For those suffering from chronic pain, it can be a life-changing experience. Simple everyday tasks become extremely difficult. Planning your day, socialising with friends and family and attending events can seem like an impossible challenge. If you’re a long term sufferer of chronic pain, then it can leave you feeling isolated and alone.

CBD and Chronic Pain

In a study carried out by the British Pain Society they discovered that two-fifths of the UK population suffer from chronic pain that has lasted three years or longer. Looking at chronic pain that is either moderately or severely disabling, the figure is still an astonishing 14.3%.

Many sufferers of chronic pain do so in silence, learning to cope with the pain, and adapting their lifestyles to accommodate it, sometimes without even realising that they’re doing so.  The vast majority of sufferers will try and manage the pain with painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen with varying degrees of success.

The good news for all chronic pain sufferers is that CBD is slowly gaining acceptance as an alternative to traditional pain killers. Research is underway analysing the effects of CBD on a wide variety of ailments. While it’s still early days, the initial results look promising.

Below we look at some of the most common causes of chronic pain and what research has been done concerning using CBD as a potential treatment.

Arthritis

In a study, published in 2015, researchers looked at how CBD could help with Arthritis pain. The study used rats with Arthritis, and a CBD balm was applied over a four-day timeframe.

At the end of the period, the researchers found there was a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain within the rats. No additional side effects were noted.

A 2016 study on humans with Arthritis found that CBD helped with both pain and sleep. However, the study group was very small which makes definite conclusions difficult.

If you have Arthritis and would like to try CBD, then you have a range of options. Topical products such as CBD balms can be applied straight onto the affected areas. This may provide more targeted pain relief, however ingesting CBD in the form of oil or vape has been found to be more effective.  It’s always best to start with a low dose and build up. CBD generally works quickly and so if you’re not feeling benefits after 1-2 days try increasing the dosage or frequency.

Multiple Sclerosis

Muscle spasms are a common symptom for those with MS. The spasms can be so severe that they cause constant pain for some sufferers.

Much of the evidence regards MS, and the benefits of CBD is taken from users first-hand accounts.  Many people who suffer from MS have found that CBD reduces the instances and severity of muscle spasms.

One report did find a link between short term CBD usage and reduced levels of spasticity a person feels. The results were limited; however, they were reported by a large number of users within the trial. More human trials are required to understand the potential benefits fully.

Fibromyalgia

High-quality research is again limited so much of the evidence is anecdotal as to how CBD may benefit people living with Fibromyalgia.

A study from 2016 suggested that reduced levels of endocannabinoids may be the cause of chronic pain for people suffering from issues such as Fibromyalgia and Migraines. CBD helps prevent the breakdown of endocannabinoids by naturally occurring enzymes in the human body. Thus, taking CBD could potentially support the endocannabinoid system, helping it to perform more normally and reducing the instances or severity of chronic pain.

CBD and Chronic Pain – Summing Up

CBD is still a relatively new product, and therefore high-quality research based on long term studies is limited. Early evidence and feedback from existing users are typically favourable with many sufferers of chronic conditions reporting benefits to their condition from CBD usage.

If you do decide to try CBD, it’s advised to consult your doctor before beginning treatment. Always start with a small dose and build up over time. CBD has been found to have very few (if any) side effects and so trying CBD should present no risks but could provide some relief to a range of symptoms.