In groundbreaking research published this month in the Journal of Dental Research, scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Texas revealed that CBD, a cannabis compound could offer a potent and safe alternative to opioids for managing acute dental pain.
According to the study’s authors, “This novel study can catalyze the use of CBD as an alternative analgesic to opioids for acute inflammatory pain conditions (…) which could ultimately help to address the opioid epidemic,” reported Marijuana Moment.
CBD’s Effectiveness In Dental Pain Relief
- The researchers administered a single dose of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved CBD drug Epidiolex to adults experiencing moderate to severe toothache.
- The study compared the effects of CBD with a placebo, monitoring participants over three hours.
- The results demonstrated that both CBD groups, receiving different doses of the compound, experienced a substantial reduction in pain compared to the placebo group and their baseline pain levels.
- Comparable Efficacy to Analgesic Regimens: The study concluded that a single dose of CBD is as potent as current analgesic regimens commonly used for emergency dental pain.
- Faster Pain Relief with Higher CBD Dose: Participants receiving a higher CBD dose (10 mg/kg) reported a faster onset of significant pain relief (15 minutes) compared to the lower dose group (30 minutes).
- Bite Force Improvement: CBD treatment not only relieved pain but also increased subjects’ bite force, a crucial factor in maintaining nutrition and quality of life for dental patients.
- Number Needed to Treat (NNT): The NNT for the higher CBD dose was 2.4, indicating its efficacy in providing at least 50 percent pain relief. This places CBD treatment in a comparable range to the standard opioid mixture used in dentistry.
Safety Considerations: While the study demonstrated CBD’s effectiveness, researchers noted some side effects, including sedation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain associated with the CBD groups. However, these effects were deemed manageable and did not overshadow the compound’s overall safety profile.
Lead author Vanessa Chrepa emphasized the significance of these findings, anticipating that a “larger phase 3 trial will be the next step to get FDA approval for Epidiolex or other pure CBD solutions to use for dental pain management.”
“I am looking forward to translating this into common practice. It will tremendously help patients with acute toothache and possibly other acute inflammatory pain conditions,” she said
In 2019, Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO at National Holistic Healthcare and a former research scientist at Colgate-Palmolive Co. CL, also observed “efficacy in patients with oral care diseases using CBD for pain relief and inflammation.”