While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on the benefits of CBD as a pain remedy, CBD products can be used as a treatment to dispel commonplace aches and pains like headaches, muscle spasms, and menstruation pain amongst women.
However, with unpredictable frequencies and intensities, pain can be a complex ailment, so understanding how to use CBD for pain is an important step to ensuring its success.
Determining the Right Product
While CBD products are rapidly increasing in variety, they can still generally be sorted into two categories: CBD that it applied topically, and CBD that can be orally ingested.
Topically-applied CBD includes ointment, serum, moisturizer and body lotion. Orally ingested CBD, meanwhile, comes in the form of gummies, softgels, capsules and even chocolate. Note that CBD tinctures can belong to either category.
CBD in topical products enter the bloodstream transdermally, and work topically: this means that whatever part of your body making contact with the CBD will be directly affected. Orally ingested CBD is distributed throughout the entire nervous system, which means that your entire body will experience the benefits.
While orally ingested CBD covers more ground, you may only need relief in one area. In which case, topically-applied CBD may be the more suitable option. If the pain is caused by a headache or migraine, CBD may be most effective when orally ingested.
Selecting CBD Beforehand
Before you determine your dosage, it’s important to make sure you’re buying the right product. The following are signs that a CBD company is not trustworthy:
- They make wild claims about their product.
- They don’t offer a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab
- They are unclear about the CBD amount in the product
If you’re still having difficulty determining which brands you feel comfortable with, see our Brand of the Month page for a directory or reputable brands.
How to Determine Dosage
While it’s best to discuss taking CBD with your doctor so that they can calculate the most accurate dosage, there are factors that can help you determine your own dosage at home:
Body weight is one of the most important things to take into account when considering your dosage. As a rule of thumb, smaller individuals will need less CBD than those at a heavier weight. Those weighing less than 130 lbs should take 11-15 mg a day, those weighing between 130 and 230 lbs should take 18-24 mg, and those who weigh more than 230 lbs should be taking a dosage between 23 and 31 mg. While the other factors are important, the range determined by your body weight is the foundation for how much to take.
The frequency and intensity of your pain will help you determine what level of relief you require. If you’re seeking relief for occasional muscle aches, you may only need a dose on the lower side. Meanwhile, if you are taking CBD for severe and/ or chronic pain, you may need a higher dose within your recommended range.
While CBD is not nearly as potentially addictive as other pain medications, there is still a small change of building a tolerance the longer you take it. If you intend to use CBD repeatedly and frequently (such as those with arthritis), it’s recommended to start out with the lowest dose possible to leave room for any future need to increase it.
As you’ve probably seen already, CBD products are typically labeled as 1000, 1,500 and 2,000 mg. This is not the concentration of CBD per drop, but rather how much is in the entire container. This means that if a CBD tincture is said to contain 500 mg of CBD, and it’s in a 30 mL bottle, the concentration will be a little over 16 mg per 1 mL serving.
Generally, all CBD products–whether they’re gummies, tinctures, or softgels–can be used for pain relief, although it’s recommended to use topical creams for localized pain, such as sore muscles.
Depending on your state laws, there is a chance you can easily purchase CBD online or at a local dispensary or apothecary. Whether you buy online or in store, though, you should always make sure that the product has a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure its authenticity. Also remember that while most companies produce CBD oil from hemp plants, keep in mind that a product marked as “hemp oil” or “hemp extract” is not the same as CBD oil!