How CBD helps with pain relief

Laura Johnson
Aug 3, 2021

Widely recognised for its pain-relieving effects, CBD products can offer a natural alternative to chronic pain medication, including post-surgical recovery pain, everyday pain like arthritis and migraines and female-specific pain like endometriosis and PMS.

Research suggests that CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and assists your cells’ reaction to stimuli, creating anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving responses. By interacting with cannabinoid receptors - particularly CB2 receptors- CBD is thought to decrease pain by reducing the body's sensitivity to the pain itself.

The other primary reason for CBD's ability to assist with pain relief is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Pain symptoms of numerous conditions (such as migraines, arthritis, peptic ulcers etc.) are rooted in inflammation, so CBD can be an excellent way to reduce pain and swelling in limbs and organs, and alleviate discomfort. This potent anti-inflammatory response is believed to be due to CBD's inhibition of eicosanoid enzymes (thought to cause inflammation), as well as the enhancement of anti-inflammatory cytokine molecules.

NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and steroids, which are traditional pharmaceuticals, work in this same way to reduce inflammation in the body.

But unlike these drugs, CBD does not have the same negative side effects that it can have. Ibuprofen, for example, is one of the most common pain relief medications, also targeting inflammation. However, few are aware of the long-term side effects of these painkillers which include liver damage, stomach ulcers and increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and blood clots.

As it stands, there are no recorded negative long-term side effects of CBD. In fact, as this study shows, when taken regularly CBD oil can also help to reduce the stress, anxiety and lack of sleep that often bring about these severe headaches in the first place.

Some research even indicates that CBD has the potential to reduce individuals' pharmaceutical drug intake.  

The analgesic properties of CBD and other cannabinoids serve as a great alternative to pharmaceutical medicines, as they are healthier for your body and can be just as effective.

About the Author

Laura Johnston holds a degree in Business Science with Honours in Marketing from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Laura has a background in pharmaceuticals, managing a number of portfolios namely, aesthetics, oncology and complementary health supplements. Laura has more than ten year’s experience in the health industry.


In 2019 Laura co-founded Mary’s Muse, a high-quality, proudly African CBD company specializing in the development, sales and distribution of niche, problem-specific CBD products.

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