Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a term that’s gained quite a traction in the medical world. A substance that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, CBD doesn’t result in the “high” that is typically linked to cannabis. In fact, the “high” feeling is a result of using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another kind of cannabinoid.
So, why has CBD gained so much popularity recently? Well, studies suggest that topical CBD products, CBD oil, in particular, provide a remedy for chronic pain and decrease inflammation, pain, and discomfort linked to different health conditions.
Due to these benefits, it is a valuable alternative for people suffering from chronic pain and, hence, turn to stronger medications for relief. Such drugs, while useful, tend to result in side effects and cause dependency.
While research on CBD and its possible results are still ongoing, the future looks promising. Using CBD for pain is only going to become more common soon.
Types of CBD Products
CBD is available in a variety of forms, and whichever type you choose depends on what you need to use CBD for. These forms typically include the following:
Tinctures and oils: Liquid infused with CBD is taken orally by placing it under your tongue with a dropper. This form is excellent for people who aren’t comfortable taking capsules or pills.
Lotions and creams: These topical treatments are great for joint and muscle pain. They can also be used for skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.
Capsules and pills: Such forms are commonly used to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders and may take some time to take effect once ingested.
Edibles: Ingesting gummies is one of the most common ways for CBD intake due to the taste, portability, affordability, and precision.
Vaping: This form is the fastest way to experience the effects of CBD. Once CBD is inhaled through e-cigarettes, for instance, its compounds are directly absorbed into your bloodstream.
CBD For Pain Relief
Here are four ways CBD can help with pain:
Every person’s body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling system. According to research, what makes CBD effective is the impact it has on the endocannabinoid receptors found in a person’s immune system and brain.
These receptors are linked to a person’s cells and receive chemical signals from various stimuli and allow your cells to react. This reaction is what results in pain relief and anti-inflammation and, hence, helps manage chronic pain, such as post-trauma pain, back pain, and post-surgical pain.
Arthritis Pain Relief
Today, arthritis affects around 54 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The two most common kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The former is a degenerative disease that affects the bones and joints cartilage in the thumb, hip, and knee joints. The latter is an autoimmune disease where a person’s immune system attacks the joints and causes inflammation. It often occurs in the hands and feet.
While using CBD to treat pain related to arthritis does have a positive outlook, research has only been conducted on rats. Considerable research still needs to be carried out to prove if CBD is as effective in this area as it seems to be.
Cancer Treatment Pain Relief
Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, come with their side effects, such as nausea, loss of appetite, and pain. According to research, CBD eases these side effects and also helps reduce inflammation and anxiety that results from these treatments.
Throughout history, cannabis has been used as pain relief for headaches. While research isn’t specific, it does suggest that substances found in the cannabis plant result in therapeutic effects for headaches, especially migraines.
It’s important to note that these studies typically use the entire marijuana plant, which, apart from CBD, also contains THC. Hence, it is difficult to pinpoint whether these therapeutic effects are a result of THC, CBD, or both.
Intake of any product for medicinal purposes requires full awareness of its potential side effects. While CBD doesn’t have any significant risks associated with it, it may cause some side effects, such as:
- Changes in weight and appetite
Additionally, if you’re currently taking any dietary supplements, prescription medicines, or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, CBD may interfere with their results.
While research is still underway, CBD may provide pain relief for people suffering from various conditions. CBD should ideally be introduced to your body in small doses and then built up from there.
Moreover, it’s vital to consult your doctor to ensure it doesn’t interfere with any other treatments you may be undergoing. Your doctor can also help you figure out the dosage that’s right for you.
As more research is conducted, the uncertainty around using CBD for pain will decrease.