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Can CBD Help Pain?

Can CBD Help With Pain?

Long term, recurring pain is one of the biggest blocks to quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people around the UK. Pain can stop you working, stop you sleeping, stop you having fun. And with increased worries over the side-effects and addictive nature of opioid painkillers, more and more people are wondering – can CBD help pain?

As part of our ongoing series into the research surrounding cannabidiol’s medical effectiveness, we’ll look at what the doctors say, and what CBD advocates say to try and understand if CBD oils might one day be used instead of prescription painkillers.

What are the Common Causes of Pain?

In the USA, and to a lesser extent in Britain, medical professionals worry that we’re on the verge of an opioid crisis. Most of our prescription painkillers, including pills like tramadol and codeine, right up to intravenous painkillers like morphine can be highly addictive and damaging when used on a long-term basis.

And they’re prescribed for everything:

  • Arthritis
  • Toothache
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Injuries
  • Headaches

With so many reasons people might be given a potentially addictive painkiller, it really isn’t surprising in the slightest that both people in pain and the medical community are looking for reliable alternatives. We know CBD doesn’t appear to be addictive, or be linked to the sorts of side-effects that long term codeine use produces, but do we know whether cannabidiol really is a painkiller?

As always, let’s start with the medical community.

What do the Experts Say?

Treating pain is one of the most common things a doctor or medical professional does, so the medical community is looking into CBD in some depth. As we explained in our deep dive post on medicinal CBD, it takes a while to reach a conclusion, but these recent studies show some interesting data:

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (Published 2017)

A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users (Published 2018)

Both of these studies show some results that seem to support the claim that CBD can help pain, but as always you need to remember we’re not doctors and can’t challenge or support the findings. You can read the papers for yourself, or skim our summary here:

  • 36% of CBD users say it treats a medical condition “very well by itself” with no other supplements or medication, Only 4.3% say that it doesn’t help with pain.
  • Most long-term CBD users continue to use cannabidiol to treat chronic pain or arthritis/joint pain.
  • There is conclusive or substantial evidence that CBD is effective “for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”
  • The reports recommend that public and private researchers should make study of cannabis-derived medicines a priority

As we mentioned above, we aren’t doctors, so we can’t analyse or draw conclusions from these reports. But when the 2017 study literally says that there is conclusive or substantial evidence that CBD helps with the treatment of chronic pain, well, it’s hard not to come to a conclusion.

Before we move on to the anecdotal evidence, we’d like to share one other comment from a medical professional:

"I do tell people that we’ve had more than 47,000 opioid deaths in the United States in 2017 alone, but to my knowledge there has never been a death related to the use of CBD.

So empirically it should be safer.”

Dr. Aaron J. Przybysz

Food for thought!

What do CBD Advocates Say?

As most of the research in the papers we’ve shared above come from anecdotal evidence self-reported by CBD users, you won’t be surprised to hear that CBD advocates are convinced that cannabidiol lessens chronic pain.

Here are some statements from users to help you make your mind up:

"Really great stuff, helps me no end with my very painful knee."

George - a Customer

Really helps to reduce my arthritic pain.”

Alex – a Customer

“I noticed a difference [from the first use], pain that had been debilitating for months on painkillers seemed to melt away.”

Naomi – a Customer

CBD… decreased joint inflammation and served as a protectant to the nerves.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network

I have so much more energy. I've virtually cured my 20-year battle with anxiety and back pain.”

Karen Barr – Speaking to the i Newspaper

All of the sources we’ve read seem unanimous, but make sure you do your own reading. Perhaps you’ll find a conflicting opinion out there, but our searches couldn’t find one!

Can CBD Help Manage Pain?

The studies say that there’s a good chance CBD helps with pain, our customers say CBD has managed their pain, and the newspapers are filled with stories about people experiencing less pain since trying cannabidiol. But until the medical community makes a final decision, we can’t say for sure that CBD products will lessen your pain.

Until that happens, it’s important to make up your own mind and do your own research on cannabidiol supplements. If you’d like to try CBD products, we’ll be more than happy to help you. And please do share your experiences with us.

Please note: If you are taking any pain medication for an existing condition, please talk to your GP before taking new supplements or reducing your existing medication.

What do you think? Can CBD help pain? Share your experiences with us either in the comments section, or via social media.

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