Exploring Cannabis Pain Relief: My Personal Story

Exploring Cannabis Pain Relief: My Personal Story

If someone had told me years ago that I would be using cannabis for pain relief, specifically to manage my chronic joint and back pain, I might have been skeptical. But here I am, sharing my personal journey of discovering the powerful pain-relieving properties of cannabis pain relief and how it has not only improved my quality of life but also allowed me to move away from relying on pharmaceuticals and their terrible side effects.

As we delve deeper into the realm of cannabis for pain relief, it’s crucial to comprehend the science, facts, and research that underpin it. But it’s also important to share my personal journey, the transformation that took place in my life when I embraced cannabis as a pain management tool.

Coming off painkillers was no easy feat. The withdrawal symptoms were challenging, and the fear of unmanaged pain was always at the back of my mind. However, the introduction of cannabis into my pain management regimen marked a turning point in my journey. The transition was gradual, but the changes were profound.

I started noticing improvements in my overall health and well-being. The constant fog that had been a side effect of the painkillers began to lift. I found myself more present, more engaged in my day-to-day life. My sleep improved, and so did my mood. I was able to participate in activities that I had previously avoided due to pain or the fear of pain.

But the most significant change was in my quality of life. I was no longer just surviving each day, but actually living. I was able to enjoy simple pleasures that I had taken for granted before the onset of chronic pain – a walk in the park, a game with my kids, a peaceful night’s sleep.

Switching to cannabis for pain relief wasn’t just about managing pain. It was about reclaiming my life from the clutches of chronic pain and the side effects of pharmaceuticals. And while cannabis may not be the solution for everyone, it was, without a doubt, a game-changer for me.

Key Takeaways

  • Exploring Cannabis Pain Relief involves understanding its long history of use to treat pain, navigating regulations for access and learning from personal experience.

  • THC & CBD have different properties. Consult a professional to find the best option for you.

  • Clinical evidence supports cannabis as an effective treatment for chronic non-cancer pain but consulting a healthcare professional is essential before using it.

Understanding Cannabis and Pain Relief

Illustration of cannabis plant with leaves and flowers

Cannabis has been used to treat pain for over 5,000 years, with early Chinese physicians using it for conditions such as:

  • childbirth pain

  • rheumatic pain

  • malaria

  • constipation

Despite this long history, the use of medicinal cannabis for both chronic pain and acute pain management is still a subject of ongoing research and debate.

The regulatory landscape for prescribing medical cannabis varies from state to state, making it difficult for patients suffering from chronic pain to access this potential source of relief. My personal experience with chronic joint and back pain led me to explore cannabis as a treatment option. I was on a multitude of painkillers and opiates, which came with terrible side effects. Since turning to medicinal cannabis, I no longer rely on pharmaceuticals, and my quality of life has improved beyond measure. It feels amazing to be free from the “big pharma system”, but also to have experienced such a wonderful reduction of my chronic pain. Only when I came off the opiates did I really find out just how terrible they are for your physical and mental health. Conditions and Ailments Treated with Cannabis

Cannabis has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries and is currently employed to alleviate symptoms in a variety of conditions. Here are some of the most common ailments where cannabis has shown promising results:

Chronic Pain

As discussed extensively in this article, one of the primary uses of cannabis is for the relief of chronic pain. Conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraine, may benefit from cannabis use.

Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabis may help alleviate the muscle spasms experienced by individuals with multiple sclerosis. While it doesn’t cure the disease, it can help with the discomfort and uncontrollable muscle contractions.

Nausea and Vomiting

Cannabis, particularly strains high in THC, can help control nausea and vomiting. It’s often used by cancer patients who experience these side effects from chemotherapy.


Specific types of cannabis, particularly strains high in CBD, have shown promise in treating certain types of epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Mental Health Disorders

Some mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may be managed with cannabis use. However, it’s important to note that in some cases, cannabis can exacerbate symptoms, so it’s crucial to use it under the guidance of a healthcare professional.


Cannabis has been used to treat glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure. It’s not a cure, but it can help slow the progression of the disease.


Cannabis, particularly strains high in THC, can induce drowsiness and help individuals who struggle with insomnia.

It’s important to remember that while cannabis can help manage symptoms of these conditions, it should not replace traditional therapies unless advised by a healthcare professional. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.


Discussing cannabis necessitates a distinction between THC and CBD, the plant’s two primary components. THC is the psychoactive component responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis, while CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has gained popularity for its potential benefits, including relief from neuropathic pain caused by conditions like spinal cord injury.

CBD has been the focus of research for its potential use in treating various conditions, including addiction, drug withdrawal, and providing significant pain relief. On the other hand, THC has been associated with side effects like dizziness, increased appetite, drowsiness, mood changes, anxiety, and impaired cognition and attention. However, when using THC for pain management, starting with a low dose (2.5-5 mg/day) and gradually increasing it up to 10-20 mg/day can help avoid potential side effects and acute intoxication.

Interestingly, the interplay between THC and CBD can have a significant impact on pain relief. FAAH inhibitors, for example, could provide pain relief by increasing endocannabinoid concentrations in the body. Pain and inflammation control depend on the endocannabinoid tone, which is regulated by enzymes that manage the production, transport, and breakdown of endocannabinoids.

The choice between THC and CBD for pain relief depends on several factors, such as the type of pain, personal preferences, and potential side effects. Consulting a healthcare professional can help guide individuals in selecting the most appropriate cannabis product for their specific needs.

Clinical Evidence Supporting Cannabis for Pain Relief

Illustration of neuropathic pain

While there is a growing interest in the use of cannabis for pain relief, it is essential to review the clinical evidence supporting its effectiveness in treating various types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.

A review by Australian researchers concluded that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabinoids in chronic non-cancer pain is limited. The primary outcomes for assessing the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating chronic non-cancer pain include the impact of pain and pain management on patient functioning and quality of life. Despite a few studies suggesting that nabilone, cannabis sativa, THC:CBD extracts, and ajulemic acid may be more effective than placebo in producing a 30% reduction in pain, the evidence is limited due to the small sample sizes of these studies.

Further research, including randomised controlled trials and other clinical trials, is necessary for a better understanding of medicinal cannabis’s role in chronic pain management and for establishing clear usage guidelines.

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain, a common type of chronic pain, has been a focus of research on cannabis for pain relief. One study of 20 individuals with chronic neuropathic pain showed that taking 120 mg/day of CBD was more effective than taking a placebo. However, potential drug interactions and adverse events should be carefully considered when using cannabis for neuropathic pain.

While more research is necessary to form definitive guidelines for using cannabis for chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain, existing evidence suggests a potential 50% reduction in pain and lower pain scores for patients using medicinal cannabis, compared to those on a placebo.

Fibromyalgia and Arthritis

Research on cannabis for pain relief in fibromyalgia and arthritis is still in its infancy, with limited evidence available to support its use in these conditions. A study conducted in Israel showed that patients who used consumed cannabis for several months experienced less cancer-related pain and improved quality of life. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of cannabis in treating pain caused by fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Consulting a healthcare professional is necessary to decide on the most suitable cannabis product and administration method for pain relief in cases of fibromyalgia and arthritis. This will ensure that patients receive the most effective treatment while minimizing potential risks and adverse effects.

Cannabis Treatment Options for Chronic Pain

Photo of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products

There are various cannabis treatment options for chronic pain, including pharmaceutical-grade products and alternative methods of administration. Pharmaceutical-grade products, such as nabiximols, dronabinol, and THC extracts, have been rigorously tested and certified for their safety and effectiveness. On the other hand, recreational cannabis typically has higher THC concentrations, while medicinal cannabis has higher CBD concentrations to minimize psychoactive effects.

In managing and trying to treat chronic pain, I experimented with various cannabis products and administration methods for treating chronic pain. I discovered that edibles offered me the most substantial pain relief…. by far!

Pharmaceutical-Grade Products

Pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis products are an excellent option for those seeking safe and effective pain relief. These products, such as nabiximols, dronabinol, and THC extracts, have undergone rigorous testing and certification for their safety and efficacy.

The differences between recreational and medicinal cannabis lie in their concentrations of THC and CBD. For pain relief:

  • THC formulations have the strongest evidence for reducing chronic pain symptoms

  • CBD-dominant products have limited data demonstrating their efficacy

  • Balanced THC/CBD combination medicines have also shown efficacy for chronic pain relief.

Discussing with a healthcare professional about the most suitable pharmaceutical-grade product for your specific pain needs is necessary. This discussion should consider potential benefits and risks associated with each product.

Alternative Methods of Administration

Alternative methods of cannabis administration, such as vaporization and edibles, can also provide pain relief for individuals with chronic pain. Vaporization involves heating cannabis plant material or concentrates without burning it, producing aerosolized cannabinoids and terpenes that can be inhaled for therapeutic effects.

In my experience, alternative methods of administration, such as vaporization and edibles, have provided significant pain relief.

Potential Risks and Adverse Effects of Cannabis for Pain Relief

Illustration of potential drug interactions

As with any treatment, there are potential risks and adverse effects associated with using cannabis for pain relief. In my personal experience, I have encountered some adverse events while using cannabis for pain management, but these were manageable and did not outweigh the benefits I experienced.

Some potential adverse events related to cannabis use include:

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Drowsiness

  • Changes in mood, thinking, and focus

Moreover, the long-term use of medicinal cannabis for chronic non-cancer pain requires further research to determine potential adverse effects.

Weighing the potential benefits of using cannabis for pain relief against possible harms to patients is critical. Any prescription of medicinal cannabis should consider harm minimization, especially for those who drive or operate heavy machinery.

Adverse Events

Potential adverse events associated with cannabis use should be carefully considered when using it for pain relief. Withdrawal syndrome, for example, can occur when suddenly stopping cannabis use and may cause sleep disturbances, depression, and irritability.

Moreover, using medicinal cannabis has been linked to worsening mental illnesses like schizophrenia. In one study, around half of the people with cannabis-induced psychosis ended up being diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Monitoring and managing adverse events related to cannabis use is critical for ensuring safe and effective pain management.

Drug Interactions

Potential drug interactions with cannabis should also be considered when using it for pain management. CBD, for example, can interact with certain drugs because it interacts with cytochrome P450 (CYP 450) enzymes involved in drug metabolism.

Cardiovascular medications, prescription medications, warfarin, tamoxifen, and painkillers are all known to interact with cannabinoids. These interactions can result in:

  • Bleeding complications

  • Increased drowsiness

  • Reduced heart rate and breathing rate

  • Extreme confusion

  • Memory problems

  • Nausea

A healthcare professional’s consultation is necessary to assess the potential benefits and risks of using cannabis for pain relief, including potential drug interactions and monitoring the patient’s treatment response.

Cannabis as an Adjunct or Alternative to Opioids

In my personal experience, using cannabis for pain relief has allowed me to reduce my opioid use and dependence significantly.

A recent study showed a 64% reduction in opioid use among chronic pain patients who used medical marijuana, resulting in fewer side effects and an improved quality of life. Another study on CBD-rich gel for chronic pain patients taking opioids found that half of the patients managed to cut back on their opioid medications, with two even stopping opioids altogether.

Cannabis may offer a promising alternative or adjunct to opioids for pain relief. It has the potential to:

  • Optimize pain control

  • Reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms

  • Improve outcomes of opioid-replacement therapies

  • Reduce prescription opioid intake

Patient Considerations and Guidelines for Cannabis Use in Pain Management

Patients considering cannabis for pain relief need guidance to ensure their pain management is safe and effective. Selecting the right cannabis product and consulting a healthcare professional can help patients make informed decisions about their treatment options.

In my experience, collaborating closely with healthcare professionals and identifying the suitable cannabis product for my pain relief has been pivotal in effectively managing my chronic pain.

It is important to discuss any concerns or questions with a healthcare professional, who can provide valuable insight and guidance on the potential benefits and risks of using cannabis for pain management, as well as monitoring progress and adjusting treatment plans if needed.

Selecting the Right Product

Choosing the appropriate cannabis product for pain relief is an important step in managing chronic pain. Factors to consider include the type of pain, personal preferences, and potential side effects. The role of terpenes in cannabis products should also be considered, as they can interact with cannabinoids like CBD and THC to boost their pain-relieving powers, known as the ‘entourage effect’.

Consulting a healthcare professional or knowledgeable dispensary staff can assist individuals in choosing the most suitable cannabis product for their specific pain needs, considering the potential benefits and risks associated with each product.


In conclusion, the use of cannabis for pain relief offers a promising alternative or adjunct treatment for individuals suffering from chronic pain. While more research is needed to fully understand its role in pain management, existing evidence and personal experiences suggest that cannabis can provide significant pain relief for various types of chronic pain.

As we continue to explore the potential of cannabis in pain management, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals, select the right product, and consider the potential risks and adverse effects associated with its use. With the proper guidance and support, cannabis can be a powerful tool in improving the quality of life for those living with chronic pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does smoking cannabis help with pain?

Smoking cannabis helps to alleviate pain by targeting cannabinoid receptors and aiding the passing of messages between nerve cells, making it a useful treatment for neuropathic pain.

Is THC or CBD better for pain?

Overall, it appears that THC may be more effective in reducing pain perception while CBD may work to ease the physical pain itself. Therefore, it would depend on the type of pain being experienced as to which is better. Check this article.

How long does cannabis take to work for pain?

Cannabis can start relieving pain in as little as 20 minutes and can take up to an hour to take full effect. For ongoing treatment, ingestion is the best option.

What are the main components of cannabis that can provide pain relief?

Cannabis provides pain relief through its two main components, THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component while CBD is non-psychoactive and has potential benefits for various conditions, including neuropathic pain. Read here.

What is the current state of research on cannabis for pain relief?

Research on cannabis for pain relief is still ongoing, with evidence suggesting its effectiveness but requiring further studies before clear guidelines can be established.

CBD vs THC: Exploring the Therapeutic and Psychoactive Effects

CBD vs THC: Exploring the Therapeutic and Psychoactive Effects

The ongoing debate surrounding the use of cannabis and its derivatives, particularly CBD and THC, continues to spark curiosity and interest. In this article, we will delve into the complex world of these two cannabinoids, exploring their origins, functions, medical applications, psychoactive properties, potential adverse effects, and legal status in the context of CBD vs THC. Furthermore, we will examine the intriguing concept of the entourage effect, where CBD and THC are believed to work synergistically, potentially enhancing the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding CBD and THC is essential to comprehend their properties, effects on the body, and interactions with our systems.

  • Both compounds have potential medical applications. CBD has therapeutic benefits for epilepsy, depression, anxiety etc., while THC can treat chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting & AIDS appetite loss.

  • The entourage effect of combining both may lead to improved outcomes for conditions such as pain or mental health disorders due to increased efficacy & bioavailability.

Understanding CBD and THC

hemp, cannabis, plant

Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two primary cannabinoids present in cannabis plants, each with its unique properties and effects on the body. While THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis use, CBD is non-intoxicating and has gained significant attention for its potential medical benefits.

Navigating the world of medical cannabis requires a clear understanding of the distinctions between CBD and THC, along with their interactions with our bodies.

Origin and Structure

CBD and THC both originate from the Cannabis sativa plant, with THC being the primary psychoactive component responsible for the euphoric feeling experienced when smoking marijuana or consuming edibles. Discovered and isolated by Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam in 1964, THC has since been the subject of numerous studies, including those related to substance abuse.

On the other hand, CBD is another compound of the cannabis plant, related to THC but lacking its psychoactive effects. The molecular structures of both these cannabinoids consist of fused rings and an ether, found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Their biosynthesis pathways involve the formation of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which then cyclizes to form either tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) or cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).

Primary Functions

CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system, a biological system responsible for regulating various physiological processes in our body through cannabinoid receptors.

THC exhibits a strong binding affinity to CB1 receptors in the brain, resulting in psychoactive effects such as:

  • hypolocomotion

  • hypothermia

  • catalepsy

  • analgesia

However, CBD exhibits a weak binding affinity to CB1 receptors, thus not inducing psychoactive effects like THC does.

The potential therapeutic window of THC is influenced by its pharmacodynamic tolerance, which may limit the maximal effects of certain drugs but also reduce undesirable effects, enhancing its therapeutic potential. Research suggests that THC may help regulate breathing patterns during sleep, potentially benefiting those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, chronic THC use has been associated with several potential adverse effects, including psychiatric conditions and cardiovascular issues.

Medical Applications of CBD and THC

cbd oil, cannabidiol, cannabinoid

Both CBD and THC have demonstrated potential medical applications, with some treatments receiving FDA approval and ongoing research exploring additional therapeutic uses. Despite being regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, these compounds, including medical marijuana, continue to gain interest in the medical community.

Subsequent sections discuss the specific medical uses of CBD and THC, emphasizing potential benefits in treating an array of conditions.

CBD Medical Uses

CBD has shown promising results in the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety relief, and potential benefits for other conditions. The FDA-approved medication Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is utilized to treat rare, hard-to-control forms of epilepsy. Furthermore, CBD oil may assist with symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and schizophrenia.

Despite Epidiolex being the sole FDA-approved medication containing CBD, it’s important to highlight CBD’s broad medical applications. These include managing symptoms of:

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • insomnia

  • schizophrenia

The expanding research on CBD’s medical uses underscores its potential therapeutic benefits, bolstering its popularity as a promising treatment option.

THC Medical Uses

THC has proven effective in managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as stimulating appetite in AIDS patients. The FDA has approved synthetic THC compounds nabilone and dronabinol for these specific applications. However, it is essential to consider potential contraindications, such as hypersensitivity to cannabinoids or any components present in their formulation, when prescribing these treatments. In some cases, doctors may prescribe medical cannabis as an alternative option for patients who do not respond well to synthetic THC compounds.

Research is currently being conducted to evaluate the efficiency of THC in treating fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain. Careful evaluation of a patient’s medical history and potential drug interactions is necessary when prescribing THC-based treatments. Furthermore, patients should be thoroughly instructed on the proper use of these medications to minimize any potential psychomotor impairment.

Psychoactive Properties and Effects

fractal, fractal background, design

A significant distinction between CBD and THC lies in their psychoactive properties and effects on the body and mind. While THC is well-known for producing the “high” associated with cannabis use, CBD has minimal or non-existent psychoactive effects.

Subsequent sections will contrast the psychoactive properties and effects of CBD and THC, elucidating their contribution to the overall cannabis experience.

CBD Psychoactive Effects

CBD does not produce the euphoric sensation commonly associated with cannabis, as it has a relatively low affinity for CB1 receptors in the brain. Studies have shown that CBD can:

  • Counteract the adverse effects of THC, even at low dosages

  • Help to generate a more balanced and clear-headed experience

  • Interact with various receptors, including serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate receptors

  • Result in increased levels of serotonin and anandamide in the brain

Although CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, some individuals may experience altered mental states after using CBD. These may include:

  • Depression

  • Suicidal ideations

  • Confusion

  • Hallucinations

However, it is important to note that these cases are relatively rare and may vary depending on individual factors.

THC Psychoactive Effects

brain, lobes, neurology

THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia, which are responsible for cognitive processes, memory, pleasure, coordination, and motor skills. The immediate psychoactive effects of THC may include laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite, especially when smoking cannabis.

The potential long-term psychoactive effects of THC are still under debate and require further research. However, some studies suggest that chronic THC use may be linked to the following conditions:

  • Hypotension

  • Tachycardia

  • Bradycardia

  • Psychiatric conditions, including fear, distrust, hallucinations, stupor, seizures, and post traumatic stress disorder.

Potential Adverse Effects and Risks

Being mindful of the potential adverse effects and risks associated with CBD and THC use, including both immediate and long-term consequences, is necessary.

Upcoming sections delve into the specific adverse effects and risks of CBD and THC use, offering a comprehensive understanding of these cannabinoids’ potential drawbacks.

CBD Adverse Effects

Commonly reported side effects of CBD include:

  • Dry mouth

  • Low blood pressure

  • Lightheadedness

  • Drowsiness

  • Sedation

  • Somnolence

  • Fatigue

  • Lethargy

  • Malaise

  • Gastrointestinal issues

  • Reduced appetite

  • Nausea

  • Irritability

  • Diarrhea

In some cases, signs of liver injury have also been reported. While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some potential long-term health complications associated with its usage, such as diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, fatigue, and potential drug interactions.

Given CBD’s generally mild and well-tolerated nature, the potential adverse effects and risks linked to its use still warrant consideration. High doses of CBD have been associated with liver impairment and injury, whereas lower doses commonly found in over-the-counter products are generally well-tolerated.

THC Adverse Effects

Individuals with a genetic predisposition or strong family history of schizophrenia may be susceptible to the onset of the condition if they take regular or large doses of THC. It is important to be mindful of this risk. Long-term THC use has been associated with:

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Anxiety

  • Paranoia

  • Increased risks of psychosis

  • Brain fog

  • Decreased motivation

  • Trouble with learning and attention

  • Decrease in gray matter volume

  • Increased risk of mental health disorders

  • Changes in brain morphology associated with memory and executive function

THC has the potential to be both physically and psychologically addictive, with research suggesting that approximately 9 percent of marijuana users develop an addiction to THC. It is crucial to be aware of the potential adverse effects and risks associated with THC use and to exercise caution in its consumption.

Interactions with Other Medications

Interactions between CBD, THC, and other medications can influence treatment outcomes and patient safety. Subsequent sections explore these cannabinoids’ potential interactions with various medications, offering valuable insight for those considering CBD or THC’s incorporation into their treatment plans.

CBD Drug Interactions

CBD has the potential to interact with other drugs, such as:

  • Anti-epileptic drugs

  • Antidepressants

  • Opioid analgesics

  • THC

This can alter their effects and potentially increase their levels in the blood. CBD can also interfere with the enzymes in the liver that break down drugs, potentially altering their effects and side effects.

Combining CBD with other medications may pose potential dangers, such as increased levels of certain medications, leading to an increased risk of bleeding. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist to gain an understanding of the possible interactions between CBD and specific medications.

THC Drug Interactions

THC can potentially affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing their blood levels to either fall or rise. THC can induce the metabolism of certain drugs, reducing their levels in the body. Examples of medications that may have hazardous interactions with THC include:

  • Amlodipine

  • Gabapentin

  • Lisinopril

  • Warfarin

  • Tricyclic antidepressants

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist to gain an understanding of the possible interactions between THC and specific medications, as well as to assess the potential risks and benefits associated with the use of THC in combination with other medications.

Legal status and regulations for CBD and THC significantly differ based on the country and jurisdiction, affecting access to medical and recreational cannabis products.

Upcoming sections review the legal status and regulations of CBD and THC, offering a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape surrounding these cannabinoids.

CBD is classified as a Schedule V substance, which has implications for its use in medical treatments. Here is the legal status of CBD in the United States:

  • Hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent THC are federally legal.

  • Marijuana-derived CBD products are not allowed under federal law.

  • However, state laws may differ, and some states have different regulations on the matter.

Internationally, the legal status of CBD varies, with some countries allowing its use for medicinal purposes and others prohibiting it altogether. It is essential to research and understand the specific regulations in each country before considering the use of CBD.

In Australia, THC remains a controlled substance under the Poisons Standard (SUSMP), classified as a Schedule 8 substance, which means its use is strictly controlled and must be prescribed by a doctor. It is used in medical treatments for certain conditions, and its recreational use is illegal. However, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) can grant access to medicinal cannabis products, including THC, under the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme. remains illegal on a federal level in the United States, classified as a Schedule I substance, with some state laws varying regarding its medical and recreational use. In Canada, THC was legalized for recreational use in October 2018.

The legal status of THC in European countries varies. Some countries have legalized or decriminalized cannabis to varying degrees, such as:

  • The Netherlands

  • Switzerland

  • Austria

  • Croatia

  • The Czech Republic

It is crucial to understand the specific regulations in each jurisdiction, including drug test requirements, before considering the use of THC.

The Entourage Effect: CBD and THC Working Together

A person taking CBD and THC together with synergistic effects.

The entourage effect refers to the synergistic relationship between various compounds present in the cannabis plant, such as:

  • CBD and THC

  • Terpenes

  • Flavonoids

  • Resins

These compounds may work together to enhance the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Subsequent sections will scrutinize the entourage effect in greater detail, exploring CBD and THC’s synergistic effects, and discussing conditions that could potentially benefit from this interaction.

Synergistic Effects

The synergistic effects of CBD and THC can produce a more balanced and clear-headed experience, as well as enhanced therapeutic benefits, due to their combined effects when taken together. CBD modulates the effects of THC by tempering the undesired side effects and providing supplementary therapeutic advantages. Additionally, CBD may inhibit the metabolism of THC, leading to more potent and sustained effects, while also reducing some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

The entourage effect is hypothesized to be the result of the synergistic combination of various compounds present in cannabis, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which may have a greater impact than when used individually. Further research is needed to fully understand and validate the entourage effect.

Examples of Conditions Benefiting from the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect may prove beneficial for conditions such as pain management, epilepsy, and mental health disorders. Studies have indicated that CBD and CBDa-enriched hemp extracts possess anticonvulsant properties when treating epilepsy, and the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids can contribute to the entourage effect. Furthermore, CBD has been shown to induce a pro-hedonic effect in rats, suggesting its potential to treat depression and anxiety.

The potential advantages of the entourage effect include increased therapeutic efficacy, enhanced bioavailability, and diminished side effects. As research advances, a deeper understanding of the entourage effect and its potential benefits for various conditions may emerge.


In summary, CBD and THC are two primary cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, each with unique properties, functions, and effects on the body. Both cannabinoids have demonstrated potential medical applications, with ongoing research exploring their therapeutic benefits for various conditions. The entourage effect, a synergistic interaction between CBD, THC, and other cannabis compounds, may further enhance the therapeutic potential of cannabis. However, it is essential to be aware of the potential adverse effects, risks, and drug interactions associated with CBD and THC use, as well as the legal status and regulations surrounding these cannabinoids. As our understanding of CBD and THC continues to evolve, so too will our ability to harness their potential benefits for the betterment of human health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of THC drops?

The most common side effects of medicinal cannabis treatments such as THC drops are fatigue and sedation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, fever, decreased or increased appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhoea.

What are the benefits of THC in Australia?

Medicinal cannabis has proven benefits for people with cancer in the form of pain relief, reduced nausea from chemotherapy, and improved appetite. It is an add-on medicine prescribed by doctors to help manage symptoms associated with serious medical conditions.

Is THC oil harmful to kidneys or liver?

Based on available evidence, cannabis does not appear to directly harm kidneys in healthy individuals. However, those with chronic kidney disease should monitor their renal function closely and use the lowest effective dose when using cannabis to avoid potential impacts on transplant candidacy.

What is considered high THC?

High THC levels can be found in cannabis concentrates such as shatter, wax, butters and oils, with levels ranging from 60-90%. These products are used for dabbing and to produce vaping cartridges and infused joints, and are the main ingredient in edibles.

Effective Pain Relief: The Truth Behind CBD Oil and Cannabis

Effective Pain Relief: The Truth Behind CBD Oil and Cannabis

Within recent years, CBD oil and cannabis have been gaining traction as potential alternatives to traditional pain relievers. As the opioid crisis continues to devastate communities, many chronic pain sufferers are seeking safer, non-addictive options for pain relief. But how do these cannabis-derived treatments compare to conventional pain management methods? In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of CBD oil and cannabis for various types of chronic pain, providing a comprehensive comparison to help you make informed decisions about your pain management journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding chronic pain requires exploration of potential treatments, such as medicinal cannabis and CBD oil.

  • Studies have suggested benefits of CBD oil for treating various types of chronic pain, neuropathic pain relief, arthritis and joint pain relief, multiple sclerosis-related symptoms.

  • Healthcare providers offer personalised treatment plans with the use of CBD to ensure optimal outcomes and safety.

Understanding Chronic Pain

woman, face palm, problem

Chronic pain, defined as daily pain lasting for more than three months, affects millions of people worldwide and can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Struggling with daily activities, chronic pain patients often find it challenging to cope with severe chronic pain and persistent discomfort.

Treating chronic pain can be quite challenging, as pain perception is influenced by:

  • Biological factors

  • Emotional state

  • Social context

  • Prior experiences

Currently, available interventions for chronic pain include opioids for nociceptive pain and gabapentinoids or antidepressants for neuropathic pain, such as pain caused by spinal cord injury. However, these medications come with potential side effects, including the risk of abuse/misuse, and may not be as effective for certain types of pain, such as chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. This has led to increasing interest in exploring alternative treatments, such as medicinal cannabis and CBD oil, for chronic pain relief.

As the two major components of the cannabis plant, THC and CBD, have demonstrated potential benefits for various types of chronic pain, researchers have conducted over 100 studies to evaluate their effects. These studies have investigated the efficacy of medicinal cannabis products for conditions such as arthritis pain, neuropathic pain, and chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. However, more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage, formulation, and administration method for these products to effectively treat chronic pain patients.

One area of interest is the potential role of cannabinoids in modulating pain perception through the central nervous system. Randomised controlled trials have been conducted to evaluate the effects of cannabinoids on pain scores, with some studies indicating potential benefits for chronic pain patients. However, the overall quality of evidence remains low, with many studies suffering from potential biases and methodological limitations.

Delving deeper into the potential benefits of CBD oil and cannabis for chronic pain relief, we must remember that individual responses to these treatments can vary. Pain perception and relief are complex processes influenced by various factors, and what works for one person may not be as effective for another. Therefore, a personalised approach to chronic pain management is crucial to ensure the best possible outcomes for each patient.

CBD Oil: A Promising Solution?

cbd oil, cannabidiol, hemp oil

Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD oil has shown promise in treating various types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis-related pain. The upcoming sections will provide a more detailed exploration of the potential benefits of CBD oil, along with a discussion on the current state of research on its efficacy for pain relief.

Neuropathic Pain Relief

Neuropathic pain, caused by damage to the nerves, is often characterised by tingling, numbness, and sharp sensations. Studies have shown that CBD oil may be beneficial for relieving chronic neuropathic pain in humans. A 2018 Cochrane review discovered that treatment with cannabis-based medicine may not be of much benefit in reducing chronic neuropathic pain. Additionally, the potential harms associated with such treatments must also be considered..

Despite these concerns, some studies have found positive outcomes for CBD oil in treating neuropathic pain. For example, a study of 20 patients with chronic neuropathic pain found that 120 mg/day of CBD was more effective than a placebo. Furthermore, a 2020 study revealed that topical CBD oil significantly decreased patients’ intense pain, sharp pain, and cold and itchy sensations compared to a placebo. Despite these positive outcomes, further research is required to validate the effectiveness of CBD oil for neuropathic pain relief and establish the most suitable dosage and administration method.

In addition to CBD oil, inhaled cannabis has also shown potential benefits for neuropathic pain relief in clinical trials. However, the quality of evidence for these findings remains low due to potential biases and methodological limitations in the included studies. It remains imperative for patients to consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating these treatments into their pain management plan, as researchers continue investigating the potential of CBD oil and cannabis for neuropathic pain relief.

Easing Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis, a broad term encompassing various joint-related conditions and pains, affects millions of chronic pain patients worldwide. While clinical research on CBD oil for arthritis is currently less comprehensive and ongoing, some studies have suggested potential benefits.

A 2019 trial on CBD and THC for fibromyalgia showed noteworthy results. Inhalation of a CBD-THC solution was more effective than a placebo or either substance taken alone. Additionally, a 2018 trial on topical CBD gel for osteoarthritis-related knee pain revealed that participants who applied 250 milligrams of CBD daily experienced significant improvement in their weekly worst pain scores and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function scores compared to placebo participants. Finally, a 2006 controlled trial on CBD administration for rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated that Sativex, an oromucosal spray containing a 1:1 ratio of THC/CBD, significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest, and quality of sleep compared to a placebo.

While these findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of CBD oil for arthritis and joint pain relief. In the meantime, patients should consult with their healthcare provider to discuss the potential risks and benefits of incorporating CBD oil into their arthritis treatment plan.

Multiple Sclerosis and CBD

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition, which affects both the brain and nerves throughout the entire body. It has far reaching consequences for those suffering from it. One of the most prevalent symptoms of MS is muscle spasms, which can be intense enough to cause continuous pain in some individuals. Studies have suggested that CBD oil may be beneficial in reducing pain associated with multiple sclerosis, particularly when combined with THC in a 1:1 or greater ratio.

For example, research has shown that CBD oil can help reduce muscle spasticity and pain in individuals with multiple sclerosis, as well as decrease stiffness and discomfort in multiple trials. However, at this time, no high-quality research study has been conducted to support the use of CBD as a sole treatment for pain. As a result, more human studies are needed to confirm the potential benefits of CBD oil for multiple sclerosis-related pain relief.

In the meantime, patients with multiple sclerosis who are considering CBD oil for pain relief should consult with their healthcare provider to discuss the potential risks, benefits, and optimal dosages for their individual needs.

Medical Cannabis and Chronic Pain Management

plant, hemp, cannabis

In addition to CBD oil, medical cannabis, including THC and CBD, has shown potential in treating chronic non-cancer pain. However, more research is needed to determine the most effective products, dosages, and administration methods for these treatments.

The following sections will delve into the current research state on medical cannabis for chronic pain management, differentiating between THC and CBD, as well as discussing the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products.

THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

While both THC and CBD are primary components of the cannabis plant, they have distinct effects on the body and mind. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects or the “high” sensation associated with cannabis use, as it directly activates CB1 receptors in the brain. In contrast, CBD does not produce a “high” sensation, as it does not impact the same receptors as THC.

THC may cause certain side effects, including:

  • Dizziness

  • Increased appetite

  • Sleepiness

  • Changes in mood

  • Anxiety

  • Trouble with focusing and concentrating

These reactions can range from mild to more severe, depending on the individual. To prevent these adverse effects, it is recommended to gradually increase THC doses from 2.5-5 mg/day to 10-20 mg/day.

On the other hand, CBD has no addiction or dependence liability and does not cause withdrawal when abruptly discontinued.

Recognising the differences between THC and CBD enables chronic pain patients considering medical cannabis to make more informed decisions about the most suitable component for their specific needs, as well as understanding the potential risks and benefits associated with each.

Pharmaceutical-Grade Products and Safety

Pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products, such as nabiximols, offer a safer and more controlled option for pain relief compared to smoking or vaporising. Nabiximols, an oromucosal spray containing a 1:1 ratio of THC/CBD, is primarily indicated for spasticity in multiple sclerosis, but has also shown potential benefits for various types of chronic pain.

The treatment duration for THC:CBD extracts in chronic non-cancer pain management typically ranges from 4 to 12 weeks, with total daily doses varying from 2.5 mg THC/2.5 mg CBD to 97.5 mg THC/97.5 mg CBD. As with any medication, it is essential to be aware of potential side effects and interactions when using pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products for pain relief.

Opting for pharmaceutical-grade products and seeking advice from a healthcare professional can assure a safer and more effective path to pain management with medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, for patients. This is particularly important for patients who may be at risk for potential adverse reactions or who are taking other medications that could interact with cannabis-based treatments.

Alternative Pain Relief Techniques

buddhism, monk, temple

Apart from CBD oil and medical cannabis, alternative pain relief techniques can serve as significant contributors in managing chronic pain. These methods may offer additional benefits when used alongside CBD oil or other pain-relief treatments, providing a comprehensive approach to pain management.

Acupuncture, for example, has been shown to be effective in managing chronic pain, including musculoskeletal pain, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Studies have demonstrated that the treatment effects of acupuncture remain over time and cannot be attributed exclusively to placebo effects. Additionally, a meta-analysis has concluded that acupuncture is effective for various chronic pain conditions.

Massage therapy is another alternative technique that can help relieve pain and alleviate chronic pain by:

  • increasing healing

  • disrupting pain signals sent to the brain

  • releasing tension in the muscles

  • promoting overall health and well-being

By incorporating alternative pain relief techniques such as acupuncture and massage therapy into a treatment plan, chronic pain patients can enhance the effectiveness of their pain management efforts and improve their overall quality of life, while also finding ways to treat pain.

Potential Risks and Interactions

Despite the potential benefits of CBD oil and cannabis for chronic pain relief, it’s important to understand the potential risks and interactions associated with their use. For example, CBD oil can cause liver injury due to its metabolism by the liver enzyme CYP 3A4, which may lead to interactions with other drugs. Additionally, studies on mice have shown that high doses of CBD can be damaging to the liver, although the risk of liver injury is generally low when CBD products are used at normal doses.

Research also suggests that exposure to CBD oil may be associated with reductions in testis size, the number of germ and Sertoli cells in spermatogenesis, and fertilisation. CBD oil may also decrease antioxidant enzymes in sperm and induce lipid peroxidation, highlighting the need for further investigation into the effects of CBD oil on the male reproductive system.

Moreover, CBD oil has the potential to interact with other medications through various mechanisms, such as the inhibition of certain enzymes in the liver, specifically the cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for metabolising many medications, and when CBD oil inhibits their activity, it can affect the metabolism and effectiveness of other drugs. This could result in higher or lower levels of the medication in the bloodstream, potentially causing unwanted side effects or reducing the effectiveness of the medication. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional prior to combining CBD oil with other medications to ensure safe and effective use.

Navigating the CBD Market

cbd oil, cannabidiol, cannabinoid

Due to the lack of oversight by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, the CBD market is largely unregulated, leading to inaccuracies in product labeling and potential safety concerns. For instance, many CBD products do not contain the levels of CBD that the manufacturers claim, which can lead to inconsistencies in the effectiveness and safety of these products.

In addition to labeling inaccuracies, potential safety concerns have been identified regarding CBD-containing products. The FDA has issued warning letters to companies and individuals that market unapproved new drugs containing CBD, emphasising the need for caution when selecting and using these products.

Consumers should exercise caution when selecting CBD products for pain relief, keeping in mind that some testimonials may be marketing materials. It’s worth noting that advertising for cannabinoids has become increasingly prevalent due to significant profit margins. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD oil or any other supplement, as the FDA cautions the public about its potential side effects, and the advertising for CBD may lead people to mistakenly assume that using it is harmless.

Expert Advice and Personalised Treatment

Like any other medical treatment, it’s vital to consult with a healthcare professional and develop a personalised treatment plan when considering the use of CBD oil or other alternative pain relief methods. A personalised treatment plan for chronic pain with the use of CBD oil can be developed by implementing an individualised approach, taking into account factors such as:

  • The severity of the pain

  • The specific type of chronic pain condition

  • The patient’s medical history

  • Their response to CBD oil or cannabis flower

Healthcare providers play a critical role in monitoring the impact of CBD oil or cannabis flower on chronic pain treatment. They can:

  • Assess patients’ symptoms and quality of life via questionnaires and other forms

  • Track any improvements or changes in pain levels

  • Evaluate the overall efficacy of CBD oil as a treatment option

  • Monitor any potential side effects or adverse reactions to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of patients

By consulting with a healthcare professional or pain management specialist, chronic pain patients can receive guidance on the appropriate dosage, frequency, and method of administration of CBD oil for optimal pain relief. This personalized approach ensures the best possible outcomes for each patient, taking into account their unique needs and circumstances.


In conclusion, CBD oil and cannabis seeds offer promising alternatives to traditional pain relievers for chronic pain sufferers. While more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of these treatments, the potential benefits of CBD oil and medical cannabis for various types of chronic pain, such as neuropathic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis-related pain, are undeniable. By consulting with a healthcare professional, considering alternative pain relief techniques, and developing a personalized treatment plan, patients can take a comprehensive approach to pain management and improve their overall quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when pain is unbearable?

When pain is unbearable, medications, physical therapies such as heat or cold packs, massage and hydrotherapy, as well as psychological therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation, can help alleviate the discomfort.

What does THC oil do for pain?

THC oil works to reduce pain by activating cannabinoid receptors in nerve cells and immune cells. Its psychoactive properties can also lessen the sensation of pain, making THC an effective option for managing pain symptoms.

What types of chronic pain might CBD oil potentially help alleviate?

CBD oil has been shown to be effective in reducing chronic neuropathic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis-related pain.