Preclinical studies have demonstrated the analgesic potential of cannabidiol (CBD). Those suggesting an effect on pain-processing receptors have brought CBD back into focus. This study assessed the effect of CBD on acute pain, hyperalgesia, and allodynia compared with placebo. Twenty healthy volunteers were included in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover study assessing pain intensities (using numeric rating scale), secondary hyperalgesia (von Frey filament), and allodynia (dry cotton swab) in a well-established acute pain model with intradermal electrical stimulation. The authors compared the effect of 800-mg orally administered CBD on pain compared with placebo. They further examined the effect on hyperalgesia and allodynia. Cannabidiol whole blood levels were also measured. Pain ratings (mean ± SD) did not differ significantly after CBD application compared with placebo (5.2 ± 0.7 vs 5.3 ± 0.7, P-value 0.928), neither did the areas of hyperalgesia and allodynia differ significantly after CBD application compared with placebo (hyperalgesia 23.9 ± 19.2 cm2 vs 27.4 ± 17.0 cm2, P-value 0.597; allodynia 16.6 ± 13.1 cm2 vs 17.3 ± 14.1 cm2, P-value 0.884). The CBD whole blood level (median, first to third quartile) was 2.0 µg/L (1.5-5.1) 60 minutes and 5.0 µg/L (4.0-10.4) 130 minutes after CBD application. Although the oral application of 800-mg CBD failed to show a significant effect, it is important to focus future research on different dosing, routes of administration, and CBD as a part of multimodal treatment strategies before negating its effects on acute pain.
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