Is it Safe to Treat Chronic Pain with CBD?

One of the largest and most successful group of CBD users are those who use CBD products for the treatment of chronic pain. CBD has been shown to reduce or eliminate pain, inflammation, and discomfort in those suffering from a variety of health conditions. In June, 2018 the FDA approved a CBD  oral solution sold under the trade name Epidiolex for the treatment of a rare form of epilepsy, but there are no other FDA approved uses. Additionally, only one product on the market today is tested at FDA certified labs for purity and concentrations. Always consult your primary care physician before beginning any treatment regimen.

CBD Oil is Not Approved by the FDA to Treat Many Types of Chronic Pain

CBD can be used to effectively treat chronic pain resulting from the following medical conditions:

  • Spine & Other Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer Treatment
  • Sickle-cell Anemia
  • Sciatica & Chronic Back Pain

Researcher are still unclear about the exact nature by which CBDs can reduce or eliminate pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. We know that the human body produces neurotransmitters named endocannabinoids. Throughout the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are cannabinoid receptors. This system within the central nervous system is involved in a  physiological processes that include appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. It is believed that CBD and other full-spectrum cannabinoids bind and interact with these receptors in a way that reduces or eliminates chronic pain.

Illustration of a synapse within the nervous system. Neurotransmitter receptors within the endocannabinoid system are located within the synapse.

What is the Best Way to Use CBD for the Treatment of Chronic Pain?

Once the CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, the resulting “goo” is refined and processed to create many different products with many different applications. Although CBD can be found in an almost unimaginable number of concoctions, the following are the most common forms and usages of CBD and full-spectrum cannabinoids:

1. Tinctures (Oral Solutions)

Tinctures are made by adding a CBD extraction to either alcohol or glycol. The resulting liquid can then taken orally by swallowing the tincture immediately, allowing it to sit underneath the tongue for some time (sublingually), or sprayed into the mouth to coat it thoroughly before swallowing.

2. Capsules or Tablets

Capsules or tablets containing CBD are usually swallowed. However, there are proponents of starting at the other end of the digestive tract.

3. Lotions, Ointments, Balms, & Massage Oils

As is obvious to most, CBD in this form is for topical application. Those with experience using other essential oils recommend placing a hot, wet towel or cloth on the affected area immediately following application.

4. Edibles

CBD edibles take almost any form. The edibles themselves are made using CBD infused butters and oils. All candies, baked goods, and drinks are considered edibles including Gummy bears, fudge, caramels, lollipops, brownies, cookies, energy drinks; as well as the ingredient itself, infused oil or butter.

5. Vape Cartridge or Vape Juice

The most controversial way to administer CBD is through the use of electronic cigarettes, or Vape Pens. The jury seems to be out on whether or not vaping itself is harmful, or whether certain flavorings used in vape juices are harmful. There are reports of blistering of the lungs (cause unknown) and “popcorn lung” (caused by the flavoring
diacetyl) linked to vaping. For that reason, we do not recommend vaping CBD compounds.

If you insist, we recommend these best practices for vaping CBD to treat chronic pain:

  • Use only pure full-spectrum CBD that has been laboratory tested.
  • Use pure Propylene Glycol or pure Vegetable Glycerin.
  • Get Used to the Flavor and refrain from adding flavorings.
  • Use the lowest temperature possible that is still hot enough to vaporize the liquid. Some cannabinoids are destroyed at higher temperatures.
  • Use 3 parts vape juice to 2 parts CBD (500mg/fl oz)

CBD Dosage

Dosages vary by weight and by individual. Some people have a very low tolerance level to the effects of CBD and others have higher tolerance levels. The staff at this website are not trained medical professionals and the opinions expressed are our interpretations of the research available and our own experience. As with any new treatment, use caution and do more research. I am confident that you cannot overdose or become dependent on CBD, please do not be the Darwin Award winner that proves me wrong. If you are taking other medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if CBDs are contraindicated.

Allergy Warning

The very rare individual may be allergic to THC, CBD, or another cannabinoid. If you have never been exposed to cannabis, or if you have had a negative reaction in the past, it is prudent to test for hemp allergies by rubbing a small amount of the product you intend to use on the inside of your arm. If no redness, swelling, or other indicator of an allergic reaction occurs after one hour, the product should be safe for topical use. If the product is to be ingested, rub a small amount of the oil on your lips. Indicators of an allergic reaction include stinging or swelling. If you show no signs of a negative reaction, swish a small amount in your mouth and spit out the remainder. If after 30-60 minutes everything feels normal, you are probably not allergic to Cannabinoids.

CBD Dosage Calculator for Treatment of Chronic Pain

Using CBD for pain requires building up to a level that saturates the body with the molecule. This process usually takes 2-3 days of regular doses to bring CBD levels to the level required to reduce or entirely eliminate chronic pain. Do not be discouraged when you have no relief from your chronic pain after 1 dose (or even several doses). It will take a couple of days.

Typical effective dosages are between 5 – 50mg of CBD per day. That’s an order of magnitude difference! It’s ok, you can find your right dosage. It won’t take long to find the dosage that is right for you. First off, you or your loved one is in pain. You cannot overdose, or get stoned on CBD no matter how much you take, so start at your max dose immediately. If you are under 200 lbs (90 kg) take 25mg of CBD each day for the first two days. Increase dosages in proportion to body mass up to 50mg for someone weighing 400 lbs. No matter the amount of CBD required, we find the best results come from splitting the daily amount into several smaller doses to be taken throughout the day.

Inventory the Effects of CBD for Chronic Pain on Days 3 & 4

Once you’ve taken 25-50 mg of CBD for 2 or 3 full days, you should have relief from the chronic pain. We pray that you find great relief. If you do, fantastic! You have found a miracle drug. You could keep ingesting the same quantity and there are no indications it would ever hurt you. For the sake of conservation, begin lowering your daily dosage until the pain hints that it will return. For instance if you found relief taking 25 mg of CBD a day after 2 days, consume 20 mg on days 3-5. If there is still no pain, take 15 mg on days 6-10. If the pain is still being relieved, lower the dosage to 10 mg per day for the next week. If that is still taking care of the pain, try 5 mg of CBD per day. It’s unlikely you can get that low unless you weigh under 100 lbs, but possible even if you weigh more. If at any time you feel the pain creep back in, raise the dosage back up to the last daily dosage that was effective.

Possible Side-effects of Using CBD

Negative side-effects can possibly include sleepiness, sedation and lethargy; elevated liver enzymes; decreased appetite; diarrhea; rash; fatigue, malaise and weakness; insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep; and infections. Discontinue use immediately and consult your physician if you experience any of these side effects.

Positive side-effects may include boosted energy, increased immune response, weight-loss, pain relief, increased cognitive ability, and a clear complexion. If you experience any of these side-effects, let the good times roll.

The Bright Side of Using CBD Extracts to Treat Chronic Pain

While you must build up the concentration of CBD in your body to get relief from chronic pain, you get those days back on the backend. Should you stop taking CBD, it will take a couple of days for the pain to return to untreated levels.

It is perfectly fine to stop taking CBD “cold-turkey”.

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