A lot of people who experience chronic pain find it hard to do daily activities. The severity of the condition has led to multiple studies finding the best way to relieve pain. As a result, Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained popularity as a method of treating pain.
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant (popularly known as marijuana) and is used to treat common conditions like back pain and arthritis. If you’re considering CBD as a way to treat chronic pain, then you can follow through the entire article to know more about the benefits of CBD for the said condition.
How Does CBD Work To Relieve Pain?
CBD is neuroprotective and inhibits the release of glutamate and other inflammatory agents. It makes the tingling, prickling, and burning sensations characteristic of neuropathic pain dull. CBD is typically used to complement pain medications and other natural supplements (e.g., magnesium glycinate).
Pain as a result of inflammation is difficult to characterize since the root cause and experience varies from person to person. Fortunately, no matter the cause, CBD is an excellent substance for calming inflammation.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory mechanism is very unique. Unlike popular anti-inflammatory drugs, it doesn’t inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 receptors. Thus, with CBD, the risk of incurring heart attacks and developing gastrointestinal ulcers is low. According to a 2008 study conducted by Ethan Russo, published in the online journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are twenty times more powerful anti-inflammatory substances relative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen.
1. CBD for Arthritis Pain
There are two common types of arthritis: The first is osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that usually affects the knee, hip, and thumb joints. It is a degenerative disease that affects the cartilage and bones of the joints. The second type is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this type of arthritis, a person’s own immune system attacks the joints, thus leading to inflammation. It usually affects the hands and feet. With RA, joints become stiff, swollen, and painful.
CBD for joint pain is a promising arena for research. Various animal studies, which might be applied to humans, suggest that CBD helps in the treatment of arthritis. These studies show that the substance helps relieve the inflammatory pain associated with the condition:
- Published in the journal Neuroscience Letters, a study conducted in 2011 by Schuelert and McDougall found that CBD led to a reduction in inflammatory pain experienced by rats.
- A review conducted in 2014 by La Porta, et.al., studied multiple, existing research involving animals. It concluded that CBD is helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis. This was published in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
- Another study conducted in 2016 by Hammell, et. al., published in the European Journal of Pain, concluded that the topical application of CBD helps relieve arthritis-related pain and inflammation.
- Finally, a study implemented in 2017 by Philpott, et.al., suggests that CBD is a safe, useful treatment for joint pain in patients suffering from OA. This study was published in the journal Pain.
2. CBD for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
This is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease that involves damages to the sheaths of nerve cells located within the brain and spinal cord. One of the common symptoms of multiple sclerosis is muscle spasms. Severe muscle spasms lead to chronic pain in people suffering from MS. A 2017 report conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, and published in the National Academies Press (US), found that patients who used CBD oil reported improvement in spasticity symptoms. This can lead to a significant reduction in pain experienced by people with MS.
3. CBD for Cancer Treatment Relief
Some people suffering from cancer use CBD oil for its benefits. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends CBD as an option for the relief of chemotherapy-related symptoms. Several studies involving mice have also shown that CBD leads to a reduction in cancerous tumors.
Research involving humans studied the role of CBD oil for the management of pain associated with cancer and its treatment. A study conducted by the NCI involved using CBD oil extracts. These extracts were sprayed into the mouth and were used in combination with opioids. The research has found that CBD oil, in conjunction with the said pain medication, led to better pain management in participants.
4. CBD for Chronic Pain
CBD was also studied for its role in treating general chronic pain. Results found in several systematic reviews were compiled by researchers. These reviews involved dozens of studies and trials. The study found that there is substantial evidence pointing towards cannabis’ efficiency in treating chronic pain experienced by adults.
These results are supported by another study published in 2012 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Researchers Xiong, Cui, Cheng, et.al., suggest that CBD can be used to help lessen pain and inflammation. In addition, the study found that subjects didn’t build up a tolerance to CBD’s effects. Thus, it is not necessary to increase CBD doses continually. The said researchers noted that cannabinoids (e.g., CBD) could provide new, helpful treatments for those suffering from chronic pain.
CBD is an excellent, alternative option for those who wish to relieve chronic pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. It can also help patients undergoing chemotherapy. Talk to your doctor about the possible benefits of CBD, especially if you have chronic pain. It can be a great alternative, and it can also be a great complement to prescription medication.
Article Submitted By Community Writer