The Correct CBD Dosage for Pain
Pain is one of the top three conditions for which consumers are turning to CBD for relief. Yet, if you buy a CBD oil product, there is one thing that you will notice: they do not provide specific dosage instructions for things like pain management.
In this article, we will go over what studies have found thus far when it comes to CBD and pain management. These studies can help you determine what CBD dosage for pain might be right for you.
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s a compound found in Cannabis sativa plants which is extracted and used in a variety of products. CBD oils, CBD gel capsules, CBD vape pens, CBD lotions, and more are being used by people in the hopes of finding symptomatic relief from a variety of conditions.
CBD can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana, two different varieties of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC, the compound in cannabis that gets you high. Unlike its sister compound THC, CBD does not get you high. This means that you can use hemp-based CBD products and not be worried about struggling to think or drive a car.
Why Are People Turning to CBD for Pain Relief?
Chronic pain is exceptionally hard to treat. To start, there are different types of pain. Inflammatory nociceptive pain is that which occurs due to inflammation. Common examples include the pain that comes from an injury or arthritis. Neuropathic pain, on the other hand, is caused by nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy, sciatic nerve pain, multiple sclerosis pain, and hitting your funny bone are common examples of neuropathic pain.
Inflammatory pain is typically easier to treat than neuropathic pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often the first line of defense when you experience inflammatory pain. These include things like Aspirin, ibuprofen, and Aleve. When these aren’t effective, prescription drugs are typically the next avenue. The strongest of these are opioids.
Neuropathic pain is often so severe that typical over-the-counter drugs don’t do much good. Even with supplements and lifestyle changes, many people with chronic nerve pain live every day in pain.
Even for those who find some relief with pain killers, these drugs are not meant to be taken indefinitely. Long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to health concerns and long-term use of opioids to addiction.
Because conventional medicine doesn’t hold the universal answer to pain, many people are turning to alternative treatments. Because CBD oil is a natural compound derived from a plant, many people hope to find relief without as severe of risks as those associated with over-the-counter and prescription painkillers.
Does CBD Really Help Pain?
When you talk to friends or comb the internet, you’re likely met with stories of CBD helping to relieve someone’s pain. But it’s important to understand something: there have been no human studies on CBD-only for pain. While preliminary studies in animals have found pain-relieving properties, we must wait for more science to be done before we can know for sure how CBD impacts pain.
Some of the animal studies that found CBD to help with pain include:
- CBD for a rat model of arthritis
- CBD for dogs with osteoarthritis
- CBD for mice with neuropathic and inflammatory pain
That said, there is a lot of evidence that whole-plant cannabis rich in both THC and CBD can relieve pain. This research suggests that THC with CBD might be more beneficial for reducing pain than THC alone.
All of this early research has given consumers enough hope to give CBD a try for themselves. With a favorable safety profile, promising preliminary evidence, and plenty of anecdotal reports, many people who have chronic pain are willing to try it out for themselves.
What Is the Correct CBD Dosage for Pain?
So, what is the correct CBD dosage for pain? At this point, we do not have a definitive answer to this question. To start, there have been no CBD-only studies in humans. Next, the ideal dosage is likely to differ based on a variety of individual factors, such as:
- The type of pain: Do you suffer from inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, or both?
- The severity of pain: You might need more CBD the more severe your pain is, although we do not know this for sure at this point.
- What medications you’re currently taking: CBD may interfere with medications in such a way as to require more or less CBD, or more or less of those medications.
- Your individual physiology: Studies have found dramatically different CBD dosages to help different people with the same condition. Your underlying physiology may impact how much CBD you require.
How to Determine the Correct CBD Dosage for Pain
Once you’ve decided that you want to try out CBD for pain, you need to pick a quality CBD product. We recommend tinctures as they allow customizable dosing, although capsules can be a good option as well.
Next, start with a small dosage and slowly work your way up. Arthritis.org recommends starting with 5-10 mg CBD twice daily and slowly increasing until you find the best CBD dosage for pain for you. They recommend capping your CBD dosage to 100 mg/day.
Animal research suggests that it can take 1 week before pain relief is experienced. This means that you might be taking the correct CBD dosage for pain, but not notice any difference until taking it for an extended period of time. Because of this, it is wise to wait one week before upping your CBD dosage.
What Products Are Best for CBD for Pain?
You can use oral, topical, or smokable CBD products as they all deliver CBD that can be used throughout your body. Keep in mind that the correct CBD dosage for pain may differ depending on the product. This is because not all of the CBD that you use will be absorbed into your bloodstream.
The quantity of CBD absorbed by your body is known as its bioavailability. The higher the bioavailability, the fewer mg of CBD that you will need to take. Inhaled CBD is the most bioavailable, followed by topical CBD, sublingual CBD, and then oral CBD. (R,R,R,R,R)
Sublingual tinctures are a good option because they have higher bioavailability than gel capsules with an easy-to-measure dosage.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
Another factor that can impact the correct CBD dosage for pain is the type of CBD that you use. There are three types of CBD products:
- Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil: These products contain CBD and other healthy plant compounds found in hemp, including very small quantities of THC (not enough to get you high).
- Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil: These products contain CBD and other healthy plant compounds found in hemp, but all of the THC has been removed.
- CBD-Isolate: These products contain only CBD with no other healthy plant compounds.
Limited research suggests that you might need fewer mg CBD if you use a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product in comparison to if you use a CBD-isolate product. This is thanks to something know as the entourage effect, where other compounds found in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum oil lead to better results than isolated CBD.
There is no one standardized CBD dosage for pain. After finding a high-quality CBD oil, you will want to start small and work up to find the best dosage for you. Remember to start at a low dosage and very slowly increase to avoid accidentally taking more CBD than you need.