Updated on January 30, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The actions we do in everyday life cause mild neck pain now and then. But, frequent and severe neck pain needs some form of treatment because of its interference in daily activities. When you have a high level of pain in your neck, it might seem like you can’t focus on anything else. Regular actions like turning your head may hurt.
Doctors generally recommend taking over-the-counter or prescription painkillers for chronic pain. However, these medications aren’t a good fit for everyone, and the side effects of drugs like opioids can cause more harm than good. If you have chronic neck pain, have you tried cannabidiol (CBD) medicine? It can replace or supplement traditional painkillers for more effective treatment.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain happens for reasons such as:
Poor Posture: Sitting in a slouched position raises your risk of neck and back pain.
Muscle Strain: We commonly hurt our neck muscles due to excess tension. Mild strain that happens for a long time, such as craning your neck to look at a computer screen, can cause pain as much as suddenly pulling a muscle.
Injuries and Accidents: Falls, improper lifting and other accidents can injure the neck.
Medical Conditions: Ailments like arthritis and fibromyalgia make your neck and other parts of the body ache on a regular basis.
No matter the cause, CBD can lower your pain levels. It addresses the root problems of neck pain and offers relief.
How Does CBD Reduce Neck Pain?
CBD works naturally with your body to reduce neck pain. It interacts with your endocannabinoid system to handle two common causes of pain:
Overactive Pain Signals: Certain conditions cause pain receptors to create feelings of pain for no reason. While pain helps us detect when we get injured, pain that has no cause only creates discomfort. CBD activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which not only respond to cannabinoids but also regulate pain signaling. Many chronic pain patients show irregular CB1 and CB2 signaling that balance out when exposed to CBD.
Inflammation:Swelling and inflammation have helpful traits, but they turn into a big issue when they happen often. Our body creates inflammation as an immune response. It usually protects damaged tissue from infection. However, the immune system can also make too much inflammation, causing pain and damaging healthy tissue. CBD reduces the immune response and soothes inflamed tissue.
Benefits of CBD Medication
Medicine containing CBD has plenty of benefits you can’t find in other medications, including:
Availability: You can legally buy hemp-derived CBD items in most states. Patients who shop at dispensaries can also get marijuana-derived CBD.
Clarity: The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana creates the “high” we associate with marijuana. CBD is an entirely different compound that doesn’t impair you. You can take CBD medicine without feeling marijuana’s typical effects on your mind.
Accessibility: Parents and caretakers appreciate the lack of psychoactive effects from CBD. They don’t have to worry about children and patients with cognitive disabilities experiencing the side effects of THC. CBD also comes in many forms that help patients of all abilities.
Don’t I Need THC for Pain Relief?
THC effectively relieves pain, but your cannabis medicine doesn’t have to contain it. CBD has the power to reduce pain on its own without THC’s psychoactive side effects. However, if you don’t mind taking medicine with THC, you can try a medication that has both cannabinoids. When you consume both CBD and THC, they work together to provide more effective pain relief than if you took them separately.
Also, CBD and THC balance out each others’ side effects, maximizing their benefits. No matter what you decide to use, you have a good chance of experiencing relief.
Which CBD Products Work Best for Neck Pain?
CBD medicine comes in just as many forms as typical medical marijuana. You can find high-CBD vape cartridges, edibles and even cannabis flower. Most kinds of CBD products will help you feel less pain, but some work better for neck pain than others.
Try these types of CBD medicine for effective neck pain relief:
Topical Treatments: A wide range of ointments, lotions and salves go directly on sore muscles for localized relief. CBD oil also works as a topical treatment when you use it like one. Most people can reach their neck more easily than their back, so you may not even need assistance applying a CBD topical.
Vape Cartridges: Vaping offers the fast effects associated with smoking without the potential health problems. When you need to reduce your pain right away, a vape pen and cartridge will do the trick.
Pills and Other Ingestibles: If the other two methods don’t work for you, consider a CBD pill, oil or edible. Many kinds of CBD oil can go into food and drink or directly in your mouth. Pills and edibles come in familiar forms that new patients recognize.
Natural Health Stores/Online: Your local holistic market may have hemp-derived CBD on their shelves. You can also find CBD from hemp online. This kind of CBD generally doesn’t cause harm, but read the label carefully. Some products have more “fillers” than others and less CBD.
Marijuana Dispensaries: When CBD comes from a marijuana plant, it becomes a medical cannabis product. To buy cannabis-derived CBD, you must register as a patient in a medical state or be 21 or older with an ID in a recreational state. The CBD at dispensaries goes through more careful vetting than hemp-derived CBD.
We recommend getting medical-grade CBD products from a dispensary if possible. Thorough testing and regulations ensure you get an item that is safe and effective.