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A woman holding a dropper for CBD oil over the bottle.

How Can CBD Oil Help with Pain?

Pain relief is one of the many uses of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and people have been using it for several years for this purpose. In this blog, we are going to take a look at the potential pain-relieving effects of CBD oil but first, let’s see what CBD oil is and how you can use it.   

What is CBD oil?  

Created by mixing CBD extract into a carrier oil, CBD oil is the most popular CBD product. The primary ingredient in CBD oil is CBD, and it doesn’t contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is why the user doesn’t experience the high effect. Instead, they may get a feeling of calm and relaxation. CBD oil is available in three different types, including:  

Isolate CBD oil  

Similar to other isolated CBD products, isolate CBD oil only contains CBD. The rest of the 113 cannabinoids aren’t present in the isolate oil, so it’s best for those who can’t tolerate the effects of those cannabinoids.    

Broad-spectrum CBD oil  

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains almost all the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, except for THC. Broad-spectrum oil is popular amongst those who want to benefit from the cannabinoids and the components of the cannabis plant but have a sensitivity to THC.    

Full-spectrum CBD oil  

Full-spectrum CBD oil is almost the same as broad-spectrum oil; the only difference is that it includes THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Full-spectrum CBD oil is also referred to as hemp oil, and the legal limit of THC in this type of oil is up to 0.3%. The percentage of THC is so low that it is highly unlikely for it to cause intoxication. The cannabis plant components in full-spectrum CBD oil work together and provide better outcomes than the other types of CBD oil; they create something called the entourage effect by complimenting each other’s effects.    

How can you use CBD oil for pain?  

There are multiple ways of using CBD oil for pain, a few of which are listed below:  

Applying it on the skin  

Topical application is probably the most popular method of using CBD oil for pain. In this method, you put a few drops of CBD oil on your hand and then massage it on the problem area. You can also apply the oil directly to the problem area instead of putting it on your hand. When using this method, you don’t need any additional equipment, and you don’t need to closely watch the dosage as much as the other methods on the list because, in the topical application, the CBD doesn’t enter your bloodstream, so there are reduced chances of severe side effects or reaction. Just avoid using it on open wounds because it may aggravate the wound.   

Putting a few drops under the tongue  

Sublingual administration of CBD oil in which you put a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, hold them in your mouth and then swallow them after one or two minutes. This method of using CBD oil is considered to be one of the most effective methods of using CBD oil; the CBD gets absorbed by the receptors under your under and quickly reach the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). The dropper is usually included in the bottle of CBD oil, so you don’t need to buy any additional tools for this method as well. However, you do need to watch how much CBD oil you are consuming.   

Adding it to your food  

Perhaps the most delicious method of using CBD oil for pain, eating edibles containing CBD oil is another popular method. You can buy these edibles from the market or make your own at home if you know your way around a kitchen. This method of using CBD oil is also very effective, but as the sublingual method, you need to watch the dosage of CBD oil as too much CBD oil may not provide the results that you need. Edibles sometimes take up to four hours to take effect, so be sure to wait a while after taking the initial dose.   

How does CBD oil help with pain?  

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it is time to see how CBD oil helps with pain.   

By relieving chronic pain  

Research suggests that CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of the ECS and helps relieve chronic pain. The cell-signaling system, known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps maintain the natural rhythm and balance of our body and regulates multiple critical functions of our body like stress, mood, appetite, memory, sleep. Immunity, metabolism and pain. The cannabinoid receptors with which the CBD oil reacts make up the ECS and these receptors belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptor. The receptors are located on top of the cells that communicate with our body using chemical messages from various stimuli and facilitate the response of the cells according to the chemical signals. These cells also help with pain management by exerting anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects as a response to the chemical signals and by interacting with the receptors, CBD oil increases the efficiency of the pain-relieving properties of these cells.   

A Frontiers in Pharmacology review, which assessed the efficacy of CBD for relieving three different types of chronic pain including neuropathic, fibromyalgia, and cancer pain, suggests that CBD effectively helps in pain management without causing any adverse side effects.   

By relieving cancer-related pain  

Cancer patients are becoming more and more open towards using CBD oil and other CBD products for the management of the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the CBD may provide the following benefits to cancer patients:  

  • Pain relief  
  • Better sleep  
  • Antiemetic effects  
  • Appetite stimulation  

    There are several symptoms and side effects of cancer that may be managed with CBD; these side effects include pain, nausea, and vomiting. According to a Journal of Pain and Symptom Management study looking at the effects of a CBD+THC based oral medication on cancer-related pain when used with the traditional opioid-based treatment, the cannabinoids and the opioid work together and provide enhanced pain-relieving effects. Another study published by the same journal reviewing the difference in the effects of THC and a combination of CBD+THC on cancer-related pain also suggests that the combination is more effective for relieving pain when used with the standard pain-relieving treatment.   

    By relieving arthritis pain  

    When it comes to alternative treatments for relieving arthritis pain, CBD is considered to be one of the most effective ones. During an animal study conducted in 2016, researchers applied different doses of CBD gel on rats with arthritis pain for four days. The daily doses that the researchers used were 0.6 mg, 3.1 mg, 6.2 mg, and 62.3 mg and after four days, the researchers concluded that CBD effectively reduces pain in animal models and doesn’t cause any apparent and adverse side effects. During the study, rats receiving lower doses of the gel, 0.6 and 3.1 mg, didn’t experience any significant changes in their pain; however, those receiving 6.2 mg of CBD every day showed signs of reduced swelling and inflammation. The 62.3 mg dose of the CBD had the same effects as the 6.2 mg dose and didn’t relieve pain more than the 6.2 mg dose. These results are from an animal study, which is why we need more human studies to determine the effects of CBD on arthritis pain accurately.   

    By relieving migraine pain   

    There aren’t a lot of studies looking into the role of CBD for relieving migraine pain, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is probably one of the most overlooked areas in CBD research. The studies and research that we currently have only look at the effects of a combination of CBD and THC on migraine pain. A two-phased study published by the European Academy of Neurology suggests that the combination of THC and CBD is effective for treating lower intensity migraine pain and acute pain.   

    During the first phase of the study, the researchers gave an oral solution containing 9% CBD with a minor amount of THC to the participants. When the dosage of the spray was kept less than 100 mg in phase one, the participants didn’t experience much of a difference in their pain levels, but the acute pain was reduced by 50% when the dose was increased to 200 mg.   

    During the second phase of the study, the researchers gave a 200 mg dose of an oral solution containing 9% CBD and 19% THC to the participants. As a result, the migraine attack frequency fell over by 40.4%. The dosage and the composition of the oral solution used in the second phase compounds was more effective than a 25 mg dose of a tricyclic antidepressant called amitriptyline, which only reduced the migraine frequency of 40.1%. The combination used in the second phase also reduced pain caused by cluster headaches in participants with a childhood history of migraines.   

    What are the side effects of CBD oil?  

    According to experts CBD oil and other CBD products are safe and don’t have any serious side effects; however, there is still a chance that CBD oil may cause a few side effects. These side effects may include:   

    • Fatigue  
    • Diarrhea  
    • Changes in weight and appetite  


    There is still a lot of confusion regarding CBD oil because it reacts differently in different people; however, the general consensus is that it is safe and provides several benefits to the user. Before using CBD oil for pain or for any other reason, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional to see if it is a suitable option for you.