Is CBD the Answer for Pain Relief?

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CBD is an emerging name when it comes to health and wellness. For the uninitiated, CBD is a powerful analgesic compound derived from the cannabis plant that medical experts recommend for the treatment of various conditions. Due to its immense analgesic properties, cannabidiol is mostly effective against diseases that are symptomized by pain.

However, CBD can also be helpful for inflammatory conditions, anxiety disorders, mental diseases, sleep disorders, age-related conditions, etc. It’s generally contrasted against tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a euphoria-inducing compound of the cannabis plant. *

How Does CBD Work for Pain Relief?

Over the past few years, the demand for cannabis products has been on a steady rise. This has led to many cultivators investing in lab-tested cannabis seeds that really work as a way of producing more cannabis to offset the ever-soaring demand. Maybe you’re thinking along the same lines too. Or perhaps you’re a potential consumer wondering how you’ll benefit from the pain-relieving properties of one or more of the cannabis plant products like CBD.

To understand how cannabidiol treats pain, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system refers to a cell-signaling system responsible for stabilizing the body’s normal homeostatic balance. The system plays a crucial role in relieving various medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, etc.

Your endocannabinoid system is made up of endogenous cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, as well as signal receptors known as endocannabinoid receptors. The main receptors in the endocannabinoid system include CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are widespread in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral cells, tissues, and organs.

Now, when you suffer an injury or medical condition that causes pain, the pain signals are registered on your endocannabinoid system. A complex cell-signaling mechanism involving your endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors relay those signals to your brain and the brain coordinates the body’s defenses against the cause of pain.

Sometimes, these cell-signaling processes may not be so effective, especially for people with a compromised immune system. Therefore, it takes longer for your body to treat pain.

When you consume CBD, the phytocannabinoids travel to your endocannabinoid system and alter the chemical structure of your endocannabinoid receptors, mostly the CB2 receptors. Once their chemical formulae have been altered, your endogenous cannabinoids can now bind more effectively to these receptors, resulting in a faster relief from pain. CBD also contains neuroprotective properties that inhibit glutamate neurotoxicity, thereby promoting nerve functions.  I have no knowledge this is physiologically TRUE…

What Types of Pain Can CBD Treat?

Cannabidiol works on both nociceptive and neuropathic pains. Nociceptive pain, which is the most common type of pain, results from the stimulation of pain receptors (nociceptors) that are located in tissues and organs around the body. Most nociceptive pains are acute and result from a sudden injury to a body tissue. Some of the causes of nociceptive pain include accidents leading to bone fractures, surgical operation, cuts and burns, dental work, childbirth, etc.

On the other hand, neuropathic pain refers to pain that results from a continued exertion of pressure on the nerves. Neuropathic pains are generally signs of underlying medical conditions and common causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraines
  • Nerve damage pain

What Does Research Say?

Cannabidiol has shown immense positive results as far as pain treatment goes and there’s plenty of research to back that up. In this study from The European Journal of Pain, CBD was shown to help

treat pain in arthritic rats. After applying CBD topically on the rats for four days, researchers observed a significant reduction in pain and inflammation. While the studies were conducted on rats, it’s easy to extend the results to humans, seeing as all animals have a near-similar endocannabinoid system.

In addition to arthritis, the effects of CBD on multiple sclerosis are also well-documented. One report from the NIH investigated such effects discovered that short-term application of CBD could help to reduce spasticity in MS patients. Spasticity is the main symptom of multiple sclerosis and managing it using CBD goes a long way in helping to treat the condition.

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a growing number of medical researchers and lobby groups advocating for the use of cannabis products for cancer management. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that alleviates inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory messenger activity. According to the National Cancer Institute, those anti-inflammatory properties are useful in fighting cancer. Cannabidiol also shows positive results in treating various symptoms of chemotherapy including the nausea, vomiting, pain, and lack of appetite, although its partner, THC, demonstrates remarkable effects in the treatment of these same symptoms.

People suffering from migraines can also benefit immensely from cannabidiol’s pain-relieving benefits, according to a 2017 report, again by the NIH.  In this study, CBD was used alongside THC to relieve acute pain associated with migraines.

What is the Best Way to Take CBD for Pain Relief?

One of the best things about cannabidiol is that there are numerous ways to consume it. You can vaporize CBD oil, ingest via inhalation (i.e. smoking), consume CBD tinctures sublingually, apply CBD-infused ointments topically, swallow capsules, or eat CBD edibles.

Generally, the method you choose depends on the medical condition you’re treating. For instance, if you’re treating pain and inflammation resulting from a physical injury, you might consider using CBD-infused salves. If the pain is due to a severe neuropathic condition, along with CBD oil tinctures.

Perhaps the more pertinent question isn’t the method of administration but the right dose. CBD has no ideal dose. Instead, the amount of cannabidiol that you consume typically depends on how severe the pain is, as well as the strength of CBD in the product. For instance, while 50 mg of CBD might work for a mild backache, you may need higher doses to relieve acute pain induced by a surgical operation or a neurodegenerative disease.

Other factors that determine the amount of CBD to take for pain relief include the delivery method, your metabolic rate, and individual sensitivity or tolerance to CBD.

Evidently, CBD potentially does work for pain relief. However, before integrating cannabidiol into your life…our recommendation is to always consult with a medical professional, and purchase from a reputed source.

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