CBD Pain Relief Rubs: What You Need to Know

November 6, 2018

Lately, cannabis-infused sports creams and rubs — particularly CBD pain relief rubs — have been creating quite a buzz (not that kind of buzz!). This trend shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain and many are on the lookout for effective treatments.

Consider this. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health (NIH) published the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in the The Journal of Pain. The report offered some sobering data. More than 25 million American adults (11% of the population) reported experiencing pain every day -- yes, EVERY DAY -- over the last three months. Even more sobering, a staggering 17.6% of Americans, nearly 40 million people, suffer from severe pain.

Pain, unfortunately, is a part of way too many people’s lives. While there are plenty of remedies touting relief from pain -- including steroids, balms, lotions, and opioids -- many patients complain about the side effects.

Of course, opioids are just about the worst thing you can take for chronic pain. Opioids were created for short-term use as patients quickly develop a tolerance and can become addicted. Even over-the-counter drugs that seem benign, like Ibuprofen and Naproxen, can wreak havoc on your health if used regularly over a long period of time.

Thankfully, Mother Nature created cannabis, a plentiful herb with dozens of therapeutic ingredients and healing properties. A botanical-based treatment, CBD pain relief rubs used in conjunction with other safe treatments, like physical rehabilitation and self-care, can safely, effectively, and non-addictively produce lasting relief from chronic pain. CBD pain relief rubs are totally non-addictive, non-toxic, and have few to no side effects.

So let’s dive deeper into CBD pain relief rubs, specifically:

  • What Are CBD Pain Relief Rubs?
  • Do CBD Pain Rubs Really Work?
  • Do CBD Pain Rubs Get You High?
  • Is There Any Risk in Trying CBD Pain Relief Rubs?
  • CBD Pain Relief Rubs: What Does the Science Say?
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • How to Use CBD Pain Relief Rubs for Pain Management

What Are CBD Pain Relief Rubs?

cbd pain relief rub leaf by salve

You’ve probably heard people talking about CBD pain relief rubs and maybe thought, “What the heck is a CBD pain relief rub?” Great question! A CBD pain relief rub is the same thing as a CBD pain relief lotion or cream.

CBD pain relief rubs are made by infusing high-CBD cannabis flower in an oil to extract the active compounds, including CBD and other terpenes. This oil is then mixed with any number of herbs that are therapeutic and work together well with CBD.

Are CBD Pain Rubs Safe?

Yes, absolutely -- unless you acquire some random junk off the Internet from an unvetted source. Then, just like anything else, who knows what you’re getting. But CBD and the potpourri of therapeutic herbs most often blended with CBD are totally safe.

Do CBD Pain Rubs Really Work?

cbd pain relief rub girl with lotion

Full disclosure: We don’t yet have a lot of research on the efficacy of CBD pain relief rubs. Of course, nor do we have much research on the efficacy of popular pain relief rubs like Bengay, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, or any other popular brand. But, here’s the thing: they either work for you or not. It’s really that simple. If for some reason it doesn’t work, no biggie! Stop using it -- or try another formulation. Bottom line is that because they’re safe, you really only risk it not working for you as you’d like.

Thanks to the increase in popularity of CBD pain relief rubs, there’s more research happening on CBD pain relief rubs than probably any other topical remedy. Soon, science will catch up with CBD’s popularity. Until then, the science of CBD and cannabis, in general, is patchy.

According to one study published by the Journal of Pain Research suggested many topical cannabinoid treatments reduced pain in animals suffering from neuropathic pain or inflammation. Likewise, other research suggests THC and CBD-infused topical rubs can relieve pain not only for arthritis or muscle soreness but conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS).

Perhaps most importantly, the effectiveness of CBD pain relief rubs for a variety of pain conditions is totally scientifically plausible. CBD is known for being an anti-inflammatory agent; this has been proven again and again. We just need to have more studies to validate anecdotal evidence and scientific plausibility.

So, we’re pretty darn sure this stuff works. Just ask any of the many thousands of users of CBD pain relief rubs. But, what we really need from research is to determine what compounds work best together with CBD. Also, how much active CBD in each rub is going to be most effective. You don’t want too much or too little. Potentially, some rubs may work great because they contain the perfect amount (that’s so far undetermined) of CBD, while other ones that have too much or too little may be less effective.

Do CBD Pain Rubs Get You High?

cbd pain relief rub applying lotions

No, CBD pain rubs absolutely do not get you high. First off, unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating. However, even if you used a CBD pain rub with THC, it still won’t get you high. Rubs are topical. Unlike transdermal administration methods (like transdermal patches), topicals only penetrate your top layer of skin rather than passing through the skin and penetrating your bloodstream.

Is There Any Risk in Trying CBD Pain Relief Rubs?

There’s no risk to trying a CBD pain relief rub as long as you get it from a quality source like Clear Choice. Ultimately, the worst that could happen when trying a CBD pain relief rub is that it may not work for you as well as you’d like. Everyone is different. We all have different physiologies, and what works for others may not work for you. In addition, if it doesn’t work for you, it may just be that the particular blend you’re using isn’t effective for you, but another brand may work much better for you.

What Does the Science Say About CBD for Pain Relief?

cbd pain relief rub cannabis plant with CBD molecule

Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, literally thousands of years. The therapeutic benefits of cannabis were first reported in Chinese pharmacopeia as far back as 2600 BC. Since then, numerous studies have demonstrated how CBD (and THC) produce significant healing effects for pain, including general chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain related to chemotherapy and MS.

Here’s what some of the research says (keep in mind this is far from an exhaustive list):

Arthritis Pain

The European Journal of Pain published a study to determine whether topical CBD could help patients living with arthritis relieve their pain. Over four days, the scientists applied a topical gel to arthritis-afflicted lab rats. The researchers found topical CBD significantly reduced the lab rats’ pain and inflammation with absolutely no side-effects.

This was a lab study on animal models which can be predictive of the effects in humans, but researchers need to conduct further clinical studies to be conclusive in their findings.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incredibly debilitating autoimmune disease that wreaks havoc on the nerves and brains of those who live with it. One of the most common symptoms of MS is muscle spasms.

According to a seminal report put forth by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division, CBD oil could reduce muscle spasticity in MS patients. The report stated, “In adults with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity, short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient-reported spasticity symptoms.”

Chronic pain

The same report published by the prestigious National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division, concluded:

“In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.”

Their findings were supported by a study from the Journal of Experimental Medicine, which also concluded patients were highly unlikely to develop a tolerance to CBD and would not have to continually increase their dose to achieve the same results.

How to Use CBD Pain Relief Rubs for Pain Management

cbd pain relief rub woman in pain

As you likely know, chronic pain can be incredibly debilitating. While there may be all sorts of pain-relieving remedies, including everything from steroids to pills and opioids, most treatments come with a lot of undesirable side effects. The great thing about CBD pain relief rubs is that they can be highly effective, yet for the vast majority of people, they aren’t accompanied by any side effects. And of course, unlike opioids, topicals like CBD pain relief rubs aren’t addictive.

CBD Pain Relief Rubs: Recommended Regimen

cbd pain relief rub woman applying lotion

To achieve the best results using CBD pain relief rubs, it’s essential that you establish a routine. That means that you’ll want to apply your CBD pain relief rubs to your affected areas on a consistent basis -- even when you’re not feeling pain. You should be using CBD pain relief rubs for both acute flare-ups and as a preventative measure between pain episodes.

Do CBD Pain Relief Rubs and Topicals Treat Chronic Pain Better Than Other Cannabis Products or Administration Methods?

cbd pain relief rub with cannabis

There’s no “best” type of product or best intake method, generally speaking. But there is a “best” product type for you. The best product is what works well for you and aligns with your objectives. Likewise, the optimal dose is the lowest dose you can administer that provides the most relief with the fewest side effects.

The reason CBD pain relief rubs have become so popular is that they are easy to use, they’re fast, they allow you to address your pain areas directly, they’re non-intoxicating, and they have virtually no side-effects.

For these reasons, many patients who are new to cannabis like to start with CBD pain relief rubs over other forms. If you can achieve the results you’re looking for without having to take capsules or vape flower, there’s no reason not to stick with CBD pain relief rubs.

However, if you’re achieving modest results, but feel you need greater relief, you can always incrementally add capsules, tinctures, flower (with or without THC), or other forms until you achieve your desired results. For example, you could add 10 mg CBD or 5 mg THC capsules to your daily regimen. If that doesn’t work, you can continue bumping the dosage by 10 mg of CBD or 5 mg of THC until you achieve the desired results.

Many patients find that using a CBD topical with tinctures or capsules dramatically improves their results. Combining methods can also be especially useful if you’re dealing with a painful acute flare-up. And remember: one of the advantages of CBD pain relief rubs is that unlike opioids or other pain relief drugs, you can’t overdose on it, nor is it addictive or habit-forming.

Final Considerations and Advice

CBD pain relief rubs are an incredibly safe and effective way to treat pain. As you begin your pain treatment regimen, here are some closing words of advice:

  • Learn as much as you can about CBD so you are an informed consumer.
  • Talk to your doctor before treatment, ideally one who is familiar with alternative and holistic medicine.
  • Always obtain lab-tested CBD from reliable and trustworthy sources like licensed dispensaries. Many internet sources are notoriously unreliable and should generally be avoided.
  • Start your regimen with the lowest doses possible. If you find you’re not achieving the relief you desire, consider adding (rather than replacing) another cannabis medicine to your treatment. You can add a tincture, capsules, or flower. Use whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Clear Choice proudly carries a wide selection of CBD products for pain relief, including CBD pain relief rubs, tinctures, capsules, flower, and more. For our current inventory, visit Clear Choice’s Tacoma Menu or Bremerton Menu.

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