If you’re reading this, chances are you’re dealing with some sort of chronic pain. Be it due to an injury or something more permanent, like arthritis, the question above is certainly worth asking.
The irony is that these days, doctors are perfectly happy to prescribe strong narcotics, like Percocet or Oxycodone. These have the potential for abuse, addiction and even death by overdose. That being said, it’s no wonder why a lot of people (perhaps yourself included) are eager to look into something a little less drastic.
While there’s still a great deal of debate going on about cannabis and its derivatives being useful from a therapeutic perspective, the potential for CBD oil to mitigate pain is something worth considering. A quick look into the history of cannabis, in addition to current anecdotal and scientific evidence, appears to speak for itself.
Pain and Cannabis: A Brief History
Historically, there have been two types of cannabis used for therapeutic purposes. The two types of cannabis we are referring to are marijuana and hemp.
Cannabis sativa is the species of cannabis from which marijuana originates, with additional sub-species like cannabis indica as well. Marijuana has intoxicating effects and is arguably the most well-known plant in the Cannabis genus. CBD hemp oil, however, is taken from a non-intoxicating, industrial variety of Cannabis sativa called hemp. Both marijuana and hemp have been used in the past to treat pain, among many other ailments.
Although it’s only recently that we’ve managed to isolate CBD and use its extract for a variety of medical conditions, cannabis in general has been used both therapeutically and recreationally for thousands of years.
According to an article in Live Science, “Both were used widely in ancient China…The first record of the drug’s medicinal use dates to 4000 B.C. The herb was used, for instance, as an anesthetic during surgery.”
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. An article by Narconon International (an organization specializing in drug rehabilitation) explains that “Marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 and was prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism.”
Considering its rich history as a medicine for a variety of issues – pain being just one of many – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cannabis has seen a renaissance with our improved ability to conduct reliable research.
Can I Use CBD Oil for Pain?
The information we covered above refers to cannabis in general. The oil we’re talking about here is specific to hemp, which is rich in the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD with only traces of THC – the cannabinoid in marijuana that gets you “high.”
Despite the growing popularity of cannabis legalization, CBD as an analgesic (pain reliever) hasn’t received much attention until now. Even so, research is still only preliminary. But from what we’ve seen so far, the answer to the question above is leaning to “yes.”
Anecdotal Evidence on Using CBD Oil for Pain
A quick Google search won’t take long to yield hundreds of pages – both commercial and non-profit alike – with people vouching for the effectiveness of CBD hemp oil as a pain reliever.
The online information site, Hemp Oil Facts, lists dozens of messages from satisfied users who attest to the effectiveness of CBD hemp oil to help them deal with pain.
For example, Rebecca H. says, “No question the release I get from the pain beats anything else. Pain pills and muscle relaxers do almost nothing, they really just make me tired…cbd [sic] is a wonderful alternative. I vape it.”
According to Pam J. “It has greatly reduced my fibro symptoms and lowered the degree of pain.”
And in the words of Katie T. “It helps the most out of any medication I have used. I have tried every pain pill, muscle relaxer and all FDA medications for fibromyalgia and nothing or bad reaction.”
Of course, it’s easy for someone to write and submit a review. Some skeptics might argue that these individuals are just experiencing the placebo effect and dismiss these testimonials outright. This is why it’s important to examine the research as well.
Scientific Evidence on CBD Oil for Pain
Whether you’re skeptical or not, the amount of peer-reviewed evidence attesting to the effectiveness of CBD (and by proxy, CBD oil) is promising. For instance, the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study describing CBD as “a non-euphoric, anti-inflammatory analgesic” as a cannabinoid in an approved medication called Sativex.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also published a testimony about the potential use of CBD for multiple issues, including pain. It states that:
“…pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic [emphasis added], anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”
It further explains that, although they can’t rule out the role of THC as a strong contributor to pain relief in certain cannabis medications, “the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD …could be predicted to play a role in the analgesic effects…”
Unfortunately, research into a natural supplement like CBD hemp oil hasn’t had as much attention, with studies into CBD being a by-product of research associated with medical marijuana that contains THC.
We’re definitely not willing to fill in any blanks when it comes to scientific conclusions. But if CBD has analgesic effects – as research implies – then it’s definitely worth some attention.
Hopefully, soon we’ll have information that’s 100% conclusive.
Simply put, CBD hemp oil appears to be a viable option for pain management. While we have tons of strong anecdotal evidence to support its effectiveness, research is promising but not conclusive.
In the end, the best way to know for sure is to try it out for yourself. However, as always, talk to your doctor before using any kind of supplement, including CBD hemp oil.
So far, we’ve covered the following key points:
- Cannabis, including hemp, has been used for thousands of years as a method for pain relief, among other ailments.
- It was used medicinally as late as 1942, where it helped with a variety of ailments, including pain.
- CBD hemp oil is not to be confused with CBD oil, which comes from marijuana and is more likely to contain significant amounts of THC.
- There is strong anecdotal evidence to support the claim that CBD hemp oil helps with pain.
- CBD is thought to be effective at helping with pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties
- Peer-reviewed, scientific research on the topic is more limited, and therefore not as conclusive (albeit still promising)