CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as cannabis or hemp. It has been suggested that CBD oil may be beneficial for pain relief, however, more research is needed to confirm this. Currently, CBD products derived from marijuana are not legal at the federal level, but they are legal in some states. The evidence from human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil is limited due to restrictions on use and research on cannabis.
While CBD is a promising option for pain relief, research has not yet proven that it is safe and effective, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD for treating pain. The Mayo Clinic states that CBD is normally found in oil form, but it can also be sold as an extract or vaporized liquid. CBD is emerging as a potential pharmaceutical agent for treating pain, inflammation, seizures and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. However, there are some issues with CBD products, such as concentration levels that are significantly more or less than what the label says, the presence of undeclared THC and contamination with pesticides, metals and solvents.
Kevin Boehnke, PhD, a researcher at the Center for Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research at the University of Michigan, focuses on medical cannabis as an analgesic and substitute for opioids in chronic pain. He notes that people report using CBD for anxiety, pain and sleep—all things that go hand in hand with chronic pain. The FDA does not regulate CBD products the same way it regulates drugs or dietary supplements, so companies sometimes label or misrepresent their products. Therefore, it is important to do your research before purchasing any CBD product.