Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is being hailed by many as a natural alternative to over-the-counter or prescription painkillers. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD lacks the psychoactive element found in THC, meaning you don’t get the same ‘high’. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD can help ease severe pain, and some scientific studies have backed up the claim.
Animal studies have found that CBD was effective in relieving arthritic pain and inflammation, while 2016 research into its use in humans found it improved reported pain and sleep quality in those suffering from fibromyalgia, RA and OA.
How does CBD oil work?
The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids and has cannabinoid receptors linked to inflammation and pain. Researchers now believe that taking CBD oil helps boost the body’s use of its own cannabinoids, making them more efficient and reducing feelings of pain.
A new study carried out by Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has found that CBD was effective in treating knee OA pain and was safe to use, but urged caution. The researchers recommended starting on a low dose of 5-10mg twice a day and gradually increasing to up to 100mg, only increasing your intake as and when it’s needed. They also urge people to choose CBD products which are low in THC, to minimise the risk of developing a dependency.
Who might CBD help?
CBD could potentially benefit millions of people living with chronic and long-term pain. Those suffering from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and joint pain could find their pain is eased with regular use of CBD, even at lower doses. If you are suffering from severe pain and think CBD might be a more effective alternative to prescription medications, always discuss this with your doctor before switching or coming off your painkillers.
If you do decide to start taking CBD, it’s worth considering your options. CBD can come in a variety of forms, including capsules, vaping products, ointments and edibles. Some studies suggest that edibles are more effective than vaping, offering longer-term pain relief. As they are stronger than some other CBD products, it can be worth starting on a lower dose product such as an oil or ointment until you find a dosage which works for you.
If you choose to start taking CBD, it’s always advised that you seek advice on the best products for you, to ensure you can manage your pain in a sustainable, long-term way.