Let's Talk About CBD & Pain

More and more people are using this buzzy herbal remedy to treat all kinds of pain. But how effective is it?

    Our Pro PanelCBD & Pain

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in CBD to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Peter Grinspoon, M.D. headshot.

    Peter Grinspoon, M.D.Instructor of Medicine and Board Member

    Harvard Medical School and Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
    Hollis Karoly headshot.

    Hollis Karoly, Ph.D.Research Associate

    Institute for Cognitive Science/Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Center for Innovation and Creativity at the University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO
    Ryan Vandrey headshot.

    Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D.Associate Professor Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    Frequently Asked QuestionsCBD & Pain

    Where can I purchase CBD?

    Products can be purchased online, over the counter, and at cannabis-specific dispensaries throughout most of the country. The best way to help ensure a quality sample is to look for products that have been tested by a third-party company. This should be marked on the label, and if not, check the company’s website. Keep in mind, because CBD is unregulated, you won’t know the quantity of CBD or the other constituents that may be present. (Research shows as many at 70% of CBD products may be mislabeled.) Additionally, there are no established clinical guidelines regarding forms and dosing, so be sure to talk with your doctor before using CBD.

    How is CBD different from THC?

    CBD is a single chemical entity molecule and the second main cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, i.e. it can’t get you high. Many people find it to be therapeutic for things like anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and pain. THC works by binding to receptors in the brain and central nervous system to produce psychoactive effects.

    Yes and no. CBD can come from both hemp and marijuana, however, only CBD derived from hemp is legal everywhere because it contains under 0.3% THC. CBD that comes from marijuana is illegal, depending on the state in which you live, regardless of its percentage of THC. Currently, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults over 21.

    How will CBD make me feel?

    Unlike the fuzzy, sometimes mind-altering effects of THC, many people report CBD imparts an instant calm, like you’ve just taken a dose of serenity now. However, what you might feel may be different from what your BFF or your grandma experiences. And because it has a relaxing effect, if you tend to worry or be anxious, you might find your angst disappears and a sense of tranquility washes over you, so you’re able to sleep more soundly.

    Jennifer Tzeses

    Jennifer Tzeses

    Jennifer Tzeses is a writer and content strategist specializing in health, beauty, psychology and lifestyle.