CBD: Real Pain Relief or Placebo?

Portrait of aged senior female consulting with doctor. Therapeutic in medical gown advising cannabinoid oil to patient. Practitioner holding bottle with cannabis leaf signHow many times have you been asked if you’ve ever tried CBD to relieve your pain? If you’ve answered “no,” I’m sure you’ve been told that you absolutely have to.

But is there anything to this? Is CBD really the magic elixir that cures pain and nearly everything else?


It’s hard to say. There are studies to suggest it can help calm anxiety, promote sleep, and more.

New research suggests that when it comes to pain, however, CBD’s benefits may be in the eye of the beholder.

The study, conducted by researchers at Syracuse University and published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, found that CBD’s effectiveness is both psychological—the placebo effect—and pharmacological.

Researchers recruited 15 pain-free volunteers to participate in experiments to assess their response to heat both before and after receiving pure CBD oil. To determine the effects of placebo, researchers told them they either got CBD or placebo, or vice versa, and ran the experiments again.

Results suggested that when participants believed they were given CBD, they were more likely to find their pain less bothersome. However, they noted that it had not completely disappeared.

The placebo effect is real, and it can make a person feel better, whether or not the remedy is actually doing anything. This might be fine for minor aches and pains but may be dangerous when dealing with a severe or chronic condition. For the latter scenarios, it is always best to go with scientifically proven treatments.


So, should you use CBD for pain? It depends. This study featured healthy participants and did not look at people suffering pain from chronic conditions.

It’s also a bit of a wild west scenario when it comes to CBD supplements. There is little regulation on products. Dosing and purity are also inconsistent, which can present risks and make it difficult to determine how much to take of any given product.

If you’re interested in trying CBD for pain relief, do some due diligence beforehand. Find a reputable manufacturer with consistent dosing and high-quality ingredients. Talking to your doctor is a good idea to help guide you in the right direction.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.