Many Americans live with some form of physical pain, due to many different underlying causes.
Sources of pain can range from health conditions and disorders to diseases or simply the
inevitable effects of aging. If you suffer from physical pain and are seeking a natural alternative
for alleviating your symptoms and improving your quality of life, you might be interested to
learn about hemp oil.
Keep reading to learn key information about this emerging product on the natural health market.
What is Hemp Oil?
There are some nuances to be aware of that differentiate hemp oil from CBD oil. While they both
come from the same species of plant, they’re actually quite different. Hemp oil is also not to be
confused with hemp seed oil, which doesn’t contain cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD oil is created when the compound cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant
and combined with a so-called carrier oil like hemp seed or coconut. It’s currently being studied
for potential therapeutic qualities and calming benefits. Some CBD products contain low levels
of THC—a psychoactive compound in the cannabis sativa plant—depending on how it’s
extracted and processed, and whether it retains some or all of its natural chemical compounds.
While hemp oil is also derived from the cannabis plant, it’s made from the seeds, which don’t
contain the same compounds as the leaves and stems. Some full-spectrum products do include
plant matter and CBD, but not all. Since 2018, hemp has been considered a legal agricultural
product by the U.S. government. Due to the nature of how it’s processed, it may deliver desirable
results without any intoxicating or psychedelic effects.
Benefits of Hemp Oil for Pain
Hemp oil containing CBD has developed a reputation for its alleged ability to decrease
inflammation and reduce pain. There’s still a lack of conclusive scientific research and evidence
to support these claims, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience the same desirable
effects that others have reported. But, it’s still an interesting option to experiment with if you’re
curious to try it for your own pain relief purposes.
Here are some of the primary reasons why people are becoming interested in the use of CBD:
- No psychoactive properties
- 100% natural
- Legal in the most parts of the United States
- Not addictive or habit-forming
- Some view it as a potential alternative to addictive pharmaceuticals (opioids)
Advocates of hemp oil believe that it’s versatile and may help to alleviate common sources of
physical pain. Some examples include:
Arthritis is a condition which causes tenderness and swelling of joints, and typically becomes
more severe as you age. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and
osteoarthritis; the former is an autoimmune condition, in which joints are compromised by a
reactive immune system, while the latter results in the breakdown of cartilage. (2)
While no clinical research has officially been conducted on humans to study and corroborate the
correlation of hemp oil containing CBD and its effects on arthritis pain, there have been some
studies on animals. Clinical researchers experimented with rats by administering CBD gel tabs to
measure their impact. The results indicated that there was less inflammation and overall pain in
the rat’s arthritis-affected joints, and there was no evidence of negative side effects. (3)
There have also been anecdotal reports from people who claim that CBD reduces the
inflammation in their arthritic joints. A Gallup poll taken in 2019 revealed that 14% of
Americans used CBD in some form to help with arthritis symptoms. Another poll by the Arthritis
Foundation showed that 29% of Americans currently use CBD and reported improvement in
well-being, including pain reduction. Further research and clinical trials are needed to
demonstrate the effects and efficacy of hemp oil containing CBD on human arthritis. It’s also
important to note that people respond uniquely to pain treatments. (4)
2. Multiple Sclerosis
Also known as MS, this debilitating disease can be very painful, typically causing spasms and
stiffness throughout the body, which also inhibits mobility. MS directly impacts the brain and
spinal cord, as well as the central nervous system. The symptoms of this condition differ from
person to person, depending on the disease’s severity and where it’s localized in the body.
Symptoms can include any or all of the following:
- Weakness and/or numbness in one or more limbs
- Feelings of electric shock when bending or moving the neck
- Partial or complete loss of vision, typically in one eye at a time
- Blurry or double vision
- Speech difficulties
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Tingling or pains
- Sexual, bowel or bladder issues (5)
The trademark muscle spasms that come with multiple sclerosis may possibly be diminished
through hemp oil use. Hemp and CBD oil has been reported by users to reduce spasms and relax
the muscles. In some sufferers who previously had an impaired ability to walk or even stand, the
use of CBD has reportedly led to an increase in mobility. Additionally, CBD may help with the
following MS symptoms: fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression, muscle stiffness and mobility.
It is not believed that CBD can cure MS, but rather, that it may help to treat the symptoms of the
3. Chemotherapy Pain
Chemotherapy is often accompanied by many unpleasant and sometimes painful side effects.
Symptoms are caused by the process in which chemotherapy attacks these cancer cells, but these
chemicals may also damage healthy parts of the body like cells in the mouth, reproductive
system, and digestive tract, along with hair follicles and bone marrow.
While many patients experience extreme nausea and vomiting, as well as fatigue and physical
weakness, there are many other potential side effects of chemotherapy. Not everyone who
undergoes chemotherapy will experience all of these symptoms, but many are subject to some of
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of body hair
- Excessive Bruising and bleeding
- Susceptibility to infection
- Low counts of red blood cells (Anemia)
- Changes in appetite impacted by nausea and vomiting
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Sores on the body
- Sores in/on mouth, tongue and throat
- Pain swallowing
- Nerve issues such as tingling, numbness and pain
- Dry skin and changes in color of skin and nails
- Urine and bladder issues
- Kidney issues
- Weight gain or loss
- Mental fogginess known as “chemo brain”
- Mood swings
- Changes in sexual desire and function
- Fertility issues (6)
Fortunately, there have been some optimistic results from studies showing hemp oil with CBD
may help reduce some cancer symptoms as well as some of the symptoms and effects of
chemotherapy. In studies throughout the early 2000’s, it was reported that cannabinoids such as
CBD may contribute to:
- Decelerating tumor growth
- Reducing the number of tumors and cause death of tumors
- Mitigating the risk of bladder cancer in men
- Reducing neuropathic pain and nausea from radiation (7)
4. Chronic Pain
The term chronic pain refers to persistent pain that lasts for months or years. Aside from its
obvious physical impact, it can also affect a sufferer's mental health. This sort of pain is often
caused when the nervous system sends pain signals throughout the body. Sometimes, an injury or
illness precedes the onset of chronic pain. In other cases, there is no identifiable event or
condition that caused the pain to begin initially. (8)
While there are many anecdotal reports that frequent use of hemp oils rich in cannabinoids like
CBD help manage their pain, there are no published studies on humans that have scientifically
tested its efficacy. Prior to 2018, CBD was classified as a controlled substance on the Federal
level. Because of this, it was difficult for researchers to gain funding for studying the effects of
CBD on humans. However, now that hemp oil products are mostly legal on a federal level, there
may be more opportunities for clinical studies to probe further. (9)
Fibromyalgia is a condition whereby musculoskeletal pain spreads throughout the body. It’s
frequently experienced in conjunction with fatigue, as well as sleep, mood, and memory issues.
This disease often causes discomfort in the bones and muscles, as well as intense headaches. For
many sufferers of fibromyalgia, completing simple tasks can be extremely challenging.
The cause of this condition is often unknown; it can be triggered by an actual event (such as
surgery or accident) or it may come on gradually with no known event causing its onset. Women
are typically more commonly the victim of this debilitating condition and oftentimes, it is
accompanied with stress-related issues such as: tension headaches, TMJ, IBS, anxiety, and
depression. No cure currently exists for fibromyalgia. However, many doctors prescribe light
exercise and activities to help reduce stress and tension. (10)
While the FDA has not approved CBD as a treatment for fibromyalgia, some studies indicate
CBD may help in the reduction of inflammation and decrease the perception of pain. It’s also
being investigated for its potential benefits on conditions related to the disease such as
depression, fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive issues. There have been no recent scientific studies,
but past research conducted worldwide on patients with fibromyalgia has indicated a positive
correlation between CBD and reduced or improved symptoms. (11)
6. Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea is the throbbing or cramping pains that often occurs just before
the onset of a woman’s menstrual cycle. In some cases, this can be extremely uncomfortable and
painful. It’s common for women to experience dull to intense throbbing pain 1-2 days before the
cycle begins, which typically lasts a day or so into the cycle. Other related symptoms include
nausea, headache, dizziness, fatigue and gastrointestinal stress. These are caused by the secretion
of hormones that trigger the uterine muscle to contract to simulate going into labor. (12)
There are currently no published studies on the use of CBD for period pain, however as research
continues and CBD becomes a more wide-spread alternative option for helping to alleviate pain
and inflammation in the body, it has become a popular option for women dealing with menstrual
How to Take Hemp Oil
There are a variety of ways to use hemp oil, with different benefits purported for each. The
serving size varies depending on the consumer and methods for administering the dosage.
Drops under the tongue – A quick way for CBD oil to enter the bloodstream, and generally
considered the most efficient method.
Edibles – Regular recipes with hemp or CBD oil adding to the ingredients. The most common
are cookies, cakes, brownies or even salad dressing. Ingesting edibles won’t usually yield any
noticeable effects for around an hour, or less on an empty stomach.
Capsules and gummies – Another way to consume hemp oil if you’re adverse to the flavor.
They take longer to break down and enter the bloodstream, so you won’t feel the effects as soon
as you would with oil drops under the tongue, but eventually, they get absorbed.
Topical creams – Those containing hemp oil are used to rub into sore muscles and external areas
of discomfort. The effects are usually felt fast but don’t tend to last as long as when the oil is
You can also smoke the CBD oil through a vaporizer and e-liquid oils. This is a fast-acting
method that enables you to feel results quickly.
Interested in Learning More?
Using hemp oil for pain may be a viable alternative method for pain management, depending on
your condition and medical history. If you’re curious about how it may benefit your health
needs, it’s best to consult with a medical practitioner first, and check out our blog for more
1. “Arthritis” Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772
2. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat
model of arthritis”, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
3. “Does CBD help with arthritis pain?” Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/does-cbd-help-with-arthritis-pain-2020041019418
4. “Multiple Sclerosis” Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350269
5. “Chemotherapy Side Effects”, Source: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/chemotherapy/chemotherapy-side-effects.html
6. “CBD for Cancer: Can It Help? Maybe, According to Research”, Source:
7. “Chronic Pain Information Page – What research is being done?”, Source:
8. “CBD For Pain Relief: What the Science Says”, Source:
9. “Fibromyalgia”, Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780
10. “CBD for Fibromyalgia”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-fibromyalgia
11. “Menstrual Cramps”, Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938