CBD for Pain Relief: How Cannabis Can Help Manage Your Pain
Chronic pain is a quite literally, a pain in the butt.
Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. And almost 20% of American adults report some form of pain that disrupts their sleep.
Jokes aside, did you know that chronic pain costs America around $600 billion annually? This figure includes the cost of actual healthcare and the loss of productivity.
Is there any surprise that prescription painkillers are the number one category of prescribed drugs in America? They are sometimes referred to as opioids.
In 2016 alone, 215 million prescriptions for painkillers were dispensed.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are painkillers that act on receptors in the spinal cord and brain. They reduce the intensity of pain signal perception.
These medications also affect areas of the brain that control emotion. Doing so allows the effect of pain to diminish.
Opioids have been used for centuries to treat acute pain. Increasingly, they are being prescribed to treat chronic pain as well.
However - there is a slew of harmful effects to using opioids to treat pain, including reduced efficacy and addiction. The opioid crisis in America today is due to this over-reliance on prescription painkillers.
There is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that opioids are not as effective at treating chronic pain. You may have tried traditional painkillers in the past to manage your discomfort. If you found little success, you may be able to use CBD for pain relief.
What Is CBD?
CBD oil is also known as Cannabidiol oil and is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is a type of cannabinoid. It is a chemical naturally associated with marijuana and hemp plants.
However, CBD does not cause the 'high' that is often associated with cannabis. That effect comes from THC which is another form of cannabinoid.
Unlike THC, CBD does not possess psycho-active properties. Instead of getting you high, CBD is more likely to produce calm and uplift your mood. Cannabidiol also provides therapeutic effects for many conditions including anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
How Does CBD Help to Reduce Pain?
Within the human body is a receptor system called the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are molecularly similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis.
The human body uses the endocannabinoid system to protect and regulate its healthy natural state. In fact, one study has likened it to a naturally evolved harm reduction system.
When cannabinoids enter the human body, they interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This results in a biochemical response that regulates pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects.
How Do I Use CBD?
The most common way to use CBD is in its oil form. This oil can be ingested directly, or consumed in the form of pills.
CBD is also available in the form of tinctures and topical creams.
Tinctures are alcohol based extracts that tend to be less concentrated than oil. They are typically sold in dropper bottles and are available in many different levels of concentration.
Topical creams and ointments are products that can be applied directly to the skin. Most topical products are entirely non-psychoactive, no matter what the concentration of THC or CBD is. These products are especially useful for reducing inflammation. They are often recommended for people suffering from arthritic joint pain or muscle aches.
Finally, you can use CBD oil in vaporizers and sprays.
Vaporizing allows the effects of the medication to spread quickly, and avoids the harmful side-effects of smoking.
Sprays are concentrated tinctures that are sprayed under the tongue and are more discrete.
What Can CBD Help With?
CBD is used in the treatment of various types of chronic pain. Cannabidiol interacts with tiny protein receptors in the brain and immune system. Through these interactions, it activates multiple pain-relieving effects.
It can also be used for the treatment of arthritis pain. In a 2016 study, researchers administered CBD gel to rats with arthritis. They varied the dosages between the animals.
They found that higher doses reduced inflammation and pain in the rats' affected joints, without side effects.
CBD has also been used in cancer treatment, specifically to relieve the pain from cancer treatments. The National Cancer Institute has even suggested that CBD could help relieve symptoms caused by chemotherapy.
Also, CBD has been shown to be effective in the treatment of other ailments including epilepsy, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and depression.
How Is CBD For Pain Relief Better Than Conventional Painkillers?
Switching to CBD for pain relief carries many advantages over conventional medical treatment. The most significant advantage is that the risk of overdose fatality is almost nil.
Besides, CBD users do not experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be very debilitating with traditional opioid medication.
Finally, there is no denying the massive addiction problem that traditional painkillers create. In comparison, CBD treatment does not carry a significant risk of addiction.
What About Side Effects?
While the risks from CBD usage are very low, there are some side-effects. These include possible nausea, sleeping issues, and irritability.
Some people may be allergic to CBD oil on their skin, so testing the oil on a small patch of skin is recommended.
Where Can I Learn More About CBD?
So, if you're interested in exploring new therapies to manage your pain, you may want to consider CBD for pain relief. Head on over to our website and schedule a doctor's appointment. We'll help you figure out if cannabis treatment can help you.
If you have questions about treatment options or specific products, you can contact us and leave a note. Someone from our team will get in touch with you to address any questions you may have about CBD for pain relief.