CBD for pain

Whether it comes from an accident, surgery, or a health condition such as arthritis, pain can interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep and/or enjoy life. So it’s no wonder that out of all of the reasons that people use CBD, the number one reason given is for pain. One Gallup poll from 2019 showed that 40% of all CBD users utilize CBD for Pain. 

The frequent use of CBD for pain is even less surprising when you consider that chronic pain is among the most common reasons adults seek medical care. In fact, a 2019 cdc report showed that 20.4% of adults had chronic pain and 7.4% of adults had chronic pain so severe that it frequently limited life or work activities. In addition to the discomfort it causes, chronic pain is also associated with decreased quality of life and poor mental health. Luckily, there are many treatments available to help alleviate different types of pain. However, for some individuals, the traditional remedies can be insufficient or unappealing. Especially since many painkillers are opioid based.

Some people dislike prescription pain medications because of unwanted side effects and some just find them to be insufficient. Many people point to the current opioid crisis in America as their reason for avoiding painkillers. According to the CDC, “The number of drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 5% from 2018 to 2019 and has quadrupled since 1999. In 2019, an average of 38 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, totaling more than 14,000 deaths.” These startling stats are more than reason enough to want to consider other options and many people are looking to CBD. But, how can CBD help with pain?

Before treating a medical condition, speak to your doctor to determine whether CBD is the right option for you, especially if you’re taking other medications. CBD may interact with many over-the-counter or prescription drugs and supplements.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 100 naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids. It is the second most prominent and well-known cannabinoid after THC and ,unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. So, it does not get you high. The real interest in CBD is for its potential therapeutic benefits. 

Many different cultures have used the Cannabis plant to treat a plethora of ailments. Practitioners in ancient China targeted malaria, menstrual symptoms, gout, and constipation. During medieval times, cannabis was used for pain, epilepsy, nausea, and vomiting, and in Western medicine it was commonly used as an analgesic. In the US, physicians prescribed Cannabis for a multitude of illnesses until restrictions were put in place in the 1930s and then finally stopped using it in 1970 when the federal government listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance, claiming it an illegal substance with no medical value. Nevertheless, the world’s interest in the medicinal uses of cannabis has only grown stronger and, since the 2018 Farm Bill removed Hemp from the controlled substance list and placed it under FDA regulation, there has been a huge increase in use of cannabinoids for their potential therapeutic benefits.

How does CBD work?

The previously mentioned prohibition of cannabis cultivation, supply and possession has impeded cannabis research. So, studies on the effects of CBD are scarce and the ones that are available are usually fairly small or done on animals. However, in recent years, researchers increased the quantity and quality of their studies and many have recognized that cannabinoids, both plant-derived and endogenous, act simultaneously on multiple pain targets. One system of the body CBD is known to affect is the Endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System and Pain

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signaling system that is primarily composed of Endocannabinoids, receptors and Enzymes. The endocannabinoids are produced by the body as needed and bind to the receptors (CB1 and CB2). Once they’ve served their functions they are broken down by the enzymes. Research on the ECS has revealed that Cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are potential targets for reducing pain and inflammation and, today, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that stimulation of the ECS system presents a “promising approach” in the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

What studies have been done on CBD for pain?

Although much more research needs to be done. There have been some small studies that have supported the idea that CBD may have therapeutic value for pain treatment. For instance, there was a 2016 study that treated rats with arthritis with a transdermal CBD Gel resulted in CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling and limb posture scores (as a rating of spontaneous pain). According to that study, “these data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” There was also a Case study in 2020 of two individuals with back pain who both used Baskin essentials body wellness cream CBD cream. The study concluded that Hemp-derived CBD in a transdermal cream provided significant pain relief for the patients. There have also been a few studies that tested the efficacy of treatments of CBD with THC that also showed potential therapeutic benefits for pain management.

While studies like these are becoming more prevalent, there still need to be many more long term human studies to truly know the potential efficacy of CBD for pain. If you are thinking of taking CBD to manage your pain,  you should always talk to your doctor first. 

**The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.



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