CBD users around the world are taking CBD derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa for chronic pain relief, and for many it has become a natural substitute for more traditional pain medications like opioids, paracetamol and ibuprofen. Users report CBD being less addictive and having less side effects than other medications, specifically opioids, as we know how damaging they can be on the human body. More recently people have begun using topicals to target areas of pain, many with arthritis and joint pain.
However, the pharmaceutical industry and a large portion of health professionals remain sceptical about the substance and its abilities. They choose to air on the side of caution by limiting what can be claimed about CBD, what it can be used for and its legality around the world. So, does CBD actually work for pain?
Does CBD work for pain relief
There are many different types of chronic pain recognised by health professionals. One type that does not stem from any particular injury or illness is Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic widespread pain. Sufferers can feel pain across their entire bodies without understanding where it is coming from.
CBD for pain studies
A recent large study by Boeknke et al (2021) found across 2701 participants suffering from Fibromyalgia that 30 to 40% of them reported ‘much’ or ‘very much’ relief of symptoms when taking CBD, and that it was typical of participants to have already been using CBD as a substitute for other pain medications.
Research on CBD for pain relief
A 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) suggested that there was substantial evidence that cannabis is effective in the reducing of chronic pain symptoms.
Testimonials about CBD for pain relief
Unfortunately, due to the legality of CBD and its extracts being a relatively recent phenomenon there are not many studies to go by. Of the studies that do exist many focus on the use of THC in combination with CBD as medicinal Cannabis. There are promising signs however and users’ testimonials have weight. ‘Weed the People’, a documentary available on Netflix follows many sufferers of cancer who are forced to look for alternative medicines in the face of severe illness. The documentary is filled with countless testimonials to the benefits of Cannabis in the reduction of tumours and the pain that comes along with them. One gentleman describes how only when brought to his knees in the face of hopelessness did he then make the changes necessary to allow new information in and learn.
It seems it is about time we began to seriously explore Cannabis Sativa and its medicinal properties without bias and without fear of damaging the pharmaceutical status quo.