CBD Pain Relief
This guide provides fact-based answers about the benefits of CBD for pain relief.
- CBD for hard to treat pain
- CBD for chronic pain
- CBD for neuropathic pain
You’ll also learn the CBD dosage used for pain and possible side effects.
If you don’t find an answer in this guide to a question you have, leave us a comment below and we’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.
Let’s get started.
CBD Effects on Chronic Pain and Insomnia
Medical cannabis improves:
- chronic pain
- insomnia (caused by chronic pain)
- sleep duration (especially in older patients)
Published January 20, 2020
After factoring in variations for “age, sex, pain level, and use of [other] sleep and anti-depressant medications,” patients showed improvement in their sleep (1).
Patients over the age of 50 with insomnia caused by chronic pain (2).
- Medical cannabis appeared to help patients stay asleep and kept them from waking up during the night (3).
- Medical cannabis did not affect how quickly patients fell asleep nor the overall duration of their sleep (4).
Possible Adverse Effects
Frequent use of cannabis may not improve sleep (5).
Frequent Medical Cannabis Users Reported
- increased difficulty falling asleep
- increased difficulty staying asleep the whole night
More patients are preferring to take medical cannabis for their chronic pain and insomnia symptoms.
128 patients over the age of 50 were recruited from a local pain clinic.
66 were medical cannabis users and 62 did not use medical cannabis (6).
Predictive modeling was used to assess the sleep differences in the two groups.
Statistical correlations were also made between sleep and the properties of the medical cannabis used such as:
- length of use
- frequency of use
- number of strains used
- tetrahydrocannabinol levels
- cannabidiol levels
The results of the study associated medical cannabis use with fewer Sleep Maintenance Insomnia symptoms but medical cannabis use did not affect Sleep Onset Insomnia nor overall sleep duration in older patients with chronic pain (7).
CBD inflammation benefits have a positive impact on neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to a 2020 medical study. See the study results here.
Video: How are patients using medical cannabis for chronic pain relief?
CBD Effects On Neuropathic Pain
- Topical CBD cream significantly improves neuropathic pain.
Published December 1, 2019
There was a “significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group.” (1)
- Patients with chronic pain and neuropathic pain not caused by cancer (2).
- The average age of patients in the study was 68 years (3)
- The researchers concluded that transdermal application (topical CBD cream) can relieve pain in patients with peripheral neuropathy.
- CBD cream may provide an alternative to other treatments for neuropathic pain (4).
There were no adverse events noted in this study. Cannabidiol was well tolerated by all participants with minimal to no side effects in this study.
This new CBD research aims to examine the pain-relieving properties of topical CBD cream for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain not caused by cancer.
- 4 week
- 29 patients with neuropathic pain symptoms (divided into two groups)
Topical CBD Cream Dosage
One group received a CBD topical cream dose of 250 mg CBD/3 fl. oz while the other received a placebo.
After 4 weeks the placebo group was allowed to transfer over to receive treatment with the CBD cream (5).
- The participants in the study had an average age of 68 years.
- Two-thirds were male and one-third female.
In a 2019 medical study, CBD was shown to reduce pain and inflammation from Rheumatoid Arthritis. See a summary of the results here.
Video: CBD for neuropathic pain relief
CBD Effects On Chronic Pain And Opioid Dependency
- CBD significantly reduces opioid painkillers use in patients who struggle with chronic pain.
Published November 12, 2019
- 53% of chronic pain patients reduced or eliminated their prescribed opioid use within 8 weeks of adding CBD to their pain treatment.
- 94% of study participants reported quality of life improvements from taking CBD.
- strong relationship between CBD and improvements in chronic pain intensity as well as better sleep quality (1).
- Ages 30-65
- taking opiates prescribed by a doctor for more than 1 year
- patients with chronic pain (2)
- reduce or eliminate opiates from pain management treatment
- better sleep
- improved reported quality of life (3)
Cannabidiol could reduce opioid use and improve the quality of sleep for patients who take pharmaceutical opiates for chronic pain (4).
- 131 patients were recruited from a pain management clinic.
- Of the 131 patients, 97 completed the 8 week CBD research study.
- Patients were ages 30-65.
- Before the study, patients were using opioids for at least one year to treat chronic pain symptoms (5).
Improvements in chronic pain symptoms were evaluated using 4 tests:
- Pain Disability Index (PDI-4) (positive trend results, but not significant)
- Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) (a significant improvement from CBD use)
- Pain Intensity and Interference (PEG) (a significant improvement from CBD use)
- Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) (positive trend results, but not significant) (6)
CBD significantly reduces withdrawal symptoms from opioids including cravings and anxiety, according to 2019 medical study. See the full study results here.
Video: CBD for Opiod Dependence.
CBD Effects on Pain and Inflammation
- There are several CBD delivery methods for helping pain and inflammation relief.
Published August 2018
This CBD study focuses on different delivery methods of cannabidiol for pain and inflammation.
CBD has possible benefits for treating a wide variety of conditions including :
- sleep disorders
- symptoms of multiple sclerosis
- schizophrenia (1)
- and more
Types of CBD
This study is a review of different methods for delivering CBD for treating pain and inflammation including oral, transdermal, and nanotechnology-based drug delivery strategies (2).
CBD has significant benefits for neurological disorders, according to a 2019 medical study. See the full results here.
CBD Effects On Chronic Pain
- Historical perspective on cannabinoid use in pain management
Published November 2018
- Cannabinoids have been used for treating medical conditions for thousands of years.
- Cannabis as medicine stopped during the mid-twentieth century due to the prohibition against marijuana.
- Cannabis is most commonly used to treat chronic pain (1).
Cannabis and CBD hold substantial promise for treating:
- chronic pain
- neuropathic pain
- Cannabidiol side effects are minimal to moderate according to the study and generally stop if treatment is ended (2).
- Long-term use of cannabidiol has not been studied well enough to have a clear understanding of the possible adverse effects.
- There is a lack of information as to the long term effects of using cannabis and cannabinoids for treating pain.
- More research needs to be conducted to confirm its cannabidiol’s long term safety record (3).
Already tried CBD? Interested in trying something new? CBG (cannabigerol) significantly reduces pain and inflammation, according to a 2020 medical study. Full guide to CBG benefits here.
Keywords: animals; cannabis/cannabinoids; efficacy; humans; pain; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; safety
CBD Effects On Arthritis Pain
- Topical CBD cream benefits arthritis
Published July 2016
- CBD has benefits for treating pain particularly in patients who struggle with arthritis (1).
- CBD does not have good absorption rates when taken orally (2).
This study aims to research absorption rates and pain relief of cannabidiol when applied as a topical skin cream.
The study finds that CBD skin cream does treat pain and inflammation from arthritis (3).
Have you ever tried terpenes? Though many terpenes have pain-relieving effects, not all terpenes from hemp relieve pain. Some, like guiaol, even have “anti-analgesic” effects, according to a 2018 medical study. See the full results in this comprehensive guide to CBD Terpene Benefits.
Sznitman SR, Vulfsons S, Meiri D, Weinstein G. Medical cannabis and insomnia in older adults with chronic pain: a cross-sectional study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jan 20]. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2020;bmjspcare-2019-001938. doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-001938
Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities [published online ahead of print, 2019 Dec 1]. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2019;10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. doi:10.2174/1389201020666191202111534
Capano A, Weaver R, Burkman E. Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study. Postgrad Med. 2020;132(1):56–61. doi:10.1080/00325481.2019.1685298
Bruni N, Della Pepa C, Oliaro-Bosso S, Pessione E, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules. 2018;23(10):2478. Published 2018 Sep 27. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478
Vučković S, Srebro D, Vujović KS, Vučetić Č, Prostran M. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1259. Published 2018 Nov 13. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936–948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818