Category: Cannabis: Renegade Healer Written by Rebecca Smith
Millions of people around the world experience chronic pain. Although there are numerous advancements in drug development advancements, many people face difficulty finding effective pain-management options without using potentially harmful and addictive drugs.
Over the last couple of years, Cannabidiol (CBD) is steadily gaining popularity as a natural pain relief approach. Nowadays, CBD is looked up as an alternative to the addictive pain medications in treating conditions like back pain or arthritis. It is also being used to manage pain from multiple sclerosis, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, and much more.
Besides, CBD may promote sound sleep and treat sleep disruption experienced by people with chronic pain.
How Does CBD Work for Pain Management?
Cannabinoid (CBD) is one of the cannabinoids naturally found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is the same plant from which Marijuana and Hemp have their biological roots. Fortunately, CBD is the only compound that does not have the psychoactive effect associated with THC in cannabis.
In a way, CBD affects specific receptors in the body to help in pain management. The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) made of millions of receptors. These receptors attach to your cells that receive and translate signals from cannabinoids to help the body respond to pain.
When CBD binds to the receptors, the body’s response creates pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects that help in pain management. The ECS also aids in regulating bodily functions like immune-system and sleep responses.
Let’s know more about CBD and it’s four excellent benefits for pain management.
1. CBD for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can last for years, and hence it is also called as long term pain. It can be debilitating that can suggest an underlying dysfunction of the tissue involved. If the pain persists for longer, it may become resistant to various pain management options.
There is considerable evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. A review article that investigated the effects of CBD concluded that CBD was an excellent pain management aid for chronic pain without any harmful side-effects.
CBD can also reduce chronic pain resulting from cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. CBD has potentially shown to decrease levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines. This activity reduces inflammation, and CBD a novel anti-inflammatory drug.
2. CBD for Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain emerges when the peripheral nerves get damaged. Despite the recovery, peripheral nerve damage can lead to prolonged impairment of nerve function. Generally, opioids, anesthetics, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants are used to relieve neuropathic pain. But these medications may cause harmful side effects.
In such cases, lab tested thc free CBD oil offers shielding effects which may reduce or prevent nerve damage. In a research study, it was concluded that CBD is effective at preventing nerve damage induced by chemotherapy.
CBD can activate the glycine receptors in the spinal cord and thereby help in reducing pain transmission. This activation creates an inhibitory effect on pain messages. Hence, fewer pain signals reach the brain, and the person experiences less pain.
3. CBD for Arthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two main types of arthritis pain. Osteoarthritis breaks down the protective cartilage inside a joint. This makes the movement of affected joints more difficult and painful. Whereas, in rheumatoid arthritis, the joints and other organs get attacked by the body’s immune system. Although the underlying causes are different, both the arthritis forms can result in debilitating chronic pain.
CBD is known to block the inflammatory processes causing the issue and, in turn, reduce the arthritis pain. It also possesses analgesic effects that act in the spinal cord and brain to ease the pain signals. A study investigating CBD’s use in rats with arthritis concluded that CBD’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects could potentially help people with arthritis.
Generally, it is recommended to use CBD both topically and internally for a better recovery of the affected joints. Many researchers have noted a significant drop in arthritic inflammation and signs of pain without additional side-effects.
4. CBD for Migraine Pain
Migraine headaches are prevalent and often debilitating. They can be tough to treat. Avoiding this condition triggers the headache more. Sensitive to the slightest changes in the environment, these headaches can be so severe and consistent that medical treatment is necessary to control and maintain the condition.
A natural treatment is utilizing CBD for migraine pain relief. Cannabidiol may help relieve the onset and persistent pain of a migraine and headache by soothing the pain. One of the studies revealed that cannabis could reduce headaches and migraine pain by nearly half. Inhaled cannabis reduced self-reported migraine severity by 49.6% and headache severity by 47.3%.
CBD is an excellent option for you if you have been suffering from the pain of various causes and have been unable to manage it with standard treatment. CBD may provide a natural alternative to your current pain remedies. Since everybody is different, CBD dosage depends on the severity of pain, weight, the quality of the product chosen, and sensitivity to the molecule. It is best to consult your doctor before changing any prescribed pharmaceutical regimen.
- Ethan B Russo. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain; 2008 Feb. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.s1928
- Prakash Nagarkatti, Rupal Pandey, et al. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs; 2009 Oct; 1(7): 1333–1349. doi: 10.4155/fmc.09.93.
- Kirsten M King, Alyssa M Myers, et al. Single and combined effects of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. 2017 Sep;174(17):2832-2841. doi: 10.1111/bph.13887.
- Wei Xiong, Tanxing Cui, et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. 2012 Jun 4;209(6):1121-34. doi: 10.1084/jem.20120242.
- D.C. Hammell, L.P. Zhang, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.1002/ejp.818.
- Washington State University, Cannabis reduces headache and migraine pain by nearly half. November 25, 2019.
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