What is DMSO used for?

What is DMSO used for?

| Spencer Beaudreault

If you’ve just read the title of this article, you’re probably asking yourself several important questions:

  • What is DMSO?
  • What is DMSO used for?
  • How does DMSO work?

Dimethyl Sulfoxide, or DMSO is a substance that was first created in 1866. It originally was used as an industrial solvent, and is commonly found during the process of papermaking. DMSO became a highly important substance in the solvent industry, as it’s nontoxic nature provided a safer alternative to many solvents. DMSO could be used in various paint-stripping formulations, it could be used as an effective cleaner for equipment lines and manufacturing equipment itself, and it was even used in the manufacturing process of various polymers.

dmso structure

But why does this matter for the everyday individual?

In 1963, it was found that Dimethyl Sulfoxide could be used for more than just industrial applications.

Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University found that DMSO could be used in several medical situations, as they found that DMSO had the ability to penetrate skin and other membranes without damaging the human body. Because of this finding, DMSO soon began being used as a vehicle of sorts to bring various other medications to the human body effectively. This opened the door for DMSO to be used as a means of applying various other medications without the fear of damaging the individual receiving this medication. Further trials and research soon began, and in 1978 the FDA approved dimethyl sulfoxide for this very use.

And, while we now understand the benefits of using DMSO as a vehicle for these medications, we are still learning about the many other aches and pains that DMSO may very well help to alleviate. Yes, there may be further evidence that indicates DMSO benefits the human body in many respects not as a vehicle for medication, but in it’s own right! The benefits of the use of DMSO have been known by medical professionals for quite some time, but DMSO has been flying under the radar for most individual consumers for years.

But what are some of the other ways that DMSO can potentially benefit us in our daily lives?

Here are just a few known benefits for users of DMSO as well as several potential benefits that DMSO may provide to users:


DMSO Benefits

DMSO is believed to benefit those who suffer from a wide variety of disorders and ailments. In fact, the FDA has approved DMSO for those who suffer from interstitial cystitis, also known commonly as bladder pain syndrome, or BPS. DMSO helps to relax the bladder and alleviate some of the discomfort and inflammation associated with this painful disorder. As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing, dimethyl sulfoxide is the only FDA-approved bladder instillation that is used specifically for bladder pain syndrome.

In addition to BPS, DMSO uses may very well include pain relief in a wide variety of areas. In fact, many users have experienced relief when using DMSO for knee pain, as it is believed that the substance can assist with much of the inflammation that commonly arises in this joint. The swelling in joints such as knees and ankles often are the main cause of the pain and discomfort experienced. Therefore the inflammatory properties that DMSO may possess has the potential to alleviate some if not all of the discomfort in inflamed joints.

DMSO reaction for back pain

Others commonly use DMSO for back pain, as it’s anti-inflammatory properties may again prove to be beneficial in such an area that is so prone to inflammation. Back pain can be debilitating, as any motion or physical exertion can lead to further damage and further pain. By allowing the muscles in the back to relax and loosen up some of the inflammation, someone suffering from such an ailment can quite literally change their day-to-day life. While further research is needed, there are many who claim to receive assistance in gaining back control of their lives through DMSO treatment.


DMSO Treatment

DMSO treatment generally consists of applying the DMSO topically to affected areas. This allows the DMSO to penetrate the skin and reach the areas that may be aching. Rather than taking various pills and painkillers, DMSO may provide those who struggle with both daily pain as well as general soreness with the alleviation necessary for them to go on about their daily lives. DMSO is non-narcotic, so you don’t have to worry about the potential for dependence or an alteration in your mood or perception. DMSO Roll on applicators are fairly common, and many prefer this method to purchasing DMSO oil on it’s own. In addition to this, by combining DMSO and another anti-inflammatory such as CBD oil may allow the CBD oil to utilize the DMSO in order to fully permeate the skin and provide quicker and more efficient relief. A quick application when you’re feeling soreness or pain and the DMSO may bring some comfort to an area in need. Other such ailments that many use DMSO for include headaches, scars, scleroderma, and even rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may find that DMSO gives them the ability to get out of bed and get their day started during flare ups. Burns and various wounds may also gain benefits from DMSO during the healing process, as the inflammation can cause the healing process for such injuries to be very painful. Those who suffer from diseases and disorders such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and chronic pain may find that DMSO is a better alternative to the various pain medications that they are prescribed, as often these pain medications come with a wide variety of side-effects that can exacerbate their existing conditions in the long run. An increasingly more popular use for DMSO is amongst patients who are currently going through chemotherapy. Some chemotherapy patients have used DMSO in order to help assist them with the notorious and highly-varied side effects associated with chemotherapy.

 DMSO topical Roll On


DMSO Risks

The benefits of anti-inflammatory drugs have been known for years. Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Midol, and Aleve are all brand names for anti-inflammatory drugs that most people have in their medicine cabinets. These house-hold medications are used daily by some to help them with pain and inflammation. If you have a headache? Take Aspirin. If your back hurts? Take some Aleve. Menstrual cramping? Take Midol. These are everyday problems and NSAIDs are the everyday solution for a vast majority of individuals.

Yet, the risks associated with these medications are high when used regularly, and can lead to terrible problems through use and abuse. In addition to this, many simply cannot take these medications due to issues such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, heart disease, and ulcers. These non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, all have the ability to not only be ineffective, but to cause severe intestinal damage and organ damage when overused or even when used too regularly.

DMSO Risks

DMSO doesn’t have these risks. It has not been shown to cause such severe damage to the body, but that isn’t to say there are no side effects associated with the use of DMSO. In high concentrations, DMSO may cause damage for those who already suffer from liver or kidney damage, although it is not believed that DMSO can cause such issues for those who do not have these pre-existing conditions. In addition to this, being that it acts as such an effective vehicle to allow substances to penetrate the skin, DMSO can allow uninvited substances into your skin and blood stream. This is why it is stressed to clean the area before you apply DMSO to your skin. You don’t want to run the risk of allowing whatever is on the outside of your skin to get into your system. Like every brand and substance that you purchase and use, you should also highly research the companies and brands that are making DMSO to ensure that the product you are using is both safe and free from various unwanted contaminants. DMSO itself is safe when used properly, but the same cannot be said for whatever additives or substances may be used during the manufacturing of DMSO. Be aware of where you’re getting DMSO from, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Other small side effects that some users may experience are stomach aches, dry skin, nausea, and a garlic-like odor that can permeate from the body.

While no side-effects are necessarily good side-effects, every substance that you ingest has them. When comparing DMSO with the side-effects of many common NSAIDS, it appears that DMSO may in fact be safer in some aspects than many of the medications that so many people use daily. While research on DMSO is always ongoing, there are many aspects about the substance that may very well provide real comfort and benefit to those who suffer with a wide variety of aches, pains, and ailments.


The Final Verdict

In short, DMSO is not a wonder drug or substance. In fact, no substance is. There are pros and cons to ingesting or utilizing any substance, be it organic or synthetic. However, when it comes to the choice between using synthetic drugs such as NSAIDS or other painkillers, the danger is very much known and very much real. If you’re dealing with pain and inflammation, talk with your doctor and, as always, do your research. Dimethyl sulfoxide may very well provide you with the ability to get through your day happy, healthy, and pain free. We at Hero Brands highly recommend our DMSO Roll On, packed with 1500mg of CBD, Arnica, Eucalyptus, Glutathione, Turmeric and MCT Oil. 

Spencer Beaudreault

Spencer Beaudreault is the Founder of Hero Brands, a Business Development & Marketing Expert, and a lifelong advocate & user of cannabis, hemp, & plant-based alternatives.