Should You Take CBD for Pain?
People looking for a safer pain reliever are turning to cannabis-derived CBD. Michigan Medicine experts weigh in on what’s currently known about the trendy supplement.
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CBD, short for cannabidiol, is undergoing a surge in popularity as the hot new supplement, with a promise to treat a variety of conditions including pain, anxiety, and insomnia, just to name a few. It’s also available in all manner of forms, from lotions and oils to CBD-infused food and drink. But does it work?
CBD is one of the compounds in the cannabis plant, better known as marijuana. Unlike the famous cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t cause the psychological effects typical of being “high”. Both CBD and THC act on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in many processes including appetite, pain and memory.
The scientific evidence around CBD use is thin, a fact that is mainly due to politics. “Cannabis has been a Schedule 1 drug for a long time, which has limited the type of research needed to figure out how best to use it therapeutically,” says Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology and the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. Under the U.S. Federal Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Yet marijuana has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years, he notes. In fact, one of the first recorded uses of cannabis was for rheumatism, also known as arthritis. Cannabis products were widely used as medicines in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia before the onset of Federal restriction in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act.
Much of the research literature around CBD in particular supports its use as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. Indeed, in 2018 the FDA approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolex as a drug for childhood epileptic conditions. In a substantial policy shift, Epidiolex was designated as Schedule V, which is the least restrictive drug schedule and indicates little potential for abuse.
While there aren’t any published clinical trials on CBD in pain, Boehnke notes that ongoing preclinical studies in animals have demonstrated that CBD reduces pain and inflammation, and studies of CBD in humans show that it is well-tolerated and has few negative side effects. “There are also observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive. People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain,” he says. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp-derived CBD (
So many people are turning to CBD as an alternative pain reliever, especially in light of the opioid crisis, that in a commentary published in Annals of Internal Medicine, Boehnke and Daniel Clauw, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, provided advice for clinicians on how to counsel their patients about CBD and cannabis use.
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They also provided guidance for the Arthritis Foundation, who recently surveyed 2,600 people with arthritis and found that 29% currently use CBD to treat arthritis symptoms.
Boehnke and Clauw recommend that people with chronic pain talk to their doctor about adding CBD to their treatment plan, and continue to use their prescribed medication. They offer the following advice for people wanting to try CBD:
Don’t smoke or vape. Bottom line is smoking anything harms the lungs. Vaping has been associated with a recent epidemic of lung disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Purchase from reputable sources. Like vitamins and other supplements, CBD products aren’t regulated or FDA approved to treat disease, so buyer beware. Look for products that have been tested by an independent third party lab “so you don’t end up with a product that has THC in it or a product contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides,” says Boehnke.
Route of administration matters. CBD is best taken in pill or capsule form for slow extended release or as an oral tincture (infused oil that contains CBD) for faster effect onset.
Start low, go slow. Take a small amount and slowly increase your dosage until you start to get symptom relief over a matter of weeks. Track your symptoms to get a sense of whether or not CBD is a helpful part of your treatment plan.
Check your state laws. While medical marijuana is legal in many states, it’s still illegal at the Federal level, putting CBD in a legal gray zone in many areas.
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain
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Looking for Discover Magazine’s best CBD Oil For Pain? Check out our #1 brand Penguin
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years. This isn’t a surprising trend, especially considering the fact that CBD is therapeutically versatile, well-studied, and is generally safe and well-tolerated.
Unlike THC, which is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis and hemp plants, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. Because CBD doesn’t cause a high, it appeals to a wider audience, especially those who are looking for natural relief.
One of the biggest benefits that CBD may offer is pain relief. CBD has shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is often the underlying cause of aches and pains. If you’re interested in using CBD to keep chronic pain at bay, you’ve come to the right place!
Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD oil for pain so that you can feel your best everyday.
CBD and Its Impact on Pain
Everyone has a cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When ingested, CBD interacts with the core components of the system, including receptors located in the immune system and throughout the brain.
All cells have receptors, which are responsible for receiving chemical signals from stimuli, which in turn help the cells properly respond. In terms of pain, CBD helps to create pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, which greatly helps with pain management.
CBD has shown to be effective in relieving various types of chronic pain, including pain caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even neuropathic pain.
Tips for the Best Pain Relief
Now that you know how CBD interacts within the body to ease aches and pains, you may be more interested than ever to enjoy these benefits. But before you run out and buy CBD, there are some tips and tricks that you’ll want to know.
Choose the Right Product
There are hundreds of CBD products on the market, including oils, capsules, topicals, and unique products like bath bombs, drinks, and even dried fruit. When treating pain with CBD, it’s important to choose a product that best meets your needs. There are definitely certain CBD products that may be more suitable for treating pain than others, but the fact is that any form of CBD will reduce inflammation.
CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of CBD. This is because oil is easy to take and offers fast, long-lasting results. CBD oil is taken sublingually, which allows the cannabinoid to quickly make its way into the bloodstream. These days, CBD oil is available in all sorts of flavors, including mint, various fruits, and even dessert-type flavors.
If you aren’t a fan of putting oil under your tongue, CBD edibles are another popular option. Edibles are meant to resemble gummy candies that taste great while also offering the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Many prefer gummies and other edible products because they’re convenient, taste good, and require no special dosing.
For those with muscle aches and pains, a topical CBD product may be beneficial. There are all sorts of lotions, creams, and slaves that can be applied to the skin to minimize pain. Many topical CBD products are made with menthol or capisicum for further relief.
Other options that can be used for pain relief include:
When choosing the type of CBD product, it’s most important to find one that offers the best relief and experience. For example, if you aren’t someone who likes to take pills, you wouldn’t want to buy CBD capsules. Choose a product that you like and actually enjoy using. You want to have a great experience from beginning to end.
Choose the Right Extract
There are three different types of CBD extract that can be used to make CBD products. These include isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum. Understanding the differences between each of these extracts will make it easier to find a product that best meets your needs.
Isolate is the purest form of CBD. As the name implies, CBD isolate has been isolated from all of the other plant compounds. Products that contain CBD isolate are pure CBD. There are no traces of other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.
Full spectrum CBD contains all of the whole plant compounds, including THC. While these products do contain THC, which is known for its psychoactive properties, the legal amount must be less than 0.3%. This is a very small percentage, which won’t cause any noticeable effects. So using a product that is made with full spectrum CBD won’t get you high.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of other plant compounds but don’t want any exposure to THC, look for a product that contains broad spectrum CBD. This extract offers terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids, but is free of THC.
Pick a Reputable Brand
Last but not least, when using CBD for pain relief, it’s important to buy products from a brand you can trust. Reputable brands make high quality products, so you’re more likely to get the side effects that you want.
Here are five of the best CBD products for pain relief.
If you’re looking for quick, long-lasting relief, consider a high quality CBD oil. One of the top brands in the industry that is known for its flavorful oils is Penguin. Each bottle is made with broad spectrum extract that originates from top of the line Oregon grown hemp. Penguin CBD oil is made with hemp oil, MCT oil, terpenes, and natural flavor.
Penguin CBD oil is available in several flavors, including Mint, Citrus, Strawberry, and Cookies & Cream. There’s also a Natural flavor if you enjoy the earthy profile that CBD offers.
What’s nice about CBD oil is that it can be taken in many ways. You can use the traditional sublingual method, or you can add a few drops to your favorite food or drinks. Nothing beats a CBD-infused smoothie in the mornings!
2. Verma Farms
Verma Farms is best known for their tropical paradise-inspired gummies. However, the brand also offers a full line of other products, including topicals. Mahalo Muscle Relief is a roll-on product that can be used on any part of your body that needs a little extra care.
The roll-on is made with unadulterated CBD extract along with natural menthol. The product also contains other pain-relieving ingredients, including Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Boswellia Serrata Extract, and Ilex Paraguariensis.
Mahalo Muscle Relief is available in 200mg and 500mg strengths, so you can get the relief you need when you need it the most.
3. Evn CBD
Evn CBD products are made with organically grown, non-GMO hemp. They are also lab tested and contain no THC.
For a tasty CBD experience from chew to chew, try CBD gummy bears from Evn CBD. These gummies are made with broad spectrum CBD, offering 10mg of CBD per gummy. Gummies are a great option if you’re looking for a quick, convenient, and tasty way to take your daily CBD dose.
Evn CBD gummies are made with simple ingredients, including sugar, gelatin, coconut oil, and natural flavoring. Gummy bears are available in both sweet and sour flavors, and we highly recommend both types!
4. Irwin Naturals
Irwin Naturals was founded in 1994 with the mission of providing plant-based healing. The brand offers several CBD-infused products, including capsules. CBD + Turmeric is made with full spectrum hemp extract along with the Curcumin C3 Complex. Each serving offers 15mg of CBD and 450mg of turmeric.
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used herbal ingredients to treat pain. The active compounds in the herb, known as curcuminoids, have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD + Turmeric is also made with other pain-relieving compounds, including Boswellia serrata, which has shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation, including pain caused by arthritis.
5. FAB CBD
FAB CBD offers a wide assortment of CBD products, but for the ultimate pain relief, we recommend the brand’s topical CBD cream. Each jar contains 600mg of CBD along with full spectrum hemp extract from organically grown hemp in Colorado. The cream has a subtle, refreshing blood orange scent.
What’s great about this cream is that a little goes a long way. A fingertip-sized amount is plenty to get the relief that you want. Of course, more can always be applied over time to achieve and maintain the effects.
Unlike other CBD topicals, FAB CBD’s cream doesn’t contain menthol or capsicum. Instead, it nourishes the skin and eases pain with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Cinnamon.
CBD is a great alternative treatment for aches and pains. If you’re looking for a product that’s powered by nature and has little to no negative side effects, CBD is one of the best options on the market today. Enjoy life without aches and pains with a high quality CBD product.
To have the best experience possible, choose a product that best fits your needs. It’s also important to buy from a brand that you can trust. This way you can invest in a product that is formulated to keep aches and pains at bay.
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