CBD topical for soft tissue pain?
February 26, 2020 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Wondering if CBD oil can help where OTC medicine fails.

I live in a state with medical marijuana but not recreational. I haven't tried going through the process to qualify for it. I also have a fluctuating but significant amount of back pain, as well as other joints/tissues if I engage in too much physical exertion.

Because OTC pain relievers are ineffective for some reason on my body, I'm wondering if there's a topical CBD formulation out there that might help with the pain when I overdo it. It *must* be topical because twice I tried oral CBD/THC it made my tinnitus So. Much. Worse. that never again.

I don't know where to start. How likely is it a topical formulation will be helpful? What are reputable and safe mail-order sources? What should I start with, and what else should I consider trying if the first product I try doesn't work?
posted by dancing leaves to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
all i can give you is anecdotal stuff, i'm sorry, and it won't be helpful in sourcing anything BUT...

i have had a hell of a time with my leg since i broke it and got surgery a few years back. it's not muscle pain, it's not like, SORE, it feels like deep bone pain that is exacerbated by physical activity. i don't know. i've seen multiple doctors, gotten massages and acupuncture, and made myself throw up taking too much ibuprofen / aspirin and nothing really helped...

UNTIL someone i met at a show gave me a little tub of CBD cream. i rub it on my leg and it... fixes it. it's amazing. it doesn't work immediately, but it works within a few minutes. the problem is, i'm almost out of it, and it wasn't like a brand of cream, it was just like a little cardboard tub with no label. so far i've been unable to find anything about it or where to get more, the person that gave it to me hasn't been much help unfortunately.

Anyway the important thing is that i was extremely skeptical that a CBD cream would work topically on this kind of pain, but it really did, with no side effects that i noticed. So unfortunately I can't tell you what's a good brand of CBD ointment to buy, but at least for me, a (mystery) topical cream worked really well for my bone pain. I hope someone has better answers re: sourcing -- i'll be following this thread for sure.
posted by capnsue at 8:35 PM on February 26, 2020

Watching with interest, want to add that some prescription pain meds can be helpful for things *like* what you describe. (I finally agreed to take gabapentin a few years after that class of drug was suggested for nerve pain... wtf was I waiting for, I wonder now. It’s helping with my torn disc and multiple MSK aches and pains.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:47 PM on February 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

My experience is similar to capnsue's. My pain is centered in my shin & where part of the fibula was removed to biopsy an enchondroma--so not muscle or bone pain. The pain is hard to describe, but it keeps me awake. I use Charlotte's Web Hemp Infused Balm. Rubbing it into the area where pain is does work after just a few minutes. It has a variety of ingredients & definitely has a scent. Like cinnamon, which I like. Scent doesn't linger. I am interested in this thread because researching the whole CBD range is overwhelming!
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:18 PM on February 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have a different type of pain from bone on bone osteo in my knees, but since i've tried many different things over the past several years to avoid knee replacements, I'll give you a list of things I've tried and their efficacy, you can check them out and see if they might work for your type of pain as well:

Pain pads- these work great. I used to use Salonpas until they changed their formula and now won't stick to me. I switched to these (I don't use very often now because I do other things), usually about four to six per knee because they're small. I originally got them from dollar tree for a buck a pack, and the last time I ordered them from amazon they were about that price. I see they've gone up in price there so maybe check out a dollar tree near you if possible. They take at least an hour for pain relief to kick in.

CBD drops- I tried these orally and also rubbing them into my knees. Hard to tell if they had any effect.

Magnesium packets: I used these, mostly at night because they would knock me out, but they worked great. Can't take them too often because they also seemed to cause diarrhea if taken multiple days in a row.

THC gummies- these work great and knock me out completely.

Red light therapy- I started using this thing and though it's only been about a week it does seem to be having some effect. using for about ten minutes per knee sometimes means I can get to sleep without having to take advil or eat a gummy. I also can walk further with less pain. Here's one I'm thinking about getting so that I can just set it in front of me instead of holding it up next to my knees.

Stretching (for back pain). I also get injections of HUA behind my knees regularly to act as a cartilage replacement. These help me to be more physically active and unfortunately a a result of feeling too okay I overdid it one day and ended up hurting my back to the tune of bulging discs. Nothing seemed to help much until I started doing the stretches these guys suggest. I also followed other stretching exercises recommended on other videos and for me, these things worked very well and very quickly, I am not a doc, I'm not your doctor and I'm only telling you my experience, YMMV. I do other stretches that seemed to have helped immensely for my knees as well.

The other times I had back pain in my life that seemed more pulled muscle-ish I was able to get relief by dangling off the end of my roman chair. Just hanging over it for a minute or two and slowly pulling myself back up so that I was extended straight out from it a few times was enough to give me relief on more minor back pain. Again, not your doctor, YMMV.
posted by newpotato at 2:53 AM on February 27, 2020

I don’t know about sourcing/brands, but Some anecdotal on muscle/soft tissue pain relief: I got the CBD oil add-on that my massage therapist offers for my last deep tissue massage and the difference between a massage with and without CBD surprised the hell out of me. Where I’m normally sore for 2-3 days after, if not more (training for a distance run + lingering fibromyalgia pain), I never got sore with the CBD. I just felt the relief and looseness of the massage. I’m going to ask her about creams or saves the next time I’m there because it made so much of a difference. Good luck!
posted by okayokayigive at 3:49 AM on February 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've tried so very many things including CBD salve (high quality from Sunsoil) and prescription pain gels, and a recent discovery that works amazingly well (for me) is Christopher's Complete Tissue and Bone Ointment. Worth a try, maybe? Not expensive and available at multiple online stores.
posted by vers at 4:52 PM on February 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I used an expensive, doctor-recommended hemp salve with CBD for my knee arthritis pain. Made no difference that I noticed. What actually helped? Physical therapy.
posted by libraryhead at 6:24 PM on February 27, 2020

My dad uses it on his badly arthritic thumb and swears by it. It does nothing for my husbands arthritic knee.
YMMV, but it’s worth trying.
Ask at your local dispensary for a good Product.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:21 PM on February 27, 2020

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