Could CBD oil be used for chronic pain management without abuse liability ?


Despite the significant interest and increasing use of these products, there are no well-controlled published studies that have examined the abuse liability of CBD. Several studies have administered oral doses (≤600 mg) of CBD to healthy participants with little to no marijuana use histories and have reported minimal side effects . Oral CBD has been tested in clinical populations (Huntington’s disease, epilepsy patients) at much higher cumulative doses (e.g., 1280 mg/day; 50 mg/kg/day) with reports of somnolence, decreased appetite/weight loss, diarrhea and increased seizure in a small subset of epilepsy patients. Despite the frequent statements in the media and the scientific literature that CBD is void of psychoactive effects, this has never been formally assessed − no studies have completed an abuse liability assessment, enrolled the population of interest (marijuana users) or compared CBD effects to a cannabinoid agent with known abuse liability, such as smoked marijuana, as a positive control.

According to a study published by University of Kentucky, Department of Behavioral Science, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Lexington, KY, USA in a secondary analysis of a trial that examined a wide range of oral CBD doses alone and in combination with smoked marijuana and reported that CBD does not alter the subjective, physiological or reinforcing effects of marijuana . The current analyses focus on the abuse liability of a range of oral CBD doses (up to 800 mg) compared to oral placebo (negative control) and smoked marijuana (positive control) in a sample of heavy marijuana smokers. A total of 31 participants completed the study across the three study sites: 14 women, 17 men; mean age (±SEM) was 29.1 ± 1.7 years (range: 19–49 years). Participants reported smoking marijuana 6.5 ± 0.2 days per week and lifetime regular use of 9.3 ± 1.2 years (range: 0.5–29 years); 18 participants were cigarette smokers, 13 were non-smokers. CBD was well tolerated and there were no serious adverse events related to the study medications.

Could this study imply that CBD oil can be taken orally for chronic pain without the abuse liability? It sure seems so but long term studies are required to validate this claim.