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Does Topical CBD Provide Pain Relief? Here’s What We Know

Baby boomers and millennials may not agree on a lot of things. But, one thing they do share is their enthusiasm for CBD. A study[1] conducted last year by the CBD Marketing Group found that much of the growth of hemp-based CBD is being driven by these two ends of the age spectrum. Consumers participating in an online survey, reported that 62 percent use CBD to treat a medical condition, of which pain, anxiety and depression were cited as the top three.[2]

 

As we explain in “Confused about CBD and THC? Here’s What You Need to Know?” CBD is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally-occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana that interact with natural receptors in the brain and body to affect pain response, among other effects. Cannabinoids work with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is made up of endocannabinoids or neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between neurons, which are the cells that transmit nerve impulses.

 

Topical CBD is absorbed through the skin where it binds to the body’s own CB-2 receptors, which are the endocannabinoids that are found in the peripheral nervous system and which play an important role in fighting inflammation.  Once CBD connects with CB-2receptors, it has a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

 

Studies point to CBD efficacy

 

While research on CBD continues, studies to date point to its pain-relieving effects. Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told U.S. News & World Report that CBD topical products can make the pain go away for a certain period of time. Research Halpert conducted found that topical CBD was able to reduce the production of inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor alpha. People with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis overproduce this particular marker.[3]

 

Another study reported in the European Journal of Pain looked into the effectiveness of a topical CBD gel on rats to reduce inflammation and pain from arthritis. The CBD was applied to the rats for 4 consecutive days. Results indicated a significant drop in joint swelling and signs of pain. The data indicated that topical CBD has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.[1]

 

Expect to see more studies on CBD. In the meantime, consider topical CBD to help in managing pain you may be experiencing. Check the product label to see how much CBD it contains. The amount of CBD will be stated in milligrams and it means the amount of CBD in the entire container of the product. You also need to factor in the size of the bottle – 10ml, 30 ml and so forth. So, 500mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle is a lot stronger than 500mg in a 60ml bottle. In fact, it would be double the strength.  Although there are no minimum recommendations for the amount of CBD to use, select a product with an amount that is equal to or higher than similar product in the same size container.

 

Lab+Blends has several topical CBD products to consider for pain relief, including creams, gels and lotions. Find out more about them.

 

[1] “Mainstream CBD Acceptance Being Driven by Boomers and Millennials,” PR Newswire May 7, 2019. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mainstream-cbd-acceptance-being-driven-by-boomers-and-millennials-300845062.html
 
[2] Corroon J, Phillips JA (2018) A cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 3:1, 152–161, DOI: 10.1089/can.2018.0006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
 
[3] Caceres, Vanessa. “Do Topical CBD Products Work?”, US. World & News Report, September 23, 2019. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/do-topical-cbd-products-work
 
[4] Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936‐948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/

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