CBD Oil For Pain: A Complete Guide

When you are asking yourself what can CBD Oil do to help with your chronic pain, you are really asking about how the entire cannabis plant interacts with the human body. 

CBD is one of the many chemical compounds found inside of the cannabis plant.  It is found in the stems, leaves, buds and even seeds.

For this reason, farmers and scientists have been able to extract many of these compounds when making concentrated oils from the cannabis plant.  

Many medical marijuana patients are treated with a combination of THC and CBD as well as many other chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. 

Essential oils or terpenes are also used in conjunction with the cannabinoids. The terpenes can have an effect on the pain as well and sometimes increase the effectiveness of the other chemicals.  

In our bodies, we have an endocannabinoid system.  This system is responsible for keeping our bodies in balance, and changes the way our hormones and our pain receptors interact.  

Two of the main cannabinoid receptors are called CB1 and CB2 receptors.  The CB2 receptors are many responsible for the bodies immune system. The CB1 receptors are very abundant and found all over the body, including in the management of pain.  

Unlike its psychoactive brother THC, CBD primarily works with the endocannabinoid system in an indirect fashion.  CBD is being studied for it influence on many different systems in the human body, not just the endocannabinoid portion.  

One of the first endocannabinoids isolated was one called Anandamide.  Anandamide may potentially be enhanced by the introduction of CBD to the human body.   Anandamide influences pain, memory, and physical movement such as walking and running.   

In case studies done by scientists they found, “…cannabidiol (or CBD) treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement.”

Helping to potentially decrease the amount of time it takes for your anandamide system to degrade, CBD could show big promise in the future as we find the best ways to combat pain.

A Short History of Cannabis for Pain

Although this article is about CBD oil and pain, we thought we would break down the history of how cannabis has been used for pain over time.

Over a thousand years ago, the ancient Chinese were reportedly using cannabis for several different health issues.  Like scientist of today, Chinese medicine professionals would experiment using many different wild plants to treat the most serious conditions.  

Chronic pain and insomnia were common ailments at this time and cannabis was growing rapidly around the world.  With the inability to isolate and experiment with specific cannabinoids, healers in the past had to rely on recording results from patients.  

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; “Whether cannabis is the best treatment for pain or not, many patients around the world believe that cannabis has helped them with their pain.”

Similar to today, people in the past were just beginning to find out the healing powers of cannabis.  Up until 1937, cannabis was legal in the US and used in medical products created by all sorts of people.

In the mid twentieth century, the United States Government classified cannabis as a schedule 1 drug.  A drug in this category is said to have no medicinal value and a high likelihood for abuse. For many people, this demonization was strange considering cannabis was actively used for medicine all over the world in documented cases.  

This classification would greatly hinder the ability of scientists in the US to accurately research the medical effects.  Even though millions of US citizens were using the drug to alleviate issues, the scientist community was rarely allowed to conduct studies on the plant.  Simply it was illegal to purchase cannabis so no studies could take place.

By the end of the 1990s though, decriminalization and medical programs started sprouting up around America.  California and Colorado eventually passed progressive programs. Before centuries end, more than a dozen states had already begun to implement medical programs.  

Getting Started Using CBD Oil for Pain

Several growers around the world were using strains of cannabis that contained higher levels of CBD.  Grown for thousands of years, these strains were hand picked by farmers for their great utility. After a long time, levels of CBD were building up at higher ratios compared to many other cannabinoids.   

HealthHarvard.edu states that CBD was first shown to have the most scientific results when it was first used in case studies with young adults and children who have had problems with seizures. 

Have you ever heard the story of Charlotte’s Web?  To sum it up, back in the early 2000s a young girl was having serious problems with seizures. 

The parents were running out of options and eventually turned to cannabis for help. Master growers were able to isolate the CBD specifically for this girl. 

With this strain, the parents were able to reduce the amount of seizures the little girl was having by a significant amount.  

The growers, the Stanley Brothers, developed a strain they later called Charlotte’s Web, named after the little girl.  The strain would go on to name one of the biggest and most trusted producers of CBD. These products are still sold today and the company is worth over a billion dollars.

Since the parents were able to keep the THC low and the CBD high, they little girl was still able to go about her day as a normal kid. 

The high levels of CBD are typically non-psychoactive and therefore they do not have the fuzzy high feeling many people get when smoking high THC cannabis.  For a little child going to school, a clear head is very important.  

CBD made sense to the parents of Charlotte because they could be more confident that their child would not have long term mental issues from being high on THC all day.   Most of the flower sold on the black market is high in THC and low in CBD.

Since the growers had isolated the CBD, the THC was therefore almost non existent. Now most of the products sold legally over the counter have less than .3% THC, so people do not have to worry about getting high when taking their CBD.  

The Best CBD Oil Products for Pain

Really there is no definitive answer to this question.   Since everyone reacts differently to CBD, there really is no one product that is overall the best.  

But let’s go over the most common forms, and the forms I usually recommended to my patients with pain issues.  

The best form I like to tell people to use when dealing with chronic pain is the CBD tinctures.  The CBD tinctures come in many different flavors and forms. Some have a coconut oil base, while others have a cannabis oil base.  Olive oil is another common binding oil manufacturers use in CBD tinctures.

Finding out which tinctures work best for you might be tricky.  Some people are allergic to some additives. Other people simply do not like the flavor.  Tinctures that are strictly hemp oil sometimes have a strong cannabis flavor, but they are also the most pure since nothing else is added to the oil to bind the CBD.

If you cannot stand the flavor of cannabis, we recommend trying a tincture that has the CBD isolated.  These are usually labeled “THC Free”. During certain extractions of CBD, all of the flavors of cannabis are left out.  Also all of the THC is gone. The manufacturers usually then add a sweet flavor to the oil to make it taste delicious.

“THC Free” products are the easiest to take.  They offer the most protection against jobs who give drug tests.  Since no THC is present, most drug test will not show up positive for cannabis or THC.  CBD has been in the legal gray area for quite some time so it is generally accepted by employers. 

Be sure to always ask your employer on their CBD policies to make sure they are in line with what you are taking.  

A full spectrum CBD tincture with no additives would be my first choice to anyone seeking the most potent product.  A full spectrum product is one that has multiple cannabinoids.

This usually includes the THC and CBD cannabinoid.  Sometimes other compounds are present. If you are worried about your product, always consult your doctor or a healthcare professional.  

Check out our complete CBD Guide if you have any in depth questions about spectrums and how they could help you. 

Most growers perform tests on their finished product to give them an idea of how many cannabinoids are present.  The lab results are sometimes available on the manufacturers website. If not, we recommend calling the company to have them send you the tests.  

These tests not only show the amount of THC and CBD in your products, but they can also test for chemicals and other things you may not want to have in your products.  Third party testing is usually a good way to insure you trust the lab results.  

It’s easy for growers to make fake test results as well.  We usually only purchase cannabis from highly recommended and trustworthy companies that have been making CBD for years. 

This way we are able to have multiple levels of verification. Putting out fake tests could be very lucrative for novice growers looking to make an extra dollar.

Vaping CBD Oil and Pain; What We Know

Vaping has also been shown to help many people with pain issues at our dispensaries.  Vaping is not as potent for pain relief in many situations.

The onset can usually be felt faster with vaping so many people turn to it for immediate pain issues. 

Sometimes vaping can really help.  

People with high level of pain should consider taking their CBD in an oral form.  This way your body ingests more of the cannabis oil.

Vaping can also be hard on the lungs and in part cause other issues.  Some people are not able to vape or smoke at all because of age or health problems.   

An elderly person with extreme pain for example, may want to only use vaping as needed.  In order to get high levels of CBD into the body, vaping may not be the way to go.

Some people do like the immediate results of the vaporization so we don’t want to rule this method out.  Just be careful of how much you vape.

The temperature of many vape pens can cause burning in the throat and lung damage just from the thickness of the smoke.   

Our complete vape guide can really help you make a better decision.  With so many options out there, it’s easy to get confused. Check it out here! 

CBD Oil Lotions and Salves

Some people who walked through my CBD shop were big doubters that the products would work for their extreme pain.  Fibromyalgia patients commonly looked for lotions that might be applied to the skin with CBD oil in them for added relief.  

I have seen fantastic results from patients who tried cannabis lotions with CBD.  About half of the people who tried topical products did not say that it helped their pain, but I would say roughly half of them did say they found some relief from the CBD companies.  

Topically CBD can be absorbed through the skin and into various parts of the bodies.  Since CBD has shown to reduce inflammation in some studies, people think this could help with reducing muscle pain. 

Deeper pain could also be affected. Massage therapists are beginning to experiment with CBD infused lotions to help enhance the massage.  

A muscle freeze is a common product people use for pain.  CBD companies have invented their own versions of muscle freeze, such as Mary’s Medicinals.

You can think of a muscle freeze as something you would apply at home after a workout.  They are strong in menthol and essential oils so they are not the best to go out to public places wearing.  A muscle freeze is almost like an Icy Hot or vapor rub. 

Remember the rubs your mom would put on your chest as a kid to help your breathe at night?   You feel a strong cooling or heating sensation on one area. Also a strong odor that tingles the senses.

Usually one would just apply the muscle freeze directly over the spot of the pain in a large amount.  Slowly rub the muscle freeze into the skin, leaving a light layer on the outside to penetrate over time.  

This can be left on as needed overnight or for several hours.  More applications can be added as needed. A thick layer at first may be a good starting point to see how much you may need.  

What if I want a CBD lotion I can put on and go about my normal day?  

An everyday lotion may be the perfect CBD product for you if you have pain but want to still be able to go out without feeling greasy.  A light lotion with CBD added can really help pain in the right situation.  

An everyday lotion will probably not be as effective as the muscle freezes.  Usually they have less healing oils and don’t stay on quite as long as the thick lotions.  Other additives are reduced as well because they can make the lotion too thick for daily use.  

Light lotions can be very nice though because you may not need tons of pain relief.  Just a little relaxation of the skin can really help some people with throbbing pain.  Once again, just be careful to check all the other ingredients companies put in their lotions.  You might find something is causing irritation and it’s important to make sure cannabis is not the culprit.  

Final Thoughts

There are many ways cannabis is currently being used to help people with all sorts of pain.  Dating back thousands of years, cannabis has been used all over the world from China to Egypt to combat various ailments that have plagued humanity.  

Up until the 20th century, cannabis was legally used in the US by citizens for medical reasons and found in many over the counter products. 

With hemp being sold legally once again in the US, CBD has been isolated for its medicinal properties and low psychoactive experience. CBD can be used to help with pain in a variety of ways.  One of the most efficient ways to absorb CBD in the body is by sublingual tincture.

Full spectrum CBD tincture is Uphempo’s most recommended way because we found so many people being helped with this method.  It is also the most pure way to take the CBDs since it has the least amount of additives if any.  

Lotions and salves such as muscle freezes have been reported to help many with pain as well.  Be sure to always consult your doctor before buying or using any new CBD products. Any product with cannabis could have negative side effects so make sure you are ok to experiment before trying anything new.  

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