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Do Legal THC Products Help Boost The Pain Relieving Effects of CBD?

In this article we look at cannabinoid synergy and the effects that different ratios of THC:CBD has on pain relief. Our goal was to find the perfect combination for maximum relief. These are our findings.
THC and CBD for pain

Some links in this article may be affiliate links that pay us a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Finding the Perfect THC:CBD Balance

As we learn more about cannabinoids it is becoming more and more evident that, due to cannabinoid synergy, CBD and THC can produce more potent analgesic effects when taken together than they can on their own.

With the recent emergence of legal THC’s, such as Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, and now it’s even possible to buy hemp-derived Delta-9 THC, I wondered, could we combine these new legal THC compounds with CBD to provide better pain relief? 

We all know that there’s only one way to find out, so we put it to the test with people that really need it.

Using CBD and THC for pain

Up to 40% of US adults are thought to suffer from some type of chronic pain. If you want to learn more about the research on using CBD for pain then I previously wrote an article that discusses the subject in depth

I don’t personally suffer from chronic pain, but I do know plenty of people that do. A great number of my close friends and family experience pain in their daily lives, with causes as wide-ranging as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and arthritis.

As a highly empathetic individual, I’m as keen as the next person to find out if there is a way to make CBD even more effective as an analgesic, which is why carrying these tests were of particular interest to me.

Evidence-Based Experience

Dr Mikhail Kogan and Joan Liebmann-Smith recently wrote a book entitled “Medical Marijuana: Dr. Kogan’s Evidence-Based Guide to the Health Benefits of Cannabis and CBD” and part of the book was adapted for an article published on Project CBD

It presents some of his clinic-based experience of using CBD and THC to treat pain patients. He’s seen evidence in his clinic that while CBD alone has been very effective in treating pain for some people, many of his patients have also needed at least some amount of THC to achieve the desired results. 

This suggests that pain sufferers should avoid buying broad-spectrum and isolate CBD, which contain no THC, instead opting for full-spectrum products or even more potent THC-infused products.

Interestingly, Dr Kogan also noted that when CBD was combined with the terpene beta-caryophyllene it also produced more enhanced pain-relieving effects. So, if you’re smoking CBD flower for pain relief, it makes sense to choose strains that offer higher levels of this particular terpene over others.

Other lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBDA and CBG, have also been found to be effective in treating pain in animal studies, and although human research is lacking, an increasing number of physicians are noticing that these cannabinoids are also helping decrease their patient’s pain levels.

Testing CBD and THC Together

Like Dr Kogan has experienced in his practice, some people I know personally swear by the effectiveness of using CBD on its own (and I love hearing about how CBD has given them a “new lease of life”), but I also meet people that don’t get the pain relief they need from CBD. 

Unfortunately, due to widespread prohibition of cannabis and hemp over the last century, there is a large knowledge gap when it comes to which cannabinoids, combinations, and ratios may be best for treating pain. But increasing availability of legal hemp-derived THC’s (including Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10) are allowing more people to try different combinations of cannabinoids, and I wanted to put it to the test too.

The product’s we tested included Legal Delta-9 THC & CBD Gummies from Absolute Nature, Delta-8-infused CBD pre rolls from Secret Nature, and a selection of Delta-8 and Delta-9 edibles from Snapdragon Hemp.

Read more about different types of legal THC with the links below:

Delta 9 THC gummies for pain

As the name implies, Absolute Nature uses an all-natural, full spectrum approach when creating their products. This means that when you take their gummies, you can enjoy a wide array of cannabinoids, including CBG, CBC, CBN (and over 100 more), as well as a decent amount of CBD and THC.

Overall, Absolute Nature’s Gummies came out on top when it came to relieving pain across the board.

The gummies took a little while to take effect, but the testers all agreed that they felt that the Delta-9 THC provided a more well-rounded, potent, and thorough approach to pain management than any of the Delta-8 products tested.

Some of the testers took one gummy as and when needed, but one tester upped their intake to two gummies and found the best pain relief they’d had in years! Absolute Nature also sent over a CBD topical for our testers to try and these gummies, combined with the CBD Relief & Recovery Roll-On, was apparently a godsend for arthritis sufferers.

Pros

  • Most effective pain relief overall
  • Comprehensively tested for purity and potency
  • Best dose for the majority of people

Cons

  • Most expensive option

View their website

Secret Nature

Delta 8 THC pre rolls for pain

These joints are rolled with freshly ground CBD and CBG flower and infused with Delta-8 and THCV. The CBD flower used is Indoor Frosted Kush and Secret OG to create an uplifting hybrid blend.

Overall, these D8 joints worked fairly well at relieving pain. If you enjoy smoking then CBD flower, pre rolls, and joints are one of the best ways to enjoy over 100 naturally-occurring cannabinoids that exist in the hemp plant.

The general consensus was that they were slightly more effective than normal CBD joints and the testers really liked the fact that they were so fast-acting. However, they also commented that they were less enjoyable to smoke than normal CBD joints as they were more harsh on the throat. 

The effects also weren’t as long-lasting as the gummies and edibles, meaning that they had to consume the product more often to keep the pain at bay.

Pros

  • Fastest-acting pain relief
  • Perfectly rolled pre rolls

Cons

  • Harsh to smoke
  • Not as long-lasting as the gummies and edibles

View their website

Snapdragon Hemp

D8 THC brownies

Snapdragon Hemp sent over a selection of Delta-8 edibles, including brownies, cookies, cereal treats, hazelnut spread, and honey sticks. Each baked product is stamped with a date, so you know exactly when it was baked, although there was a date missing on one of the products that must have slipped through the net.

All of the edibles tasted great and the testers appreciated having such a wide range of types and flavors to try. The main negative comments to come to light were that the brownie was a little on the dry side and the hazelnut spread was hard to get out of the packaging and impossible to accurately dose without some messy measuring involved, so perhaps would be better for recreational use.

However, the higher amount of THC wasn’t suitable for everyone involved as it made them feel more intoxicated than they wanted and another drawback is the fact that Snapdragon Hemp doesn’t offer full panel testing for their products. 

Snapdragon Hemp test for potency only, which is a real shame because they really have some great tasting edible options available at very competitive prices.

Pros

  • Effective pain relief – especially the Delta-9 “Magnum” Cookies
  • More affordable prices
  • Best range of edibles and flavors

Cons

  • Not tested for purity or safety

View their website

The Conclusion: Delta-9 THC With CBD For Pain

It became obvious, very quickly, that Delta-9 THC combined with CBD was much more effective at relieving pain than Delta-8 combined with CBD. Almost all of the testers also commented on the fact that Delta-8, whether smoked or eaten, has more of a chemical feel to it than Delta-9 (something I’ve also noticed myself in the past).

If you’re on a tight budget then it’s worth checking out Snapdragon Hemp’s Magnum Cookies, but I would like to see them offer more thorough testing on their products in the future. I especially worry about the long-term effects of harmful pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents that may be present in the products.

If you’re looking for the safest and most effective pain relief, Absolute Nature’s Delta-9 THC and CBD Gummies should be your go-to choice. If your pain is in your joints and limbs, then I also highly recommend their Pain-Relief Roll-On too. At $50 per jar of gummies, they’re not the cheapest option around, but they are the safest and most reliable option.

Read about the effects of CBDV here

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