November 05, 2021

CBD Pain Solutions: The Types of Pain & How CBD Helps

Pain can be debilitating, limiting your range of motion and even inhibiting you from performing the simplest tasks. It's usually your body's way of telling you that something is wrong.

But did you know that there are different kinds of pain? And that CBD has unique properties that can target each of them? Let’s take a look.

The Different Types Of Pain

There are four main categories for pain:

  • Acute
  • Chronic
  • Neuropathic
  • Nociceptive

While other ways to classify pain exist, this is one of the most common. Pain is generally either acute or chronic, and either neuropathic or nociceptive — so we'll dive into each of these in more depth.

Acute Pain

Acute pain usually results from some sort of injury or illness, but it is pain that is short in duration.

It's the type of pain that eventually goes away on its own without need of treatment — but short might mean a few minutes to six months. So, acute pain can still cause quite a bit of discomfort until the body heals.

Here are a few examples of acute pain:

  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Surgery
  • Childbirth

How CBD Helps With Acute Pain

CBD can help with acute pain in a couple different ways. This is because, as an anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce swelling and discomfort associated with inflammation.(1)

A topical CBD product may help reduce the pain and swelling of a recent injury. Or a highly-bioavailable CBD oil could reduce the pain after your body heals from a broken bone or surgery.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for over six months at a time and often persists despite any treatment that may have been given.

Conditions that often involve chronic pain:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back pain

How CBD Can Help Manage Chronic Pain

Research has shown that CBD can help in a number of different chronic pain situations.

One 2018 review found that CBD was effective in helping patients suffering from conditions like cancer, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy manage their pain.(2) CBD has shown that it may also lessen pain in other chronic disorders like arthritis.(3)

Lastly, CBD may also assist in the management of conditions like chronic neck and back pain, by combating inflammation-related discomfort. For more on dealing with chronic back pain specifically, check out our article Back On Track: How To Deal With Chronic Back Pain Using CBD.

A consistent regiment could be the most effective approach to addressing chronic pain with CBD. CBD softgels, CBD gummies, and CBD drops are all easy and convenient formulations for daily use.

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the nerves in the body due to diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis.

Neuropathic pain may cause a painful response to something that would not normally elicit pain. For example, wearing a shirt may feel like you're being stabbed because of the way it touches your skin.

Many people describe neuropathic pain as having a burning, stabbing, tingling, or freezing sensation.

How CBD Addresses Neuropathic Pain

Research indicates that CBD can mitigate the painful symptoms of the neuropathic pain conditions like multiple sclerosis.(4) CBD may even help not only reduce pain, but other symptoms associated with MS like reducing spasticity, fatigue, and depression.

That CBD may help with neuropathic pain is not surprising, as CBD has neuroprotective qualities.(5)

Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain is brought on by tissue damage or joint damage. The pain occurs at the site of injury.

This type of pain can be acute or chronic. For example, you experience acute nociceptive pain when you scrape your knee or stub your toe. A chronic example of nociceptive pain is joint pain in arthritis.

How CBD Might Ease Nociceptive Pain

Since nociceptive pain most often manifests at the site of injury, CBD topical treatments may help ease the localized pain. CBD could help reduce pain and inflammation caused by muscle tearing during a sports injury or overexercise. It could also help manage chronic nociceptive pain of joint issues like in arthritis.

Goodbye Pain & Don't Come Back Again

There are different types of pain — though none are ever fun. Pain can be acute or chronic, and it can be neuropathic or nociceptive. CBD might help with conditions that fall into any or all four of these categories.

CBD may reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with nociceptive pain conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. But it also has neuroprotective qualities that could alleviate symptoms of neuropathic pain conditions like multiple sclerosis.

CBD is a natural, non-intoxicating option for addressing different types of pain conditions, for the short- or long-term. Depending on your condition, you may consider a combined approach of CBD topicals and ingestible CBD products to get your desired results.

When taking CBD as part of your pain-management strategy, just be sure to use high-quality CBD products. And if you’re under doctor supervision for a pain-producing condition — make sure it’s OK to add CBD to your care plan.



  1. Russo, EB. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management.
  2. Vučković, S, et al. (2018). Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Frontiers in pharmacology.
  3. Hammell, DC, et al. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain.
  4. Rudroff, T, et al. (2018). Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Frontiers in neurology.
  5. Hampson, AJ, et al. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.


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