role in drug metabolism. When CBD inhibits these enzymes, it can lead to an increase in drug levels in the bloodstream, potentially causing adverse reactions.

It’s essential for individuals using medications for acute pain, chronic pain management, or conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer pain, or rheumatoid arthritis to consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating CBD products.

Although some studies indicate the potential benefits of CBD for pain relief, more research is needed to fully understand its effects on the human body, especially in conjunction with prescription medications.


Which Form of CBD is Best for Pain?

The best form of CBD for pain relief depends on various factors, such as the type of pain and individual preferences. For acute pain, topical CBD products like creams may offer localized relief. Chronic pain, including conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or neuropathic pain, may benefit from oral CBD oils or capsules.

Some individuals find comfort in broad-spectrum CBD, which contains multiple cannabinoids without THC, minimizing adverse reactions. Clinical trials and systematic reviews suggest CBD may reduce inflammation and pain-related behaviours.

What Types of Pain Can CBD Help With?

CBD has shown promise in relieving various types of pain, including arthritis and fibromyalgia. According to “Efficacy, Safety, and Regulation of Cannabidiol on Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review by Maria Resah B Villanueva,” Studies suggest that CBD, derived from the cannabis plant, can interact with the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and manage chronic neuropathic pain.

While it may alleviate pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain, its effectiveness can vary, and more research is needed to understand its full potential. CBD may be beneficial for some individuals experiencing acute pain, but its role in treating severe chronic pain or cancer pain remains under investigation.

Is CBD Safe for Children with Chronic Pain?

CBD use for children with chronic pain raises concerns due to potential risks. There’s a lack of clarity on the safety of CBD products for pediatric patients, as these may contain substances harmful to children. Moreover, the interaction of CBD with other medications is uncertain, posing potential risks. The benefits of CBD for chronic pain management in adults are documented, but the same cannot be conclusively said for children.

Does CBD Help with Arthritis?

Yes, CBD has shown promising benefits for people with arthritis. Research indicates that cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and pain-related behaviours, making CBD a potential ally in managing chronic pain associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Numerous preclinical and clinical studies suggest that CBD’s pain-relieving effects extend to various forms of arthritis, offering relief from joint and acute pain. Additionally, the endocannabinoid system in the human body plays a crucial role in regulating pain, and CBD interacts with this system to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Can CBD be Used for Painkillers?

Yes, CBD is used for pain relief. Extensive research has explored the benefits of CBD for managing various types of pain, including chronic neuropathic pain, joint pain, and muscle spasms. The endocannabinoid system in the human body plays a crucial role in how cannabinoids, like CBD, interact to reduce pain and inflammation.

Numerous preclinical and clinical studies suggest that CBD may be effective in relieving chronic pain by suppressing inflammatory responses and modulating pain-related behaviours.

Is Higher CBD Better for Pain?

Yes, higher CBD content is better for managing pain, particularly chronic and neuropathic pain. According to “Evidence for THC versus CBD in Cannabinoids by Danielle Perry” Numerous preclinical and clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), engage with the endocannabinoid system within the human body.

These interactions are associated with a reduction in inflammation and the alleviation of pain-related behaviours. CBD, derived from the cannabis plant, offers potential benefits for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and severe chronic pain.

Can I Use CBD With Other Medications?

Yes, you can use CBD with other medications, but it’s crucial to approach it with caution. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant known for its potential health benefits. However, its interaction with prescription medications should be carefully monitored.

According to “Cannabidiol Interactions with Medications, Illicit Substances, and Alcohol: a Comprehensive Review by Premalatha Balachandran,” Some studies suggest that CBD can enhance the pain-relieving effects of pain medications, making it a potential option for those suffering from chronic pain, including conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Final Thoughts

The use of CBD for pain relief has garnered significant attention in recent years. Human studies and systematic reviews suggest that CBD may be effective in relieving chronic pain, including conditions like arthritis and neuropathic pain. The endocannabinoid system’s interaction with CBD plays a role in reducing inflammation and pain-related behaviours.

While CBD is generally considered safe, adverse effects such as liver toxicity can occur, especially with high doses. To avoid adverse reactions, consulting with healthcare professionals is advisable, especially for those using prescription medications.


  • Dixon H Xu, Benjamin D Cullen, Meng Tang, Yujiang Fang (May 05, 2020) The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities
  • Wei Xiong, Tanxing Cui, Kejun Cheng, Fei Yang, Shao-Rui Chen, Dan Willenbring, Yun Guan (June 4, 2012) Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors
  • Maria Resah B Villanueva, Narges Joshaghani, Nicole Villa, Omar Badla, Raman Goit (July 14, 2022) Efficacy, Safety, and Regulation of Cannabidiol on Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review
  • Katsiaryna Bykov (January 11, 2021) CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
  • Jakub Mlost, Marta Bryk, and Katarzyna Starowicz (November 21, 2020)Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action

I’m Zoey Roy, a Cannabis Compliance Specialist and Cannabis Activist. I am experienced in guiding individuals and businesses through complex cannabis regulations. With a Bachelor’s degree in Research from McGill University, I’ve worked at Neptune Wellness for 4 years as a senior researcher. Now I serve as a Cannabis Industry Analyst at Tilray Brands, Inc. I provide essential support in ensuring compliance, educating clients, and facilitating legal requirements. My expertise extends to marketing and laboratory skills, making me a well-rounded professional in the field.