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Do People Use CBD for Pain?

Here we’ll give you a quick rundown of why people use CBD for pain, what the evidence is, and what your best CBD pain relief options are.

Nowadays millions of people are taking CBD for many reasons. Relaxation, stress management, and better sleep are among the most popular. But one reason you might have heard about, but not seen directly advertised by CBD companies, is pain. Maybe you’ve got a friend or a relative who sings the praises of CBD for their post-exercise recovery or something similar, but looking for information on CBD for pain can be a bit confusing.

So is that really a thing? Do people use CBD for pain? And should they?

The answer is that they certainly do, but the answer to the last question is complicated. So here we’ll give you a quick rundown of why people use CBD for pain, what the evidence is, and what your best CBD pain relief options are. We’ll tell you about some of cbdMD’s products that are tailor-made for daily discomfort, including our exciting new cbdMD MAX!

Who’s Using CBD for Pain, and Why?

A 2018 study of nearly 2500 CBD users found that pain was the most common reason they gave for using the substance. A more recent study of mostly British users found that pain ranked behind the emotional benefits, but it was more common among older users, perhaps not surprisingly.

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They aren’t doing it without reason. CBD supports the endocannabinoid system, which helps many bodily systems stay in balance, including the immune response. The immune response is actually what causes you pain – it’s your body’s way of alerting you that something is wrong. That’s why medicines that suppress immune response, like steroids, can reduce inflammation and discomfort.

People have been using whole cannabis for centuries to make themselves feel more comfortable, which has gotten researchers interested in not only CBD but other components of the plant like THC. Exactly which compounds do what is still being studied; because cannabis was illegal for so long, opportunities for research were limited until recently. But studies are showing some exciting potential in cannabis extracts.

Also, note that two of the other most popular reasons for taking CBD – relaxation and sleep – can help pain indirectly. Many everyday aches and pains actually come from tension, so easing the tension might be all that you need to remove them. And good sleep is crucial to your body’s healing process, since the deepest stage of sleep is when it does the most intensive deep-tissue repair. So CBD for sleep might be the thing you need.

Understanding CBD and the FDA Approval Process

Given all that, you might be wondering why you don’t see CBD companies touting their products for pain more often. That’s for legal reasons. There might be some interesting research on CBD for pain, but in the eyes of the federal government, not all research is created equal.

To get a substance approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat any medical condition – and even mild pain is considered a medical condition – you need to put it through a series of studies that meet the FDA’s criteria, which the agency then evaluates and decides whether to approve.

One form of CBD, Epidiolex, has made it through that process as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. But that doesn’t mean that all CBD is approved for that purpose. There are multiple ways to source, extract, purify, and otherwise tinker with CBD, and currently only the company that makes Epidiolex is the approved manufacturer of CBD for epilepsy.

So you can see the position this puts most CBD companies in: FDA clinical trials are expensive and time-consuming, but millions of consumers want their CBD now. So cbdMD and companies like us are selling it to you with assurances about our quality and consistency, but we can’t make specific promises about what it will do for your pain or any other condition without ruffling the FDA’s feathers.

So How Do You Find the Best CBD for Pain?

Because of that, a good way to ensure that your CBD product is really effective for pain is to combine it with other ingredients with more clinical evidence behind them. This not only allows us to market them differently, it also means that you have options for different kinds of pain relief.

Take our CBD Freeze topical gel. It’s 4% menthol, which is FDA-approved for temporary pain relief and appears in familiar products like Bengay. It not only eases pain, but provides a pleasant cooling sensation that instantly feels good on sore and inflamed muscles and joints. But as a CBD company, we’ve enhanced it with our Superior Broad Spectrum CBD formula as well as traditional soothing herbal ingredients like arnica, aloe vera, and tea tree oil.

Another topical option is Recover CBD Cream. The medicinal ingredient in that one is called histamine dihydrochloride – somewhat less familiar than menthol, but popular in several products used for temporary relief of arthritis pain. It provides the opposite sensation as menthol in a way, because it increases blood flow to the area and therefore makes it feel warmer. So Freeze can be a good treatment for “hot spots,” while Recover can work better for stiffness.

But topical products only work on the area that you apply them to, and they don’t provide the good vibes you get from ingesting CBD. What if you want an ingestible CBD pain relief product? We’ve got good news for you!

Introducing cbdMD MAX for Pain

cbdMD MAX for Pain is a new type of CBD tablet made with a high potency of our Full Spectrum CBD Formula and Univestin, an exciting new patented formula made by Unigen.


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Univestin is made from two ancient herbs that research indicates help manage inflammation and other undesirable aspects of the immune response. One is the root of Chinese skullcap, or Scutellaria baicalensis, which has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. The other is the catechu of the acacia tree.

What’s a catechu? It’s the extract of the heartwood of the tree, which has a long history of use in South Asia, including in Indian ayurvedic medicine. Unigen refined these two potent ingredients into a formula that they’ve clinically tested showing a variety of benefits:


  • Alleviate joint discomfort and stiffness
  • Improve mobility and range of motion
  • Enhance flexibility and physical function


Research also indicates that Univestin isn’t habit-forming, and has passed extensive safety testing.

cbdMD MAX for Pain is different from the topicals in that it’s meant to be taken every day rather than as a spot treatment. With daily use, Univestin can increase joint flexibility within three days, comfort within five days, and range of motion within seven days.

The Best CBD for Pain Product Is What Works for You

So as you can see, you have multiple options when it comes to CBD pain relief products, and you can use any or all of them depending on your needs. Because the topicals don’t get CBD into your bloodstream, you can easily combine them with cbdMD MAX or another ingestible CBD pain product without throwing off your daily CBD regimen.

And don’t forget what we said earlier about getting good sleep! cbdMD’s CBD sleep aids are now available in both full spectrum and broad spectrum versions, so if pain is troubling your sleep, be sure to check them out. Let CBD help you get back to all the activities you love!