Perhaps the most prevalent use for CBD is for pain management.
The reality is that pain will affect everyone at some point in his or her life, and it’s comforting to know that there is a natural remedy that can help. The use of a natural remedy is especially important for those suffering from neuropathic pain and chronic pain—pain that lasts for more than a few months. Chronic pain affects more than 1.5 billion people in worldwide. The worst part? It can’t be cured.
However, it can be treated, and the irony is that in the United States, the most common medical treatments are nerve blocks, steroids, and narcotics (opioids)—many of which carry significant risk of side effects and addiction. Even over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin and ibuprofen are dangerous when used regularly—hospitalizing over 100,000 people each year and killing approximately 15,000.
The good news is, dangerous narcotics and NSAIDs are not your only option for pain relief! In addition to physical therapy and selfcare, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based pain relief. CBD is fundamentally different than most prescribed painkillers, as it’s not addictive, non-toxic, and has very minimal (if any) side effects.
Whether the chronic pain is in your back, neck, hands, feet, or elsewhere—CBD can help! In order to understand how CBD helps provide pain relief, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of pain.
2007 study looked at the effects of cannabinoids on treating the debilitating pain experienced by 50-70% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The double-blind placebo controlled study concluded
Cannabinoids including the cannabidiol (CBD)/THC buccal spray are effective in treating neuropathic pain in MS.
Another 2007 study evaluated the long-term tolerability ad effectively of a THC/CBD pharmaceutical known as Sativex. The study concluded THC/CBD was effective, with no evidence of tolerance, in these select patients with CNP and MS who completed approximately 2 years of treatment.
A 2008 study found that a controlled cannabis extract, containing multiple cannabinoids, in a defined ratio, and other non-cannabinoid fractions (terpenes and flavonoids) provided better antinociceptive efficacy than the single cannabinoid given alone. This is why the use of full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective in treating pain than taking CBD isolate alone – you want the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids contained in the plant.
A 2010 study looked at the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. This study shows that THC/CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain not fully relieved by strong opioids.
A 2011 study evaluated the effects of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), on pain management. The study concluded CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.
2012 study reported systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance. These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases.
A 2014 study stated the endocannabinoid system has been elucidated over the last several years, demonstrating a significant interface with pain homeostasis. Exogenous (plantbased)
cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.
Another 2014 study concluded analgesia is one the principal therapeutic targets of the cannabinoid system and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoid compounds in the
treatment of neuropathic pain.
Yet another 2014 study investigated CBD’s therapeutic potential in treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CIPN). Scientists conclude adjunct treatment with CBD during PAC chemotherapy may be safe and effective in the prevention or attenuation of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.
As indicated by the studies above, CBD is an effective analgesic that’s able to relieve certain types of chronic pain better than strong opioids.
AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx
Deadly NSAIDS. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/deadly-nsaids
Iskedjian, M., Bereza, B., Gordon, A., Piwko, C., & Einarson, T. R. (2007, January). Meta-analysis of cannabis based treatments for neuropathic and multiple sclerosis related pain. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17257464
Rog, D. J., Nurmikko, T. J., & Young, C. A. (2007, September). Oromucosal delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis: An uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18035205
Comelli, F., Giagnoni, G., Bettoni, I., Colleoni, M., & Costa, B. (2008, August). Antihyperalgesic effect of a Cannabis sativa extract in a rat model of neuropathic pain: Mechanisms involved. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18618522
Johnson, J. R., Burnell-Nugent, M., Lossignol, D., Ganae-Motan, E. D., Potts, R., & Fallon, M. T. (2010, February). 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. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326
Maione, S., Piscitelli, F., Gatta, L., Vita, D., De, L., Palazzo, E., . . . Di, V. (2011, February). Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anaesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20942863
Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., . . . Zhang, L. (2012, June 04). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736
Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2014, October). Cannabinoids for neuropathic pain. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25160710
McDonough, P., McKenna, J. P., McCreary, C., & Downer, E. J. (2014, October). Neuropathic orofacial pain: Cannabinoids as a therapeutic avenue. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25150831
Ward, S. J., McAllister, S. D., Kawamura, R., Murase, R., Neelakantan, H., & Walker, E. A. (2014, February). Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT(1A) receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117398