CBD, or cannabidiol, is associated with a lot of stigma surrounding its use. Most individuals suffering from severe pain often use CBD oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant. There is still an ongoing debate about its efficacy, and oftentimes these contrasting opinions can be confusing. However, the main challenge is that there aren’t enough clinical studies to support the effectiveness of CBD oil, as there are still restrictions in place when it comes to research.
CBD Oil and Pain: What We Know So Far
While there is evidence that CBD can have positive effects on pain, they are regarded as modest compared to current medical management that helps alleviate chronic pain. It is also yet to be proven as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve it for pain treatment.
It is important to note that while some reports claim CBD can improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and relieve chronic pain, most of these effects are highly dependent on the individual’s condition. Based on the available research, here are the conditions that have been noted to benefit from the use of CBD oil:
Nerve damage can result in neuropathic pain. They are most commonly observed in diseases such as herniated discs and multiple sclerosis. This claim is supported by the 2017 findings that included looking at 11 randomized trials involving more than 1,200 patients. However, a Cochrane review in 2018 revealed that the potential harm clearly outweighed the benefits. Given this, it is recommended that future studies should focus on the role of CBD in chronic neuropathic pain and ideal dosages while considering the risks and benefits.
Animal studies showed that CBD topical gel application could significantly reduce inflammation symptoms and signs of pain in rats with arthritis. This suggests that the same result can be possible for those suffering from arthritic pain. However, it needs human trials to confirm.
An autoimmune condition, multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the whole body through the nerves. Patients diagnosed with MS would often suffer from muscle spasms, which can be so severe that it causes constant and unbearable pain. The short-term use of CBD oil has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of the spasms. While the effect may be considered minimal, it may be significant enough to alleviate the pain of those suffering from MS.
Several studies have established the efficacy of CBD use for addressing general chronic pain. Several systematic reviews revealed that cannabis could be used as an effective treatment for chronic pain, particularly in adults. Often, the effects are primarily evident in pain and inflammation reduction. More importantly, several studies showed that test subjects are unlikely to develop tolerance to the CBD. Therefore, there is no reason for them to increase the dosage.
Aside from pain, CBD has also shown positive effects in curbing smoking, managing withdrawal symptoms, controlling seizures, treating anxiety, delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, fighting diabetes, preventing cancer, and reducing psychotic symptoms. Note that all these effects are commonly reported by those who use CBD and still need sufficient research to become an accepted recommendation.
Suffering from pain can be frustrating. It is natural for patients to look for viable solutions that can provide them immediate relief. However, this should always be done with consideration for their health and safety. Never try medications that can only prove to be more harmful. As much as possible, stick to available treatments. Only when they are ineffective should you resort to alternative therapies.