CBD’s Effects on Pain: Dosage & Potency Explained

Have you asked yourself how the method of ingestion, the potency of the product, and the dosage levels all impact CBD’s efficacy in treating pain?

Did you know that your source of pain strongly dictates how you feel that pain? Someone punches your arm as hard as they can; how much does it hurt? Probably a lot.

You’re committed to exercising and yesterday you thrashed your body at the gym; your arms are sore, your legs are tight, and your abs have stabbing feelings in them, how much does that hurt? If you’re committed to the process of exercise, you might say, “it’s a good hurt.”

Even though the pain is in more places than a punch to the arm, and even though the levels of pain may be roughly equivalent, you will naturally attach more pain to the punch in the arm.

It’s all due to the pain’s source

For people taking CBD for pain, it could be for a punch in the arm, delayed-onset muscle soreness, or chronic pain from a spinal injury.

However, what you’re taking CBD for isn’t nearly as relevant as how you’re consuming it, the potency you’re using, and the dosing schedule. If you’re not consuming properly, you’ll not receive the desired effects. Let’s a close look at how people treating pain with CBD should be utilizing it for maximum efficacy.

Method of Ingestion of CBD Products

The kind of pain you’re experiencing dictates the type of CBD products you’re going to use. There are a wide array of products available and each of them is ingested in its own unique way.

For example, many people suffer from localized pain. This type of pain may be due to things like:

  • Arthritis
  • Bruises
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle aches
  • Ligament and tendon pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Stress fractures
  • And more

For pain that is localized to one area, it’s best to use a CBD product that can be focused on the area that hurts.

When treating pain from things like arthritis, bruises, muscle aches, and stress fractures, you should first think about how long your pain is going to last. For a stress fracture in your foot, the pain may not subside for the entire day. In this case, you won’t want to be consistently reapplying a CBD product. Instead, it’s best to use something like a CBD patch for your pain.

With a CBD patch placed in the location of the stress fracture, CBD will be slowly released over the course of hours. The long-lasting relief will help in injuries that have persistent, localized pain.

For pain that stems from things like muscle aches or arthritis, the pain may be severe, but inconsistent. In that type of scenario, a CBD patch would be overkill. It would likely be better to use a CBD topical, such as a cream, lotion, or balm.

By using a dose of topical in one area, relief comes quickly and combats pain when and where it is most needed.

Consider a 2017 report that appeared in the European Journal of Pain that pointed to transdermal applications of CBD for arthritis. The researchers explicitly stated that their data “indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.”

For oral pain, such as from a tooth or a sore throat, consider using an orally-applied CBD product. This might be a few drops of a tincture applied over the tooth or a CBD mist or spray that can be delivered orally.

Again, localized products treat pain rapidly without dispersing CBD to a place in your body where it isn’t needed.

Of course, not all pain is localized. Many ailments can affect either large parts of the body, or the entire body, such as:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Influenza
  • And more

When pain isn’t localized and is found in multiple places throughout the body, then using a topical is not your best bet. You’ll need relief delivered to every part that hurts; it would be inefficient to rub a balm all over your body.

Instead, when pain is ubiquitous, consider using a CBD product that delivers relief to your entire system. Such products include things like:

  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Vaporizers
  • CBD Cigarettes
  • And more

Since your endocannabinoid system is located throughout your entire body, it’s important to activate the entire system for body-wide pain. By either smoking or vaporizing CBD, you’ll experience relief quickly wherever it’s needed.

As the CBD enters your lungs, it will be picked up by your blood cells and delivered to the ECB receptors in every part of your body.

Likewise, tinctures and oils—when applied sublingually—will enter the bloodstream through the mouth, and then through the stomach.

Because tinctures and oils dissolve rapidly in your system, it’s an effective means of quick relief.

When a strong dose of CBD is needed to combat system-wide pain, an edible may be the best thing for it. Edibles come in strong doses and are easy to consume.

The potency of the CBD Product

CBD has little to no toxic effect on the human body, according to a 2017 study that appeared in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

In the study, the researchers substantiated previous data that shows that CBD is non-toxic to its consumers. Of course, that is unsurprising because humans are fitted with an endocannabinoid system that is designed to accept CBD as a homeostatic-regulating compound.

However, just because we are all fitted with an ECS system, does not mean that everyone’s system is the same.

Despite our physiological similarities, people react differently to cannabinoids entering their system. For example, some people can smoke high-CBD cigarettes all day and feel nominal relief while others can take a few puffs on a vaporizer and feel good for the entire afternoon.

How you react to CBD is something you should take into consideration when determining the potency of your medicine.

When determining your CBD potency needs, there are two principles to stick by: start low and go slow.

A low-potency product might be all you need. If it is, then consider yourself lucky. CBD doesn’t show the same tolerance-building effects that are seen with other cannabinoids like THC. A 2010 study in Pharmaceuticals indicated that one of the most important aspects of CBD when treating ailments is that “CBD use does not lead to tolerance.”

So, there’s no need for you to jump up to an increasingly higher level of CBD after you’ve determined your personal requirements. If a low potency product works for you, great!

If you find that you need a higher potency, go slow until you find a level that ameliorates your symptoms.

With this method, you’ll be using CBD in a thoughtful and effective way.

If you find that you need a highly potent dose of CBD to utilize its full benefits, there’s no need to be concerned. As we discussed, everyone’s body is different, and the higher potency products will remain non-toxic.

Now, how often should you be taking it?

Proper Dosage of CBD

When it comes to dosing with CBD, we’re looking at another highly individualistic approach.

Once you’ve found the proper potency to receive CBD’s benefits, you should then be looking at how long those benefits last for you.

In one of the most recent studies done on CBD dosing, researchers concluded that CBD is ‘generally well tolerated’ overall. The 2018 study which appeared in CNS Drugs showed that dosing twice a day up to 1,500mg is acceptable in some patients and that almost no adverse events were experienced at this level.

Again, everyone will be different. You may find that one highly potent dose in the morning is enough to keep you feeling good throughout the entire day. Alternatively, you may find that low-potency doses at multiple times through the day is right for you.

Starting low and going slow is a great way to keep your CBD intake to a minimum. While you don’t need to fear any toxic effects, finding your minimum threshold for CBD consumption will minimize your CBD budget.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Rachel Knox, an Endocannabinologist, says that dosing your CBD with additives isn’t wise. “Edibles made with sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, industrial seed oils and/or dairy are NOT medical grade products,” she says. Finding ways to dose without the extras will ensure that all of CBD’s benefits are received.

Using CBD Effectively

Nearly every study to date has shown CBD to be a safe product to use. That does not mean, however, that everyone should be using it in the same amount. The individualized approach utilizing the two principles we discussed is an ideal way to find the correct dosing for each person.

Have you found your best CBD usage format? Let us know in the comments!

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