cannabidiol oil eases pain, CBD oil, drug derived from cannabis

Could people in pain use a component of cannabis as an unexpected remedy? Anything related to marijuana is often regarded with suspicion because of widespread recreational use of the plant. Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that cannabidiol oil eases pain.

Q. I’ve heard that cannabidiol oil can be used for pain relief. Is this true?

Are there interactions with other medications? The pain meds I’m on only take the edge off. I still have quite a bit of pain. I think that’s typical for most of us with chronic pain.

What Is the Evidence That Cannabidiol Oil Eases Pain?

A. Cannabidiol oil (CBD) comes from the plant Cannabis sativa, aka marijuana. Unlike some other components of cannabis, however, CBD does not make people high (Babalonis et al, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, March 1, 2017).

Neuropathic Pain:

Animal research suggests that this compound may be helpful in preventing or treating neuropathic (nerve) pain (King et al, British Journal of Pharmacology, online May 26, 2017). Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to control. Canadian authorities have approved an oral spray (Sativex) combining delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol to treat neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity of multiple sclerosis (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Sep. 2016).

Chronic Pain:

Italian researchers report on their initial impressions in prescribing cannabis (as tea) for intractable chronic pain. They conclude that it seems effective and safe (Fanelli et al, Journal of Pain Research, May 22, 2017). A review of experimental and clinical studies hints that CBD and other cannabinoids may be useful for treating pain associated with inflammatory bowel disease (Hasenoehrl et al, Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, April 2017).

Beware Drug Interactions:

Cannabidiol oil may interact with other medications, particularly those used for pain relief (Arellano et al, CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets, online Apr. 13, 2017). Apparently, the enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2C19 metabolize CBD  (Stout & Cimino, Drug Metabolism Reviews, Feb. 2014). Although these same enzymes also metabolize many other drugs, the researchers conclude that studies “generally reflect a low risk of clinically significant drug interactions with most use” of CBD.

If you decided to try it, you’d be wise to consult a prescriber to help you find the appropriate dose. That person could also guide you in avoiding interactions.

Another reader wrote:

“Cannabidiol oil has helped the nerve pain in my back, legs and feet. For me, other medications don’t work well, but this is almost miraculous.”

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Barbara H.
    Charlotte nc

    Our 38 year_old son has suffered from severe chronic drug-resistant depression for 20 years. Psychiatrists have tried combinations of every drug out there without results. CBD oil has just come to my attention as a possible treatment. Where does a patient get a properly prepared oil? We will consult his psychiatrist as well. Our son has been through 30 ECT and TMS treatments.

  2. Amanda

    How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd oil? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

  3. Anne M

    Where can you buy CBD oil for pain?

  4. Gerald

    I cannot be sure if it works. I ordered this product from a company (STAR) they rec money from my ck acc. 1 mo ago today I have called twice since Still have not rec’d anything. I think we should be weary of these co’s.

  5. Corinne

    Hemp CBD works! My back pain is now manageable. My back was out, very badly. I immediately put on the Topical Oil. This helped immediately. Then I took water soluble BioCBDplus, and that really worked amazing! Also, they gave me a nice energy boost. Clear and focused. This was a Godsend to helping my back stop spasms. -Corinne

  6. Linda

    I have very painful arthritis I wear a brace on both thumbs because I have bone on bone I also have it in my back I don’t take any drugs because it just causes more problems I would like to try the oil for pain but I have no idea how to go about getting it. I live in northern ca so I assume it’s not hard to fine. Any advice on how to go about getting it. it. My husband also has constant nerve pain.

    • Linda

      Could you send me your mix of hemp oil I also have osteoarthritis. I wear a hand brace on both thumbs so I can use my hand they really help but I don’t like wearing them all the time. Linda

    • Anne

      If you bought it on line, please tell me where. There is so much information out there. You don’t know what works.

  7. Cindy
    Seattle, WA

    Well, I don’t know about cannabidiol oil… but I DO know about good old marijuana! I can tell you for a fact that marijuana absolutely reduces pain for me. Sometimes when I overdo the physical activity and my knees or lower back start complaining, a few little puffs of the MJ and that pain is GONE! I highly recommend it. Just don’t overdo it like so many kids do these days. A little dab’ll do ya.

  8. Elanis
    Manatee, Fl

    I was diagnosed with CFS (as well acute Epstein Barr, Hashimotos, and hysterectomy in 1992). Cycled along, ups and downs, until about 1999. Got opinions from several doctors as it seemed symptoms escalated. Fibromyalgia. Debilitating. Also, treatment resistant major depressive disorder. 38 sessions of TMS relieved depression. My primary referred me for pain management. Tried several meds and physical therapy before prescribing hydrocodone, which does give relief. I am fortunate that misuse of hydro is not and has not been a problem. Just most grateful for help.

    I have not read a direct connection between FM relief and medical cannabis. The corporate conglomerate for which my pain Doc works is not yet allowing any of their docs to prescribe it. There are now a few docs in this county ( Manatee, FL ) who can prescribe. Before I go through the process of finding Doc accepting patients: What do you know about FM and medical cannabis.
    The FM has changed my life. I haven’t given up hope.

  9. Willa

    I use a salve-external prep of hemp & other oils. I have osteoarthritis of wrists & knees & it works quite well. It takes the pain away for a while, then pain kind of creeps back in but you can ignore it longer & with less effort than without it. I alternate topicals with NSAIDS & a lightweight opioid only when I can’t tolerate the chronic pain-or if pain wakes me up. I generally use nothing but exercise & other good health practices, as meds can mess you up inside & smack you pretty hard in the pocketbook! The prep I use has Rosemary, ginger & mint oils that I think stimulate circulation & cover the marijuana smell of the Cannabis Sativa seed oil. The hemp oil is the last thing listed on ingredients so it must be pretty powerful. It works!

  10. Michele Marie

    Saltivex mentioned above is combination of THC’s and CBD’s.

  11. William

    I am a user of cannabis. Primarily for my sexual performance along with Cialis. Can’t perform without it. However, in me it seems to work this way: when I get high my sensations increase dramatically. Things taste or smell better or stronger and so on. The problem is that my chronic back pain increases as well.

    So individual variations in effects on different people have to be taken into consideration. It can have the opposite effect of increasing pain.

  12. Jane

    I believe that the THC in Cannabis can be just as important as the CBD component in it for relieving pain. It can all get a little bit confusing but I do know that one can still get the benefit from THC but avoid the “high” by putting the Cannabis Oil in capsules and using those as suppositories (it bypasses the liver).

    I know some folks that have used Cannabis successfully for both pain and nausea relief from cancer.

    Vaping the Cannabis is less harmful than smoking it, and you can also do Tinctures under the tongue and Edibles in all kinds of foods like cookies and brownies to Gummy Bears, etc…but be careful with edibles as they are hard to ‘dose’ (know how much THC and/or CBD is in it) and one can easily ‘overdo’ it and get higher than you want.

    The Dispensary folks can often educate you on using Cannabis as medicine and you can ask them about getting a ‘care-taker’ who can grow it for you (makes things cheaper) and who is supposed to know what they’re doing in recommending dosages, using the various ‘strains’ of Cannabis, etc.

  13. James

    It sounds fantastic but at the end of the day where can one purchase it here in Johannesburg, S. Africa.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.