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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 5 min read

    CBD Oil for Pain

    Cannabidiol (CBD) has been touted for various therapeutic benefits, including anxiety relief, mental health benefits, skin health, and pain management. In this article, you will learn what CBD oil is and if you can use it for different types of pain. Keep reading to find out more.

    CBD oil has become a popular treatment for various mental and physical health conditions. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound of the cannabis plant. This plant has been used for centuries to treat pain and other health-related conditions. Science reveals that the individual cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are responsible for the numerous therapeutic benefits that cannabis is associated with. CBD oil contains CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. CBD oil for pain can be taken sublingually or applied topically. Research indicates that CBD oil may be effective for different types of pain, such as neuropathic pain, back pain, arthritis pain, and cancer-related pain. While CBD oil seems to produce promising results in managing various conditions, researchers have not yet proved its full potential as a pain reliever. Besides, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD for pain management. Learn more about CBD oil for pain management below.

    CBD Oil for Pain

    What Is CBD Oil?

    CBD oil comprises cannabidiol extract and carrier oils such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally-occurring compound of hemp, a cannabis plant. Its psychoactive counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is found in marijuana, another type of cannabis plant. CBD and THC are closely similar, except that THC is intoxicating. Zuurman et al. (2009) noted that THC causes a 'high' feeling when consumed. CBD oil can be made from three different CBD extracts; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The former contains all the components of cannabis, including THC (less than 0.3%), terpenes, and flavonoids. Note that THC from hemp cannot cause a psychoactive high. Broad-spectrum CBD also contains all the components of the cannabis plant except THC. It is the most common extract used by many brands that manufacture CBD oil. CBD isolate is the purest form, with CBD as the only cannabis compound. Those who want to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without any intoxicating effect or showing positive in a drug test prefer CBD isolate products. Rudroff & Sosnoff (2018) showed that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are more effective than CBD isolate. This is because of a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect," which suggests that cannabinoids produce the best results when they work in combination. However, research is still ongoing to ascertain this claim.

    What Is Pain?

    Pain is generally an uncomfortable feeling, sensation, or emotional experience caused by tissue damage. Pain indicates that there is something wrong in your body. People experience pain differently. This variation may sometimes make it challenging to treat pain. It may be acute or chronic. Acute pain is experienced for a short period, while chronic pain is long-term. Learn more about what are cbd massage oils?

    Causes of Pain

    An injury or a medical condition generally causes pain. Most people experience pain from cuts, muscle cramps, stomach aches, strains, sprains, bone injury, sore throat, and headache, among other causes. Also, medical conditions such as arthritis, flu, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis are common causes of pain.

    Types of Pain

    Inflammatory Pain

    Inflammatory pain is caused by an inflammatory response associated with tissue damage. It occurs after an injury during the healing process.

    Functional Pain

    Functional pain has no apparent cause or origin. It is caused by neither an injury nor a disease. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia are examples of functional pain.

    Nociceptive Pain

    Nociceptive pain is commonly caused by tissue injury. Examples of nociceptive pain include arthritis pain, post-surgical pain, and mechanical back pain. It may also be acute for burns, cuts, and fractures.

    Neuropathic Pain

    Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve irritation. It may result from illnesses and injuries. Health conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or diabetes may cause neuropathic pain.

    CBD Oil for Pain Management

    According to some studies, there is evidence showing that CBD may produce effective results for chronic pain. While CBD seems a promising option for pain management, scientists have not yet proven its full potential as an effective treatment for pain. Besides, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD for pain. According to Argueta et al. (2020), CBD may relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep. However, these effects are condition-specific.

    Some studies indicate that CBD may help manage neuropathic pain. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and infections such as shingles, are common causes of neuropathic pain. Meng et al. (2017) found that CBD effectively managed chronic neuropathic pain in humans. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of CBD on chronic neuropathic pain, including risks and ideal dosage.

    CBD may also reduce back pain by reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality, improving your state of relaxation. CBD may also reduce anxiety which is often associated with chronic back pain. According to Robinson (2021), CBD is a good analgesic with anti-inflammatory properties that help manage back pain almost immediately. According to the study, CBD also can stop various pro-inflammatory mediators. It has protective effects on intervertebral disc degeneration, among the most crucial contributors to chronic back pain. Besides, CBD oil has fewer side effects compared to other conventional medications.

    Patients undergoing cancer treatment often experience challenging moments, including numerous side effects such as chronic pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Johnson et al. (2010) showed the role of CBD oil in reducing inflammation and cancer-related pain. According to Mercandante (2011), Sativex combines THC and CBD and has been developed to relieve neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and persistent background cancer-related pain. However, it is necessary to have more information to justify the role of cannabidiol in managing cancer-related pain.

    Other Benefits of CBD Oil

    • May treat seizures
    • Reduce anxiety and depression
    • Addiction management
    • Improves skin health
    • Reduces high blood pressure
    • Improves mental health
    • Boosts your immune system


    There is still not enough evidence to support CBD oil as a preferred option for managing different types of pain. However, most studies conclude that it may be effective to some extent. The non-intoxicating cannabinoid has shown promising results in managing different types of pain, including back pain, chronic pain, arthritis pain, neuropathic pain, and pain resulting from cancer treatment. CBD is well-tolerated in most users with very mild side effects. However, since the cannabinoid is not yet proven a potential pain reliever, it is recommended to proceed with caution, especially for new users. Ensure that you consult with your doctor before self-medicating with CBD oil.


    Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A balanced approach for cannabidiol use in chronic pain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 561.

    Cream, W. C. T., Price, C., Balm, S. F. S. C., Roll-on, S. F. S., Gel, C. C., Cream, C. O. B., ... & Salve, M. T. R. C. CBD for Back Pain.

    Johnson, J. R., Burnell-Nugent, M., Lossignol, D., Ganae-Motan, E. D., Potts, R., & Fallon, M. T. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. Journal of pain and symptom management, 39(2), 167-179.

    Meng, H., Johnston, B., Englesakis, M., Moulin, D. E., & Bhatia, A. (2017). Selective cannabinoids for chronic neuropathic pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 125(5), 1638-1652.

    Mercadante, S. (2011). Emerging drugs for cancer-related pain. Supportive Care in Cancer, 19(12), 1887-1893.

    Rudroff, T., & Sosnoff, J. (2018). Cannabidiol to improve mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. Frontiers in neurology, 9, 183.

    Zuurman, L., Ippel, A. E., Moin, E., & Van Gerven, J. M. (2009). Biomarkers for the effects of cannabis and THC in healthy volunteers. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 67(1), 5-21.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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