Hemp oil for pain, CBD oil for pain & cannabis oil for pain - What’s the difference?
Talk of CBD benefits is widespread. Millions of people all over the world say they find CBD products to be a great support when it comes to sleep, mood, libido and even pain. But when it comes to pain in particular, there’s some confusion surrounding the difference between hemp oil, CBD oil and cannabis oil. So in this blog, we’re going to explain how these three things vary, to help you make the best choice for your needs.
Hemp oil for pain
Hemp oil can mean two things - it’s either hemp seed oil or full extract hemp oil. Hemp oil extract contains cannabinoids, like CBD, whereas hemp seed oil contains very low levels of cannabinoids if any at all. Both have a wide range of benefits but work in different ways. In this section we’ll explore hemp seed oil for pain, and below (in the CBD oil for pain section) we’ll cover full extract hemp oil for pain.
Although hemp seed oil doesn’t target any pain receptors, like CBD (or full extract hemp oil) it is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, partly due to its perfect ratio’ of omega 3 (alpha-Linolenic) and 6 (Linoleic) - something not found anywhere else in the plant kingdom.
Hemp seed oil also contains a range of flavonoids, terpenes, carotenoids and phytosterols. This includes three flavonoids exclusive to cannabis, called cannaflavins, one of which has anti-inflammatory activity shown to be 30 times stronger than aspirin.
Hemp seed oil may not contain any cannabinoids, but it does support the synthesis of our endocannabinoids which play a vital role in regulating pain sensation. The endocannabinoid system has modulating actions at all stages of pain processing pathways.
CBD oil for pain
Many CBD benefits also boil down to this molecule’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Like hemp seed oil, CBD oil, or full extract hemp oil, supports this vital system but this time by temporarily inhibiting the enzyme which ordinarily breaks down our endocannabinoids. This results in higher levels of endocannabinoids in the body, reaching further and working for longer.
In addition to this, CBD also activates serotonin and vanilloid receptors, both of which are involved in pain regulation.
A recent animal study exploring the effects of CBD oil on pain and its interaction with the vanilloid receptor found that low-dose CBD had a desensitising effect on the vanilloid receptor, which inhibited pain signalling.
Serotonin is one of the most studied neurotransmitters related to pain regulation, and many activities and drugs which boost serotonin are suggested to help with chronic pain. Studies evaluating the relationship between serotonin and disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraine, and other types of headache also suggest a clear impact of this neurotransmitter, which CBD activates.
Cannabis oil for pain
Cannabis oil refers to an oil which contains THC and is illegal in the UK unless on prescription. This is what you can access for chronic pain if you contact a cannabis clinic.
While this oil provides the benefits of CBD and potentially some of hemp seed oil too (if it’s a whole plant oil), it also offers the pain-relieving benefits of THC.
Although THC is infamous for being psychoactive (ie. It can get you high) it can also be extremely helpful for pain conditions, depending on the cause. There are multiple mechanisms at play, but one key action is that THC mimics our endocannabinoids, fitting like a lock and key into our endocannabinoid receptors. This is very helpful if, as might be the case in a variety of pain conditions, the patient has an endocannabinoid deficiency or dysfunction. One study showed a 64% reduction in opioid use amongst chronic pain patients who used medical cannabis oil for pain.
Another study of 984 chronic pain patients (including those with neuropathic pain, back pain, arthritis, post-surgical pain, headaches, and abdominal pain) found two-thirds of patients reported pain relief as the main benefit of cannabis use.
There are positive points for hemp oil for pain, CBD oil for pain and cannabis oil for pain, it really just comes down to what you feel would work best for you. You can combine the benefits of CBD oil with those of hemp seed oil by choosing a CBD product with a hemp seed oil carrier, like Lady A CBD oil products, which can be taken as a hemp oil capsule, oral drops or via a CBD vape.
Remember, particularly if you’re on pharmaceutical medication, always consult your doctor before trying a new supplement. And if you’re interested in trying cannabis oil for pain, get in touch with a legal cannabis clinic for professional guidance.