cbd oil for chronic pain uk

Best CBD oil for pain management and relief: The 6 best products available in the UK

Chronic pain is one of the most frustrating and debilitating issues somebody can suffer from, and at its worst it can make every day a struggle. This is made even worse by the fact it can be caused by multiple unrelated conditions, making it tough to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. It also doesn’t help that the pharmaceutical options for such a condition are embarrassingly inadequate – often relegated to ibuprofen, paracetamol, or stronger painkillers, all of which can have adverse effects and most of which only provide limited relief.

This issue, along with fear of potential opiate addiction has increased public interest in more unique treatments, including CBD oil. The fact that CBD holds no risk of addiction, very little risk of side effects, and has been found to be beneficial both for pain and inflammation, is highly promising and attractive to many people suffering from ongoing pain symptoms.

Unfortunately, huge growth in demand combined with low regulation means there are some very low quality CBD products available. In this guide we’ll break down what you should be looking for when wondering which CBD is best for pain relief, and providing our top recommendations so that you can see how CBD oil works for you with no risk.

Let’s jump right in, and don’t forget to stick with us after the list to learn more about how to use CBD oil for pain relief and management!

Evopure Relief Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

– High quality US farmed hemp

– Broad spectrum cannabinoids in naturally occurring ratios

– Environmentally sustainable farming and extraction practices

– MCT oil carrier for high bioavailability

– Lab testing results published

– Additional beneficial ingredients for inflammation including turmeric and black pepper

– 100 percent naturally organic

– Best value for highest CBD content

– No THC in any of their oils

Our choice for the best CBD oil for pain management is Evopure’s Relief blend. When you see the list of positives above, it’s probably easy to see why! Evopure takes a Nature First approach, and this is made clear both by their sustainability practices and by their naturally broad spectrum blends, translating directly into a better planet and a better product. The company offers pure CBD oil, but they also offer a range of enhanced CBD oils for specific uses. Their Relief blend includes turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory effects, and black pepper, which has been found to increase turmeric’s benefits substantially. This makes it almost certainly the best CBD option for those suffering from chronic pain or related diseases such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Lab testing is published on the site so you know what goes into every batch, and their site is also full of useful educational resources and dives into the research behind CBD, so it becomes immediately clear they know what they’re talking about.

Add to that a high dose of CBD for a great price, and you really can’t go wrong with this one!

Provacan CBD Oil

– Full spectrum CBD oil

– Lab test results available

– Range of strengths to suit all needs

– Flavourless taste great for those who dislike the natural CBD oil taste

– Non natural cannabinoid ratio

– Less value compared to the rest of the list

Provacan is a more expensive option that prioritizes the science behind CBD and offers in depth lab testing and case studies on their website. The product is full spectrum which can generally be considered a positive but may be a downside to truck drivers or those who operate heavy machinery for a living.

The company offers high quality, trustworthy lab tested CBD oil in a variety of strengths to suit your needs. It is one of the most expensive options on this list meaning it’s likely only for CBD connoisseurs, as newcomers just looking to test the results would be much better off with something like Evopure. However, if you have the money to spend, and especially if you’re looking for a higher dose, this remains a great option.

CBD Pure Hemp Oil

– Relatively slow delivery

– Less CBD than similar priced options on this list

CBD Pure is a US based company offering CBD oil made from certified organic industrial hemp grown in Washington and Colorado. If you’re UK based it will have longer delivery than other products listed here, and you’ll get slightly less CBD for your buck too.

Despite this, it’s 100 percent organic, full spectrum, high quality hemp that will certainly give you the combination of cannabinoids needed to experience the entourage effect. They also offer stringent quality controls, lab testing results, and a money back guarantee, landing them safely amongst the best CBD oil suppliers around.

Love Hemp CBD Liquid Oil Drops

– Premium quality product with excellent packaging

– MCT oil carrier for higher bioavailability

– Range of flavours including peppermint and wild cherry

– Other products offered including chocolate balls and candy

– Snack products aren’t absorbed as easily as CBD oil and perhaps aren’t real options for pain management

– No lab testing results or environmental policy to speak of

Love Hemp offers a premium quality CBD oil that includes an MCT oil carrier and great tasting flavours. It is also a popular choice for Londoners due to being stocked in numerous shops there. The combination of great flavours and other products makes them a suitable choice for people who dislike the natural earthy flavour of more pure products like Evopure.

Despite this, CBD edibles likely can’t be absorbed as readily as CBD oils, meaning this is a lesser option for people genuinely hoping to manage pain symptoms. Add to this a lack of any details on their sustainability practices and no public lab testing results, and Love Hemp clearly loses out to the higher options on this list. Still a great option for those who are more picky about their flavours, this product will give you a full spectrum boost of cannabinoids to help manage your pain symptoms and do so in a pleasantly tasting and well packaged manner.

Hempura Original Full Spectrum CBD Oil

– Offer both full spectrum and broad spectrum options

– Lab testing provided

– Relatively barebones, no additional active ingredients, flavours or anything else “improved”

– Little to no information on sustainability

Hempura is a family based company that, instead of trying to separate themselves from the pack by using additional boosting ingredients like Evopure or premium flavours like Love Hemp, has decided to keep things as simple as possible. This can be a downside for many, as it means there is no additional care taken to environmental concerns, and a very simple herbal taste. While this does mean a lower CBD dose, it also means a lower cost, making this an excellent option for people who have never tried CBD oil and want to test the results before potentially diving in with a more comprehensive product.

Blessed CBD Oil

– 3 separate strengths to suit all personal doses and budgets

– The largest size has a whopping 1800mg of CBD

– The smaller size is a little expensive for what it contains

Blessed CBD is a relatively small and recent company, only beginning to produce CBD in 2017. They have rapidly made a name – in part due to their choice of 3 doses ranging from 500mg to 1800mg. While the smaller size isn’t anything special and is a bit pricey for the dose compared to the competition, the larger size is a brilliant option for those who find they need a large dose of CBD to experience a reduction in pain symptoms.

Now that we’ve listed the best CBD oil for pain management, you may well have some more questions. Let’s start with the obvious:

How Does CBD Work for Pain?

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. The endocannabinoid system regulates and manages all other internal systems, from the endocrine system, to the immune system, respiratory system and more. The ECS is responsible for maintaining the balance between these systems and not letting them overreact to certain stimuli, which helps to promote wellbeing.

Evidence suggests that CBD helps to manage pain through supporting these processes – by stimulating the endocannabinoid system to more effectively aid the immune system and other systems in reducing inflammation and other causes of ongoing pain.

Considering there is a lot of evidence supporting CBD’s reduction in stress and anxiety, it is likely to be equally beneficial for psychosomatic pain or pain that is exacerbated by a lack of mobility or different stressors.

How to Take CBD Oil for Pain

Even when aware of the above, knowing how to use CBD oil for pain relief can still be confusing and off putting. After all, what dosage and what strength CBD oil for pain will provide the best results? A lot of this is confusion due to the history of the cannabis plant and its reputation as primarily being a psychoactive recreational drug with addictive qualities.

You’ll be glad to know that CBD is not addictive or psychoactive and so there is nothing to be concerned about in this regard. However, that doesn’t help you calculate your ideal dosage.

Unfortunately the ideal dosage varies wildly between patients. Your weight, build, gender, cannabinoid tolerance, the type and severity of the issue causing your pain, and even the CBD product you choose to take will all affect the results. Because of this, there is no one dosage we can point to and tell you it’s correct.

Luckily this isn’t the minefield it sounds like, as CBD has no major negative side effects and is close to impossible to overdose on. As a result, the only way to find your personal dosage is to start with a low one and take more each day, until you find the point of diminishing returns. Once increasing your dosage no longer leads to increased results, you know you’ve reached your max ideal dose.

How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work for Pain?

Once again, this is something that is subjective. Some people feel immediate benefits within 15-45 minutes, whereas others need to take CBD for a week or two before they start to experience reduced symptoms. It is likely this relates to the cause of pain along with other factors such as dosage and the entourage effect.

We would urge you to be patient in the first instance, but if you’ve been taking CBD oil for over a month and have felt no benefit whatsoever, we would advise you to see your GP as soon as possible as it’s possible there is a more serious cause behind your symptoms.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication, seek medical advice before consuming CBD products. For healthy adults, the FSA recommends no more than 70mg a day (about 28 drops of 5 percent CBD) unless under medical direction.

Microdosing And Me: A Useful (And Honest) Guide To CBD And Pain

One of my earliest memories is of pain. My teenage years were filled with hospital appointments, calendars circled with dates for surgery. At 13, over the course of one night, my spine twisted like a plumbing trap to more than 80 degrees. At one point, a piece of hardware from the titanium rods supporting my spine pierced through my skin. It was like a bomb going off in my bones.

Later, a pain-induced blackout on a beach with friends resulted in kidney failure. Then, there were the menstrual cramps and chronic fatigue. Later still, a suspicious lump on my thyroid gland that turned out to be cancerous resulted in surgery from ear-to-ear – like a permanent smiley face on my neck – and a heavy blast of radiation. Over the last 27 years my body has been rendered useless and immobile. I know what it feels like to hit peak on the pain-o-meter.

In a bid to regain some autonomy over my pain – and to rid my body of years of toxins – I’ve spent the last few years seeking out alternative pain management treatments. I’ve tried reiki sessions and mindfulness, pilates and swimming, non-medicated pain patches and hot water bottles. Then I found CBD (cannabidiol) oil. Not to be confused with medical cannabis, CBD is made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant which is low in the high-inducing THC. In the right dose and form, CBD really can help manage – not cure – a huge range of health issues, including chronic pain.

“It’s probably a little bit of a false claim to say that CBD is a sole cure for chronic pain,” says scientific advisor to The Drug Store Dr Julie Moltke, whose book A Quick Guide To CBD was published in June and is a practical guide for anyone interested in learning more about CBD. Studies show that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system – the body’s own anti-depressant – to restore balance and reduce inflammation, and so if you take it in high enough doses you get an “anti-inflammatory effect throughout the whole body”, explains Dr Moltke. “It can also be used for endometriosis… and it’s even been medically proven to help the symptoms of epilepsy,” she continues.

Instagram content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

CBD won’t mend a broken bone, it won’t fix my crooked spine. But for some, it’s the holy grail of anxiety solutions. And for others, like me, it can offer a brief moment of respite from the sting of sciatica, or the dull ache of period pains.

Here, a guide to using CBD to treat pain effectively – with the caveat that one should always seek advice from a medical professional.

The A To Z Of CBD

Not all CBD oils are created equal, nor do they perform in the same way. At present there are two camps of non-medicated CBD (meaning CBD without THC): full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Full spectrum is when the entirety of the hemp plant – stalk, seeds, roots leaves – is used to produce the final product. Cannabidiol is one of at least 140 different cannabinoids found in hemp plants, each with its own chemical properties, so with full spectrum CBD, the oil is mixed with other cannabinoids from within that plant. “That can often include a tiny bit of THC,” says Olivia Ferdi, co-founder of Trip. “In theory, it means you’re getting the benefit of other cannabinoids working in tandem with the CBD in different ways that aren’t necessarily fully understood yet, but studies suggest they have positive effects.”

On the other end of the spectrum is isolate CBD, which is where only the CBD cannabinoids have been extracted. In essence, it’s a more refined version of CBD and is beneficial for those who want to measure their full intake of CBD.

Ferdi, whose millennial pink bottle of 300mg orange blossom CBD was among the first I tried during lockdown and is great for CBD newcomers, compares the two ends of the CBD spectrum to eating an orange versus taking a vitamin C tablet: “We know a vitamin C tablet will do a great job and you’re going to absorb it well but, maybe the orange is better for you because of the fibres and fruit sugars it contains.”

Broad spectrum CBD, then, falls in the middle of both isolate and full spectrum CBD. Neither camp has been proven to be right or wrong.

“Medicinal cannabis is very good at decreasing pain that’s coming from the central nervous system,” Dr Moltke tells me of her experience of treating chronic pain patients with CBD and THC (the principal psychoactive component of cannabis). “We know for a fact the endocannabinoid regulates pain and pain perception. When we use the whole plant, you can decrease pain – especially chronic pain, also called neuropathic pain.”

Find The Right Brand For You

From chewing gum to bath bombs, balms to serums, there is truly a wealth of CBD products to choose from ( the CBD market is set to reach $1.8 billion by 2022, up from half a billion in 2018). I first tried oral oil because it has a faster absorption rate. Trip’s selection appealed to me because of the natural flavours (elderflower mint, peach ginger, lemon basil), and the oils proved calming and tasted pleasant. The very process of taking CBD oil is, in itself, a form of self-care. It’s important to let the oil sit under your tongue rather than haphazardly chucking it back, as Ferdi explains: “Holding an oil in your mouth for 60 seconds – whether you realise it or not you’ve basically just created a self-care ritual. It’s so hard to not talk in that one minute! It’s a moment of stillness.”

Celtic Winds medium strength 5 per cent CBD oil is a good middle-of-the-road option, if you can get past the earthy taste. A small amount of Greenheart’s Full Spectrum Hemp Homogenised Oil goes a long way, and was effective for defusing a muscle spasm in my back when used in conjunction with over-the-counter pain relief.

Pollen’s Powerbank CBD Gummies didn’t prove particularly fruitful for my stiff joints, but provided a little midday pep and curbed my workday stress (chewing distracts one’s mind from Zoom). The limoncello packaging brightened my desk, too.

The Ohana skincare range combines gentle and caring skincare ingredients with the soothing benefits of CBD. When applied to the face with a cold jade roller or Gua Sha stone, I found the All-In-One Wonder Balm to be a welcome bedtime rescue. Similarly, Oto’s rosemary and peppermint Focus Roll-On provided targeted light relief, and the scent made me feel grounded.

Instagram content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

“It’s about finding a consistent source that’s good quality,” remarks Ferdi, whose premium brand Trip has witnessed a 420 per cent increase in sales since strict social distancing was introduced. Ferdi’s advice rings particularly true when you consider that more than half of the most popular CBD oils sold in pharmacies, health stores and online have been found not to contain the level of CBD promised on the label.

“In general, I would go for a broad spectrum product: a product which contains all the different cannabinoids,” Dr Moltke says. “It’s worth trying a reliable brand. If they do have good delivery methods, that’s a plus.”

Keep A Pain Journal

To echo Dr Moltke, CBD is not the final solution to pain management, but can greatly reduce inflammation and reduce muscle fatigue – and yes, it helped soothe my quarantine aches and pains, too. Building CBD into my daily schedule allowed me to become more mindful of my body, and to take heed of when it needed rest. A daily pain journal helped me to distinguish the niggles from the serious spasms, menstrual cramps from a leaky gut. I learned to listen to signals and know when CBD alone would be enough, versus when back-up was required.

Overall, there is a startling absence of information online when it comes to exact CBD dosing recommendations, but through research I’ve learned that a reasonable and feasible dose of CBD is around 10-40 milligrams per day. My dose amounts ebb and flow until I feel I’ve reached my sweet spot.

A word on CBD and addiction: while it’s possible to build a tolerance to CBD – similar to caffeine and sugar – it’s not possible to overdose. Similarly, research suggests CBD doesn’t cause any cognitive effects – unlike THC, where we know smoking cannabis can cause cognitive decline and memory impairment defects. As Dr Moltke explains: “This is not something we see with CBD. We do however need to get real long-term data. We don’t have any consistent data on very long term effects, but as far as we know – and the World Health Organisation has echoed this – CBD is safe to use.”

Find Your Community

My initial impulse to lump CBD in with other dubious “alternative” medicines was rooted in my own lack of knowledge and understanding. For beginners, Suzanne Gatt’s easy listening podcast is informal but packed with information. Similarly, Dr Moltke’s The Holistic Medicine Podcast debunks common myths, and delivers bite-sized snippets backed up by science and research.

And to the sceptics? When you’ve endured constant pain for a long time, you’ll try anything after a while. CBD is, for me, a gentle elixir that helps extinguish the burn of nerve pain and lessens the churn of anxiety. And if it’s good enough for Queen Victoria’s menstrual cramps, then it’s good enough for mine.