CBD Help with Pain

Can CBD Help with Pain? An Examination of the Benefits

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freya CBCCURE: Can CBD Help with Pain?

Chronic pain is an increasing public health issue of enormous proportions, especially against the backdrop of an aging population in industrialized countries. The associated facts and figures are daunting:

This article aims to provide information on the cannabinoid mechanisms of analgesia, review randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of available and emerging cannabinoid substances, and address the many sensitive issues that have arisen with the clinical use of cannabis as a medicinal plant ("medical marijuana"). It attempts to put the problems into context and propose rational approaches that alleviate concerns and show how standardized pharmaceutical cannabinoids can be a welcome addition to the pharmacotherapeutic toolkit for treating chronic pain.


A study in the European Journal of Pain used an animal model to determine whether CBD can help people with arthritis relieve their pain. The researchers applied a topical CBD gel to rats with arthritis for four days. Their findings showed a significant reduction in inflammation and pain symptoms without additional adverse effects. People using CBD oil for arthritis may experience relief from their pain, but more studies with human subjects are needed to confirm these results.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body through the nerves and brain. Muscle spasms are one of the most common symptoms of MS. These spasms can be so severe in some people that they cause constant pain. A report found that the short-term use of CBD could reduce a person's spasticity. The results are modest, but many people reported a reduction in symptoms.

Chronic Pain

The same report studied the general use of CBD for chronic pain. The researchers compiled the results of several systematic reviews covering dozens of studies and trials. Their research concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. A separate study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine supports these results. This research suggests that using CBD can reduce pain and inflammation. The researchers also found that participants were unlikely to build a tolerance to the effects of CBD, so they would not need to continually increase their dose. They noted that cannabinoids like CBD could offer promising new treatment options for people with chronic pain. CBD has significant potential for pain relief. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be used to treat chronic pain in many cases. CBD is especially promising because it does not have intoxicating effects and has a potentially lower side effect profile than many other pain medications.

Further Research

In Europe, more than a quarter of older adults suffer from chronic musculoskeletal pain with disability (Frondini et al., 2007), while in Australia, half of older adults have persistent pain, with up to 80% in nursing homes (Gibson, 2007). According to an ABC News survey in the USA, 19% of adults (38 million) have chronic pain, and 6% (or 12 million) have used cannabis for treatment (ABC News et al., 2005).

Particularly challenging is the treatment of patients with difficult-to-treat conditions, such as cancer-related pain, neuropathic pain, and central pain states (e.g., pain associated with multiple sclerosis), who are often inadequately treated with existing opioids, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Physicians are seeking new approaches to treating these conditions but are often concerned about increased government scrutiny of their prescribing practices (Fishman, 2006), the misuse of prescription medications, or diversions. The introduction of cannabinoid medicines into the pharmacopoeia offers a novel approach to treating chronic pain, giving many new hope but also sparking controversy among politicians and the public.


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