CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system; a human cell-signalling system that regulates many things, including the brain and the immune system. When we use CBD, it binds to TRPV1 receptors within this system . These receptors are known to mediate pain perception and inflammatory responses. Within the endocannabinoid system, our receptors receive signals from different external and internal stimuli, and help your cells to respond appropriately. This process can lead to anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects within the body. It is thought that using CBD may help this system to work more effectively by reducing the breakdown of natural cannabinoids in the body, and enhancing their ability to bind to receptors.
One study into using CBD to help with chronic pain demonstrated that CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain; these are two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat . A 2018 review assessed multiple studies conducted between 1975 and 2018 to see how well CBD works to relieve chronic pain . Based on these studies, they concluded that it was effective in overall pain management, and did not cause any negative side effects (unlike many pharmaceutical pain relievers). They also found that people are not likely to build up a tolerance to CBD treatment, so they won’t need to increase their dose over time. Due to these reasons, it is thought that CBD could make an excellent alternative treatment for chronic pain.
A 2016 study looked into the use of CBD to treat arthritis pain   . They applied a CBD gel to rats with arthritis, and found that it reduced inflammation, and reduced overall pain in the affected joints. Additionally, there were no obvious side effects. They only found these results in the rats who were given higher doses of CBD. However, once this dose reached a certain point, increasing it even more so did not enhance the effects any further. It is widely believed that these effects could also apply to humans, but more research is needed to determine whether this is definite.
A 2017 study suggested that using CBD and THC can lead to less acute pain and less intense pain for people who suffer with migraines . This study suggested that the dose had to be at least 100mg of CBD. When this dose reached 200mg, the pain decreased by around 55%. Additionally, participants who suffered with cluster headaches also experienced pain relief with the combination of CBD and THC compounds, but only if they’d had a childhood history of migraine. It is important to mention here that we would not recommend starting your dose this high if you are administering it on your own. You should always practice titration: start low, and increase your dose slowly. Check out our Dosage Guide to find out more.