CBD For Pain

CBD oil has gained popularity as a natural approach to pain relief among many people who are suffering from chronic pain. Cannabidiol is a compound found in the marijuana plant that is sometimes touted as alternative pain medication in the treatment of common ailments like arthritis and back pain.

It’s thought that CBD might help relieve pain by reducing inflammation. In addition, CBD is said to promote sound sleep, furthermore, it can treat sleep disruption experienced by people with chronic pain. [1]

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 100 million people in America are suffering from chronic pain.[2] Chronic pain does not only reduce the quality of life, but it also increases healthcare costs.

The most common types of chronic pain include:[3]

•      Cancer Pain

•      Fibromyalgia

•      Headaches

•      Irritable Bowel Syndrome

•      Costochondritis

•      Low Back Pain

•      Migraines

•      Multiple Sclerosis Pain

•      Neuropathic Pain

•      Osteoarthritis

•      Temporomandibular disorder

Although over-the-counter and prescription medications are recommended in the treatment of chronic pain, some people seek alternative forms of relief such as herbal, nutritional supplements and CBD products, etc.

Some people wish to avoid the side effects associated with pain medication and others have concerns about becoming dependent on such medications. In fact, some proponents suggest that CBD oil can be a solution to opioid addiction.

Potential Benefits of CBD oil

It is still unclear how CBD oil might alleviate pain. There is some evidence that Cannabidiol may affect the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex system of cell-to-cell communication. The endocannabinoid system contributes to mood and memory functions of the brain, in addition, it influences how we experience pain.

So far, most of the evidence of CBD to work on pain management come from animal-based research. Taking CBD orally has poor bioavailability and on the other hand, topical CBD application to local pain is said to provide a better result and more consistent levels of CBD with less systemic involvement. This research includes that, treatment with topical CBD helped prevent the development of joint pain in rats with osteoarthritis.[4]

Another study published in the European Journal of Pain 2016 found that topical CBD gel significantly reduced joint inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis.[5]

In a report published in Pediatric Dermatology in 2018, scientists used three types of topical CBD (oil, cream, and spray) for treating epidermolysis bullosa in children.[6] The subjects reported faster healing of wounds, fewer blisters, and improvement of pain. One of them was able to completely wean off oral opioid pain medication and there were no adverse reactions reported.

A report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2018 examined the use of different cannabis-based medications and found them to be of some benefit in the treatment of neuropathic pain.[7]

In this report, researchers reviewed 16 previously published studies testing the use of cannabis-based medications in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain and found some evidence that cannabis-based medications may help reduce pain intensity, alleviate sleep difficulties and reduce psychological distress. Side effects [8] including sleepiness, dizziness, mental confusion were reported.

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Takeaway

According to a recent survey, medicinal cannabis is the most common use for chronic pain. If you are suffering from chronic pain and you are not able to manage it with the standard medication, you may consider CBD as an alternative treatment.

If you live with chronic pain, you already know how it can disrupt sleep and in some cases, can contribute to anxiety and depression. Natural therapies including exercising, anti-inflammatory diet, yoga may help improve the quality of life for some people. 

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