No matter which way you pitch it, pain, especially the chronic kind, is no fun. It is not only completely debilitating and interferes with your ability to sleep, work and enjoy life, but it also can aggravate other health conditions and lead to depression and anxiety.
"According to research, approximately 20% of people are living with chronic pain, 60% of whom are women."
Pain is categorized into short term and chronic. Short-term pain is usually related to inflammation, while chronic pain is a result of a serious medical condition, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer or migraines. Regardless of the category, pain is typically treated by prescription opiates or over the counter NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen. Substantial research has shown that opiates are not a long-term treatment solution as they are highly addictive, while long standing use of NSAIDS can cause a slew of complications.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a safe, non-addictive substance that has been shown to relieve pain in a multitude of different medical issues. Unlike its THC counterpart, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that you will not get high.
How CBD Helps Pain
CBD helps to relieve pain by working with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in our bodies. The ECS is made up of a network of receptors that is responsible for cannabis’s therapeutic effects. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, is able to attach to the ECS receptors to elicit various therapeutics effects, such as pain relief.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that directly help to reduce swelling by interacting with the receptors in your brain. These receptors signal pain to the brain, and by impacting them, CBD is able to reduce inflammation which results in a decrease in pain.
"CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that directly help to reduce swelling by interacting with the receptors in your brain."
Because CBD is non-addictive, you can continuously take CBD and not build up a tolerance for it. This means that you do not need to keep upping your dosage or exploring new medications as substitutes. This is especially vital for people living with conditions that elicit chronic pain.
CBD supplements are super versatile in their delivery method, offering non-smokable options ranging from tinctures and edibles to topical balms and vaporizers. They are also available in varying strengths and doses, which can be used on short term or chronic pain levels.
According to research, approximately 20% of people are living with chronic pain, 60% of whom are women. Chronic pain is a result of a number of serious medical conditions including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraines and cancer. Reviews covering dozens of trials and studies concluded that there is significant evidence that CBD is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.
In a recent study completed in Europe, CBD was shown to significantly decrease inflammation and signs of pain in arthritis without additional side effects, making it a highly favorable long term option.
2. Multiple Sclerosis
One of the most common side effects of multiple sclerosis, or MS, is involuntary muscle spasms. A recent trial found that short-term use of CBD could reduce the levels of spasticity a person feels.
While not much research has been done on CBD and migraines, it has been noted in several studies as a very promising therapeutic treatment for reducing the inflammatory and physiological components, such as sensitivity to light and sound, seeing spots, and nausea, involved in migraine attacks. In fact, in one trial, cannabinoids reduced pain intensity among migraine patients by 43.5%.
Beyond the common uses of treating nausea from chemotherapy, cannabis has been shown to work in combination with cancer pharmaceuticals to not only enhance their impact, but to also decrease the toxicity of the dosage necessary for maximum effect.
Short Term Pain
Short term pain is typically pain that is associated with muscle spasms or inflammation. Common treatment solutions are over the counter painkillers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, although prescription medications, such as celecoxib, diclofenac, etodolac and ketoprofen, may be used.
The beauty of CBD is that it works similarly as NSAIDS to relieve pain but without the short term side effects of drowsiness and lightheadedness that, according to one study, found to affect a whopping 26%.2 of people. Additionally, serious, long term effects of taking NSAIDs can create complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers, heartburn, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, liver or kidney problems, leg swelling, high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and death.
From the research, CBD has shown a lot of potential as a natural alternative to relieving short term and chronic pain. This is especially promising due to its non-addictive traits and lack of disabling short and long term side effects in comparison to other medications that are currently being used. Get respite from your aches and pains by giving CBD a try.