General HealthHealth & Beauty

CBD vs. THC: The Similarities & Differences And How To Use CBD Oil For Pain

As a CBD user and supporter for quite some time now, I’m familiar with the effect that CBD has on my body.

Hopefully, this article will answer some of your questions about CBD vs. THC and provide you with a few insider tips about using CBD oil for pain management.

See what I've learned about CBD vs THC for pain.


My Experience Using CBD Oil

First of all, I have to admit that I did my fair share of reading and researching before I decided to use CBD in any capacity.

When I was finally done with my due diligence, I bought my first CBD-based face cream. The results have been spectacular. The improved elasticity of my skin and the in-depth moisturization were truly visible after 1 month of regular use.

The second thing on my list to try was using CBD oil for pain management.

Full disclosure — I was trying to find a natural alternative for period cramps and mild discomfort, and CBD had just become popular. I had to see what the fuss was about, but I didn’t want to use something new simply because it’s a novelty. Hence, the face cream experiment.

I read a number of articles and medical studies that claimed CBD could help you with reducing pain.

My experience is that CBD definitely helps with lessening discomfort and soreness. However, what I want to share with you here is a summarized version of my research on the subject.

By the way:

  • I don’t think that CBD oil is the magical cure for everything that goes wrong in the body.
  • I do believe that the properties of CBD are quite beneficial for some conditions.

My experience aside, let’s look at the facts…


What is CBD?

For those of you who don’t already know, CBD comes from a plant called cannabis sativa, which is infamous across the world. The cannabis plant is truly popular because of THC — which is a bit controversial since it can get people “high.” (I’m going to talk more about THC in a minute.)

The one thing you have to remember is that CBD can’t get you “high.” In fact, CBD works against THC regarding that particular psychoactive effect.

THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. THC is one of many compounds found in the resin secreted by glands of the marijuana plant. Other compounds unique to marijuana, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin. One cannabinoid, CBD is nonpsychoactive and actually blocks the high associated with THC. Source

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both chemical compounds called cannabinoids. They affect our body’s endocannabinoid system — which helps to regulate the nervous system, the immune system, and other vital organs.

CBD increases the production of natural endocannabinoids, and it can bind itself to serotonin receptors and pain receptors. That’s why people use CBD oil for pain management and anxiety. It doesn’t affect the cannabinoid receptors directly, but rather indirectly — which means it has a much broader reach.


What is THC?

THC, on the other hand, affects the human body quite differently. First of all, because it plugs directly into the body’s cannabinoid receptors, and secondly because of its psychoactive effects.

The way THC works is quite brilliant because it mimics the natural chemical anandamide — which is a chemical produced in the brain that affects communication. Therefore, the natural process of brain communication via neurons is altered because THC attaches itself to the neurons.

The story is not that simple though, THC also has an array of benefits regarding depression, PTSD, epilepsy, and others. The thing is that it comes with an interesting side-effect. You’ll “get stoned.”

That’s why CBD sounded like the safer option to put on my face and go to work.


How to Use CBD Oil for Pain

Here's my experience using CBD oil for pain

Can you really use CBD oil for pain relief?

Yes, you can.

Personally, I can vouch for the effect it has on period cramps and strained muscles from pushing yoga poses.

I’m going to leave a quote here from Bruce Nicholson, MD, director of Pain Specialists of Greater Lehigh Valley, and you can form your own opinion:

CBD seems to be an even more potent anti-inflammatory than some steroids. Some studies also suggest that CBD oil can function as a nerve protectant and treat nerve injury pain — but because it is not legal in every state, it’s been difficult to research. Source

The referring study was conducted as a “Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids” in the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

As of this writing, there haven’t been any recorded cases of CBD overdose — which means it does not have a toxicity level yet. However, even though it hasn’t happened to me, too much CBD oil can cause a side-effect like lethargy.

Using it is pretty simple, you take a small dose of the oil, and you rub it on the painful area. After 20 to 30 minutes you will feel the pain subsiding.

Of course, there are other methods for using CBD oil — like placing it under your tongue, vaping, and others — but I haven’t personally used CBD in those ways.


The Bottom Line…

My personal opinion is that if you want to stay on the “all-natural” side of the aisle when seeking remedies for pain management, then CBD is a smart choice.

Samantha is a former HR manager from Atlanta and a yoga enthusiast. She enjoys sharing her personal experiences and often writes about CBD research and medical use of marijuana.