Honestly, I began to wonder if I was just experiencing the placebo effect. But on the one day, I didn’t take my CBD oil, I ended up picking a fight with my boyfriend (totally my fault) and let a few off-color remarks by a family member mess with my mood. Truly, I feel like it was a bit less anxious, both of those incidents could have been diverted.
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And we have a long way to go before we fully understand the relationship between CBD and pain regulation. But strong anecdotal evidence, combined with multiple lab tests and even some clinical trials, have established that CBD holds a lot of promise for pain relief. Or in science-speak, CBD “represents a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”
The studies on CBD for headache pain are still in their infancy, but with promising results so far. A 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal worked with 26 people who were experiencing rebound headaches. The pain management results were better for the cannabis-nabilone formula over either ibuprofen or nabilone alone. (As a nerdy side note, the article is a great read if you’re interested in the history of cannabis as a pain reliever.)
There’s a growing consensus that cannabis is a highly effective treatment for many kinds of neuropathic pain. A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics states, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” But much of the human-based research (like this study) on CBD and nerve pain has centered around the efficacy of the FDA-approved medication Sativex, which includes both THC and CBD. Research on the best CBD for pain isolated from THC is still limited when it comes to neuropathic pain. There are exceptions, though:
This pocket-sized salve is perfect for travel or for sports, when you need a quick fix for your sore joints and muscles. It is also infused with arnica, meadowsweet, elderflower, calendula, ginger, vitamin E, turmeric, and other nourishing skincare ingredients that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s good to know ahead of time that this salve is extremely hard to apply—there’s a lot of beeswax in there, which makes it difficult to melt enough to rub into your skin. (There is also a handy Topical Roll-On version so that you don’t have to even use your fingers—the problem is, the roll-on formula is also made with beeswax. It’s been 65 degrees in New York City all week and I still can’t get the formula to melt in the roll-on. Nothing that placing the container in a bowl of hot water won’t solve, but it’s not up to general skincare standards.)