By LeeWEpstein

June 26, 2020


The CBD seems to be able to help relieve pain, . A recent study by American Marijuana has just confirmed the positive conclusions of the available studies: 60% of CBD users use it to relieve their pain.

The study in question

In this study, American Marijuana interviewed 1,453 Americans who use CBD for pain relief to see if it is more effective than opioids. Specifically, they examined its effectiveness, advantages, potential disadvantages, and practitioners’ perceptions of the use of CBD for pain relief.

Of the 1453 Americans surveyed, 100 were regular users of CBD. Here are the main results posted online:

How is CBD used to manage pain?

60% of CBD consumers use it to treat or relieve chronic pain, followed by pain from migraine (34%), pain from arthritis or osteoarthritis (28%), and pain from cancer treatment (3%).
Spraying or burning is the most common way respondents use CBD, with 41% of users, followed by creams (32%), oils (31%), food products (27%), capsules (26%) and pasta (9%).
55% of participants, more than half, do not use THC to manage pain.

What are the specifics of the use of CBD in pain management?

53% of CBD consumers use ONLY CBD for pain management.
32% of them did not feel any long-term dependency.
44% of the respondents experienced no side effects.

CBD & opioid use: results

Changing opioid use after CBD use

Of the 259 participants who were already using opioids before :
97% use fewer opioids after using CBD. Among them:

15% stopped using opioids altogether and used ONLY CBD for pain relief.
70% have tried other drugs to replace opioids but end up using mainly CBD to treat pain.

What are the opioid withdrawal symptoms after using CBD?

73% reported that their opioid withdrawal symptoms improved after using CBD. Half of them attribute to CBD effects
Only 3% did not see opioid withdrawal symptoms relieved after CBD use.

Can CBD replace opioids?

For 84.45% of CBD users surveyed, CBD can replace the administration of opioids.

What are the advantages of CBD compared to opioids?

36% of consumers responded that CBD has fewer side effects than opioids, or that they are less important.
25% of them think that the CBD is more effective
35% reported that CBD is not addictive.
Health care professionals’ perceptions of pain management with CBD
44% of CBD consumer practitioners support the use of CBD for pain relief while only 9% oppose it.
Surprisingly, 31% of CBD consumers do not tell their practitioners about their use of CBD for pain.

Health experts’ notes on the subject

  • A potentially worrisome finding of the study was that “31% of CBD consumers do not talk to their practitioners about their use of CBD for pain.” I would like to emphasize to anyone who wants to use CBD that they should disclose it to their doctors. Many people don’t realize that there is a high potential for drug interactions with CBD and many common prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.

Tory R. Spindle, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 


  • Our laboratory has been researching cannabinoids for over 20 years. Our studies on CBD have shown that it is highly effective against autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Based on our studies, the FDA has approved the use of CBD to treat autoimmune hepatitis as an orphan drug. Because inflammation also causes pain, the pain suppression mediated by CBD may likely result from its anti-inflammatory properties.

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D. – Vice President for Research, University of South Carolina 


  • Readers need to understand the limitations of observational, cross-sectional, and survey-based research such as this one – especially when the survey is distributed only to people who meet certain predefined criteria (in this case, people who already use CBD for pain relief). An individual’s belief that a drug treats certain symptoms is different from placebo-controlled clinical evidence that the drug is effective. While these results may tell readers what a certain group of people surveyed think about CBD, readers should not accept these results as evidence that CBD is effective in relieving pain or will help them replace opioids – at least until stronger evidence is available.

Theodore L. Caputi, BS – Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland

  • The relationship between cannabis use and opioid use/mortality is still somewhat debated in the scientific literature, with most research focusing on comparing states where marijuana is legal with those where it is not. Most of these comparisons appear to show a positive effect; that states with more lenient marijuana laws have lower rates of opioid abuse. There is also a debate about which components of cannabis are most useful for relieving pain, with various reports suggesting that THC and CBD can help relieve pain. The fact that respondents to your survey find CBD useful in managing their pain helps to fill in another piece of the puzzle, and overall, it is a very encouraging set of results.

Matthew Wall, Ph.D. – Senior Imaging Scientist, Imperial College London

  • This study demonstrates some of the benefits that consumers find with CBD for pain. In our work, we found anxiety benefit that was rapid and without significant side effects. We need more studies to clarify all of these findings, but the basic science and early clinical results support a strong signal that echoes the relief indicated in this survey.

Scott Shannon, MD – American Holistic Medical Association

  • Information is vital. Accentuated by the magnitude of the opioid crisis, it is strictly beneficial for us to know more about the effectiveness and drawbacks of alternative forms of pain management. With additional information and evidence, we can make better treatment choices.

Rhet Smith – Assistant Professor of Economics, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock  






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