MAR 28, 2024 5:42 PM PDT

CBD Products Ineffective for Pain Relief, Potentially Harmful

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Cannabidiol (CBD) is ineffective for pain relief, and products containing the cannabinoid may be harmful. The corresponding study was published in The Journal of Pain

CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is often used as an alternative medicine to treat pain and is available both in-store and online in the form of oils, tinctures, vapes, creams, edibles, and soft drinks.

In the current study, researchers analyzed research that investigated the use of CBD to treat pain published until late 2023. They found that 15 of 16 randomized controlled trials exploring the link between pain and pharmaceutical-grade CBD found that CBD was no better than a placebo at relieving pain. 

They further found that CBD products sold directly to consumers have varying amounts of CBD- from none to more than advertised and that some of these products may contain other chemicals that may be harmful and/or illegal in some jurisdictions, such as psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They also noted that increasing evidence linking CBD to increased rates of serious adverse events and hepatotoxicity. 

Dr. Andrew Moore, study co-author and former senior pain researcher in the Nuffield Division of Anaesthetics at the University of Oxford, said in a press release: “For too many people with chronic pain, there’s no medicine that manages their pain. Chronic pain can be awful, so people are very motivated to find pain relief by any means. This makes them vulnerable to the wild promises made about CBD.”

Professor Chris Eccleston, who led the research from the Centre for Pain Research at Bath, said in a press release: “Untreated chronic pain is known to seriously damage quality of life, and many people live with pain every day and for the rest of their lives. Pain deserves investment in serious science to find serious solutions.”


Sources: EurekAlertThe Journal of Pain

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets.
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