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Using CBD Before and After Surgery

Having surgery can be scary and/or exciting, depending on your reason and outlook. After surgery comes recovery. More and more people today are looking for non-narcotic alternative ways, such as using CBD to help with recovery after surgery. 

When combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy, exercise, and supplements, CBD can assist with discomfort and inflammation. Incorporating all or some of these is important to help achieve long lasting pain control and faster healing. 

Below are common questions and suggestions to help make your recovery a quick as possible and successful.

Taking CBD Before Surgery

Prior to surgery, stress is already present physically and mentally, resulting in increased cortisol levels in the body, Cortisol is the body’s natural stress hormone. High levels of cortisol are not good. It can lead to sleep issues, unwanted weight gain, and mood swings. CBD naturally decreases cortisol, which is helpful to the body as it prepares for surgery. For example, let’s say your surgery is a few months out. Adding a CBD topical and/or ingestible may be worth exploring.  If you are taking CBD, especially internally via an oil or edible, it’s important let your surgeon know you are using CBD. They may have you stop taking CBD before and immediately after surgery to insure you have a safe and successful operation.

Using CBD After Surgery

Some people want to use CBD as an alternative to narcotic pain medications post surgery. Narcotic pain medications should only be used short term, if at all, due to several concerns. Addiction is one of the highest concerns along with undesirable side effects such as nausea, memory issues, constipation and feeling groggy. In contrast, CBD is non-addictive, won’t leave you groggy if it has no THC, and may help nausea and inflammation. For people suffering from addiction or concerned about taking CBD with THC, it is important to note that all Nature’s Gem ingestible products are THC free. It’s equally important to talk with your doctor about alternative pain medications and your concerns. 

Post Operative Nerve Pain (Zingers)

Surgery procedures may involve in cutting through tissue, muscle and nerves. An unpleasant side effect may result in what I call “zingers” or post operative neuropathic pain. These are a sudden, sharp, stabbing pains that come out of nowhere, and sometimes takes your breath away because it feel like being stung with cattle prod. I personally have never been cattle prodded, but if I was, I’m assuming it would feel like a zinger.

According to a study at the NIH, nerve damage from surgery can “produce chemical, structural and functional changes in the peripheral (PNS) and central nervous (CNS) systems”. Sometimes they go away over time and other times they do not and are chronic. Our bodies have CBD receptors in the CNS making it a desired resource to consider in helping with post operative neuropathic pain. 

Talk with your doctor about using CBD oil as a potential way to keep zingers from happening so much. If your doctor is a CBD advocate, the max oil is the go to for our post surgery and recovery recommendation. It’s strong, so on the days you may need more, it does the job. On the better days, take less. 

Topical CBD, such as Nature’s Gem Balms , can help itching, stinging, and pain arising after surgery. CBD topical or oil should never be applied directly to an open wound, stitches or staples, because it may cause infection, irritation or delay healing. Once stitches and/or staples are removed, we recommend talking with your surgeon and waiting until everything is closed before applying a topical CBD to the wound. For facial or laser procedures, our face cream calms the skin and restores moisture without clogging pores. Many customers use this after laser facial treatments to speed up healing.

Walking/Moving After Surgery

Walking after surgery is one of the most important things you can do after having a procedure. It may seem like a simple thing, but a short walk every hour or two can help prevent complications like blood clots and pneumonia. It’s also a way to help relieve constipation often times resulting from anesthesia. Walking is a gentle way to return to physical activity and eventually return to regular activities. You may have discomfort, such as inflammation and more pain at first when moving, and other areas of the body may be sore as they have to work harder to compensate for the area injured. Using a CBD topical on these areas including around the wound (not on it at first) can help with this discomfort.

Physical Therapy and Exercises after Surgery

Physical therapy is often recommended after surgery to help move and strengthen your body as it heals. Although physical therapy can be time consuming, it is one of the best ways to heal from surgery and well worth the effort. It’s important to find a good physical therapist, which is why we encourage asking others for recommendations. You may feel increased inflammation, pain and fatigue during and after your PT session in the beginning. This is quite normal as your body is healing and recovering. Incorporate CBD epsom soak and topically as part of your physical therapy regime as your reward for hard working and healing muscles, tendons and areas.

It’s important to remember – every body is different, which is why you should listen to your body. If you over do it, your body will let you know, sometimes humbly with more pain or worse –  reinjury. Conversely, not moving or doing physical therapy exercises, can lead to chronic pain, excessive scar tissue, and undesirable movement and healing. Our advice – slow and steady wins the recovery race. Movement heals the body, non-movement steals the body. 

Taking CBD After Healed From Injury

Once  healed, CBD should be a part of your overall health and wellness regime, to use as needed. For example, you may find your scar hurting in colder weather. Consider rubbing a Nature’s Gem topical on the scar tissue.


Anxiety is another issue when trying to return to normal activities. Using CBD oil or gummies may be something to consider.  Some people prefer to take CBD daily for maintenance, like a vitamin. Whatever the case, CBD products provide a resource and tool for your health and wellness toolbox.

Final Thoughts About Using CBD For Surgery

We can’t stress this enough, be your own health advocate. You are in the driver seat when it comes to your health and wellness. You are not alone. We are here to help your recovery and be part of your team. Talk with your surgeon and care team about all your questions and concerns. If you want a second, third, fourth, ninth opinion, get one. You are in the drivers seat when it comes to your body and your health.

If you wish to consider CBD as part of your surgery journey, please feel free to contact Lisa@naturesgemcbd.com to discuss your surgery and our products.

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