A recent study tested the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol in relieving emergency dental pain.
In a study titled “Cannabidiol as an Alternative Analgesic for Acute Dental Pain,” published last month in the Journal of Dental Research, researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio tested the possibility that cannabidiol (CBD) could work effectively as an alternative pain reliever for emergency dental pain (1). Initially, researchers hypothesized that CBD, in this case Epidiolex, could cause at least 30% reduction in pain at a minimum (1). The clinical trial, randomized and placebo-controlled, placed 61 patients ages 18-75 years old with moderate to severe tooth pain in three groups—CBD10, CBD20, or the placebo—and administered the dose according to their group, monitoring the patients for three hours afterwards (1).
The researchers measured pain difference with a visual analog scale (VAS), and also measured differences in pain intensity, maximum pain relief, and change in bite forces (1). “Both CBD groups resulted in significant VAS pain reduction compared to their baseline and the placebo group, with a maximum median VAS pain reduction of 73% from baseline pain at the 180-min time point,” researchers stated in the Abstract (1). Additionally, pain relief in the CBD20 group was achieved 15 minutes after the administration compared to 30 minutes for the CBD10 group, and both groups showed noticeable increases in bite forces while the placebo group did not (1).
Side effects associated with the CBD groups but not with the placebo group included sedation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, yet there were no instances of psychotropic effects or mood changes (1).
Researchers cited the limited options for nonopioid pain relievers and stated that this study provides the first clinical evidence of the effectiveness of CBD as a dental pain reliever (1). “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,” the researchers concluded in the Discussion (1).