CBD is taking the world by storm. Its immense benefits are often used to relieve stress, but many people use CBD to get better sleep, boost their mood, and stay focused.
Did you know CBD can even help relieve everyday aches and pains? CBD’s pain soothing properties are yet another way this natural compound can be used to improve your daily life.
Take a look at some of the reasons you should use CBD for pain relief, and discover the best ways to harness CBD’s wellness benefits.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in hemp. Hemp is best known as a cousin of the marijuana plant, but hemp (and CBD) won’t get you “high.” Hemp contains just 0.3 percent or less THC, which is the compound in marijuana that creates psychoactive properties. This means we can benefit from hemp’s wellness properties without feeling intoxicated. A lot of people confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil, probably because they come from the same plant. The main difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is that CBD oil incorporates all parts of the plant, like the leaves and stem, while hemp seed oil only uses the seeds. There are three forms of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Hemp contains hundreds of compounds in addition to CBD and THC, such as terpenes and beneficial fatty oils. Sometimes, these compounds can work together to intensify their holistic benefits—this is called the “entourage effect.” The three types of CBD are defined by which additional compounds are included in their formulas. CBD isolate is the “purest” form of CBD, and it doesn’t contain any other compounds found in hemp plants. It’s less effective as a pain reliever, but it’s popular with first-time CBD users as an introduction to the compound. Full-spectrum CBD contains all hemp plant compounds, including up to 0.3% THC. This is the only form of CBD that contains THC. Full-spectrum CBD is far less processed than CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum CBD includes all hemp plant compounds, except for THC. It’s a middle ground between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolates that let you benefit from the entourage effect like with full-spectrum CBD, but it does not contain THC. While hemp and its compounds have been used in traditional medicines dating back to the 5th century BCE, modern science is just beginning to study its therapeutic effects. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) even recently approved a prescription drug containing CBD called Epidiolex, which treats seizures associated with epilepsy. CBD manufacture and retail is also entirely legal nationwide, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and fertility. Your endocannabinoid system is active in your body even if you’ve never used cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are compounds similar to cannabinoids, but they’re versions that your body naturally produces versus you getting them from a plant extract. Endocannabinoids bind to receptors in your central and peripheral nervous systems. When an endocannabinoid binds to one of these receptors, they help stabilize your internal balance. Maintaining balance across different bodily processes is the endocannabinoid system’s primary function. For example, a cannabinoid may interact with the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce feelings of calm and relaxation.
How Does CBD Help With Pain?
CBD can be ingested orally or applied topically to help temporarily relieve everyday pains. But how exactly does it help with pain?
It May Soothe Inflammation
One function of the endocannabinoid system is to soothe inflammation. When CBD interacts with receptors in the immune system, it’s believed to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect. These receptors reduce swelling and bring your body back to a neutral state to lessen tension.
It Can Support Healthy Skin
A small study found that individuals with dry skin saw clearer skin, reduced itching, and better sleep when using CBD to help with dry skin issues.
It Can Help With Everyday Aches and Pains
CBD can help relieve pain from arthritis, muscle soreness from exercise, and nerve pain. Not to mention, CBD might be able to help manage muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients. Because the root causes of pain are so varied, the ways CBD can relieve pain vary as well.
Arthritis is a widespread immune condition that affects millions of adults. The main symptom is chronic joint pain and stiffness, particularly in load-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Most arthritis pain is caused by swelling and inflammation. Arthritis can’t be cured, but the painful symptoms of arthritis can be temporarily relieved using anti-inflammatories like CBD. CBD can help to soothe inflammation at the source when applied topically, and there are promising studies about its use in arthritis patients.
Muscle Soreness from Exercising
There’s nothing better than a high-intensity workout. However, there’s also nothing worse than not being able to move the next day. When you push yourself during a workout, your muscles are tearing apart at a microscopic level. The pain and soreness you feel the next day is your muscle fibers rebuilding themselves. This process of tearing down and building back up is how your muscles grow, but it can be highly uncomfortable. CBD’s natural soothing properties help bring relief to your muscles and joints after working out. You can even try using some CBD body cream before exercising to try to prevent the pain from surfacing in the first place.
Pains caused by your nervous system, like carpal tunnel, are difficult to manage because it can be hard to find what’s causing your discomfort.
What Makes CBD Stand Out?
There are loads of over-the-counter pain relievers out there. While most of them work, they often have unwanted side effects that CBD doesn’t.
CBD is nothing new. In fact, CBD has been used for thousands of years to help with medical ailments. Compare CBD to over-the-counter medications that use unfamiliar chemicals and artificial ingredients. You know exactly what’s in CBD, and you know exactly where it came from. Plant medicine is generally an effective, safe, and sustainable option.
Many pain relievers use harsh chemicals that can be triggering for sensitive skin types, but CBD is generally non-irritating and effective. It’s normal to be nervous about using CBD for the first time. You can expect to feel soothing and calming sensations on your skin, but that’s it! Most people who use CBD experience little to no side effects, especially if they’re only using it topically.
While most topical pain relievers only relieve pain, CBD gives you more bang for your buck. Not only can CBD help reduce inflammation, but it can also soothe your muscles, stimulate blood flow, and moisturize your skin.
What Are the Best Ways to Use CBD for Pain?
If you’re ready to try using CBD to alleviate pain, you have plenty of options available to you. Feel free to keep experimenting until you find something that works for your lifestyle! While CBD can be ingested as a tincture, in a gummy, or through a vape, it’s generally recommended that people using CBD to help relieve pain use a topical CBD solution like creams, sprays, or soaks. These topical solutions help you target problem areas more effectively.
Body lotions and creams help you feel the pain-relieving effects of CBD while experiencing added benefits like moisturization. Apothecanna’s Extra Strength Body Creme does all of that and so much more by incorporating additional natural analgesics (AKA pain relievers). We use arnica to help heal bruising, peppermint oil to soothe skin and reduce inflammation, and juniper to soothe your nerves and reduce swelling. Our new extra-strength formula packs double the ingredients of our original Relieving line to give you the most rapid rebound possible. It’s a moisturizing lotion that provides maximum coverage. It’s also super easy to use. All you need to do is massage a small amount into areas of discomfort. You can even try refrigerating it for an extra refreshing sensation after sun exposure or physical activity. Just try to avoid broken skin or sensitive areas.
Moisturizing lotions and creams are pretty great, but they can be difficult to use on hard-to-reach areas like the lower back. Don’t worry—Apothecanna’s got you covered. We took all of the ingredients that make our extra-strength body creme so amazing and packed them into an easy-to-use Extra Strength Body Spray. All you need to do is spray one to two mists on areas of discomfort. Use it before and after physical activity to soothe muscles.
On its own, a warm bath is a terrific way to soothe aching muscles after a long day of work. Not only does the hot water help soothe stiff joints, but it can also help holistically relax your body. Take your self-care to the next level with our Extra Strength Bath Soak. This Bath Soak is one of our favorite ways to help relieve pain. The peppermint aroma has been used in aromatherapy to ease tension, aches, and pains, and the added sea salt can help relax muscle cramps and relieve muscle soreness. Feel free to use the bath soak, then top off your evening of relaxation with a post-soak moisturizer.
CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant that can help with mood, sleep, and pain relief. CBD works with your endocannabinoid system, interacting with receptors to find internal balance within your nervous system. Some of these receptors can help soothe inflammation and bring relief from pain. CBD can also help to hydrate dry skin. This makes CBD effective for arthritis pain, back pain, soreness after exercise, and nerve pain from conditions like carpal tunnel. CBD stands out because it’s natural, safe, and highly versatile. You can harness the benefits of CBD for pain relief by using our high-quality body cream, body spray, or bath soak. These all contain the same wonderful ingredients to improve your overall wellness, so you can keep trying different tactics until you find something that works for you!
Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don't | Harvard Health
An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | NCBI
Cannabinoid receptors: where they are and what they do | PubMed
Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain | NCBI
Cannabinoids in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis | NCBI
Get the Facts: CBD | National Eczema Society
The Role of Inflammation in the Pathology of Acne | NCBI