CBD can help pain management & relief!
Chronic pain can drastically reduce your quality of life. So, how can you manage the pain? For the millions of Americans suffering from severe pain, finding a solution is a priority. Conventional methods of pain relief include opioids, surgery, steroids, and nerve blockers. Unfortunately, many of these medications have been shown to have the risk of addiction and side effects¹.
These risks have led to many chronic pain sufferers seeking alternatives. One alternative rising in popularity is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a chemical extracted from hemp plants. Over the last few years, people have used CBD for pain relief instead of more dangerous, habit-forming medications like opioids.
In this article, we explore the evidence for CBD as a pain management option for individuals suffering from chronic pain. We will highlight the scientific and medical evidence of how CBD may help relieve pain, including:
- Moderating and decreasing the brain’s perception of pain
- Reducing symptoms related to pain conditions, including inflammation and swelling
These benefits of CBD can go a long way in improving the quality of life for people with chronic pain.
Chronic Pain and Its Causes
The American Academy of Pain Medicine² classifies chronic pain as the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. But what is chronic pain, and how is it different from acute pain?
- Acute pain is how the nervous system alerts your body of a possible injury. For example, when you stub your toe on a table, the sharp pain you feel is acute pain. A signal is sent from the injured toe to your brain. This type of pain often subsides as the injury heals.
- Chronic pain is when your body continues sending pain signals to your brain even after recovering from the injury. The American Society of Anesthesiologists³ (ASA) defines chronic pain as “pain that won’t go away, lasting three months or longer.” Chronic pain can severely reduce your ability to enjoy daily activities.
Although the exact causes of chronic pain are not clear, it’s often associated with damaged nerves and/or health conditions such as osteoarthritis, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, lower back injury, and many others.
How CBD helps manage pain
The human body naturally produces chemicals called cannabinoids which interact with receptors throughout our bodies to form the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s responses to pain, anxiety, inflammation, appetite/metabolism, sleep, and other functions. For this article, we will focus on how CBD and the endocannabinoid system to regulate pain.
To help you understand the potential benefits of CBD for pain, we turn to the evidence of numerous medical studies on CBD.
Scientific Research on CBD for Pain
- A January, 2019 study⁴ demonstrated that CBD has potential as an effective alternative for chronic pain management. The study showed that CBD alleviated chronic pain by binding to receptors involved in the sensations of pain (vanilloid TRPV1). It was also observed that CBD regulates the absorption and increases the number of other chemicals flowing through the body that reduce the perception of pain.
- A study⁵ published in the Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management evaluated the effectiveness of CBD in overall pain management. The research reviewed dozens of studies and clinical trials from the 1980s to 2007. The data showed great promise for CBD helping neuropathic pain, insomnia, and multiple sclerosis.
- Researchers from the University of Kentucky⁶ applied a CBD-based topical gel to animal subjects with arthritis. The results of the experiment showed a significant reduction in signs of pain and inflammation, without adverse side effects.
- A team of scientists⁷ concluded in a 2012 study that “administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychoactive component of c*******, significantly suppresses chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain”.
- Another study⁸ published in The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology claimed 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.”
CBD vs. Conventional Pain Medication
As highlighted earlier, conventional medications for chronic pain include opioids and steroids. But did you know that prescription drugs are responsible for the highest number of accidental deaths⁹ in the United States? Opiates such as morphine, methadone, codeine, etc. are often associated with overdose, withdrawal, and addiction. Research has shown CBD can help the same symptoms that opioids address, but without the serious risks of addiction!
A self-reported survey⁹ published in the Journal of C******* and Cannabinoid Research asked over nearly 3,000 chronic pain patients to determine if CBD could be seen as an opioid substitute. “81% said that taking c******* by itself was more effective for their condition and 99% of patients agreed that they are able to decrease the number of opiates they consume when they also use c*******.”
How to Take CBD for Pain Relief
We want to help you identify the best way to try CBD, so that you can experience a better quality of life with less pain. There are two main things to consider when you start taking CBD:
Determining the right amount of oral CBD, which provides you with effective pain relief.
- CBD does not have a standard recommended amount. Finding the right CBD daily intake may require you to start with a low amount and increase until you experience the desired pain relief.
- First time CBD users often begin adding 15mg/day to their diet, taking half in the morning and half in the evening.
- Regular CBD users often report experiencing pain relief when they add 25mg of CBD to their daily diet.
Choosing the CBD product that works best for your lifestyle and your goals. CBD is most commonly used in the following ways:
- Taking CBD oil/tincture as a sublingual (under the tongue) or orally
- Taking CBD as a capsule or tablet
- Adding CBD oil to food or smoothies
- Applying CBD creams/lotions directly to the skin
- Eating CBD pre-made edibles, such as candies or gummies.
- Vaping CBD in e-cigarettes or vape pens
You can also consider combining CBD delivery methods depending on how long it takes for the CBD effects to kick in. Many pain sufferers use oral and topical CBD to help overall pain and specific area pain. Taking a CBD sublingual daily and applying CBD joint & muscle cream to areas of pain is a powerful two-pronged approach for pain management.
If you are ready to try CBD, check out our online store for high-quality CBD products!