CBD for temporomandibular joint pain.

TMJ pain, or temporomandibular joint pain, will affect between 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 people at some time in their lives so, researchers asked “could marijuana for TMJ pain be an effective option?”.

Researchers had study participants apply topical CBD ointment to the jaw area. Half of the participants got CBD and the other half only had ointment with no CBD in it. Neither group knew if they were receiving CBD or not.

Participants had pain and muscle tension assessments before and after 14 days so the groups could be compared.  This article will explore this study of CBD for temporomandibular joint pain.

How do I use Marijuana for TMJ Pain?

tmj pain

In this study of CBD for TMJ pain, researchers mixed CBD with a carrier. A carrier is a product that essentially can help “carry” a medicine through the skin. This way it can affect the underlying muscle, tissue or bone. There are a number of carriers that could work to accomplish this.

If you decide to try this yourself, a compounding pharmacist should have products on hand and be able to provide a similar formulation and even guide you, so that you can mix your own. There is ongoing research to determine the best types of carriers for CBD, so see what your pharmacist recommends. This is an area of great interest and new information is available regularly.

What they did

In this study, the carrier ointment contained paraffin, cholesterol and vaseline. 5 grams of ointment was mixed with 2 grams of 20% CBD, and 3 grams of purified water and the control group received the same formulation without the CBD.

First, they tested a small patch on their forearms to ensure there were no allergies to either the CBD or the carrier. Then study participants rubbed a pea size dab of either the placebo or the CBD ointment over their jaw muscles twice a day for 2 weeks and then returned to measure muscle tension and TMJ pain.

So, did CBD work for TMJ pain?

In a nutshell, yes.

There was a statistically significant difference between the placebo group and the group that received the CBD. The CBD group had a 70% reduction in pain, versus the placebo group that had just under a 10% reduction.

The effect of CBD was also seen in muscle tension, measured by electromyography or EMG. The group that used the CBD ointment, had on average an 11.8% reduction in EMG activity and the placebo group had a reduction of 1.8% which was not statistically significant

What else can work for TMJ pain?

From simple exercises like these, to using a plastic night guard, oral and topical anti-inflammatories and pain killers, there are a number of options to treat your TMJ pain. More aggressive options may include cortisone injection, and even surgery.

TMJ pain, often associated with bruxism, or “grinding” the teeth is a painful, chronic condition that affects millions of people. Some find stress exacerbates it, sometimes it is the result of an injury.

Whatever the cause, if you are suffering from TMJ pain, and have tried some basic solutions and are still seeking relief, I hope that the review of this study was of interest to you.

Talk to your doctor or dentist to determine if marijuana for TMJ pain might be an option to help you be well.

be well,
Mark Churman, M.D., C.C.F.P.

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