Discover supporting research and information on how cannabidiol (CBD) relates to the treatment of Pain.

Pain is an unpleasant, uncontrollable sensation that is used to alert the body of issues. These sensations may have both physical and mental components. Pain can be described in a variety of ways including steady, throbbing, aching, pinching, or sharp. The severity and intensity can range from a minor nuisance to a major, debilitating issue.

Pain can cause emotional side effects including anger, depression or other mood-impacting outcomes. It can also induce physical symptoms including nausea, dizziness or weakness. All of these effects can impact a person's lifestyle, relationships, work, and independence.

Currently, the best way to treat the pain is to manage the symptoms while addressing the root cause, if known.

Main Types

Pain comes in two primary types: acute or chronic.

Acute Pain

This type of pain is caused by a sudden, specific influence. The pain is often sharp and can be treated by addressing the root cause. This type of pain triggers the body's fight-or-flight mechanism to alert the person experiencing the pain of danger. Examples of acute pain causes include:

Acute pain comes in several varieties including:

Chronic Pain

This variation is ongoing, usually lasting for 6 months or longer. These long-term pains may last past healing of the source issue or may be caused by a disease or disorder. These issues may be intermittent or continuous. Common conditions resulting in chronic pain include:

Chronic pain can result in physical effects that put stress on the body. The "fight-or-flight" reactions triggered by chronic pain subsides over time as the sympathetic nervous system that triggers these reactions eventually adapts to the stimulus. Long periods of exposure can result in tense muscles, lack of energy, limited mobility, and more. These side effects can have major life-impacting consequences.


Separate from the two main classifications, there are several other descriptors used to classify pain.

Nociceptive Pain (Tissue Damage)

Pain caused by tissue damage is the most common source of pain. These sensations stem from an injury to the tissues within the body including bone, muscle, and organs. The source of these injuries can vary from a physical injury like a cut to a disease like cancer. This pain can be acute or chronic.

Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Damage)

Nerves in the body serve to transmit signals to and from the brain. When these nerves are damaged, they can interfere with the way those signals are transmitted. Damage can result in abnormal pain signals.

Nerve damage can be sourced back to diseases like diabetes or to physical traumas. This damage can also be caused by things like chemotherapy, HIV, stroke, or infection. This classification of pain is often described as burning, prickling, or shocking sensations. This type of pain is usually chronic.

Treating Pain with CBD

Many studies have been performed on cannabis' effect on a wide variety of pain classifications, types, and sources. There is research-backed evidence showing that CBD acts as an effective anti-inflammatory medicine helping to suppress pain.

The most promising research relating CBD to pain control has been shown in cases where a whole plant / multi-cannabinoid trial has been performed. Medicines containing THC, CBD, and other cannabis sativa components have been observed to be effective in treating pain. Specifically, CBD has been cited to enhance THC's antinociceptive (pain blocking) properties and prolonging the duration of relief. This whole-plant synergy is known as the entourage effect.


Research does not provide context on dosages. Common anecdotal dosage recommendations often cite 10-25mg of oral CBD administered daily. Topicals use as directed or needed.

For more information, see our dosage guidelines for CBD.

Supporting Research

The contents of this page are not medical advice. Please seek professional medical assistance for any condition and before starting, stoping, or changing medication or supplements.