Several government agencies view marijuana as a drug that has no medical use, and severe safety concerns. But, doctors are researching marijuana use and have found that it may have a place in treating a few conditions. Most recently, doctors are doing research to see if patients can use CBD oil for pain.
What is CBD Oil?
Within the oily resin of the cannabis plant, scientists have found the CBD compound. Within this resin, there are several compounds, including CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). To protect itself from the sun rays, as well as insects and bacteria, the marijuana plant produces this resin. The resin that protects the plant is the part that benefits human health.
CBD oil contains chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain. The most commonly known cannabinoid is THC. THC causes the “high” that people experience when they use marijuana. CBD oil though is a different cannabinoid. It has little to no THC in it, so it won’t produce a “high” feeling. It is important to keep in mind that even though you won’t have any alteration in your mental state, you might still test positive for THC on a drug test.
CBD Oil for Pain
The preliminary research into CBD oil suggests that it may be helpful for pain. Scientists are still trying to determine how CBD oil might help with pain. But, scientists believe that cannabinoids influence how we experience pain. It has been found that CBD oil applied topically to areas of pain provide more consistent levels of CBD.
The majority of research conducted is in animals, so it is hard to say whether the pain relief seen would be seen with people. A study conducted on rats with arthritis showed a reduction in pain and inflammation.1 One study published recently looked at the few human trials that have looked at the pain-relieving effects of CBD oil. The studies found that various cannabis-based medicines used to treat chronic neuropathic pain may help with pain relief and reduce pain intensity.2
The preliminary research into CBD oil can help with arthritis pain. Some studies have found that CBD oil can improve pain and sleep, but the studies were small and not of great quality.3 Doctors, who are experts in chronic pain, are still recommending CBD oil, even though the research is in its preliminary stage.
Suggestions for Using CBD Oil for Pain
If you decide with your doctor that using CBD oil is a good option for your pain management, here are a few suggestions for using CBD safely.
- Start with a low dose
- Slowly increase your dose until you see an effect
- You can spread your intake out through the day. Take one dose in the morning, afternoon and night or just one to two times daily.
Risks of Using CBD Oil
Doctors have found that marijuana can have negative health effects when it is smoked. However, scientists have found CBD oil to be relatively safe. There have been few to no side effects with CBD oil use. Therefore, using CBD oil may be a good option for people who have side effects with other medications. Patients taking medication for anxiety can experience a lot of side effects as well, which is why CBD oil for anxiety is gaining popularity.
Since finding the right amount to start can be tricky it is recommended that customers consult with their doctor. This table should be a great starting point for most people. It will explain how much CBD to take depending on what your weight is. A dose that might be right for one customer may not be right for another and therefore it is important to try a low dose and increase slowly.
- Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejp.818. Accessed April 3, 2019.
- Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD012182.pub2/full. Accessed April 3, 2019.
- CBD Oil: Should you try it for arthritis symptoms? Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/cannabidiol-oil.php. Accessed April 3, 2019.