Clinical Research, Cannabinoids
CBD and Chronic Pain

CBD and Chronic Pain: The Research, Data and Empirical Evidence

Written by
Hayden Kempton

Market Coordinator at Simply Green


Cannabidiol (CBD) is often touted as an adjunct to traditional medicines in the treatment of various physical and psychological issues. Indeed, even a cursory internet search request will throw up thousands of testimonials lauding the benefits of CBD in reducing pain, anxiety, stress, and depression. The weight of anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that CBD oil is a wonder supplement capable of curing any and all ailments. However, as purveyors of the best quality CBD products, we push beyond the anecdotes and focus on the empirical evidence.

CBD for the treatment of common conditions is an evolving area. New research is being undertaken all the time, but the data is slowly building. As noted by Harvard Medical School, the “strongest” scientific evidence for the effectiveness of CBD is in the treatment of epilepsy. Studies have down that CBD can have a positive effect, namely in reducing seizures, when treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, based on the empirical evidence derived from these studies.

CBD and Chronic Pain Studies: What the Scientific Literature Says

The FDA’s approval of Epidiolex is part of a rapidly expanding body of scientific literature on CBD. This growing body of research is not just into the effects of CBD on epilepsy but chronic pain. Indeed, the reduction of inflammation and joint pain has become one of the most studied areas over the last decade.

In fact, even though studies into the treatment of chronic pain and CBD go back to 2003, the history books tell us that Cannabis sativa L. has been used for rituals and medicines dating back millennia. Now, with the help of science, we’re rediscovering the potentially beneficial properties of CBD. Some of the most significant studies into the effects of CBD on pain are listed below:

CBD and Chronic Pain

Wade et al., 2003

This early study into the effects of CBD on chronic pain consisted of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled single-patient cross-over trials spanning two-week treatment periods.

24 patients with various physical problems, including multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries, were treated with one of four compounds: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), 1:1 CBD: THC, or a matched placebo.

The results showed that CBD was “significantly superior to placebo” with regard to pain reduction. The study did note some mild side effects but noted that they were “predictable” and “well tolerated” by participants.

Van De Donk et al., 2019

Van De Donk et al used a single-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 4-way crossover study to measure the impact of CBD on fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body. Fibromyalgia affects seven times more women than men and is considered a life-long disease with no known cure.

25 females were recruited to take part in the study. Of those, 20 completed the course and the data showed a 30% reduction in pain compared to a placebo. The researchers concluded that, although CBD didn’t have an impact on immediate pain scores, it could be useful in the long-term treatment of chronic pain.

Capano et al., 2020

This study looked at the impact on CBD and pain with relation to improvements in daily well-being. Thus, instead of looking specifically at the biological mechanisms of pain reduction, the researchers wanted to know if CBD helped improve a patient’s quality of life.

131 people already attending private pain management centres were studied over the course of eight weeks. All patients were taking opioids or some other pain medication. They were given CBD as a supplement and asked to provide ratings using the following surveys:

  • Pain Disability Index (PDI-4)
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)
  • Pain Intensity and Interference (PEG)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4)

94% of patients reported improvements in quality of life. Moreover, 53% were able to reduce or eliminate the use of opioids during the eight-week study. Capano et al concluded that CBD could “significantly reduce opioid use” and “improve chronic pain and sleep quality” in people currently using opioids for pain management.

CBD and Chronic Pain

CBD As a Holistic Supplement

Research supporting CBD as a treatment for chronic pain is growing. However, its uses are far more varied, particularly with regards to skincare and anti-ageing products. We stock and supply many of the highest grade supplements in the world, including CBD oil to sleep, Pain relief massage balm, medical vape devices, or relief oils.

The list of CBD products continues to grow as more research into its effects comes to the fore. Our mission is to find the best quality products that are backed by scientific research. Your health matters, regardless of whether it’s chronic pain or skincare, and, in an increasing number of cases, research shows that CBD oil can have a positive impact.

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