New Study Indicates Placebo Effect May Play a Role in Effectiveness of CBD

Using CBD as a pain reliever could not only reduce your pain intensity, but it may make you feel less unpleasant , according to researchers.

A small study by researchers at Syracuse University suggests that the placebo effect may play a role in cannabidiol’s (CBD) ability to provide relief for chronic pain.

Research Study: Placebo Effect and CBD

Researchers recruited 15 participants — who were randomly assigned CBD or a placebo and received information about the substances they were given.

In some cases, participants were told they were given CBD when they actually received a placebo and vice versa. The study was published in the Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology journal in April.

In this study, participants who received the active CBD with the expectation that they were receiving CBD reported having a higher threshold and tolerance for pain than those who received active CBD but believed they were receiving a placebo. Therefore, the research suggests that “verbally emphasizing the positive and realistic effects of CBD on pain, without overemphasizing negative side effects, may optimize” its benefits.

CBD and Pain

The researchers found, after measuring participant’s pain outcomes, that both, the pharmacological effects of CBD and the psychological effects of just expecting they’d receive CBD, helped relieve feelings of pain. Do you feel this is accurate?

Vernon Williams, MD, pain management specialist and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, states that how individuals views CBD and cannabis may potentially play a role in its effects. “This whole concept of whether people may or may not have a kind of some negative predisposition to cannabis, particularly as relates to the stigma of ‘is this making someone high or intoxicated’ interests me,” he stated.

“Whereas younger adults may use CBD recreationally or as part of a health/lifestyle regimen, older adults may be motivated to use CBD to treat conditions that commonly co-occur with aging, such as chronic pain.”

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