Inflammation or swelling is the body's natural way of repairing itself. In other words, inflammation is our body's natural healing mechanism against injuries and infections.
But this healing process can sometimes cause pain or soreness and all-around discomfort. Inflammation can also be caused by arthritis and other conditions.
Inflammation causes more than physical discomfort, it can also lead to depression or a lack of motivation to get up and move about and low quality of life.
You may be like countless other people who immediately reach for the ibuprofen when it comes to treating the pain associated with inflammation.
But there’s an increasingly popular alternative way to deal with these symptoms. CBD (cannabidiol) is quickly becoming the go-to natural solution for those suffering from chronic pain due to inflammation.
In fact, 52% of people who use CBD, use it for joint and inflammation pain relief. And those pain-related conditions include everything from arthritis and fibromyalgia to migraine, muscle pain, and even cancer.
Does CBD Reduce Inflammation Or Just Pain?
Very few studies have been done, but the ones that have been performed suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies.
Anecdotally, some people with various types of pain who have tried CBD report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement, and/or anxiety reduction.
However, like any pain medication, some people do not report any symptom improvements when taking CBD.
CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory and it is likely one of the safest medicines to provide such an effect with very minimal side effects.
CBD may also reduce the anxiety that people living with chronic pain often experience.
The problem is we don’t know what dose can alleviate anti-inflammatory pain and there are some pros and cons of CBD for pain you should know.
In a recent study on Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain found that CBD has shown promise in preclinical studies to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
What Forms Of CBD Are Most Effective For Inflammation And Pain Relief?
Generally, CBD vape pens are a great option if you're looking for fast-acting relief. CBD vape pens offer a variety of effects that can help reduce anxiety and stress while providing pain relief, calming effects, and more.
Another option is CBD oil that’s placed under the tongue because it’s concentrated and kicks in quickly, usually in under an hour.
CBD swallowed in capsules, food, or liquid is absorbed through the digestive tract and absorption is slower, often taking one-to-two hours but with an extended-release so the effects last longer.
Topical products, like lotions, gels, and balms, applied to the skin over a painful joint, have been found to reduce pain and inflammation almost immediately and preferred by those who don't want to ingest CBD.
Which Types of Pain And Inflammation Can CBD Help Relieve?
While everyone tells you more research is needed, many users are proving CBD helps with pain related to a variety of conditions. Here’s the lowdown on what we know so far:
- Arthritis Pain: According to a study of arthritis sufferers by the Arthritis Foundation, 29% of those surveyed use CBD to treat arthritis symptoms.
Another study published in the European Journal of Pain found that topical CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, pain, and inflammation in rats with arthritis.
- Fibromyalgia Pain: Characterized by chronic pain all over the body, as well as related symptoms like fatigue, insomnia memory, and mood issues. While the cause is unknown, some researchers believe fibromyalgia may be the result of low endocannabinoid levels in the body or dysfunction in the ECS could throw off your body’s internal balance.
So the theory here is that taking natural plant-based cannabinoids like CBD and THC can treat the deficiency and relieve symptoms. Other evidence shows taking CBD oil may even change the way people with fibromyalgia process pain by making cells surrounding nerves less sensitive.
However, it’s only a theory. We still need more research to fully understand fibromyalgia’s connection to the ECS and CBD.
- Migraine Pain: Most (small-scale) studies have looked at the combined effects of CBD and THC as a treatment, including a study published in Headache, which found that the THC-CBD combo reduced migraine attacks and the pain that comes with them by more than 40%.
- Back and knee Pain: While CBD in most forms is basically a head-to-toe treatment, meaning it generally can’t target specific parts of the body, there’s compelling evidence that topical-based CBD works better for back and knee pain.
Topicals not only reduce inflammation and pain, but you can place it on the areas that are most affected like an on-the-spot targeted treatment. And, they’ve also been found to help with sleep by reducing the anxiety associated with pain and help improve relaxation, which can be difficult for the chronic back pain sufferer.
- Muscle Pain/Soreness: Any active person knows, muscle pain and soreness go hand in hand with exercise. Because CBD has been shown to fight inflammation, which is behind muscle soreness, applying a CBD salve right to the affected area can help ease the aches.
Who Shouldn’t Use CBD For Pain Relief?
CBD products are not to be used during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs, please consult your physician before use. Keep out of reach from children and pets.
There is evidence that CBD may have interactions with common drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, blood thinners, some anti-seizure drugs, statins, anti-diabetic drugs, and more. So play it safe and talk to your doctor before using CBD.
While many studies have suggested CBD oil is helpful for pain and inflammation, more research is necessary, especially in long-term studies.
However, CBD oil does show promise as a treatment for reducing inflammation and pain. Some scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help people manage chronic pain in various conditions.
We need more evidence here, but CBD holds immense promise in inflammatory pain conditions – rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and osteoarthritis to name a few.
CBD oil is especially promising due to its lack of intoxicating effects and a possibly lower potential for side effects than many other pain medications.
People should discuss CBD with their doctor if they are considering using it for the first time.