Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?

Girl sitting applying CBD to her leg for pain relief.

Pain is overwhelmingly the most popular use for CBD. Over 60% of people who use cannabidiol report doing so for pain management. While CBD oil works incredibly well for various conditions, this article will focus specifically on 'does CBD cream work for pain.


In the post, we will cover:


  • How CBD affects our perception of pain
  • Scientific research on CBD and pain
  • How to use CBD for pain
  • Where to find the best CBD products for pain relief


Understanding CBD and Pain


We experience pain when our specific nerves, called nociceptors, detect tissue damage and send signals to the brain. The feeling of pain is your brain interpreting the signals to reduce harm. In some cases, your brain will release chemicals, primarily dopamine and serotonin, to balance pain perception, reducing the adverse effects.


Serotonin, Dopamine, and endocannabinoids


CBD helps the body stay in balance. While the cannabinoid can't directly activate receptors and release serotonin and dopamine, CBD helps establish homeostasis indirectly.


When you use CBD consistently, you encourage endocannabinoid production by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down the endocannabinoid, anandamide. So, instead of directly binding with serotonin and dopamine receptors, CBD helps produce more compounds that can release the chemicals keeping your body in balance.


TRPV1 Receptor and CBD


According to Science Direct, "TRPV1 receptors are nonselective cation channels that are sensitized from noxious stimuli, leading to inflammatory conditions and pain. In chronic pain states, vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors are up-regulated on neurons, have reduced stimulation thresholds, and cause an increased perception of pain."


Regular CBD use is believed to activate TRPV1 allowing the receptor to regulate pain. Unlike the relationship between CBD and serotonin/dopamine receptors, CBD can directly bind with TRPV1, creating a more manageable experience with pain. 


Research on Topical CBD for Pain


CBD exhibits the mechanism to treat pain through direct and indirect interactions with receptors. But we still need concrete evidence to answer the question 'does CBD cream work for pain.'


Below are 2 studies that help support CBD's pain-relieving properties. The first observed long-term use and the second was conducted over a short period.


CBD and Athletes – Best CBD for Inflammation


Pain in Extremities (hands and feet)


In 2020, a randomized controlled trial found that CBD could provide relief for people suffering from peripheral neuropathy, a condition that affects over 20 million people in the US alone.


Peripheral neuropathy is a general term describing conditions caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain or spinal cord). The condition can affect different parts of the body but typically causes a loss or distortion of nerve signals to the hands and feet.


Researchers recruited 29 patients with a mean age of 65, 15 were chosen for the CBD group, and 14 were used in the control. The CBD group treated their nerve pain with a 250mg topical for 4 weeks.


After the study, the researchers concluded, "There was a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group. No adverse events were reported in this study."


CBD and Arthritis


Another prominent study observed the transdermal efficacy of CBD in reducing inflammation and pain. CBD gel at 4 different doses (0.6, 3.1, 6.2, 62.3mg) was administered to an animal model for 4 days after arthritis administration. The researchers measured joint circumference and immune cell invasion in regions known to swell. -link to How to use CBD cream for arthritis pain


After the trial, researchers found that "Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane in a dose-dependent manner."


In addition, the researchers conclude the "data indicate(s) that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects."


Advantages of Using Full Spectrum CBD for Pain


One of the shortcomings of many scientific cannabis studies is the failure to recognize the different types of CBD extracts. Like the 2 cited above, most studies don't include details on additional compounds typically found in whole-plant extracts, so we must assume they are using isolates.


Possibly the most famous cannabinoid hemp study, which shifted the industry to favor full plant extracts over isolates, was done in 2015 by researchers from Jerusalem. The study's objective was to overcome the bell-shaped dose-response of isolate CBD extracts using a whole plant extract.


While both the isolate and full-spectrum extracts reduced swelling, the extract with only CBD produced a bell-shaped dose-response. Pure CBD performed poorly at low and high doses, while the full plant extract showed improvements as the dose increased.


The study is the most significant evidence for the phenomenon known as the entourage effect. Even though we are in desperate need of more large-scale clinical trials, the industry has come together to support full or broad-spectrum extracts instead of isolate.   


A Multifaceted Approach to Pain


We've dedicated this article to topical cream and 'does CBD cream work for pain,' but we highly recommend taking a multifaceted approach to get the best results possible.


Topicals are excellent administration methods because they can be applied directly to the source of pain. However, as we've mentioned, pain is neurological and interpreted by the brain.


We highly recommend taking CBD oil or CBD gummies daily if you are experiencing pain and complimenting your daily routine with CBD cream. -link to CBD Cream Benefits - How to Use Topical CBD


Shop CBD Cream from Canna Cubans


At Canna Cubans, we carry various topical CBD products, including Organic Massage OilCBD Sports Cream, and Organic CBD Salve. All our products are sourced from USDA Certified Organic hemp and processed in a USDA Certified manufacturing facility. To learn more about Canna Cubans and all things CBD, visit our website or reach out to us today; we'd love to hear from you!

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