Trade in Your Pain Meds for CBD
I’m sure you have heard someone, somewhere, talking about CBD and if you live under a rock and haven’t then, there’s a major chance you have read about it or heard about it since taking pop culture by storm. BUT is there actual science behind all the claims that CBD is Mother Nature’s cure all? What is CBD and why are so many people flocking to it for relief?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is used by some people with chronic pain. CBD oil can reduce pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to a variety of health conditions. CBD oil comes from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. It doesn’t cause the “high” feeling often associated with cannabis, which is caused by a different type of cannabinoid called THC. It’s basically all the healthy and none of the high. PASS IT OVER!
Studies on CBD oil and pain management have shown a great deal of promise. CBD can be an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on more dangerous, habit-forming medications like opioids.
The use of cannabis for pain relief dates back to ancient China, according to a report published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. It’s thought that CBD oil helps ease chronic pain in part by reducing inflammation. In addition, CBD oil is said to promote sounder sleep and, in turn, treat sleep disruption commonly experienced by people with chronic pain.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of CBD oil for pain. You can also talk with your doctor to see if it is an option for your condition! Honestly though, if your doctor isn’t on board with getting you off dangerous meds and on natural supplements- maybe you should get a second opinion? #justsayin
Why People Use CBD Oil
According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. Along with drastically reducing quality of life, chronic pain can increase healthcare costs and have a negative impact on productivity at work and overall quality of life.
Common types of chronic pain include:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Low back pain
Multiple sclerosis pain
Temporomandibular disorder (often referred to as “TMJ”)
Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications are often recommended in the treatment of chronic pain, but many people seek out alternative forms of relief (such as herbs, nutritional supplements, and products like CBD oil). However, dangerous narcotics and NSAIDs are not your only option for pain relief! In addition to physical therapy and self-care, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based pain relief. CBD is fundamentally different than most prescribed painkillers, as it’s not addictive, non-toxic, and has very minimal (if any) side effects.
The cannabis plant happens to be one of the most (if not the most) pharmacologically active plants on the planet, containing over 400 active chemicals. The unique active components of cannabis are called cannabinoids, which are found alongside active chemicals called terpenoids (also referred to as terpenes) and flavonoids. These chemical components work together to provide a wide variety of therapeutic benefits to the human body.
Chronic pain sufferers who want to avoid the side effects frequently associated with standard pain medication, and probably have concerns about becoming dependent on those medications can try CBD. In fact, some proponents suggest that CBD oil is a solution to opioid addiction as concerns over opioid overdoses continue to escalate. Less OD’s and more happy people? I am a fan.
Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription anti-inflammatory medications are easily available, readily prescribed, and very commonly used. The most common anti-inflammatory medications are called NSAIDs: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Based on consumer survey responses, more than 17 million Americans take NSAIDs on a daily basis, with more than 70 million prescriptions and more than 30 billion OTC NSAID tablets sold annually in the United States. Is that not crazy statistics? I can’t believe that many people are using hard core, addictive pain meds in their daily lives. We need to educate millions of people on why CBD oil is a solution for them. That’s why I am writing this. It starts with YOU. One person who can educate others and hopefully, save lives.
Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD was once considered a minor cannabinoid under the shadow of THC. What we know now is CBD is as beneficial and versatile a cannabinoid as THC in addressing many hard to manage conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, antibiotic-resistant infections, alcoholism, PSTD and neurological disorders. CBD has very strong anxiolytic (reduces anxiousness), anti-convulsant, anti-emetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant (stronger than vitamins C & E), anti-depressant and anti-psychotic properties. One of the most exciting aspects of CBD is its combined strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuro-protective properties which yields great promise for the treatment of Alzhiemer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and all neurodegenerative-related diseases. CBD also helps regulate blood pressure and is cytotoxic to breast cancer and certain other types of cancer cells while protecting healthy cells.
Scientists are still trying to determine how exactly CBD oil alleviates pain. However, there’s evidence that cannabidiol affects the body’s endocannabinoid system (a complex system of cell-to-cell communication). Along with contributing to brain functions like memory and mood, the endocannabinoid system influences how we experience pain.
Whether the chronic pain is in your back, neck, hands, feet, or elsewhere – CBD can help! In order to understand how CBD helps provide pain relief, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of pain. We will address the results below.
So far, much of the evidence for CBD’s effects on pain management comes from animal-based research (BUT that’s not to take away from all the humans who have tried and gotten results from CBD.)
This research includes a study published in the journal Pain in 2017, in which scientists observed that treatment with topical CBD helped thwart the development of joint pain in rats with osteoarthritis.
Another study, published in the European Journal of Pain in 2016, found that topical CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling and measures of pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis.
On to some human results…In a report published in Pediatric Dermatology in 2018, scientists reported three cases of topical CBD (applied as an oil, cream, and spray) use in children with a rare, blistering skin condition known as epidermolysis bullosa. Applied by their parents, all three people reported faster wound healing, less blisters, and improvement of pain. One child was able to completely wean off oral opioid analgesic pain medication. There were no adverse effects reported.
While there haven’t been a ton of clinical trials that have explored the pain-relieving effects of CBD oil, a report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2018 examined the use of a variety of cannabis-based medicines and found they were of benefit in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. A type of pain triggered by damage to the somatosensory system (i.e., the system responsible for processing sensory stimuli), neuropathic pain often occurs in people with conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
In this report, researchers reviewed 16 previously published studies testing the use of various cannabis-based medicines in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain and found some evidence that cannabis-based medicines may help with pain relief and reduce pain intensity, sleep difficulties, and psychological distress. The authors concluded that the potential harm of such medicines outweighs their benefit.
A 2007 study looked at the effects of cannabinoids on treating the debilitating pain experienced by 50-70% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The double-blind placebo-controlled study concluded that “cannabinoids including the cannabidiol (CBD)/THC buccal spray are effective in treating neuropathic pain in MS.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17257464
Another 2007 study evaluated the long-term tolerability ad effectively of a THC/CBD pharmaceutical known as Sativex. The study concluded that, “THC/CBD was effective, with no evidence of tolerance, in these select patients with CNP and MS who completed approximately 2 years of treatment.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18035205
A 2014 study stated that, “The endocannabinoid system has been elucidated over the last several years, demonstrating a significant interface with pain homeostasis. Exogenous (plant-based) cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25160710
Another 2014 study suggested that, “Analgesia is one the principal therapeutic targets of the cannabinoid system and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of neuropathic pain.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25150831
A 2014 study investigated CBD’s therapeutic potential in treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CIPN). Scientists concluded that, “adjunct treatment with CBD during PAC chemotherapy may be safe and effective in the prevention or attenuation of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117398
A 2008 study found, “that a controlled cannabis extract, containing multiple cannabinoids, in a defined ratio, and other non-cannabinoid fractions (terpenes and flavonoids) provided better antinociceptive efficacy than the single cannabinoid given alone…” This is why the use of full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective in treating pain than taking CBD isolate alone – you want the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids contained in the plant.
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18618522
A 2011 study evaluated the effects of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), on pain management. The study concluded that, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20942863
A 2012 study reported that, “systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance…These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases…”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736
A 2010 study looked at the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. “This study shows that THC:CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain not fully relieved by strong opioids.”
According to a recent survey, chronic pain is the most common reason for medicinal cannabis use. If you have a chronic pain condition and have not been able to manage it with standard treatment (or wish to avoid the adverse effects of other medications), you should consider CBD oil for pain relief.
Ultimately, because CBD interacts with receptors in the brain, it is able to improve the pain management system. This means that by reducing inflammation, CBD helps to lessen the pain itself. The great thing about CBD is that you can continuously use it for pain and not be at risk of building up a tolerance for it. In other words, CBD offers a long-term solution to a long-term problem. There isn’t need to keep increasing the dosage amount or look around for new types of medications that might work better. This makes CBD an effective treatment option for all sorts of pain, including chronic pain and conditions like arthritis.
In order to manage pain, I recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily. Those suffering from any kind of pain start with 5-10mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, increase by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. If you consider your pain on the more severe side, there is no harm in starting at 25mg CBD daily as you cannot overdose on CBD nor are there any serious side effects. CBD provides sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects to be felt.
Before You Buy
Keep in mind, as more and more states across the U.S. legalize the use of marijuana, CBD oil has become more widely available. CBD oil is now sold in a range of forms, including capsules, creams, tinctures, and under-the-tongue sprays.
There’s also growing concern about the quality of the products currently for sale. The industry is underregulated by the FDA, with little third-party oversight. A 2017 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 69 percent of the CBD products tested didn’t contain the amount of cannabidiol indicated on the label. Most CBD companies don’t sell through retail outlets; they reach consumers online.
The lack of industry standards makes purchasing CBD from the right company important. If you plan on stocking up, here are some basic questions to keep in mind.
- Is it legal where you live? Most states have passed some medical marijuana or CBD exemptions, but it’s completely illegal in four states: Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
- Has it been tested by a third party? Independent labs check for potency, pesticides, and residual solvents. If the company doesn’t list these results, move on.
- Does the company make unsubstantiated claims? CBD has not been proven to kill cancer cells, halt Alzheimer’s, or treat schizophrenia. Avoid products that promise to cure everything that ails you.
I have been using Urth CBD for pain management and I really love the results. I can always count on getting the same, high quality product every purchase. They also offer testing results with each batch, so you have the peace of mind knowing that what you are buying, you’re actually getting. No bait and switch. No sleazy sales tactics, just relief in a bottle!
I reached out to them and asked if they would be willing to give me a promo code to share with all of you and of course, they were down.
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