By now, you’ve heard the buzzword “CBD.” It’s everywhere, and folks seem to be using it for everything from their joint pain to their dog’s anxiety. There’s a reason why CBD is so popular — this incredible all-natural compound is a therapeutic remedy for a number of common ailments and health conditions, including anxiety and depression, seizures, and pain (among many other things!).
If you’re considering using CBD for pain, you’re not alone. An increasing number of people are turning to CBD for pain relief. In fact, a recent Gallup poll showed that 14% of adults in the United States have used or regularly use CBD. But what is CBD? Does it work?
What Is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains chemicals unique to the plant, called cannabinoids. The two major cannabinoids are:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes a person feel “high”
- Cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive effects but can provide a number of therapeutic benefits.
Both CBD and THC act upon a communication system in the body, known as the endocannabinoid system.
CBD is often sought after because it provides therapeutic relief without causing a “high” feeling, allowing the user to get relief from what ails them without feeling impaired. CBD isolate — found in many products available — is the purest form, containing 99% CBD with no other additives or chemicals from the plant from which it is derived.
How Can I Use CBD?
CBD can be both ingested and applied topically. The method of use is based on personal preference and the area of the body for which it is required. The most common methods of using CBD for pain include:
- Oil (taken orally)
- Topical use (creams, balms, salves)
- Edibles (gummy candies, chocolate, baked goods, beverages)
- Inhalation (through vaping oil or smoking flower)
CBD is most commonly available as an oil or in capsule form, though you can find it in a number of different edibles, including gummy candies, honey, chocolate bars, and even energy drinks!
If you are experiencing muscle pain or spasms, CBD applied topically can target the pain directly. Patches, body oils and even bath bombs are available for this purpose.
The mode of use is entirely up to you — whether you prefer to use it in an oil or tincture, as a lotion or salve, or consume it through an edible is personal preference. Generally speaking, the effects of CBD consumed orally will be felt faster than if applied topically. However, if applied topically, the effects may last longer, particularly for pain.
How Does CBD Work to Reduce Pain?
Your body has a communication system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is located throughout your entire body. The ECS has two primary receptors: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. When you use CBD, your body “communicates” with the ECS to produce the desired effects. CBD specifically interacts with the CB2 receptor to provide therapeutic effects, such as pain relief.
CBD Dosage to Manage Pain
CBD dosage depends on your specific needs as well as the method of use. Though research shows there are no potential negative side effects, you’ll want to keep the dosage low when you first begin using it and build your way up based on your body’s response. You can gradually increase your dosage over time.
Applied topically, CBD can be used liberally. Before you overdo it though, remember that its effects may take longer to appear, so think twice before you slather on more cream only minutes after you first applied it.
Talk to your medical professional about any concerns you have. Generally speaking, it is not possible to “overdose” on CBD, though it is important to follow the recommended dosages for the product(s) you are using.
Does CBD Really Help with Pain?
In a word: yes. CBD is effective for pain management and pain relief, and there’s research to back it up.
Research shows that CBD may be an effective treatment for joint pain. Another study showed that topical application of CBD has the potential to relieve pain. Research supports its use in managing migraine and headaches pain, too.
CBD is an effective therapeutic tool for managing chronic and acute pain. It is safe enough to be used by both adults and children and can be used safely when at work, school, or participating in sports.
CBD is proven to be effective in managing and relieving many types of pain, whether long-term or temporary. Researchers continue to discover the benefits of the compound for treating and managing a number of health conditions and concerns. There’s a reason why CBD is so popular. It works! Try it for yourself and see.