Whether you deal with the simple aches and strains of everyday life or suffer from a chronic condition, you know how profoundly pain can affect your day-to-day experience. Painful conditions can make it difficult to work effectively, exercise and play sports to your fullest ability, get a good night’s sleep, or just spend time with the people you love. This is particularly true when it comes to chronic pain from conditions like arthritis.
No matter the cause or severity of the pain you experience, you’re certain to look for effective relief. Most of us turn to familiar painkillers like Advil or Tylenol when we’re faced with everyday aches and pains, while more serious conditions may call for prescription drugs. Topical treatments are also a popular option for relieving sore or strained muscles after a workout. However, these treatments may not always be totally effective, and some come with troubling side effects.
If you’ve exhausted the typical possibilities for relief from chronic or occasional pain, a new and natural option may be able to improve your quality of life: CBD.
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What is CBD?
Just in case you’re new to the world of CBD, let’s back up and start with a quick overview. CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has become popular in recent years for its wide number of medicinal uses, which range from relieving anxiety and stress to the treatment of digestive problems and even seizures. For many conditions, research on the efficacy of CBD is still in its early stages, but the compound is relatively well studied when it comes to pain relief.
If you’re not familiar with CBD, you might be wondering if it shares the psychoactive effects of other cannabis products, like THC or medical marijuana. The simple answer is no. As long as you choose a CBD-only product, you don’t have to worry about getting high; that means you can safely use CBD for pain relief as you go about your daily life and work.
How Does CBD Relieve Pain?
In recent years, researchers have delved deeply into the science behind CBD to understand how this natural compound relieves pain. Understanding the relationship between CBD and pain relief starts with a closer look at the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors scattered across the body. These receptors help the body maintain homeostasis by regulating functions including mood, memory, pain, and inflammation—and they’re activated by exposure to CBD.
When you ingest CBD or use CBD topicals for pain, components of the endocannabinoid system known as CB2 receptors are activated. These receptors help the body regulate pain and inflammation, which is key to managing many chronic pain conditions like arthritis, as well as daily concerns such as muscle soreness and stiffness.
Because CBD works naturally with your own body to reduce pain and inflammation, it’s excellent at providing effective relief without the worrying side effects of traditional medications. If you suffer from chronic pain, you may want to cut back on your use of over-the-counter drugs like NSAIDS, which can have serious side effects including peptic ulcer disease, acute renal failure, and stroke/myocardial infarction, particularly among older patients. If your pain is more severe, you may also worry about the habit-forming nature of prescription drugs.
By contrast, CBD is not addictive and users generally do not build up a tolerance over time. Its side effects are rare and usually mild; they may include diarrhea, tiredness, and weight changes. While most patients who use CBD for pain don’t experience these symptoms with the proper dosage, you should consult your doctor if you have concerns before using CBD.
What Types of Pain Can CBD Treat?
Because CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors throughout your entire body, research has found it effective at treating a wide spectrum of pain types, ranging from migraines to arthritis. Here are just a few common conditions that may benefit from CBD usage:
If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating these incredibly intense headaches can be—and CBD may be able to help! While the use of CBD for migraines hasn’t been studied extensively, early research has shown promising results for headache sufferers. If your migraines are triggered by stress, poor sleep or anxiety, CBD may also be able to help you avoid the most common causes of headaches before they begin.
Whether you’re a regular runner, sports fanatic, or just an occasional visitor to the gym, you’ve likely experienced a few sports-related injuries over the years. Many athletes swear by CBD oil for joint pain, back pain, and knee pain associated with daily workouts. A CBD cream that’s blended with other cooling agents like menthol may be an especially good choice for soothing sore muscles after the gym.
Because CBD is especially good at fighting inflammation, many people find that a CBD cream for arthritis pain is very beneficial. (Ingestible options like oils or gummies are equally viable.) Research on CBD and arthritis has been particularly robust because this condition can be so life altering and challenging to treat. Studies have shown that CBD is effective at treating arthritis pain along with associated symptoms like joint swelling.
Lots of other conditions can result in chronic pain that affects your daily life, and CBD provides an option for relief with minimal side effects. Many sufferers choose CBD for sciatica pain, shingles pain, menstrual pain, and similar recurring sources of discomfort that might otherwise be treated with OTC medications.
What’s the Right Dosage of CBD for Pain?
As a general rule, it’s best to start out with a low dose of CBD and work your way up until you find an amount that’s effective for managing your pain. Dosages will vary based on your needs, but many experts recommend 20-25mg per day if you’re planning to use CBD regularly for pain relief.
Once you’ve determined the right dose, there are lots of options for taking CBD. You might choose a CBD salve for pain management at a topical level, or add gummies, pressed pills, or a CBD oil to your daily routine. These options offer longer-lasting effects and make it easy to measure a consistent dose each day. You might also choose to vape a CBD-only strain of cannabis, which can provide more rapid effects for faster pain relief.
If you prefer to use a CBD cream for pain, you can simply apply it regularly to any areas where you experience discomfort (achy muscles, sore joints, etc.). Make sure your skin is clean before applying the cream, and massage it thoroughly into the skin’s surface to promote better absorption.
CBD can help you take control of your pain, whether you’re dealing with daily bumps and bruises or a life-changing condition. Explore our CBD products to see how you can live with less pain every day.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.