Is CBD oil effective in relieving pain?

Thursday March 18, 2021

Many people are using cbd oil for pain relief while some still have questions, here’s a beginner’s guide to CBD and pain….

Firstly, what is CBD oil and is it legal in the UK?

CBD is short for ‘Cannabidiol’, a natural chemical extracted from the cannabis plant which is believed to have wide-ranging benefits to health and wellbeing.

Whilst the benefits of CBD are not yet medically proven, a number of studies indicate it has a range of wellness benefits from aiding sleep to providing relief from anxiety, pain, depression and inflammation.

CBD does not get you ‘high’ and is non-addictive, legal in the UK and deemed safe to use by the World Health Organisation.

Using CBD oil for pain relief

As more people seek non-addictive pain relief, CBD is becoming a popular solution.

You may be wondering how CBD works?

CBD is a cannabinoid chemical which interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a major role in balancing our bodily functions including pain, sleep, mood, metabolism, immune system, and more.

Studies have found CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties – all which appear to help in pain management and wellbeing.

CBD and nerve and inflammatory pain

Nerve / neuropathic pain:

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to nerve cells. Typically, this is experienced as shooting, burning pain. The pain may be constant or intermittent, it is usually chronic and tends to get worse over time. This type of pain is considered one of the hardest to treat.

Neuropathic pain can be caused by physical injuries, illnesses such as shingles, from multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and some types of cancer and cancer treatments.

Research into CBD’s affect on neuropathic and chronic pain is currently very limited. A 2020 review of studies on CBD and pain relief found “In a mixed cohort of patients suffering from intractable pain due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, and limb amputation, CBD treatment significantly reduced pain on a visual analog scale”. They also concluded that CBD did not work for all types of pain and studies needed to be larger.

Anecdotally, there are many voices sharing that CBD works for them. It is common to hear that CBD users can now do things that they could not do before due to their pain, such as walking down a flight of stairs. One of the biggest benefits that users report is that they can reduce their reliance on opioids and other strong pain relief medications.

Inflammatory pain

Research indicates that CBD could be effective for easing pain linked with inflammation. Animal studies and small-scale human studies show CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Again, whilst this sounds promising, large-scale studies are needed to fully understand its benefits.

There are a growing number of CBD users who report that it eases their arthritic pain and, for some, can even increase their joint mobility.


Whilst there are indications that CBD could be effective in relieving pain stemming from certain conditions, not enough is known yet to make any bold claims. As the CBD market grows, there will be more support in conducting larger scale studies. We look forward to the day when we have more evidence to share on the benefits of CBD oil for pain relief.

Small scale studies certainly give positive indications about CBD as an effective pain management tool. The wealth of anecdotal evidence shows that CBD can make a significant difference to individuals. But it appears CBD does not work the same for everyone. Pain is such a broad subject and comes about for different reasons, therefore one solution is not going to work for all.

If your pain management is not working for you, CBD could be a solution worth considering. CBD is considered safe by health organisations such as the WHO, it is well tolerated at high doses and side effects are uncommon and minor. It is legal and sold as a supplement in the UK, without the need for a prescription.

Like all things, what works for one person may not work for you. Always speak to your doctor before trying anything new.