To hear current statistics tell it, chronic pain is one of the most life-limiting health issues we are facing in the country today.

Man holding his back in pain before taking CBD

In the most recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, a full 20 percent of adults reported chronic pain. Eight percent reported chronic pain that was severely life-limiting.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that chronic pain may impact as many as 40 percent of adults annually.

Chronic pain itself produces a number of known health issues, chief among which is increasing dependence on prescription pain medications, including highly addictive opioids, increasing incidence of depression and anxiety and major impact on quality of life.

Clearly, more and better options are needed to help people manage symptoms of chronic pain. Recently, CBD oil has attracted attention for its potential to help with the management of chronic pain. In this article, learn more about how CBD oil may be able to help and how CBD oil is used to ease pain, both acute and chronic.

What Is CBD?

CBD is an acronym that stands for “Cannabidiol.” Cannabidiol is one of many active naturally-occurring chemicals (more than 120 known compounds to date) found in the Cannabis family of plants.

The most famous plant in the Cannabis family is, of course, marijuana. But there are several other plants that also belong to this family, including hemp, hackberry, hops and others.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is found in certain Cannabis plants, including both marijuana and hemp. However, unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (the chemical found in marijuana that produces that plant’s famous “high”), CBD produces no high or any reported psychoactive effect at all.

However, CBD has been reported to offer other benefits that may make it suitable for use to manage acute or chronic pain without some of the more worrisome side effects offered by traditional pain medications.

For example, in one study, CBD was shown to stop the body from absorbing a chemical that signals the presence of pain.

Medical News Today reports that Cannabidiol may also help to ease systemic inflammation associated with acute and chronic pain.

What Is CBD Oil?

Because there is still a lot of confusion about what CBD is, how it is related to marijuana and THC (only distantly), what it does and how to use it, it is important to understand what the term “CBD oil” means.

CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, which is a plant in the Cannabis family that is only distantly related to marijuana. It is essentially CBD in a liquid extract form. The best CBD oil for pain comes in a variety of delivery methods, from tinctures to vape pens to edibles, creams to sprays to essential oils and tinctures and more.

How to Use CBD Oil

Because there are so many delivery methods available, you may be wondering which type of CBD oil will be the best for your pain management needs.

Because the field of CBD research itself is still so new and research studies are still underway, it is not possible to know for certain which delivery method might work best for your personal pain management needs.

The Arthritis Foundation, for example, offers guidance for use of CBD oil in a number of different delivery methods, including edibles, vaping, capsules, honey infusions, extracts and others.

Their guidance focuses on these recommendations to get the maximum CBD oil benefits for pain:

  • Start with the lowest recommended dose of the best CBD oil for pain and work your way up as needed.
  • Use only one delivery method at a time (for example, don’t vape and then use a cream at the same time).
  • Use CBD oil at night at least until you see how you respond (so this doesn’t interfere with your daily activities).
  • Always talk with your healthcare provider first, especially if you are currently taking other required medications for the management of any related or unrelated condition.

As well, if you are pregnant, still breastfeeding or trying to conceive, always talk with your doctor before deciding whether to try CBD oil.

Who Uses CBD Oil?

In an interesting study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CBD oil users were surveyed to discover why they chose to use CBD oil.

The most reported medical concerns for which respondents used CBD oil were sleep issues, pain, anxiety and depression.

A full 62 percent of respondents reported using CBD oil to manage a medical condition.

In one 2008 study, researchers looked at the link between chronic pain and insomnia. The study discovered that CBD oil was beneficial in helping patients with chronic pain fall asleep.

What Kinds of Pain Can CBD Oil Potentially Help With?

If you or someone you love is suffering through acute or chronic pain, you may be wondering whether CBD hemp oil for pain relief might provide some aid. What kinds of pain can CBD oil help with?

The first thing to know when looking at this question is that the field of CBD oil research is still very new. Many research studies are underway or just getting started. There is much more yet to be learned about all the ways CBD oil may be beneficial to manage pain or other health conditions.

Current research supports the use of CBD hemp oil for pain relief for the following types of pain issues.

NOTE: If you do not see your pain issue mentioned here, always talk with your doctor or holistic practitioner to ask if CBD oil might be an appropriate choice for your needs.

Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network supports the use of CBD oil to treat chronic pain associated with arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation further published findings indicating CBD oil may be helpful to manage the health impact of chronic arthritis pain.

Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Pain)

Medscape published information about the use of CBD oil to manage neuropathic (somatic nervous system) pain.

Their findings indicate CBD oil may work best over time with repeated doses.

Anxiety and Sleep Issues

A woman sleeping soundly after taking CBD oil

While anxiety, depression and other mood disorders may not be considered “pain” on a physical level, there is no doubt that mood disturbances cause great pain on a mental and emotional level.

A research study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlighted the potential of CBD oil to ease anxiety and sleep issues. It is thought that CBD oil is able to help by calming down the activity of the body’s central nervous system.

Pain from Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

For people undergoing cancer treatment, pain and side effects from medications can be almost as difficult to deal with as the cancer itself.

Healthline reports that CBD oil has shown effectiveness at reducing cancer treatment symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and pain.

Other Types of Acute and Chronic Pain

In summary, it is important to remember that much more research remains to be done when investigating the potential CBD oil benefits for pain.

The research studies mentioned here represent only the emerging cusp of evidence supporting the use of CBD oil for pain management.

Talk with your doctor or holistic practitioner if you have questions about how CBD oil might be useful to alleviate any acute or chronic pain symptoms you may be coping with.