CBD Oil for Pain: Does it Provide Pain Relief?

First of all, it's important to point out that to date no official claims can be made regarding CBD product consumption and a reduction in pain. Nevertheless, several studies suggest a significant impact of CBD (short for cannabidiol) on pain perception.

A study published in 2019 regarding the use of CBD for chronic pain came to the following conclusions: "Over half of chronic pain patients (53%) reduced or eliminated their opioids within 8 weeks after adding CBD-rich hemp extract to their regimens. Almost all CBD users (94%) reported quality of life improvements." [1]. It concludes that CBD could significantly reduce opioid use, decrease chronic pain and improve sleep quality in patients currently using opioids for pain management. Another study showed that the application of a transdermal cream containing CBD provided significant relief from back pain for the treated patients [2]. Recent studies have been carried out into the possible effects of CBD on arthritis pain, and the results are surprising! In particular, a study published in 2022 showed promising results regarding CBD for arthritis patients: there was a clear reduction in the need for medication [3]. And further, accompanying research has shown that CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects [4]

What should be noted is that these preclinical trials were only dealing with the treatment of certain symptoms and different amounts and forms of CBD were used to treat pain. This means that it cannot be said that the consumption of CBD - or CBD oil - has a direct effect on all types of pain and that a certain amount of milligrams of CBD works best. However, the treatment of pain is the most common reason for taking CBD, and the interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) represents a serious physiological basis for studying CBD in the treatment of pain [5]

CBD Oil for Pain: Entourage Effect of Cannabis

Isolated cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have been major research topics over the past decade. However, medical cannabis users often report that the effects they experience differ vastly depending on the cannabis strain they use. This observation has led to a rise in investigation into what we call the 'entourage effect': a theory suggesting a beneficial synergy between different cannabinoids and terpenes [6]

Terpenes might play a role in pain relief themselves. A number of studies have already demonstrated that the terpenes present in CBD have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic, analgesic and pain-relieving properties, among others [7]. These could support the ability to reduce pain when combined with cannabinoids. 

All of Harmony's CBD oils contain terpenes, as we believe in the power of the entourage effect. This isn't the case with all the other CBD oils you'll find on the market. 


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Effects of CBD Oil

Besides its effects on pain, there may be other interesting benefits of CBD. Several studies have shown that CBD may have a positive impact on sleep, and according to a survey 42.5% of CBD users use it to improve their sleep or even to treat insomnia. The same survey revealed that 37% of CBD users use it to combat stress and 42.6% to treat anxiety [8]. And in fact, a large body of preclinical evidence underlines CBD's anti-stress action and its potential to reduce anxious behaviour [9]. This anti-stress action of CBD could have an impact on relieving psychosomatic pain, as its physical symptoms are essentially caused by emotional or psychological factors (such as stress, for example). 

Further research sheds light on the benefits of topically applied CBD. When applied as a cream, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could help soothe irritated or damaged skin and improve its quality [10].

CBD is currently a hot subject of study - also in terms of its pain-relieving potential. However, there is still a long way to go before we can say that there is a direct link between CBD oil consumption and pain reduction. Always bear in mind that the first thing to do if you are suffering from any kind of pain is to consult a doctor.


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Safety and Side Effects: Speak to Your Doctor

Especially when speaking in terms of pain management, it's important to mention that CBD can interact with medicines prescribed for the treatment of certain conditions. This is why you should always consult a doctor if you start taking CBD while taking prescription medication or supplements. They can inform you about potential side effects of cannabidiol, as well as unwanted drug-drug interactions [11]. Similarly, if you are experiencing pain, whether physical or mental, be sure to consult a doctor first. When it comes to your health, always follow expert advice. 

Types of CBD Oil

CBD oils can be made from different types of CDB extracts dissolved in a carrier oil. Full-spectrum CBD oil is made from full spectrum CBD, which contains the complete range of substances present in the hemp plant. So in addition to CBD, this oil contains other cannabinoids such as CBG, traces of THC as well as flavonoids and terpenes. However, as it is extracted from hemp (a variety of the cannabis plant grown for its fibre and seeds), these traces of THC are very small and within legal limitations.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is made from broad spectrum CBD extract. This is made using the same extraction processes as full spectrum CBD, but the THC is thereafter compeltely removed from the product. Harmony CBD oils are predominantly broad spectrum oils and available in multiple levels of CBD.

Last but not least, there is CBD isolate. This is CBD alone, without any other cannabinoids, terpenes or plant components. This can be a good option for people who prefer trying CBD on its own. 


cbd oil couple running and smiling


How to Use CBD Oil 

Consuming CBD oil is very simple: simply place several drops, or sprays, of CBD oil under your tongue, wait a few minutes and then swallow. This so-called sublingual application is by far the most common and offers the highest bioavailability, as it bypasses the digestive tract [12]. The important thing is to keep an eye on the dose of CBD you take. In fact, the FSA (Food Standards Agency) recommends not exceeding 70 mg of CBD per day. 

Check the concentration of your cannabidiol oil, as this will enable you to measure the amount of CBD you are consuming. This will have a direct impact on the effects you experience. They depend on the quantity of oil you consume, the CBD concentration in the oil and your individual receptiveness to CBD. 

CBD Oil for Pain Relief: Conclusion 

To conclude, we can say that there is a lot of evidence to suggest a link between CBD consumption and pain relief. This is underlined by several studies delivering promising results. However, we will need more scientific research to confirm that using a CBD product such as CBD oil may help relieve pain. Research is still only at the beginning, and it's an exciting subject that we'll be keeping a close eye on.


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Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

As the Head of Product at Harmony, Dr Anna Falk leads the development of our products and provides expert tips for your wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the research and development of natural products, her work is based on rigorous scientific studies.

Anna is an award-winning, internationally published researcher with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. She applies her expertise to develop Harmony's certified products that support your overall well-being. From research to development, she ensures that our products are of the highest quality and meet the highest standards.

We ensure our content is current and accurate with strict guidelines about sourcing that rely on governmental authority, academic institutions and peer-reviewed studies..

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