Cannabis has been used for hundreds of years to treat pain and other afflictions, but only recently have we begun to unlock the wonders of the cannabis compound, cannabidiol, or CBD. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause a high, which means it can provide therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive effects.
As more medical research emerges supporting the use of cannabidiol for chronic pain, CBD is making its way to the masses. Here’s what we know so far about cannabidiol and chronic pain.
1. CBD CAN REDUCE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
Inflammation is a really big subject in the medical world, considering it has a role in most aspects of how the body functions. There are two main types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation is temporary, and typically the result of an injury, such as bumping your knee against a table. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, sticks with us long term. With arthritis, Crohn’s, and other conditions, the immune system is attacking the body and causing it to be inflamed continuously. Long-term inflammation causes long-term pain.
2. CBD HELPS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM FIND HOMEOSTASIS
Inflammation can be traced back to the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system produces its own cannabinoids, but it can also be affected by external cannabinoids such as CBD.
The endocannabinoid system controls memory, cognitive function, motor control, and more. This system helps our bodies find homeostasis, a balance where all functions are working properly and harmoniously. When there is an endocannabinoid deficiency, chronic conditions may emerge.
Irritation, pain, and inflammation can all be attributed to imbalances in the endocannabinoid system. may help bring this system into balance, relieving the symptoms of chronic pain.
3. CBD WORKS ON THE “BLISS MOLECULE”
Anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule,” is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the human body. As it is a natural part of the endocannabinoid system, it is present even if you have never used cannabis in any form. Its role in the endocannabinoid system is huge, as it regulates mood, inflammation, pain, and more.
While CBD won’t necessarily lead to an increase of this beneficial molecule, it can help to preserve it. Anandamide breaks down quickly, which can irregulate the endocannabinoid system. By preserving this molecule CBD is aiding in keeping the body balanced for longer periods of time.
4. CBD MAY RELIEVE NEUROPATHIC PAIN
Neuropathic pain is triggered by damage to the somatosensory system, sometimes causing the sensation of pins and needles, tingling and burning, and reduced sensory responses to touch.
People with these symptoms, such as those with multiple sclerosis, may find that taking CBD relieves their pain. In one study, cannabis-based medicine helped subjects get much greater relief from their neuropathic pain compared to those who took the placebo. This study focused on a combination of CBD and THC.
Other studies have also shown that cannabinoids relieve neuropathic pain, making CBD a viable option for users seeking a natural treatment for their symptoms.
5. CBD MAY HELP COMBAT THE OPIOD EPIDEMIC
Opioid use has rapidly increased over the last 20 years, with many users becoming severely dependent on their painkillers or even overdosing on prescribed medication.
Cannabinoids were shown to be effective in treating opioid use disorder in one promising study. What’s more, CBD may not be habit-forming. In fact, over time, users may need less of the compound to achieve the same results.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CBD AND CHRONIC PAIN
CBD is a promising tool for taking control of your chronic pain. The idea of relieving your symptoms without side effects from prescription drugs is empowering to many. However, it’s important to talk to a medical professional if you are considering making changes to your current routine.
Due to its fast growing popularity, there are ample resources available to learn more about CBD. However, the CBD industry is known for making dubious claims, so it is important to stick with reputable sources that back any claims with research. Below are links to resources, related articles and a helpful book.