You’ve seen it featured on everything from the covers of some of the world’s most popular magazines to healthy living blogs and social media: hemp oil for pain, the topical pain treatment solution that is quickly gaining global recognition.

But why now, when the pain-relieving effects of cannabis-sourced medicines have been used in medicine for centuries, is hemp oil for pain relief experiencing such an increase in demand?

The physical and mental toll of chronic and acute pain can be devastating. Often, pain issues are debilitating and have a massive impact on an individual’s ability to pursue everyday life and basic tasks without enduring immense amounts of pain. This heavily affects your emotional disposition over time and can lead to further deterioration of mental and physical health.

Hemp oil for pain relief offers an alternative, natural solution for those who experience chronic pain and are dissatisfied with the current (and often problematic) pain relief options available to them in the medical field.

CBD hemp oils for pain relief come in various forms, formulas, and potencies to work for pain relief that is as individualized as the symptoms themselves.

What is CBD hemp oil?

The commonly held misconceptions about hemp-sourced medicinal products, coupled with their accelerated popularity and availability in recent years may lead some consumers to feel uncertain when it comes to what exactly hemp oil is and how it works.

The CBD chemical compound is derived from both the hemp and marijuana plants, though it is found in a much higher abundance in the hemp plant. Hemp and marijuana are both members of the Cannabis Sativa family of plants even though their chemical makeup is quite different.

Hemp, for example, has been selectively bred over time to contain higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC, the chemical compound that induces the psychoactive effects that cannabis plants are typically associated with. As a result, to be classified as a hemp plant, the plant cannot chemically contain more than 0.3% THC. Marijuana plants, on the other hand, contain THC levels that range from 5-35%.

Reputable CBD product manufacturers will only source their CBD oil products from hemp plants, as it is the best way to ensure that the product contains THC in only trace amounts, if at all.

This does more than assure the consumer that they will not experience any mind-altering effects; it also keeps the product within compliance of state laws regarding the sale of medicinal cannabis products. Though laws concerning the sale and use of CBD products are relatively relaxed, products containing THC are still strictly controlled, and manufacturers can face heavy penalties if their products contain unregulated amounts of THC.


Hemp history

Despite its seemingly recent surge in popularity, there is a long, documented history of the use of cannabis plants for medicinal purposes.

For example, texts show that cannabis was used in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In 2015, a National Geographic article detailed the discovery of charred cannabis seeds in Siberian burial mounds that all the way dated back to 3000 BC.

Jumping forward a few millennia, hemp use can also be readily found throughout American history. George Washington grew hemp on his plantation estate and even considered producing hemp as an alternative and equally lucrative cash crop over tobacco.

However, in modern medical history, this changed as the medicinal field became more regulated in the United States throughout the 20th century. Hemp, despite its widespread use in the manufacture of rope and other textiles – was eventually grouped in with other cannabis plants and, specifically, associated with the effects of marijuana plants, although hemp plants cannot produce psychoactive effects. Hemp was criminalized with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

These restrictions remained more or less in place until only very recently when hemp was legalized in the United States with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill due to an increased interest in more natural alternatives to standard pain relief medications.

How does CBD work in the body?

CBD Creams for muscular pain

The endocannabinoid system of the body has only recently been discovered and consists of a system of communication between cannabinoid receptors, lipids, and endocannabinoids. The system regulates certain bodily systems and functions, such as the limbic system and immunological functions.

Endocannabinoids are chemical regulators that interact with cannabinoid receptors to detect and regulate pain, memory, hunger, and mood. If the body is not producing enough endocannabinoids, these natural functions can be left in an unbalanced and compromised state.

THC acts in a manner that is similar to the body’s natural cannabinoids by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the brain to alter perception.

CBD, on the other hand only works with CB2 receptors of the immune system. Rather than binding to endocannabinoid receptors, it interacts with them to disrupt the transmission of pain signals and restore balance in the body. CBD is also an anti-inflammatory agent, and it works to relieve the effects of chronic inflammation as well as mitigate the pain and further deterioration that can result from inflammation issues.

Hemp oil cream for pain relief: what do the studies say?

In 2012, the Journal of Experimental Medicine published a study that examined the effects of CBD in rodents. The results suggested that CBD worked to suppress symptoms of neuropathic and inflammation pain without causing any analgesic tolerance, which led researchers to conclude that CBD use demonstrates substantial potential for therapeutic pain relief.

A study conducted in 2007 in Canada found that, when used in combination with other treatments, CBD can provide effective pain relief for individuals who have multiple sclerosis.

Though further research is still underway, CBD products have been implicated as a possible means of treating a range of different conditions and health problems, from rheumatoid arthritis to psoriasis, sunburn, acne, depression, and even heart disease.

Types of pain hemp CBD oil can be used to treat

The most common reason that people turn to CBD topical treatments, however, is to relieve localized pain and inflammation issues.

There are two types of pain: nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Nociceptive pain is caused when the nerve fibres are affected by chemical, inflammatory, or mechanical mechanisms. For example, stubbing your toe on a chair is nociceptive pain that stems from a mechanical mechanism.

Neuropathic pain is harder to define because its source can be unclear. Rooted in the nervous system, it may be the result of a learned neuropathic response in the body that stems from a prior injury, but it does not always have an external or obvious cause. The pain itself also varies, and it can range from mild to debilitating and be described as a shooting or burning pain or simply as a tingling or numbness.

This variation in pain symptoms is one of the reasons that CBD products have become increasingly popular among individuals with pain issues. Unlike other pain relief solutions, CBD products work to relieve pain by way of various mechanisms for multi-action pain relief.

CBD hemp oil products can be used to treat nociceptive and neuropathic pain as well as inflammation, and have even been studied as a possible solution for neuropathic pain symptoms that have been deemed unresponsive to treatment.

Chronic pain

Studies show that CBD can have a positive effect on the symptoms of chronic pain or pain that lasts more than three months and results in the further deterioration of an individual’s physical and mental well-being.

One report found that CBD hemp oil can reduce the incidence of muscle spasm in sufferers of MS and effectively treat other chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia. A separate study found that CBD could reduce inflammation and lessen pain.

This study also found that patients did not build up a tolerance to the effects CBD with long-term use and there was no need to increase the dosage to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. Sufferers who use traditional pain relief for these conditions often note they need to increase their dosage to maintain the level of effectiveness.

Back pain is one of the most prevalent pain-related issues among adults in the United States, and it is estimated that nearly 80% of adult Americans will suffer some sort of back pain in their lifetime. Our largely sedentary lifestyles, coupled with declining nutritional health and increasing stress contribute to this epidemic, among other factors.

While back pain can be debilitating and keep you from being able to carry out a simple daily routine, those who suffer from chronic back pain are understandably hesitant to reach for conventional opiate pain relief medications due to the high risk of developing dependency issues.

This is why CBD topical treatments are becoming increasingly popular among those who suffer chronic back pain issues. Topical treatments allow users to utilize the pain-relieving benefits of CBD oil in a topical form to spot-treat their back pain issues and achieve localized relief.


Chronic pain includes issues with arthritis. While there are various types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the result of natural ageing and occurs as the cartilage, the connective tissues found in the joints, undergoes normal wear and tear over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that causes the body’s immune system to misfunction and attack the healthy tissues within the joints. This leads to inflammation, joint deterioration, and debilitating pain.

CBD topical creams are an excellent choice for individuals who suffer from both of these common arthritis conditions. It can work to effectively reduce the amount of inflammation while mitigating the further deterioration of the joints. Topical CBD creams, unlike ingested CBD treatments, also offer localized pain that specifically targets the affected area rather than treating the entire body.

Acute pain

CBD topical treatments are popular among individuals who suffer from issues with acute pain – pain that lasts no more than 12 weeks – because they are fast-acting and offer localized relief.

Acute pain issues vary drastically and can include anything from sunburn to the muscle soreness that is experienced by professional athletes as a result of training and injuries.

CBD topical creams have recently been deregulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency for use in professional sports leagues due to their ability to afford pain relief naturally without altering an athlete’s abilities and mental state. Athletes and nonathletes massage CBD pain relief rub into inflamed or sore muscles to provide effective yet natural pain relief.


A number of studies indicate that the use of CBD products can provide relief from the symptoms of anxiety and reduce anxiety for individuals who suffer from a social anxiety disorder. Some researchers even theorize that it may have potential as a treatment for panic disorders, OCD, and PTSD, though research is ongoing.

A 2011 study conducted a simulated public speaking test to examine the effects of CBD on individuals with social anxiety disorders. Patients were administered CBD supplements or a placebo pill 1.5 hours before the speech.

The patients who were given CBD reported reduced anxiety, less discomfort, and less bodily tension while the placebo group remained anxious, displayed significantly higher cognitive impairment, and a higher level of general discomfort throughout.

Skin diseases

CBD topical creams can be safely used in the treatment of acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Some studies have shown that CBD topical products can help to regulate the production of cytokines and reduce the symptoms of inflammatory these inflammatory skin conditions.

CBD hemp oil products from top-tier manufacturers are gentle on sensitive skin, as they often contain only other natural ingredients that are non-chemical based analgesics, such as arnica and menthol.

Because of this, CBD products do not typically cause any adverse side effects, unlike other skin treatments that contain skin irritants such as formaldehyde, preservatives, sulfates, parabens, and artificial perfumes or dyes.

How to use CBD hemp oil cream

CBD hemp oil cream

The first step in determining whether CBD hemp oil for pain is right for you is to find the source of your pain.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the source of pain in the body is often hard to track. For example, if you are experiencing pain in your knee, the source of that pain may be clear to you, as it may be the result of a recent injury or muscle and joint soreness brought on by sports.

However, it may also be unclear and seemingly source-less. At this point, it is essential to consult with your doctor and determine the origin of the pain so that you can decide whether the use of CBD hemp oil cream can benefit you.

Finding the right dosage

CBD oil is not a one size fits all treatment. The right dosage depends on the pain levels, weight, diet, and metabolism of an individual, among many other factors. This is why CBD cream manufacturers typically develop their products in a range of potencies that cater to different individual’s needs.

Most manufacturers have products that range from daily use for mild pain that contains around 250 mg to extra-strength options for chronic pain that contains up to 1,250 mg of CBD extract. These can typically be reapplied as often as necessary to maintain pain-relieving effects.

Using CBD hemp oil creams for pain relief

CBD topical products are available in various forms, including oils, patches, balms, salves, lotions, and creams.

Before applying your CBD topical product, ensure the affected area is clean and dry by rinsing with water and soap where possible.

Apply a generous amount of CBD hemp oil cream to the cleaned area and massage the cream into the skin to encourage increased circulation to the area and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. While you can apply pressure to the area, make sure that doing so does not exacerbate the issue.

CBD hemp oil creams can be used for many symptoms, and users can experiment with different formulas and potencies until the desired effects are achieved. CBD hemp oil creams can provide relief that lasts anywhere between 1-48 hours, and the length of your results is dependent on the dose used and the severity of the condition that is causing the pain.

FDA approval

Cannabinoid-based medicinal products continue to be widely stigmatized in the medical field despite recently relaxed regulations regarding their medicinal use.

Cannabinoids are classified as Schedule I illegal substances, and CBD does not currently have FDA approval. This classification contributes to the considerably menial amount of research available concerning the effects of CBD products.

However, the research that has been conducted typically results in positive implications for CBD use. Studies largely suggest that CBD has a great number of potential benefits for use in the treatment of a wide range of pain conditions and diseases with a comparatively low risk of side effects when applied topically.

Research concerning CBD use is ongoing, and the medical research community is working to prove that CBD hemp oil creams are effective pain relief treatments and change the ruling of the FDA so that CBD products can be made more widely available.


Can CBD hemp oil cause a marijuana-like high?

CBD use cannot induce a marijuana-like high because it is not psychoactive. THC, the chemical compound necessary for psychoactive effects, is not present in responsibly-sourced CBD products.

Can you overdose on CBD?

CBD does not cause any mind-altering effects, and it is not possible to overdose on topical CBD products. There have been absolutely no reports of fatal overdose attributed to the use of medicinal CBD. Even in high doses, the CBD that is infused into a topical treatment is absorbed only into the skin, not the bloodstream.

However, it is possible for someone to administer more CBD than can be tolerated by their specific physiological makeup, though this typically only occurs when CBD is ingested. In these cases, the user is likely to experience increased feelings of drowsiness and lethargy.

Is CBD addictive?

While research is still ongoing, all indications suggest that it is a non-addictive solution, as it does not alter the function of the brain. In fact, some case studies have actually suggested that CBD can be used as a therapeutic treatment to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of individuals with drug addictions.

What are the side effects of CBD?

Though topical use of CBD products is associated with few to no side-effects, there are potential yet mild side-effects you should be aware of before deciding to use a CBD product. This can include tiredness, lethargy, changes in appetite, and changes in weight.

It is also important to remember that CBD hemp oil creams do not have the same side effects as CBD products that are ingested. Many of the side-effects experienced by CBD topical cream users are related to other ingredients contained in the cream, such as allergic reactions to ingredients like beeswax and shea butter, rather than reactions to the CBD extract itself.

When using a CBD topical cream, it is best to do a patch test on a small section of the skin before applying the cream to a larger area. This allows you to test for possible allergic or adverse reactions.

Do I need a prescription for CBD hemp oil cream?

As CBD isn’t currently approved by the FDA, it isn’t regulated by the FDA. This means there is no need for a prescription for CBD hemp oil cream.

Does CBD hemp oil interact with other medications?

CBD hemp oil may interact with some other medications, including steroids, antibiotics, PPIs, beta blockers, HIV antivirals, antihistamines, and anaesthetics.

While these interactions are unlikely when using CBD hemp oil topical creams, you should still consult with your physician beginning use.

Is CBD legal?

The legal status of CBD is complicated, as its legality varies from the federal to state level and from state to state.

It is legal to use in states where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use, as well as in states where hemp products are legalized. Check your state laws concerning CBD product use before buying CBD products.

Can CBD hemp oil cream affect the results of a drug test?

No, topical CBD hemp oil creams do not affect the results of a drug test as drug tests detect THC in the system, not CBD.

The takeaway

When it comes to the future of natural, non-addictive solutions to pain symptoms, current medical research indicates that utilizing hemp oil for pain relief may just be the answer.

Talk to your doctor today to see if you are a candidate for the potentially life-altering effects of using CBD hemp oil for pain relief.

Meta Title: How Does Hemp Oil for Pain Work

Meta Description: Hemp oil offers an alternative solution for those who experience pain and are not satisfied with the current pain relief options available in the medical field. CBD hemp oils come in various forms, formulas, and potencies to work for pain relief that is as individualized as the symptoms themselves.