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How to Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief


CBD oil for pain - Dr. Axe

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Cannabis has been used for relief for thousands of years and CBD, one of the active compounds in the cannabis plant species, has been especially appreciated.

In ancient Chinese texts dating back to 2900 B.C., cannabis is described as a form of relief from occasional joint discomfort. The plant was also used in combination with wine prior to some procedures. And in India, around 1000 B.C., cannabis was valued as an overall health supporter.

Although many compounds of the cannabis plant were used in ancient health approaches, including the psychoactive compound THC, we know from more recent studies that CBD is a soothing powerhouse on its own. Pain relief is one of the most well-known CBD oil benefits, and for good reason, as the compound works to suppress certain processes and signals in the brain to provide relief

That’s why many consider using CBD oil. With many seeking relief from occasional discomfort, it’s about time we look to our ancestors for direction.

Related: What Is CBD (Cannabidiol)? 9 Benefits and How It Works for Our Body

CBD Oil for Relief

CBD oil works to relieve discomfort in remarkable ways. In fact, scientists are discovering that the endocannabinoid system interacts at many points with our major bodily control systems. This biological system is active in the support of overall comfort, and cannabinoids that respond to receptors in the system are able to work to alleviate discomfort.

Many studies have analyzed the positive effects of cannabis compounds, including both THC and CBD. We have learned from this research that CBD oil is able to alleviate many types of discomfort by interacting with receptors in our brains.

One area of relief often associated with CBD oil is occasional joint discomfort. While more research needs to be conducted, some research shows that it may be a useful approach to supporting overall joint comfort.

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain — Dosage Information

There are a few ways that you can use CBD oil for pain. Here’s a breakdown of what’s currently available and can be used orally or topically for pain relief:

  • Oils: The most effective CBD oils are full spectrum, which means that they include all compounds found naturally in the plant, including the cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC), terpenes and essential oils. You can find CBD oils in a bottle with a dropper. This allows you to ingest the oil by placing it under your tongue, letting it sit for about 15 seconds and then swallowing it.
  • Tinctures: Tinctures are another popular way to use CBD, likely because you can easily gauge exactly how much cannabidiol you are ingesting, like CBD oil. A tincture is usually extracted with alcohol or another solvent. With a tincture, you use a dropper and place the drops under your tongue. Sometimes, manufacturers will use carrier oils, natural flavors or fatty oils in their tinctures.
  • Capsules: CBD capsules can be taken orally with water. You’ll be able to find CBD capsules in a range of doses, typically in amounts of 10–40 milligrams. Capsules can be taken once to three times daily, depending on your severity of pain.
  • Powder: CBD powder can be added to smoothies, juices, water or any type of beverage. Check the label for dosage instructions.
  • Topical solution: Topical salves, lotions and gels containing CBD are available and can be applied directly to areas of pain, such as the lower back, neck, knees, hands and feet. Read the product label for directions and potency.

How much CBD oil should you use for pain? There is no official serving size for CBD oil because everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids. In order to determine the right CBD oil dosage to alleviate your pain, you’ll need to take a few things into account.

  • What are your goals? In order to establish the right CBD oil dosage for you, you’ll need to pinpoint your health goals. If you are looking for pain relief, specify what type of pain you are hoping to reduce. This will allow you to monitor the efficacy of your initial CBD dose and determine whether or not it’s doing the job.
  • What is your severity of pain? Your CBD dosage will depend on your situation, so you (in conjunction with your healthcare professional) will need to categorize your personal needs as low, medium, high or very high.
    • Low — start with a 5–10 milligram dose
    • Medium — start with a 10–20 milligram dose
    • High or very high — start with a 20–40 milligram dose
  • Is my starting dosage working? Once you and your healthcare professional have pinpointed your specific goals and determined your situation, you’ll start with an initial CBD dosage.
    • It’s better to start with lower doses and work your way up. Why? Because everyone has a different sensitivity to cannabis compounds. Some people only need a very small amount to notice the beneficial effects, while others may need higher doses.
    • Start on the lower end of your recommended dosage range and take that amount consistently for 3–7 days. Keep going back to your initial goals and evaluate whether this starting dose is improving your symptoms.
    • It’s working? Great! Stick with this dose, which can be taken 1–3 times daily or according to directions and your healthcare professional.
    • Don’t notice any improvements yet? Then check with your healthcare professional to see if you can increase your dose by 5 milligrams and stick with this new amount for another 3–7 days. Keep this cycle going until you’ve found the right CBD dosage for you.

H0w long does it take CBD oil to work for pain relief? It’s generally recommended that you use CBD oil about one hour before desired benefits. Typically, you’ll notice the positive effects within 30–60 minutes.

The benefits of CBD oil for pain will last about 4–6 hours, depending on the dosage. If you have other needs, then you may benefit from taking a dose every six hours or so.

CBD Oil Side Effects and Precautions

The current research suggests that CBD usage has few and generally mild side effects, and a “tolerance” for CBD does not seem to occur. When you are looking at CBD vs. THC, it’s THC that has the mind-altering effects that make you feel “high.” CBD does not have intoxicating effects.

Right now, there are a lot of CBD products on the market, so you need to shop carefully. Only use CBD oil products that are tested for contaminants and indicate CBD vs. THC levels. Look for a product that has received a COA, or certificate of analysis, which ensures that it has been tested and met lab standards.

It’s also highly recommended that you go with an organic CBD oil. The hemp plant is a “bioaccumulator,” which means that it’s capable of absorbing toxic substances from the soil, water and air faster than the rate they’re lost. So going organic for all of your CBD products will ensure that you aren’t also ingesting toxic pesticides and other chemicals.

Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Pain

  • Cannabis compounds, including CBD, have been used since ancient times.
  • CBD oil can be used to alleviate occasional discomfort in the body.
  • There are many ways to use CBD oil. It’s available as an oil in tincture form, in capsules, powders and topical solutions.
  • The right CBD oil dosage for pain depends on your needs and what your healthcare professional suggests. The typical dosage ranges from 5 to 40 milligrams, once to three times daily.

Read Next: CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD: Is One Better Than the Other?

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