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Does CBD flower help with pain?

As the CBD craze continues to grow, more and more people are wondering whether the smokable CBD flower produces as much benefit for pain management as CBD oil.

While we still have so much more to learn about the benefits of CBD and the amazing hemp plant, a growing body of evidence does indeed indicate that CBD flower is a great way to manage pain.

What Is Hemp CBD Flower?

Hemp CBD flower is the flower harvested from a hemp plant, the same species as marijuana. However, the difference in marijuana and hemp is that hemp does not make you high and it’s federally legal. Hemp was legalized during the 2018 farm bill when congress defined all Cannabis sativa plants that contain less than .3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

THC is the intoxicating, or psychoactive element, in the cannabis plant. With less than .3 percent of THC allowed in hemp plants, you can’t get high from smoking hemp flower or using hemp-produced products like tinctures or topicals. You can get all the other benefits of the cannabis plant by smoking hemp flower, including the more than 400 different compounds identified by scientists, without the high. One of the most exciting benefits of hemp use is pain management.


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How CBD Flower Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System

To understand how smoking CBD flowers can help control pain, we must first understand how CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system that everyone has. Endocannabinoids are molecules naturally made in our bodies, similar to cannabis molecules. They work primarily in our central and peripheral nervous systems (or immune system). When your body is attacked by injury or illness, the endocannabinoid receptors in our brain and immune system receive signals and tell your cells how to respond. This response can be perceived in many different ways, but one typical response is to reduce inflammation and lower pain.

This is where the CBD (cannabidiol) helps out. Scientists have learned that CBD produces analgesic (pain relieving) effects by activating specific receptors within the endocannabinoid system. Essentially, cannabinoids interact with pain receptors and may also encourage natural pain-relieving results. And it isn’t just the cannabinoids; there is scientific evidence that the terpenes and flavonoids found in the hemp plant also contribute to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

The promising effects of CBD and pain management are even more exciting when we think about how pain is managed in most patients currently — through the limited beneficial use of NSAIDs and the potentially harmful use of addictive opiate-based therapies.

Studies on CBD and Pain Relief

Pain relief is one of the earliest therapies that scientists began studying in CBD, and we know they have a relatively significant amount of science pointing to its benefits. They include:

Chronic Pain Relief

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” for the use of cannabis in treating chronic pain.

Nerve Damage

A 2017 review of 11 controlled studies with 1219 participants concluded that oral cannabinoids compared to standard pharmacological remedies were “modestly effective” in reducing chronic neuropathic pain. Patients had improvements in quality of life, sleep, and patient satisfaction.

Inflammatory Pain

A symptom of many diseases including cancer, arthritis, sickle-cell anemia, and inflammatory bowel disease. A study of 177 patients with cancer showed twice as many patients have a 30 percent reduction in pain taking a THC/CBD extract over a placebo.

Potential Side Effects of CBD for Pain Relief

Side-effects are always possible, but so far, most evidence points to little to no side effects. There are indications CBD can interact with certain classes of blood thinners or raise the levels of some medications in your body, so it is always good to check with your doctor first.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea

Smoking CBD Flower for Pain Versus Ingesting CBD

So far, most people who have tried CBD for pain relief have most likely tried it via a tincture or topical ointment. That is because the first CBD products made available in the market were lab-isolated products derived from marijuana. Essentially, manufacturers were able to isolate the CBD from the other cannabinoids, include THC, to offer a legal product.

But, the problem with that is you don’t get the full ‘entourage’ effect when you consume a full-spectrum cannabis product. Smoking flower is naturally ‘full-spectrum,’ You receive the benefits of not just the CBD, but other minor cannabinoids as well as terpenes and flavonoids produced in the flower. Also, smoking makes the compounds more bioavailable in your body, creating a faster and more powerful effect than when ingested or applied topically.

How to Get Good Pain Relieving Smokable Hemp Flower

For a smoking experience to be effective in pain relief, you need to make sure you smoke a high CBD hemp strain. Not all hemp is created equal, and some strains have higher percentages in cannabinoids other than CBD. Which may also have positive benefits, but not necessarily the one you were looking for.

(For instance, CBG, or cannabigerol has already been identified by scientists for its potential to fight cancer)

To ensure you get a low THC, high CBD strain, check the COA’s, or certificate of analysis, from the supplier of your hemp. The higher percentage of CBD you can get (while remaining under .3 percent THC), the better. To experience the benefits of smoking CBD flower firsthand, contact Colorado Breeders Depot about our line of house-bred smokable hemp flower. We look forward to helping you!



  1. Zachary Tomlinson says:

    Wow, I never knew that you could use hemp to provide pain relief, and it also allows you to relax your muscles. My colleague plans to participate in cycling activities as soon as this pandemic ends. Maybe they should consider trying this out by investing in hemp grinding equipment if he’s okay with it.

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