CBD for Pain: Benefits and Side Effects

Dealing with chronic pain can be incapacitating for millions of Americans, and painkillers can come with harmful side effects. Because of this, many are seeking a safe and natural alternative. If you’ve been wondering how to use CBD for pain, read on to find out everything you need to know about its benefits and side effects.

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, just like THC – but CBD doesn’t get you high as THC does. The cannabis plant and the hemp plant both contain CBD, but hemp doesn’t contain THC. 

Since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp became legal nationwide in America. This was what helped CBD become so much more popular than it already was. Studies have shown that CBD has potential therapeutic benefits. Perhaps the most promising of those therapeutic benefits is CBD for pain relief.

CBD for Pain Management: Benefits

The complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) signals cells in your body and is existent in all of us. The ECS isn’t fully understood yet. However, scientific research indicates that the possible reason the cannabinoid CBD is an effective pain treatment is that it is linked to the ECS. Microscopic proteins called receptors are inside of your cells, and receive signals within the ECS. These signals create stimuli that cells respond to, which CBD does, and so it acts as an anti-inflammatory. 

One of the things that are common in people with various pain ailments is inflammation, so CBD for pain management may help them. The ECS regulates many things in the human body: mood, sleep, memory, reproduction – and pain. Like all things related to the cannabis plant, more research needs to be done. 

How does CBD help pain? Outside of the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD oil for pain management, there is another important and potentially life-saving aspect of CBD. Many pain sufferers are prescribed powerful and addictive opioids like oxycontin and Vicodin. These pills are highly addictive. Every day, there were 128 deaths attributed to people overdosing on various opioids in 2018. Many pain sufferers have been able to reduce their dependence on opioids thanks to CBD. 

CBD for Chronic Pain

People with chronic pain sometimes have difficulties with daily living, and as previously mentioned, sometimes get addicted to opioids. There are many different options for CBD – gummies, edibles, oils, and topicals. For people with chronic pain, a combination of a CBD topical can work wonders. How much CBD oil for pain will work for you? Be sure to always read the labels and understand that cannabis oil for pain usually has 1mg per dropper, while a CBD edible could have up to 10mg.

Patients with the debilitating chronic pain disease fibromyalgia have reported anecdotally that CBD helps with their pain. For chronic pain sufferers, you might need something stronger. If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, you could have access to CBD with THC oil for pain. Everyone with chronic pain is different, and some products have very little THC and high CBD that could help.

CBD for Arthritis Pain

There are many different types of arthritis, and pain is associated with all of them. CBD for pain might not work for all of them, depending on the specific type of arthritis. There has been some promising evidence from Harvard Health that suggests CBD’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties could help with arthritis. However, these studies were conducted on animals, and no such conclusive evidence currently exists in humans. 

A preliminary study conducted on randomized patients suffering from osteoarthritis showed a bit of promise. The findings were written in the abstract, meaning the trials were summarized haven’t yet been vetted. The patents were told how to use CBD for pain by applying topicals to the problematic areas of their bodies. Not all of the patients reported that they experienced relief, but even mixed results show that the possibility of CBD pain relief for seniors with arthritis exists.

CBD for Cancer Treatment Pain

Going through chemotherapy and radiation as a cancer patient takes a toll on the body. The marijuana plant has shown the possibility of shrinking tumors in lab mice. The cannabis plant can help terminal cancer patients improve their quality of life and possibly help ease their suffering. Hemp CBD might not be the best option for cancer patients. Instead, they should possibly look into gaining access to CBD oil with THC for pain. As stated earlier, hemp CBD and cannabis CBD are very different things but both have their uses. 

CBD for Migraine Pain

A lightning storm in your head, every light seems too bright, no matter how dim. Those who suffer from migraine pain know these feelings all too well. Some who are unfortunate enough to suffer from migraines might find relief with CBD. The reason for this is largely due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. CBD for migraine pain can help reduce the pressure in one’s head, and therefore may help them find much-needed relief.

CBD for Pain Relief: Possible Side Effects

While there are many potential benefits of CBD pain relief, there are some possible side effects. Some people experience vomiting, diarrhea, and irritability, and changes in appetite. Changes in mood and appetite are directly linked to the ECS, as we mentioned earlier. Additionally, if you are taking any medication currently, CBD pills for pain could react to your medication. Always be sure to discuss with your doctor about how to use CBD for pain.

Currently, there is only one CBD product that is approved by the FDA, Epidiolex. The rest of the vast CBD market is unregulated. For this reason, some manufacturers are selling low-quality products. Always make sure that you check that the company you buy your CBD from publishes their lab tests for purity and that they are reputable. Be safe with all of the supplements and products you take.


There are many different ways that CBD pain relief can be helpful for a lot of people. However, there are some possible side effects to be aware of and understand. While it doesn’t work for everyone, it might work for you if you figure out how to use CBD for pain in your own way.

As the CBD market grows, we will see more regulation which should hopefully drive out the bad actors selling low-quality products. In turn, this could make high-quality CBD companies more competitive, making it easier to get some CBD pain relief. 

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