The Placebo Effect in Pain Management With CBD

The Relationship Between Pain Management With CBD and the Placebo Effect

Those dealing with chronic pain may have already heard about the powerful pain-relieving effects of cannabidiol (CBD). New research, however, suggests that while CBD can help users cope with pain, it may be at least partially due to the placebo effect.

The link between CBD for pain relief and the placebo effect was investigated by researchers at Syracuse University in NY.

While quality CBD oils, CBD creams, and other CBD products are thought to have pharmacological properties to ease pain, the study uncovered that patients’ expectations could significantly impact how well it works.

According to the study’s lead author, Martin De Vita, telling a patient that a drug can help them feel better causes considerable changes in their sensitivity to pain. De Vita referred to these changes as “expectancy effects.”

He added that the research team hypothesized the expectancy-induced placebo effect would be the predominant outcome. Surprisingly, they discovered changes in pain measures due to both the psychological effects of the patients’ expectations and CBD’s pharmacological properties.

What’s even more interesting is that the tests yielded conflicting results. For instance, CBD’s pharmacological effects mostly impacted one aspect of pain, whereas the participants’ expectancy affected another.

Medical News Today cited De Vita as explaining why it’s essential to explore both the psychological and pharmacological effects of substances—especially when dealing with pain research. By improving the understanding of how they affect people, researchers can help consumers, patients, and providers make more informed decisions in the future.

De Vita further noted that this was the very first human experimental pain research on CBD. Naturally, more work is needed to determine the benefits of using it for chronic pain management.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

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