CBD Oil For Pain – How CBD works and why helps

30th September 2019

Step 1 – Stub your toe on the corner of the couch.
Step 2 – Express your anger towards the couch.
Step 3 – Hobble away in pain.

When an injury occurs, rather than politely inform us that something is wrong, the brain screams at us. It shouts “You are in pain! You must be aware of this! Do something about it!”.

Even when this message is received loud and clear and we begin the necessary steps of healing, the brain continues to relay the same message over and over again resulting in acute or even chronic pain.

In our desperation, we turn to pharmaceuticals, but the resulting opioid crisis has led us looking elsewhere to a safer, more natural alternative to pain relief such as CBD oil.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD as it is abbreviated is a potent cannabinoid (compound) from the cannabis plant. Unlike its intoxicating cousin, THC, cannabidiol is not psychotropic meaning regardless of the quantity taken there will be no euphoric ‘high’ effects.

Interestingly, CBD mimics the behaviour of natural cannabinoids present in the human body. It does this by interacting with receptors located throughout the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS plays a vital role in regulating a variety of cognitive and physiological processes including mood, memory, inflammation, and appetite. A good working ECS is dependent on cannabinoids such as CBD which lead to good health and homeostasis.

What is CBD?

CBD Oil and How to Take It

Thanks to the surge in popularity, CBD is now being infused in all manner of food, drinks, lotions, balms and more. There are options to suit everyone and every palate.

Some are ideal for providing instant relief (something people in chronic pain will often require) while others are fantastic for longer-lasting effects throughout the day.


For instantaneous satisfaction. Take your flower or e-liquid, put it in your vaporizer and immediately activate numerous cannabinoids and terpenes. Breathe it into the lungs and feel the fast onset of effects thanks to pulmonary absorption.

There are no toxins created as the flower or e-liquid is heated rather than burned, nor is there any nicotine present and as such neither is addictive.

  • Takes effect in: Within 1-2 minutes
  • Effects Last: around 4 hours


Discreet and easy to swallow capsules provide accurate and precise dosing and come in a range of strengths to suit different levels of pain.

  • Takes effect in: After 1 hour
  • Effects Last: 4-6 hours


Target pain by applying a CBD lotion or balm directly to the site of inflammation or pain. Cannabidiol will absorb through the skin and interact with localised receptors therein.

Topical CBD is available in varying strengths to suit different levels of chronic pain. For greater effects apply the balm or lotion liberally to the affected area.

  • Takes effect in: 30-60 minutes
  • Effects Last: 4-6 hours


Edibles are a tasty way of getting longer-lasting effects of CBD into your body and with an abundance of choice out there from hummus to cakes, there’s bound to be something you fancy.

For the budding master chef out there, simply add CBD oil from a tincture bottle into your chosen food and you can make ANY food or drink into a CBD edible.

  • Takes effect in: 1 hour
  • Effects Last: 4-6 hours
CBD Edibles


One of the most popular methods, tinctures are bottles containing a pipette which you use to place drops under your tongue. The onset of effects is quite fast as CBD is absorbed into tiny veins located under the tongue allowing it to enter your bloodstream quickly.

A variety of strength concentrations means 3 drops from one tincture bottle could give you wildly different effects from 3 drops out of another bottle. With a wide range of terpene infused flavours, there will be something to suit every taste bud.

Variety may be the spice of life but with so many options to choose from, how do you pick the one that is right for you and can treat your specific pain best?

What Are the Best CBD Oil Products for Pain?

Below is a selection of CBD oil products in the UK.

ECS Gold Drops

UK manufacture Canavape has developed quality 3rd party tested CBD oil available in strengths ranging from 750 mg up to an incredible 3000 mg. It is even infused with hemp seed oil rich in omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin.

Together with another non-intoxicating yet powerful cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), (shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties) this London based manufacturer has created a potent oil.

CBD cream that also moisturizers


300 mg of 3rd party tested quality CBD product combined with omega 3 and 6 rich hemp oil to form a potent mixture that can target chronic pain directly.

You can buy from poko CBD a range of creams that are ideal for muscle recovery and to give skin that much needed splash of rejuvenation to be fresh!


Canavape complete CBD and terpene e-liquid

Delicious e-liquid available in 300 and 600 mg of CBD and 30 or 60 mg of CBG and in a range of unique flavours including white widow, super haze and more

Note: There is no nicotine present and as such, it is non-addictive.

CBDfx 300 mg CBD Gummy bears

CBDFx Gummies

60 vegan-friendly organic CBD gummy bears containing 5mg of active CBD in each.

Widora CBD Flower

Widora offers potent luxurious flower with strengths starting at 200 mg up to 1800 mg all of which are available in a wide range of flavours including carmagnola, blue dragon, kush and amnesia.

Peng CBD infused Goji berries

Peng offers 9 varieties of snacks and 6 varieties of sweets with full-spectrum CBD hemp extract crystals covering all of these delicious snacks which are available in either 250 mg or 500 mg.

CBDfx 150 mg CBD balm


CBDfx CBD balm is a premium full spectrum balm with 150 mg of CBD oil suitable for all skin types, blended together with avocado oil, floral lavender oil, chamomile oil to produce a nourishing and moisturising skin balm sensation.

CBD Eaze tincture

CBD Eaze is a full-spectrum CBD oil available in multiple high strengths including 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 mg. Simply apply drops under the tongue.

CBDfx softgels.

CBDFx Softgels

30 capsules contain 25 mg of CBD in each which is ideal for easy, discreet, and convenient dosing every day.

What Types of Pain Can CBD Help With?

What pains can CBD help to relieve?

Cannabidiol has been shown to be instrumental in managing numerous ailments and pain is no exception. That being said there are, of course, many different types of pain so which types can CBD help with?

Chronic Pain

CBD has been shown to suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing any increased tolerance. This potent plant molecule has also been shown to regulate the perception of chronic pain by affecting the activity of serotonin receptors.

Cancer Pains

Cannabis plant oils are a recognised treatment for cancer nausea and vomiting but CBD can also help with the pain and discomfort associated with cancer and cancer treatments. Cannabidiol has been shown to reduce chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy.

CBD’s well known and heavily studied anti-anxiety effects can also help ease some of the constant worry associated with cancer.

Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers in Spain showed CBD to have beneficial immunoregulatory actions as well as improve motor deficits associated with MS helped by MS.

Researchers at the University of Messina in Italy stated that CBD can produce beneficial effects in people suffering from MS. In the UK, Sativex (a combination of CBD and THC) was the first cannabis-based drug to get a licence to treat muscle spasms and stiffness in MS patients.

Arthritis Pain

CBD has been shown to cause pain relief and inflammation in animals suffering from arthritis. Researchers from the University of Kentucky showed that by applying topical CBD to the site of the joint pain that it significantly reduced joint swelling and pain without any side effects.


The intensity of migraines can be attenuated by CBD ability to reduce neuron inflammation and control serotonin levels which are known to influence pain through spinal processing of nociceptive information.

Research has also shown that not only are migraines intensely painful but they result in morphological and functional changes in the brain. Researchers from Brazil administered CBD to animals and showed how this plant derivative can reduce neuroinflammation, act as neuroprotective, and even regenerate new nerve tissue!

Is CBD Effective?

CBD is effective at managing pain relief because it can affect serotonin levels, anandamide levels, and opioid receptors – all of which are responsible for the perception of pain.

CBD topicals activate CB2 receptors on the skin which stimulate the release of endorphins and in doing so inhibit the message of pain to the brain.

And it goes even further; the body naturally produces an endocannabinoid known as anandamide which is responsible for the bliss type feeling we all experience. Unfortunately, this compound dissipates quickly due to the presence of an enzyme known as FAAH, but thankfully cannabidiol inhibits this enzyme thereby delaying the degradation of anandamide and prolonging this feel-good chemical in the body.

Side Effects of CBD

Apart from the numerous medicinal benefits, another reason CBD oil has had such great press in the UK and elsewhere is due to its remarkable safety profile.

Anecdotal reports of CBD safety were confirmed in a detailed study of clinical data and animal studies, where it was concluded that CBD had a better side effect profile in comparison to most pharmaceutical drugs.

The most commonly reported side effects reported in the published literature is:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Changes in appetite/weight.
  • Potential drug on drug interactions


Tiredness is a commonly mentioned side effect with 21% of participants in epidiolex (patented CBD) trials experiencing some form of tiredness. However, this side effect is remarkably helpful for people who struggle with sleep.


Although very rare and hardly ever mentioned in the majority of human clinical trials, diarrhoea is mentioned as a side effect in 10% of epileptic patients who received epidiolex.

Changes in Appetite/Weight

Again in epilepsy clinical trials 16% of participants reported reduced appetite whereas weight loss was reported in 2% of trialists.

Drug on Drug Interactions

Cannabidiol may interact with enzymes in your liver potentially increasing or decreasing pharmaceutical drugs.

This can actually be a positive side effect as shown in one 13 week study of epileptic children who used CBD, and as a result, they were able to lower their anti-epileptic drugs which resulted in fewer side effects from the pharmaceutical drugs.

No known level of toxicity has ever been found nor has there ever been an overdose on CBD. CBD has been shown to have a remarkable safety profile in clinical studies. In one particular trial, participants took 1500 mg in one single day and even at this high dose there were no adverse effects.

CBD has been shown to behave like grapefruit juice in that it can elevate or lower existing pharma medications that a patient may be on. For this reason, it is important to check with your doctor prior to taking CBD if you are on any medication as it can affect your medication.

Guidelines to CBD Dosage for Pain

Everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system as well as a specific type of pain and pain threshold and as a result, everyone will require a different dosage to work for them.

The best advice that anyone can give is to start small and slow and a method that works well for this is the Dr Sulak method.

The Dr Dustin Sulak Dosing Method

Dr Dustin Sulak is a physician in Maine, USA, synonymous with cannabis and cannabinoids and after years of research, he has constructed a simple easy to follow guide for finding the dosage that is right for you.

Regardless of which method of consumption you choose, vaping, gummies, tincture etc, Begin by taking a very small amount (1-5mg) in the morning and after one hour, you proceed to ask yourself the following 3 questions:

  • How easy is it to breathe?
  • How comfortable and calm does your body feel?
  • How easy is it for you to smile naturally?

You then rate your scores from 1 – 10 and do this every hour.

If your scores are the same after the first hour then slowly increase your dose and rate yourself again using the same 3 questions.

Continue to do this until you feel a noticeable difference.

Eventually, you will reach the stage where increasing your dosage will not result in higher subjective scores meaning you have found your optimum dosage.

Dr Sulak suggests dosing 3 to 4 times a day for optimum results, but can this be too much?

Are CBD Massages Worth It?

CBD massages provide all that is expected from traditional massages such as calmness, peace and relaxation and add to it all the beneficial effects of CBD.

By massaging in cannabidiol it can penetrate the skin surface faster and more effectively targeting pain right where it hurts and providing relief.

Is Taking CBD for Pain Legal?

Yes taking CBD for pain is completely legal in the UK as well as most of the world.

In the UK it is legal to purchase, consume, and help treat pain with this wonderous cannabinoid. As per regulatory rules, manufacturers and retailers must not advertise this plant as a cure or remedy for symptoms or illnesses of any disease.


In this age where we are experiencing a very real and frightening opioid crisis where patients and pain sufferers are becoming addicted to painkillers and in some cases overdosing there is an absolutely essential requirement to find a safer alternative.

CBD has been shown to be safe, non-toxic, and well-tolerated in humans, something that has been confirmed by numerous peer-reviewed papers as well as the World Health Organisation CBD review.

Finally, cannabidiol is available in a growing number of products which means there is something to suit everyone's taste, whether you want flower for fast-acting relief, cream for directed action or edibles for that long-lasting relaxation.

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