CBD gummies are an easy, convenient, and tasty way to get your CBD. If you’re thinking of trying them for CBD gummies for pain relief, it can help to first identify the type of pain you’re experiencing.
From what we know so far, it seems CBD may be more effective for some types of pain than others.
What Are the Different Types of Pain?
1. Nociceptive Pain
This is the most common type of pain and is caused by the stimulation of nociceptors—pain receptors in the body. They’re stimulated when you cut yourself or otherwise experience some sort of physical trauma, and are also sensitive to inflammation.
Examples of conditions that cause nociceptive pain include:
- Arthritis pain
- Back pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Appendicitis pain
- Strained muscles
- Cuts, scrapes, and burns
- Broken bones
2. Neuropathic Pain
This type of pain comes about because of nerve damage. These damaged nerves malfunction and misfire pain signals, so that the pain response seems overreactive. A person with this type of pain may be sensitive to cold air, for example, or certain types of fabrics against the skin.
Neuropathic pain can feel like burning, tingling, shooting, stabbing, and numbness. Examples of conditions that cause this type of pain include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Nerve compression and inflammation
3. Inflammatory Pain
This category can overlap with some of the others. It describes pain that is caused by inflammation—sometimes abnormal inflammation caused by a malfunctioning immune system (such as with gout or rheumatoid arthritis), and other times a chronic inflammation that may be causing internal damage.
4. Functional Pain
This is a type of pain that occurs with no clear origin. Doctors can’t find where the injury is. Examples of conditions that cause this type of pain include fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
5. Acute and Chronic Pain
Whatever pain you’re dealing with, it can be classified as either acute or chronic:
- Acute pain is short-lived and has a clear cause, such as a cut or broken bone.
- Chronic pain lasts for weeks, months, or longer, and though often has a direct cause—such as arthritis or nerve damage—can sometimes exist without a clear cause.
Are CBD Gummies Good for Arthritis Pain?
Now that you’ve identified your pain, the question is, will CBD gummies help?
Since CBD is considered generally safe, you can always experiment to see how effective it may be for you. But we do have some evidence showing that CBD may excel at treating certain types of pain.
Arthritis pain, for example, and other types of nociceptive pain may respond well to CBD. According to the Arthritis Foundation, animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties—both of which can help arthritis patients.
The Foundation adds that some people with arthritis who have tried CBD, but not all, “report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement, and/or anxiety reduction.”
What Other Types of Pain are CBD Gummies Good For?
From the research we have so far, we can see that CBD may help relieve other types of pain too.
CBD Effective Against Inflammatory Pain
One of CBD’s superpowers is suppressing inflammation. In a 2020 study, researchers noted that it has anti-inflammatory properties and that it can activate certain receptors in the human endocannabinoid system that reduce inflammation.
In an earlier review, scientists found that cannabis downregulated immune messengers to suppress the inflammatory response. The study authors even suggested that cannabinoids could be a “new class of anti-inflammatory agents against a number of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases…”
CBD May Help with Neuropathic Pain
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the conditions that can cause neuropathic pain—and we have some evidence that CBD may help to ease symptoms of MS. The NCCIH acknowledges this evidence, and we can review several studies showing this potential.
In 2012, for example, scientists found that CBD significantly suppressed not only chronic inflammatory pain (as noted above) but neuropathic pain too—without causing the side effects seen with other pain relievers.
In a later Cochrane review, researchers examined data from 16 studies involving 1750 people with chronic neuropathic pain. The studies compared different cannabis-based medicines, including those containing CBD and some containing THC.
The results showed that all medicines were better than a placebo in reducing pain intensity and providing moderate pain relief. The researchers noted, though, that in cases of cannabis abuse, the harms could outweigh the benefits.
CBD May Help with Functional Pain
We don’t have many studies on CBD and functional pain like fibromyalgia, but what evidence we do have looks promising.
In a 2020 study, researchers noted that though evidence supporting cannabis in chronic pain is “plentiful,” there are only limited studies involving fibromyalgia. Many of these, however, do suggest that CBD may help alleviate pain and improve sleep.
An earlier study examined the use of cannabis in fibromyalgia patients and found that it helped reduce pain intensity.
CBD is Unlikely to Help with Acute Pain
Whereas CBD may be a good candidate for dealing with several different types of chronic pain, it’s unlikely to help with acute pain. If you cut yourself or break a bone, a typical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (like ibuprofen or aspirin) is likely to work faster and more efficiently than a CBD gummy.
How to Get the Most from CBD Gummies for Pain
When trying CBD gummies for pain, follow these recommendations to get the best results:
- Buy from a reputable company: Look for products that contain high-quality CBD and are third-party tested for purity.
- Start with the lowest dose: Until you know how your body responds to the CBD, it’s best to begin with a dose of around 5-10 mg, then go from there. Wait at least two hours before taking more.
- Take with a meal: Taking your CBD gummy with a meal may help increase its bioavailability. Choose the meal that works best for your schedule, and remember that it will take time for the CBD to break down during digestion before you will feel its effects.
- Take regularly for 2-3 weeks: When using CBD for pain, it’s best to take it regularly for a couple of weeks to experience the optimal results. This allows the CBD to circulate in your system and do its job.