Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-impairing and therapeutic compound found in cannabis, has been gaining traction in recent years. It’s been praised for its use in a number of conditions, from taking CBD oil pain to using it to control symptoms of anxiety.
If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, we’ll take a look at the facts for using CBD products for pain, an increasingly popular choice for relief without adverse side effects common with pharmaceuticals.
Using CBD Oil Pain
One of the more popular uses is CBD oil for pain because cannabidiol works great to combat inflammation.
Pain typically comes down to two contributing factors: acute or chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is short term and comes and goes quickly, as seen in injuries like stubbing your toe. Chronic inflammation is long term and is the driving force behind a number of conditions from arthritis to Crohn’s to multiple sclerosis.
Cannabidiol is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce symptoms of many different types of pain. It has been shown to work differently on inflammation than other pain relievers like NSAIDS, without the common side effects.
If you’re wondering what strength CBD oil for pain works best, there is no universally-agreed upon dosage. However, most people find 25 mg is a good starting place to see how it works.
The endocannabinoid system
Chronic pain is caused by inflammation which can be traced back to the endocannabinoid system, a biological system where our bodies have their own cannabinoids. Up until the 1990s, we did not know this system existed, let alone its role in regulating memory, cognition, and motor control among other processes.
When functioning properly, the endocannabinoid system helps us find homeostasis, the balance where all systems are functional and working in harmony. With endocannabinoid deficiencies, conditions may pop up, including inflammation.
Imbalances in the endocannabinoid system can cause irritation, inflammation, and various types of pain. CBD’s role in the endocannabinoid system may restore balance, achieving homeostasis which relieves symptoms of pain.
CBD and the “bliss molecule”
Using cannabinoid oil for pain allows CBD to indirectly affect various cannabinoid receptors in the body, including anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule.”
Anandamide is one of the major reasons CBD works so well for relieving pain. This cannabinoid is released by neurons and short-lived because it is broken down by the body quickly. Since it breaks down quickly, the endocannabinoid system can be thrown out of balance.
CBD prevents anandamide from being broken down quickly by binding to its proteins and slowing the process. This helps preserve the molecule, allowing the endocannabinoid system to regulate more efficiently.
CBD regulates endorphins to manage pain
Cannabidiol also relieves pain by regulating endorphins. These chemicals in the body are known for their feel-good properties, which helps to manage pain. Painkillers like opioids also act on endorphins, suppressing the natural production of endorphins which makes it more difficult to manage pain naturally.
When endorphins are released, they interact with pain receptors, effectively reducing our perception of pain. This gives people relief from intractable pain that seems to never go away.
Unlike opioids, CBD modulates our endorphins instead of suppressing them. This helps our bodies release endorphins naturally, which means users won’t need to increase their use over time.
CBD vs. opioids: What’s the Difference?
While opioids are more potent than CBD, they run the risk of dependency. Over time, users find they need to take more to achieve the same effects. On the other hand, CBD does not have any negative long-term consequences, nor does it require increased dosage over time to maintain effectiveness.
In the 2008 analysis titled, “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain”, researchers gave rheumatoid arthritis patients either a dose of THC with CBD or a placebo treatment. After five weeks, all 56 patients preferred the cannabinoid treatment in favor of the placebo.
While the study included THC, the researchers noted that CBD’s role was crucial to finding pain relief. They stated, “THC-predominant extract failed to produce statistical demarcation from placebo, suggesting the presence of CBD in the Sativex preparation was crucial to attain significant pain relief.”
The analysis also stated that some chronic pain is inadequately treated with opiates, leaving physicians to seek out new ways to treat intractable pain.
Opioids play an important role in providing pain relief and allowing people to manage their pain. But opioid use has rapidly increased over time, with increased instances of dependence and overdoses.
Promising evidence suggesting CBD may help combat opioid use has emerged. Since it is not habit forming, it may be a good alternative for some to manage their chronic pain.
Some pilot studies even found CBD helped recently-abstained heroin users experience fewer cravings for the drug.
Researchers found that administering CBD did not actively affect self-administration of heroin, but was successful in inhibiting the subjects from seeking out the drug. This shows CBD’s promising role in preventing dependence on opioids, even from prescription painkillers.
CBD’s role in neuropathic pain
Those who experience neuropathic pain, such as people with multiple sclerosis, may find that CBD helps. This kind of pain is triggered by damage to the somatosensory system and often causes sensations of tingling, burning, pins, needles, and reduced sensory responses.
One analysis found that cannabis-based medicines helped subjects find relief from neuropathic pain at a much higher rate than the people who took the placebo. In this study, a combination of CBD and THC were administered.
With studies showing cannabinoids help relieve neuropathic pain, CBD may be a viable option for neuropathic pain sufferers who want to try a more natural approach to their management.
Final thoughts on CBD and pain
Cannabidiol is a promising tool to help people take control of their pain. Pain often stems from acute or chronic inflammation, and targeting the source means finding pain relief.
When the endocannabinoid system is out of balance, lots of things can go wrong, including increased inflammation. The effect of CBD on the endocannabinoid system is powerful enough to help regulate and maintain balance in the body, reducing inflammation and providing effective pain relief.
Cannabidiol also helps manage pain by lessening our perception of it. The role of CBD oil pain in regulating endorphins allows it to modulate pain in a more natural way, eliminating the risk of dependency.
The feel-good chemicals interact with pain receptors, lessening the pain we feel in the body.
Using CBD to manage pain can be a life-changing move to regain autonomy over your body.
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