Many solutions exist for dealing with pain, but they usually come with a slew of unfavorable side effects that make them unappealing to some people. Prescription medications used to treat pain are often costly and pose a great risk for chemical dependency when taken long term. Other methods, like topical solutions or massage therapy, may not be effective enough for managing chronic pain on a daily basis.
Researchers have found promising anti-inflammatory benefits in an unsuspected compound: CBD.
CBD oil has been discovered for its many wellness benefits, one of which includes anti-inflammatory properties. CBD products are diverse, offering options for anyone dealing with pain, whether they need daily or temporary relief. Because of its effectiveness and how easy it is to use, CBD oil has become one of the most popular natural solutions for inflammation.
What is CBD Oil?
Let’s start by breaking down two terms you’re going to see often: CBD oil and hemp oil. These are used interchangeably and mean the same thing.
CBD is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It’s also found in marijuana, but as we well know, oils from that plant also contain an intoxicating compound called THC.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil
CBD by itself isn’t an “oil.” Rather, oil is CO2 extracted from the stalks and flowers of the hemp plant. This hemp oil is rich in CBD, which is why it’s sometimes called “CBD oil.” The main reason this term has been adapted recently is due to confusion over hemp oil and hemp seed oil. Oil extracted from hemp seeds does not contain CBD, and that oil is sometimes marketed as “hemp oil” as well.
If you’re eyeballing a product that says “hemp oil,” just be sure to read the description and/or label to confirm it contains CBD.
CBD has been the center of a controversy for quite some time. Usually for good reason, but unfortunately, many still associate it with marijuana. While both hemp and marijuana are from the cannabis genus and offer wellness benefits as evident by the medical marijuana movement, they have different chemical profiles. In particular, marijuana is potent in THC and can have any amount of CBD (usually very low).
On the other hand, hemp is extremely low in THC and is often grown for its CBD content. At 0.3% or less THC, as it’s legally defined by the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp oil does not get you high. If that low percentage isn’t enough to quench that thought, consider the fact that CBD has been found to have anti-psychotic properties. This means it can counteract the “high” effects of THC. So you really, really, stand zero change to get stoned from CBD-rich hemp oil.
CBD Effects on the Body
To understand CBD and its healthful effects on the body, you must understand more about your body first.
Your body has a regulatory system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a system of lipid-based endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors that can be found in cells throughout the entire central and peripheral nervous system. This ECS is partially responsible for your keeping your body in homeostasis, and affects all of your well-being, including your general health and immunity down to your skin and hair. Unfortunately, the ECS isn’t always in tip top shape, and it leaves our bodies susceptible to immune malfunctions, which can cause a variety of ailments, from skin blemishes and sensitivity to a weakened immune system that can leave you open to illnesses.
Feed Your ECS with CBD
Fortunately, there are endocannabinoids in plants that are structurally and functionally similar to the endocannabinoids naturally produced by our bodies. In the cannabis plant in particular, there are well over 85 different cannabinoids. The two most abundant in the cannabis plant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the products. However, CBD is different, and produces no psychoactive effects. Therefore, CBD products that contain little to no THC do not give you the “high” associated with marijuana products.
The CBD compounds found in the cannabis plant are so similar to the endocannabinoids made in the body, that the CBD has no trouble binding to the endocannabinoid receptors in the body. You can think of CBD oil products as supplements, kind of like vitamins, that simply help keep your endocannabinoid system in check, providing you endless health benefits.
What is CBDa?
You may notice that some CBD oils, especially “raw” hemp oils or other “raw” products, may contain something called “CBDa.” CBDa, or cannabidiolic acid, is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBDa is the precursor to CBD. It’s only when exposed to heat that CBDa is converted into CBD. This can happen naturally as the plant grows, but can also be coaxed with a little intervention after extraction. The process is called decarboxylation, or decarbing, which includes heating the hemp oil to a controlled temperature to “activate” the CBD.
CBD vs. CBDa
Don’t let the term “activate” fool you. Researchers call it activation when CBDa turns into CBD, but that doesn’t mean CBDa is “inactive” in the sense that it doesn’t have an effect on your body. Quite the opposite. CBDa has been studied for its benefits on inflammation-based pain, similar to CBD. As far as which will work better for you, well, until there’s more research we cannot say. It is up to your experimentation to see what works best for your body.
CBDa carries certain properties that are not as abundant in the CBD compounds. The most notable of these is its ability to decrease inflammation. Other benefits to CBD oil include its analgesic (or pain relieving) properties, its use as a powerful antioxidant, and it’s anti-nausea effects. All of these make it a great companion to CBD, which is what makes raw CBD products so powerful. However, to each his own, and while CBDa may be a powerful benefactor for some, others prefer to stick to the pure CBD oils. In order to figure out which one works best for you, you can just try them both out and note the differences on how they affect your pain levels.
CBD Oil Additives
While it is possible, and sometimes preferable to find a pure hemp oil extract that contains no additives (in fact, we listed our favorite below), you’ll notice that many CBD oil products contain other additives. These additives may include essential oils, coconut oil, beeswax, or other ingredients meant to enhance the nourishing properties or flavor of the hemp oil. They can also help change the paste-like consistency of straight hemp oil into something that’s easier to use, like a liquid tincture or chewy gummy.
You should be aware of synthetic additives, which may result in a lower quality product. Fortunately, all of the additives in our favorite products are entirely food grade, meaning these CBD oils for pain we listed below are made with natural ingredients.
When is CBD Oil a Great Solution for Pain?
CBD oil is sought after for pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a great solution for internal and topical uses. You can consume CBD oil as part of your daily routine, at any time of day or night that makes sense for you. CBD is not like a quick-fix pill. It’s a natural compound that works with the intelligent endocannabinoid system by helping it regulate various biological processes. So it’s something you want to allow to build up in your system to promote overall wellness.
CBD Oil for Daily Use
One of the best reasons to consider CBD oil as a solution for pain is because it can be safely used daily, even several times a day. Many pain medications can be safely taken multiple times a day, but unlike most prescription options, with CBD oil there is no risk of addiction and very little chance of adverse side effects, even with high, frequent doses. Several studies have looked at the potential toxicity of CBD oil, especially at high doses, and have found that there is no risk of toxicity even in doses up to 500 times higher than typical maximum doses. CBD oil is such a low-risk solution that it is sometimes prescribed to treat certain ailments in children, as well.
Sublingual doses of CBD oil are convenient for people who require multiple doses throughout the day. A small, discreet dropper bottle or syringe will fit neatly in your purse or pocket, and just one or two drops under your tongue can help you find pain relief almost immediately.
Types of CBD Oil for Pain
If you’ve looked into a CBD oil product to help you manage your pain, you may have noticed that there are several types of products available. However, you may not be familiar with some of the lingo, so here’s a list of the most popular types of CBD products and what they are:
- CBD Concentrates: A concentrate is straight forward and very potent. It’s straight, CO2 extracted CBD-rich hemp oil that’s packaged into an oral syringe for sublingual use. No other ingredients are added. CBD concentrates are a dark, paste-like substance.
- CBD Capsules: This is one of the most straightforward CBD products, and includes a capsule filled with CBD compounds. You can find CBD capsules that are purely CBD, or blends that include CBDa and other additives that may give the CBD a boost. While the capsules are pretty easy, they may not be as effective for treating pain as some other types of CBD products.
- CBD Edibles: This is a food product that contains the healthful benefits of CBD. You can find edibles such as CBD gummies, which may help some people better tolerate the taste of the CBD products.
- Sublingual CBD Tinctures: CBD tinctures, or CBD drops, are concentrated liquids that are meant to be taken sublingually. A dropper full under your tongue once or twice a day is a common way people are adding CBD to their daily routine. This is typically a powerful and direct way to deliver the benefits of CBD to the body.
- CBD Topicals: CBD topicals are similar to tinctures in that they are concentrated oils, either in liquid or solid forms. CBD topicals are available in creams and salves, which are meant to be applied directly to the skin and are best for treating muscle soreness and joint pain.
Best CBD Oil for Pain Management
There are so many CBD oil products on the market, and if you aren’t familiar with hemp, then you may have a hard time choosing the best product for you. If you’re looking to manage pain, you may need a dose higher than someone just looking to treat something less severe, like a skin sensitivity. Plus, there are several types of CBD oil, including sublingual drops and topical solutions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed while trying to choose the best CBD oil for pain, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the strongest and most effective CBD oil products for managing pain:
This product is the purest CBD solution, and is a great choice for treating pain. It is a raw extract, meaning once it is extracted from the plant, no further steps are taken to alter the product. Most importantly, the oil is not heated to remove the CBDa content, a process called decarboxylation. This raw CBD oil contains both CBD and CBDa, or Cannabidiolic Acid, which is a natural extract that targets inflammation.
Because of its CBDa content, it is a great choice for pain associated with arthritis and other conditions that cause inflammation. The Green Label CBD Oil has a CBD concentration of 15%, meaning there is about 150mg of CBD/CBDa per gram of oil.
This product is for sublingual (under the tongue) use and comes in an oral syringe. A typical serving (one small drop the size of a grain of rice) delivers around 5mg of CBD/CBDa. Because the extract is not altered, the CBD/CBDa ratio is nearly even, just as nature intended, meaning that you will get 2.5 mg of each in every single dose. Of course, as with other sublingual forms of raw CBD oil, there is a hempy flavor. However, most people describe the flavor as “nutty” and find it to be quite easy to get down. Due to its purity and effectiveness, this is easily one of the most popular CBD oils for pain on the market.
This hemp oil salve is a powerful solution, even for chronic or frequent pain. This is a topical option, which is sometimes favored over the flavor of the oral solutions. The light combination of vanilla and citrus give it a delicate and delightful scent. However, there’s much more to this hemp salve than its pleasant aroma. This is one of the strongest CBD oil solutions on the market for targeting and reducing pain.
Endoca formulated this hemp oil salve to contain 750mg CBD, meaning its a powerful topical solution that can be used to easily target problem areas, like sore muscles or joints, as well as to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin. The salve contains a few food grade additives, like Vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and beeswax, which help it nourish your skin, while also being incredibly safe for you as well. A little goes a very long way, so this 1 oz jar should help you manage pain for a good while.
This wholesome hemp oil is harvested through a CO2 extraction process, and is a great option for someone looking to treat mild to severe pain. These Hemp Oil Drops by Endoca are available in two forms, including the standard hemp oil drops and the raw hemp oil drops. The difference is simple: Raw hemp oil has not been through the decarboxylation process, so it still contains notable amounts of CBDa. However, the standard drops have been heated until the CBDa content is removed. This gives you the option to choose which oil will work best for you. The CBDa is responsible for a lot of the anti-inflammatory effects of the hemp oil, but choosing an oil without CBDa will generally give you a stronger CBD content. Choosing the best option is entirely up to you.
Endoca Hemp Oil Drops are available in two different strengths as well, including 3% and 15%, so it is easy to get a dosage modified to your needs. These sublingual drops have a bit of a hempy taste, but no flavor additives. However, Endoca does add a beneficial blend of terpenes (the plant materials often responsible for making wholesome essential oils) to help boost the effectiveness of the CBD, making this one of the most powerful CBD drops available today.
CBD Oil for Pain Dosing and What to Expect
After you decide which type of CBD oil is best for you and your pain symptoms, you will need to decide what type of dose you need. The appropriate dose will vary for every person, and depending on the strength of the CBD oil you choose, you will need to take more or less. The best way to find the dose that works for you is to start low, and slowly build up until you find that most of your symptoms are relieved. This could mean starting with one sublingual drop in the morning and one in the afternoon, and repeating that for one week. Then, the next week, try two drops in the morning and two at night. Repeat this every week, either until you reach the maximum dose for your chosen product, or until your symptoms of pain begin to clear. If you feel that you are taking too much, simply reduce your dose.
After you find the right dose of CBD oil, you should begin to see results almost immediately after taking it, especially if you choose the sublingual form of the oil. If you experience any adverse effects, stop taking it and talk to your doctor before continuing its use.
It is hard to say whether CBD oil will work for managing your pain symptoms, since the product affects every person differently. However, the best way to decide if CBD is the right pain management solution for you is to simply try it out and see how it goes.You may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you are able to reduce the symptoms of your pain and discomfort.