How Does CBD Oil Affect Pain

How Does CBD Oil Affect Pain

You’ve probably seen CBD oil products everywhere: in candies, in pills, in topical creams, and even in bath bombs.

It’s becoming much more convenient to use CBD oil to treat pain than it used to be.

But does CBD actually work to reduce pain?

That’s the big question! There have been many studies that show CBD oil can help to alleviate pain in the body, while also encouraging feelings of wellbeing.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at everything you should know about treating your pain with CBD oil.

To begin with, we’ll answer a commonly-asked question about CBD’s effects on the human body and if you should be worried about taking CBD oil and having a drug test. 

Does CBD Oil Make You High?

Does CBD Oil Make You High?

Sometimes people steer clear of CBD oil because they’re afraid that it will make them high.

If they find themselves in the situation of having to take a drug test, they might worry about the legal implications of having CBD in their system.

Others might want to use CBD oil in the hope that it will make them high. The truth is that CBD oil can’t make a person feel or be high, simply because it doesn’t contain THC, otherwise known as Tetrahydrocannabinol

This compound is a cannabinoid that’s found on the cannabis sativa plant, just like CBD oil, and it’s otherwise known as cannabidiol. However, CBD and THC compounds have totally different effects on the body.

The interesting thing about them is that both THC and CBD will attach themselves to the body’s CB1 receptors after entering the bloodstream.

But what they do with these receptors isn’t the same at all. To put it simply, THC will stimulate the receptors while CBD will prevent them from being activated.

That said, even if some CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, these are simply not large enough to make you feel any “high” effects. 

From a legal perspective, CBD products can contain up to 0.3 percent of THC, as was determined by the 2018 Farm Bill (via Made By Hemp).

So, when you shop for CBD oil products, you want to ensure that they don’t contain more THC than that.

Luckily, many products will be clear about how they don’t contain more than that amount due to how manufacturers know that consumers worry about taking THC when they don’t want to get high.

That said, take your research one step further by ensuring the products are properly labeled so you know exactly what you’re getting in the CBD product you’re interested to buy.

Did you know?

Besides for the cannabis sativa plant, CBD can also be taken from the hemp plant. It’s good to know the hemp plant doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so you don’t have to worry about any psychoactive effects when consuming hemp-derived CBD. 

So, How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?

So, How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?

You might’ve assumed that CBD oil can make you high because of how it does have an effect on you. For example, some people report feeling calm and even experience an increased sense of wellbeing.

Others, however, do report negative effects, such as if they take too much CBD. These include symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.

However, these are the effects the CBD has on the body itself, and are not associated with any psychoactive effects.

When it comes to pain, one of the nice symptoms CBD oil can make you experience is relief from your discomfort. It’s been said that CBD works in the body by reducing inflammation in both the nervous system and brain.

It does this because of how it interacts with receptors in the body. Earlier, we mentioned how CBD doesn’t work with CB1 receptors like THC does in order to give you a high, but it does offer other benefits. 

It all comes down to how CBD affects the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. This system is based on cell-to-cell communication. When CBD interacts with it, it can help to alleviate pain by blocking certain responses from happening.

The endocannabinoid system regulates many functions in the body, including pain. In addition, because CBD can copy how some brain chemicals work, it can offer therapeutic benefits, as Vice reports. 

Let’s take a look at how CBD affects various types of pain:


It’s been found that consuming CBD has low bioavailability.

This means that if you consume pills containing CBD to treat your pain, it can’t be absorbed as well as CBD from topical applications applied to the skin over the area that’s feeling painful.

Animal-based research has found that there are promising signs that CBD in topical cream form can alleviate arthritis-related pain.

For example, a study that was published in Pain journal found that topical CBD helped to prevent joint pain in rats who had osteoarthritis.

In addition, a study in the European Journal of Pain found that topical CBD gel decreased joint swelling and pain in rats with arthritis.

Although these are promising studies, we do require more human-based research to be done.



There’s still a lot of research to be done on how CBD can treat fibromyalgia, but there are some promising studies that have already been conducted.

For example, a report that was published in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets found that CBD could possibly reduce the activity of brain cells known as glia.

These cells cause what’s known as central sensitization, which refers to how the central nervous system reacts to certain stimuli such as repetitive noises or bright lights.

This is important for Fibromyalgia sufferers because such stimuli can cause them to feel discomfort and pain. By reducing glia, a person’s pain could be decreased, which is exciting news indeed.  

Multiple Sclerosis

This health condition affects the brain and the spinal cord because the immune system attacks myelin which serves to cover and protect nerves.

Although people with MS will have different symptoms, pain is a common experience for them. More than 40 percent of MS sufferers will experience pain, as Practical Pain Management reports. 

To date, some research has found that CBD could help to relieve MS symptoms, but this research has only looked at the effects of combining CBD with THC, at a 1:1 ratio, as Multiple Sclerosis News Today reports.

It has not explored the usage of CBD alone or via products such as oral sprays or creams.

That said, researchers are interested in doing more studies into CBD to treat multiple sclerosis because of how it doesn’t influence bodily functions such as temperature, heart rate, or blood pressure, thus making it safer for patients to use.

Muscular Pain

How Does CBD Oil Affect Pain 1
Woman rubbing shoulder, rear view

It’s not just chronic pain that’s causing people to want to try CBD oils and products.

There could also be some relief for muscular pain, which is exciting because it means a decrease in how many people use prescription medication to treat their pain.

CBD shows promise in treating muscular pain, such as those horrible aches and pains you feel after an intense workout at the gym.

Research published in the Frontiers of Neurology confirmed that CBD decreases inflammation. It can do this easily when rubbed onto sore muscles or taken orally, as Dr. Perry Solomon, founding member of HelloMD, told Men’s Health

CBD can also be effective when used as a muscle relaxant. Prescription muscle relaxant meds often have some unpleasant side effects such as depression and sedation.

CBD has been found to have similar effects as muscle relaxants, but without the side effects. As reported by Chiropractic Economics, CBD works by slowing the flow of chemical messengers in the body and by increasing the body’s natural supply of endocannabinoids.

This helps to relax the muscles in a completely natural way. 

Neuropathic Pain

This type of pain is defined as chronic pain that can be caused by injury, disease, or infection.

A review that was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology looked at how well CBD could work to treat chronic pain analyzed studies that were done between the years of 1975 and 2018.

It found that CBD was an effective way to manage neuropathic pain and didn’t cause any negative side effects.

In another study, this time published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, it was found that CBD works to suppress inflammation and neuropathic pain in the body by attacking the a3 GlyRs, or glycine receptor, in rodents.

These receptors are important when it comes to finding ways to treat pain because they control mechanical pain inputs and modulate central sensitization, as Brain journal reports. 

Headaches And Migraines

Suffering from regular headaches is no fun, but CBD shows promise in managing and treating headache-related pain.

A study that was presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) found that when people who suffered from migraines were given 200mg of a THC-CBD combination, their pain levels decreased by 55 percent.

This is valuable research if you consider that headaches are often a side effect of some chronic health conditions, such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. 

Other Health Benefits Of CBD

It’s not just pain that CBD can treat. Research has found that CBD can be used to treat various other health problems. Let’s look at some of them.

CBD Oil To Treat Anxiety And Depression


Some people who use CBD oil express feelings of calm and wellbeing. When it comes to social anxiety disorder, research has shown that CBD can help to alleviate it.

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD oil can reduce social anxiety symptoms, and this was confirmed when brain scans revealed that participants underwent changes in their blood flow to areas of the brain that were associated with anxiety.

But how does CBD achieve this?

Research has found that it actually stimulates neural generation and neurotransmitter systems in the body, while also having an effect on the endocannabinoid system we were talking about earlier – it actually helps to regulate it, as Observer reports.

CBD attaches itself to serotonin receptors that are responsible for anxiety.

Serotonin also plays an important role in depression: if these levels are too low, they can cause people to feel down and depressed.

Although CBD doesn’t increase serotonin levels, it is said to affect how the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin that’s already in your body, as Healthline reports. 

CBD might just work as well as antidepressants and antianxiety medication, but without the negative side effects that are common with such prescription medication.

In addition, one of the best things about using CBD oil to treat anxiety and depression is that it works quickly as compared to antidepressants that can take up to a few weeks before they start showing results. 

CBD Oil To Treat Insomnia

If you can’t sleep, taking CBD oil sounds like a good idea. After all, if it can make you feel calm and reduce anxiety, surely that will assist in you getting a better night’s sleep?

There has been positive research when it comes to using CBD oil to thwart insomnia.

As Healthspan Medical Director Dr. Sarah Brewer tells Net Doctor, CBD helps to promote refreshing REM sleep and it decreases daytime sleepiness.

This is important because you need REM sleep – it activates areas in the brain that are linked to making and holding onto memories, as well as learning in general. 

In a study that was published in the Permanente Journal, 72 participants were given 25mg of CBD in a pill form every day.

During the first month of use, 79.2 percent said that they had less anxiety and 66.7 said that they had achieved greater quality of sleep. 

Will CBD Oil Work Better Than Capsules Or Other CBD Products?

Will CBD Oil Work Better Than Capsules Or Other CBD Products?

When you want to try CBD, you might wonder if it’s more effective to take it in oils, capsules, or in topical creams. One of the important things to consider is to ask yourself how quickly you want the CBD to work.

When it comes to how CBD gets into your bloodstream, if you’re looking for quick relief then you should avoid edibles such as CBD candies because they first have to be digested before they can enter your bloodstream.

Putting CBD oil drops underneath your tongue can be a much more effective way of absorbing CBD than consuming edibles because the CBD will go into your bloodstream directly via this method.

Absorption aside, it’s also important to consider what relief you need from the CBD as this will influence what product you should use.

If you want quick relief from anxiety, using drops underneath your tongue will help to make you feel calmer.

On the other hand, if you’ve got sore muscles, a topical cream will probably be more effective because you’re putting the CBD directly on the area of your body that needs to be treated. 

Related Questions

Related Questions

Is CBD being used to treat epilepsy?

In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) oral solution to treat two severe types of epilepsy in very young children, the FDA website reports.

This is the first FDA-approved medication containing a substance derived from marijuana.

Does CBD interact with any medications?

CBD can interact with drugs, such as some over-the-counter or prescription medications, and dietary supplements.

In addition, if your medication is negatively impaired by consuming grapefruit, you shouldn’t take CBD with your meds because it can interfere with its effects, as Healthline reports. 


The idea of being able to better manage and even reduce your pain with the use of CBD is an exciting one.

It puts you in greater control of your health condition and can even prevent you from overusing prescription medications.

In this article, we’ve looked at various ways in which CBD oil and pain are being studied, such as with the use of CBD to treat chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, headaches, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

We’ve also looked at some other health-boosting effects that can be caused by CBD, such as feelings of wellbeing and the decrease of anxiety.

Although there’s still lots to learn about CBD and how it can benefit human health, CBD oils are already being used by people who want to feel better and send their pain or discomfort packing.

Maybe you should go ahead and give it a try!

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