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Learn | 08.12.2022

Can CBD Help Reduce Tattoo Pain?

Before your next ink appointment, consider getting some CBD to help combat pain and inflammation.

Tattoos can be meaningful, funny, and just straight-up sexy. But what’s not so hot is the pain we experience during and after getting inked.

Even the side effects during the tattoo process aren’t all that hot. So what can you do to avoid it? First off, let’s understand what causes tattoo pain and if there’s a common and legal substance sitting under your nose that can help.

When receiving a tattoo, the artist stitches small ink blots under the skin with continuous jabs and punctures. The needle itself may hurt depending on pain tolerance and session length, and most of the time, it can cause bleeding.

If you’re getting a bigger tattoo and need to sit in the chair for a few hours, your body sends trigger responses for being in pain for that long. This includes;

  • Bodily shakes
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • A rush of adrenaline

All in all, your body responds differently when your pain sensors are constantly stimulated. That’s where CBD comes in. Let’s discuss if this cannabinoid can help with tattoo pain and how that might work.

How Can CBD Help With Tattoo Pain?

Photo by Adrian Boustead

Countless studies around CBD suggest that it’s an incredibly helpful tool for reducing the pain of any kind, mental and physical. Some studies even say it’s an analgesic, meaning it’s a general pain-reducer.

Before we explain how CBD can help with tattoo pain, we must understand our bodies endocannabinoid system. There are two different endocannabinoids present in the body, anandamide, and 2-AG.

While anandamide is known for regulating mood, cognitive functions, and memories, 2-AG is known for reducing pain, appetite, and even the growth of tumors and cancer cells.

So, when we ingest CBD, this cannabinoid directly hinders the functions of our CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning it alters endocannabinoid levels in the body.

More specifically, CBD alters levels of 2-AG in the body. This is why CBD can be so beneficial for treating pain and inflammation, especially for tattoos.

CBD & Tattoo Inflammation

Photo by Hendrew Oliveira

Now that we know a little bit more about the endocannabinoid 2-AG, we can better understand how our intake of CBD can alter this compound for our comfort.

Let’s talk a little about inflammation. When parts of our bodies become inflamed, our bodies rush blood and antibodies over to the area that’s in pain for natural healing. However, sometimes that “natural healing” is very uncomfortable and can last longer than expected.

For that reason, altering our levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG can reduce the pain that comes with inflammation and change how our bodies deal with the issue. Instead of causing more pain and tenderness, CBD can help soothe that pain by promoting increased levels of 2-AG.

So, when it comes to tattoos and CBD, there’s no harm in testing if this cannabinoid can help alter your body’s healing process in a positive way. If anything, it will reduce pain around the inflamed area and promote mental relief, so it’s a win-win situation.

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Melissa Jaramillo

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Melissa Jaramillo


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