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does cbd oil help with pain

Preliminary studies have shown a favorable effect for CBD for reducing pain; however, more research is needed in the form of larger well-designed trials of longer duration to determine its long-term efficacy and safety.

Many plants contain cannabinoids, and people often confuse CBD with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is another type of cannabinoid. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” or euphoric effect because it does not affect the same receptors as THC.

CBD has been credited with relieving anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, and pain, although currently, the most scientific proof rests with its effects in people with epilepsy. Epidiolex is a prescription CBD oil that was FDA approved in June 2018 for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome.

Official Answer

CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound that is usually extracted from industrial hemp.

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Oct 17, 2019.

By law, industrial hemp from which CBD is extracted must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC to be considered hemp, otherwise, growers are at risk of prosecution under federal law.

An extensive 2018 review on the use of cannabis and cannabidiol products for pain relief stated:

When smoked, cannabis has been found to contain Aspergillus (a type of fungus).   People with suppressed immune systems should be aware of the risk of fungal infection when using this form of cannabis. Topical CBD application may also cause skin irritation.

While many companies now sell CBD oil online and in dispensaries, use of the oil isn’t legal in every state. Because state laws vary greatly when it comes to cannabis products, it’s crucial to confirm that use of CBD oil is legal in your state.

It’s important to note that many CBD oil products do not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for producing the “high” associated with marijuana use. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-intoxicating and does not have psychoactive effects.

Availability of CBD Oil

The use of cannabis for pain relief dates back to ancient China.   It’s thought that CBD oil might help ease chronic pain in part by reducing inflammation. In addition, CBD oil is said to promote sounder sleep and, in turn, treat sleep disruption commonly experienced by people with chronic pain.  

Some proponents suggest that CBD oil could provide a solution to opioid addiction as concerns over opioid overdoses continue to escalate.

Chronic pain is the most common reason for medicinal cannabis use, according to a recent survey.   If you have a chronic pain condition and have not been able to manage it with standard treatment (or wish to avoid the adverse effects of other medications), you may be considering CBD oil for pain relief.

Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in private practice in New York City .