Cannabis and Chronic Pain: How CBD Can Help Manage Your Pain?

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Opioid abuse and overdose claimed an estimated 64,000 lives in 2016 alone. And President Donald Trump has recently declared opioid epidemic as a public health emergency and pointed it as the worst drug crisis in the national history.

This crisis raises an urgent need to find an effective solution to the addiction.

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CBD research shows a lot of potential to be used as a therapy for many addictions as well as for treatment of various disorders and chronic diseases including cancer, nausea, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and depression, without exerting long-term side effects.

Studies have shown that it can be helpful in counteracting the effect of opioid and alleviating withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, pain and nausea. 

What is CBD?

CBD is a type of cannabinoid, which is a compound found in many plants but associated mainly with marijuana plants. Unlike the much debated THC, which is another compound found in cannabis, it does not produce the psychoactive effect or does not give you a feeling of being “high”.

Another good property of CBD is that it is not addictive and has very low toxicity level. CBD offers therapeutic effect thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, and antioxidant profile. It is increasingly becoming popular due to its different recreational and medical benefits. 

Benefits

Undergoing research has lifted the stigma associated with CBD and paved the way for research and use in medical industry.

However, it is important to understand that different strains of marijuana produce different effect depending on the level of CBD and THC present in it. Research has shown CBD promotes wakefulness and therefore recommended for treatment of anxiety and depression. Hence, look for a strain with higher percentage of CBD and low THC, for instance Acd.

Some of the benefits that CBD is being used for includes –

  • Depression – A human study showed that CBD has considerable potential in treating anxiety and depression along with treatment for its symptoms like insomnia and nausea.

Top Benefit – Relieves Chronic Pain

A human study conducted by the National Institute of Health has shown that subjects using cannabinoids experience significant relief from chronic pain symptoms compared to adults who are not treated with it.

Another study on rodents showed that administration of CBD is effective in suppressing chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain due to its analgesic properties.

While more research is on the way, these studies give a lot of hope in treatment of chronic pain with CBD naturally.

How does it work?

Our bodies have a receptor system known as the endocannabinoid system (oh yes!), which is responsible for maintaining and protecting body’s healthy state.

This system produces its own cannabinoids that affects inflammation, pain and mood.

CBD stimulates the system by supplementing these cannabinoids and maintain its healthy functional state without acting on the CB1 and CB2 receptors for these cannabinoids.

CBD majorly changes the emotional reaction to pain. It does not directly affect the pain centers of the brain, hence is not addictive like opioids.

How should you use CBD?

The easiest and most efficient way to use CBD is in the form of oil. CBD oil can be taken in form of pills or ingested directly.

CBD is also available in the form of topical creams or tinctures which are less concentrated than oil. They can be applied directly to the skin. Most topical products are entirely non-psychoactive, and are useful for combating inflammation. These are highly recommended for people suffering from arthritic joint pain or muscle aches, but it is advisable to consult an expert in case of any concern.

CBD oil can even be consumed by vaping or sprays. Vaping allows the medicine to enter body quickly while avoiding the harmful side-effects of smoking. Concentrated tinctures can be used as a spray under the tongue.

A new type of cannabis product delivers both quick and long-lasting relief without the high is CBD patches. For delivering medication into the bloodstream, these transdermal patches are convenient, discreet, and effective. 

How is CBD better than conventional painkillers?

Using CBD for pain relief offers many advantages over conventional medicines –

  • The risk of overdose fatality is negligible
  • No withdrawal symptoms
  • Non addictive 

Side Effects?

CBD is considered generally safe with only few mild side effects including-

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite

Some people are allergic to CBD oil and therefore application on a small patch of skin is recommended first.

Conclusion

As CBD is being legalized across more states to be used for medical purpose, long-term research with human subjects is getting the due focus and potential of CBD being used as a natural therapy for addiction and treating many chronic diseases is being explored.

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