Using CBD Oil for Pain Management: How It Works

Do you suffer from chronic pain? This ailment is probably more common than you think. The CDC reports that around 20.4% of all adults in the United States suffer from this condition. Nearly 40% of those adults suffer from high-impact chronic pain. Other people have short-term pain after an injury or surgery.

Drug companies have developed tons of anti-inflammatory and pain management medications. Surveys conducted between 2015 and 2018 have shown that around 10.7% of adults use at least one pain management medication in any given month. Unfortunately, pain management drugs have a number of downsides. For example, they can cause liver damage and other problems if taken for extended periods.

Many people would prefer to use natural alternatives to treat chronic pain instead. One option is to use CBD oil.

You should learn more about CBD oil before taking it for pain management. While it can be an effective treatment, you need to use it responsibly. Some critical information is discussed below, including an overview of CBD oil and the dosage guidelines for using it as a pain management treatment.

What is CBD Oil?

Many CBD products that are labeled as tinctures are actually oils. CBD oils are easier to find than tinctures and are usually made using a blend of CBD extract and a carrier oil, such as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp oil.

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant using CO2 or other extraction methods before blended with the carrier oil. CBD oils are available as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum, or isolate formulations, and CBD-rich medical cannabis oils that contain varying amounts of THC. Sometimes other active compounds or additional ingredients, such as melatonin, are added.

Can CBD Oil Help Treat Pain?

CBD has only been legal for a few years. Therefore, researchers still have not had enough time to thoroughly study the effects that it has on our physical and mental health. Nevertheless, a growing body of research indicates that CBD can help treat many health problems. One of the biggest reasons people use CBD is to treat pain.

One 2020 study showed that CBD was very effective for treating chronic pain. The authors stated that there is insufficient research to show whether it can treat underlying chronic diseases. However, head author Donovan Argueta from the University of California at Irvine states that the research is encouraging for people with chronic pain disorders.

Researchers are still trying to understand the causal relationship between CBD use and decreased pain. However, they believe it can interact with neurotransmitters and affect endocannabinoid receptor activity. There is also evidence that it can help reduce inflammation.

More research is necessary to fully understand the exact reason CBD appears to help with pain management. However, there is strong evidence to suggest it is an effective therapy for both chronic and short-term pain.

How to Take CBD Oil For Maximum Effects, According to an Expert

You may have heard about the purported health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), including relieving anxiety and pain, reducing seizures, and getting better sleep. CBD is derived from the marijuana plant, but it doesn’t contain THC, the compound that makes you feel “high.”

If you’re interested in trying CBD for yourself, one of the most common ways is with CBD, or hemp, oils. Unfortunately, many of these products don’t come with instructions on the best way to take it, so we asked neuroscientist and cannabis expert Josh Kaplan, PhD, about the best way to consume your CBD oil. Dr. Kaplan said there are two ways to take CBD oil: under your tongue (“sublingually”) or swallowing it immediately (whether by itself or mixed with food). The method in which you take CBD oil depends on the results you are looking for.

In the sublingual method, you put a drop or dropper of oil (depending on the suggested serving size) under your tongue and wait a minute or so before swallowing. Dr. Kaplan says this way is best for quick relief.

“Once the CBD passes through the skin under your tongue to the blood, it rapidly makes its way to the brain and the rest of the body, where it can start having effects,” he told POPSUGAR. “These effects are therefore felt within minutes and can last for a few hours.” So if you’re looking for a fast relief from pain, migraine, or acute stress, that may be the way to go.

“Plus, it allows you to easily titrate the dose,” he said. “That is, you get relatively rapid feedback and can take another dose if necessary.”

If You Want It to Last Longer

You can also drop CBD oil directly in your mouth and swallow it as is or mix with your favorite food or beverage. Dr. Kaplan suggests this way works best if you are seeking long-lasting relief because the effects last longer when taken orally.

“The downside is that they take longer to kick in because it gets absorbed through your digestive tract, which is slower,” he explained. “While it may take an hour or two before the effects are noticed, they may last longer than the sublingual method of consumption.”

He noted that if your oil also has THC (found in some cannabis oils), taking it orally may maximize the effects of the THC, since the byproduct of it being processed by the liver is a stronger compound than THC. But CBD oils, including hemp-derived varieties, don’t typically contain any THC. And if they do, it’s in very small amounts that aren’t enough to have any effects.

The Final Verdict

Many people suffer from chronic pain due to injuries they have sustained or ongoing illnesses. A substantial number of people with this condition use anti-inflammatory or other pain-relieving medications.

If you are tired of using over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, you might want to use CBD oil instead. Many high-quality CBD oils on the market can help manage pain.

However, you must choose the correct dose and use a high-quality CBD oil. Hopefully, the information provided above will help you make those determinations.