Using CBD oil for pain relief improves the condition afflicting 10% of Americans in multiple ways and helps more than one type, including low back pain, arthritis, post-surgical, cancer-related, headaches, and PMS. A survey of CBD users [over 54] found that half use the cannabinoid for chronic pain and inflammation. 78% of those surveyed were satisfied with the treatment, and 89% said they would recommend their family members or friends try CBD. Let’s take a look at the five most important features of CBD oil for pain relief.
1) CBD OIL WORKS WITH THE BODY, NOT AGAINST IT
Most drugs, other cannabinoids included, bind to receptors in the body and create a directional action. Cannabidiol simply, and perhaps more profoundly, normalizes receptor function instead of binding to them. The receptors which CBD regulates are located all over the body as part of our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system maintains homeostasis in humans for processes including memory, immunity, appetite, energy, and emotional development.
The National Institute of Health states, “the endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress.”
Cannabidiol encourages the human body to heal using its own resources. Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego Igor Grant says. “If some [bodily] system is overactive, the endocannabinoid system tends to quiet it down. Even in cases when the brain seems to be depressed, it’s a stabilizing system.”
2) CBD OIL REDUCES INFLAMMATION AT THE ROOT OF PAIN
Swelling from a sprained ankle creates sensations of throbbing and aching. Injured nerves cause shooting sharp pain. Degenerative conditions like arthritis produce both aching and sharp discomfort in the joints involved. All of these are sources of inflammation that can sometimes persist long after a problem should have healed. CBD oil reduces inflammation, keeping the healing process in check.
Scientists have found CBD reduces the amount of pain-producing chemicals at the site of injury, including prostaglandin E2, lipid peroxide, and nitric oxide. In a study published in the November 10, 2006 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology, cannabidiol reduced the excess inflammatory chemicals, without affecting the natural “protective” response to injuries.
A 2017 study published in the journal Pain found CBD helped control the inflammation associated with pain from chronic osteoarthritis. Doctors at the University of Kentucky discovered a cannabidiol gel rubbed into the skin around the knee improved arthritic knee joints by reducing inflammation in subjects. Even more impressive, cannabidiol reduced the formation of new arthritis.
Cancer patients have used medical marijuana for decades to cope with nausea from chemotherapy. Researchers have found that CBD calms overexcited nerves in the digestive system. Sufferers of premenstrual syndrome report similar relief as well as an improvement in mood in surveys on consumer use.
3) CBD OIL REDUCES THE SENSATION OF PAIN BY AFFECTING THE WAY THE BRAIN PROCESSES IT
Or USING CBD FOR PAIN RELIEF IMPROVES TOLERANCE IN THE BRAIN
CBD doesn’t only affect the site of painful injuries., but also the way the brain processes them. Pain tolerance is a real thing because the brain filters our physical experiences, whether they be pleasurable, painful, or otherwise, through a lens of all of our past emotions and experiences. Most people have a hard time believing that the pain you feel isn’t an accurate reflection of the injury, but a psychological response to the experience.
The majority of pain is parts both physical and mental, and while CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory at the site of injury, it also helps sufferers deal with the hurt by assisting them in processing it neurologically. For example, one study in rats found that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision. Those who received a dose of cannabidiol before the procedure experienced less pain than those who received the same incision without CBD.
Highly emotional people may tend to inflate their pain, though the experience may feel very real to them. More even-keel people seem to be able to tolerate greater discomfort before it bothers them, and this has no real bearing on the severity of the injury. Because CBD has a regulating effect on neurotransmitters in the brain, the modulating cannabinoid can help those experiencing psychologically driven-pain.
A 2017 survey found four out of ten female cannabis consumers do so as a natural alternative to manage mood swings, discomfort during menstruation, menopause, and mental health conditions. Relief from premenstrual pain as well as cramps were also frequently cited reasons. Menstruation cycles are characterized by hormonal fluctuations that in turn affect mood, emotion, and thoughts so its no wonder women find relief using CBD.
4) CBD OIL CAN BE ORALLY INGESTED, USED AS A SKIN CREAM, OR VAPORIZED
CBD oil can be effectively ingested in multiple ways, each offering its own distinct advantages. Vaporizing CBD oil provides a fast-acting, convenient method. The vapor passes through the lungs directly into the bloodstream. High-quality vape pens can give a consistent dose in each drag, typically between 1-2 milligrams. Pens fit anywhere and won’t spill or spoil.
Creams get relief directly to an injured area as well as raise cannabidiol blood levels throughout the entire body. Topicals can be used to relieve pain and inflammation in sunburns, abrasions, strains, and sprains especially those infused with moisturizers. Scientists used a topical CBD cream in the arthritis study mentioned earlier and recall that they found CBD was not only active in the knee where it was applied, but in the bloodstream. CBD creams can provide moderate doses to those suffering from conditions like nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, or paralysis which make it difficult to take anything orally.
Edible CBD oil products, often called tinctures, drops, or liquids, offer a convenient way to take large, consistent doses. They can be highly concentrated with some products containing several grams (100x the dose of a vape pen) of CBD infused into a carrier oil. They are tasteless and can be added to drinks, foods, or taken straight from the dropper.
5) CBD OIL SIDE EFFECTS ARE DIFFERENT THAN OTHER COMMON PAIN MEDICATIONS
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, weakness, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, and drowsiness are a few of the side effects associated with pharmaceutical pain medication. Opioids notoriously put users in a fog which can prevent them from safely operating motor vehicles, machinery, or maintaining a job. CBD poses none of those risks. Non-intoxicating, CBD oil side effects are mild–low blood pressure, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
“Cannabidiol has antipsychotic effects. The exact cause for these effects is not clear. But cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. augments natural processes in the body. There is no chemical dependency or altered state with the use of CBD oil for pain.”
Opioids, in contrast, are incredibly addictive and one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for pain in the US. The federal government declared an Opioid Epidemic Public Health Emergency in 2017. Today children are twice as likely to try OxyContin and Vicodin than heroin. 80% of heroin addicts first used opioids. Nearly 30% of patients prescribed opioids develop an addiction. Over 130 people die from opioid overdoses every single day.
CBD and cannabis are responsible for zero deaths. Cannabidiol isn’t addictive, and when it replaces opioids in an individual’s pain treatment, it eliminates all of the alarming statistics just mentioned. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated in 2015 that states with medical marijuana, which includes CBD varieties, as a treatment for pain, reduce opioid deaths. This is perhaps the best reason for trying CBD oil for pain, the lack of risk compared to traditional pain drugs.
Benham, Barbara, and JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. “State Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Lower Prescription Overdose Deaths.” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. June 26, 2015. https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/state-medical-marijuana-laws-linked-to-lower-prescription-overdose-deaths.html.
“Cannabidiol Provides Long-lasting Protection against the Deleterious Effects of Inflammation in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis: A Role for A2A Receptors.” Neurobiology of Disease. July 11, 2013. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996113001939.
“Survey: 89% of Seniors Would Recommend CBD to a Friend | Remedy Review.” Survey: 89% of Seniors Would Recommend CBD to a Friend | Remedy Review. https://www.remedyreview.com/data/survey-89-of-seniors-whove-tried-cbd-would-recommend-it-to-a-friend/.
“The Non-psychoactive Cannabis Constituent Cannabidiol Is an Orally Effective Therapeutic Agent in Rat Chronic Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain.” European Journal of Pharmacology. November 10, 2006. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001429990601257X.
“The Non-psychoactive Phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) Attenuates Pro-inflammatory Mediators, T Cell Infiltration, and Thermal Sensitivity following Spinal Cord Injury in Mice.” Cellular Immunology. March 08, 2018. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0008874918300911.