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Education Series: Have you tried CBD to Manage your Pain?

Education Series: Have You Tried CBD To Manage Your Pain?

What is CBD? 

CBD is short for the word Cannabidiol1. CBD is a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive substance found in marijuana and hemp plants1. In recent years, CBD has established itself as a unique and powerful chemical that can yield a variety of health benefits without producing an intoxicating high as a side effect2. The World Health Organization also states that CBD has no risks related to abuse or dependence1. CBD is typically very well tolerated and is safe1. It is legal throughout the United States and has a growing body of evidence supporting its use as an adjunct/replacement pain reliever for a wide range of ailments2. Researchers have found that CBD can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as arthritis, epilepsy, inflammatory diseases, and pain1.

The Role of CBD in Pain Management

CBD use has rapidly increased considering it has demonstrated efficacy in pain management in neuropathic pain, arthritis, chronic pain, and more, and can reduce opioid use3-6. Therefore, CBD cream for pain is an excellent option for people looking for additional pain relief with little to no additional side effects3,4. Typical pain treatments like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASAIDs), opioid’s, and others often are ineffective or can only be taken for short periods of time due to toxic side effects. Research from the European Journal of Pain has shown that topical CBD is effective at relieving pain and inflammation without evident side effects3.

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Oral vs. Topical CBD products

CBD is most often used topically on the skin or is taken by mouth as a liquid or pill form. Topical CBD is available as cream, lotion, or oil. While both formulations have proven to be effective at pain management, topical CBD products may have extra benefits when compared to oral CBD products.

  • Local Pain Relief: The first major benefit of topical CBD cream for pain is the localized pain relief. When taking CBD by mouth, the effects are wide-spread throughout the entire body. Topical CBD cream is absorbed locally and targets the exact area that is causing pain instead of the entire body. This results in more consistent, increased pain relief and less systemic exposure3.
  • Less Systemic Exposure: As mentioned above, topical CBD cream targets pain and has less systemic exposure than CBD taken by mouth3. Less systemic exposure benefits you by reducing drug interactions and side effects.
  • Drug Interactions: Like many natural substances, CBD has the potential to interact with your current medications. When CBD is taken by mouth, it enters your systemic circulation and can then interact with medications that are also in your circulatory system. Topical CBD does not carry this risk, as it works only at the site of application and has much less systemic absorption3.
  • Side Effects: Although CBD has not shown to have many side effects, it is a fact that more systemic absorption equals higher systemic side effects. Topical CBD cream has less systemic absorption and can reduce any side effects that you may experience3.

The benefits increase the desirability of topical CBD cream for pain. CBD cream provides consistent pain relief, reduces systemic exposure, reduces drug interactions, and reduces the potential for side effects3-6. Lassen Labs offers a cruelty-free, sustainably grown, CBD cream that has analgesic (pain-relieving), antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Click on the following link to read more about Lassen Labs’ CBD cream for pain relief:



  1. World Health Organization. “Cannabidiol (CBD)”. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. 39th ECDD (2017) Agenda Item 5.2.
  2. Yanes JA, McKinnell ZE, Reid MA, et al. Effects of cannabinoid administration for pain: A meta-analysis and meta-regression. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology. 27(4):370-382.
  3. Hammell D.C., Zhang L.P., Ma F,  et. al. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviors in a Rat Model of Arthritis. European Journal of Pain. 2015; 20(6): 936-948.
  4. Nielsen S, Sabioni P, Trigo J.M., et. al. Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017; 42: 1752-1765.
  5. Mucke M, Phillips T, Radbruch L, et. al. Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2018; 3: 1-91.
  6. Petzke F, Enax-Krumova E.K., Hauser W, Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoids for Chronic Neuropathic Pain. Der Schmerz (The Pain). 2016; 30(1): 62-88.

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Dr. Les Elkind

As a leading authority in medicine, Les has spent the past 40 years innovating in his field. In his early career Les held a position as an Emergency Room Physician for over a decade. In 1986 Les became the Director of Health Services at Cornell University followed by a role as Director of Student Health Services at UC Santa Cruz. He graduated from the New York Downstate Medical School of Brooklyn, and did his post graduate training at UCSF in the early 1970’s. He Co-founded White Bird Clinic in Oregon in 1975 providing free medical care and crisis intervention for the Eugene community. He has been a long time Cannabinoid advocate and spent two years as a physician on HelloMD providing medicinal cannabis guidance for patients seeking to improve their health and well-being.

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