Studies indicate the CBD can be used in a variety of instances to treat different types of pain.
Posted on: January 8, 2020
Using CBD Oil to Manage Pain
The popularity of CBD has grown exponentially over the past year. At this point, you’ve probably heard about CBD either online or through someone you know. Perhaps your friends or family members have been using CBD for anxiety, pain management, as a sleep-aid, or to uplift their moods. Other uses for CBD are managing chronic conditions like IBS or Crohn’s Disease. CBD can also help prevent the spread of certain cancers like breast cancer, and it has also shown promise in helping children with non-verbal autism. It’s no wonder that CBD is getting some well-deserved attention in the medical community.
We’re still early into the studies of the therapeutic benefits that CBD has to offer though, so concrete data is lacking. But so far the medical research into CBD’s effectiveness for relieving certain types of pain is extremely promising.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of over a hundred compounds known as cannabinoids. You might be familiar with the most popular cannabinoid THC which has psycho-inducing effects that cause a person to feel“high.” CBD, on the other hand, is the second most popular cannabinoid and it offers therapeutic benefits while being non-psychoactive. This means that you can take advantage of CBD’s therapeutic properties without getting high.
While hemp and marijuana are widely touted for their cannabinoid content, many people don’t realize that cannabinoids aren’t only found in cannabis. They’re found in other plants as well.
Some of the other plants that contain cannabinoids are:
Cannabinoids Work Naturally with Our Bodies
All of us have what’s known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a complex network of signaling receptors that runs throughout our bodies. Our ECS is responsible for many different things, but its main function is to regulate our body’s overall state of balance or homeostasis. Our ECS kicks in when our bodies are out of sync, and helps by bringing it back to its natural balanced state.
As an example, let’s take a look at our neurons (brain cells). They work by sending communication signals back and forth by “listening” to each other and sending responses based on the feedback they’re receiving. Now let’s suppose that one neuron starts to get overloaded and begins to misfire. Our ECS kicks in and tells the other neurons to send a response signal to calm the excited neuron down, bringing everything back to normal.
Understanding Different Types of Pain
Before exploring the ways CBD can help with pain management, it’s important to delve into the different types of pain.
Pain involves the interaction between your nerves, spinal cord, and brain. It’s an unpleasant sensory experience that can be linked to multiple causes. Adding to its varying complexity, pain can be experienced differently from each person, making quantifying pain subjective at best. One person might find a sensation unbearable, while another person can tolerate it well. This is why it’s often difficult to come up with effective treatment plans for successful pain treatment and management.
There are generally two main ways to classify different types of pain: Acute Pain and Chronic Pain.
Acute pain typically happens suddenly, like with an injury. It occurs when there’s trauma to the body’s tissues, muscles, organs, or bones, and usually only lasts for a limited time. Because of its sudden onset though, it can be accompanied by severe emotional distress, stress, and anxiety.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, lasts much longer than acute pain. Pain is considered chronic when it lasts for more than six months. This type of pain is usually associated with a long term health condition or illness, and can sometimes be the result of nerve damage. Pain management for chronic pain can also be quite difficult to manage because traditional pharmaceutical relief options often come with their own set of undesirable side effects like altered mind states and the possibility of addiction.
Additional Ways Pain Can Be Classified
Pain can also be further categorized by the damage that was caused during the onset of pain.
This type of pain results from tissue damage. Nociceptors are the nerves that sense and respond to different types of pain. They detect signals from damaged tissue and send messages to the brain in the form of pain. Nociceptive pain examples include sprains, bruises, burns, and bumps.
This type of pain results from nerve damage. Inflammatory conditions are related to neuropathic pain, such as arthritis and some autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s Disease. Other conditions related to this type of pain are certain headaches, cramps, and general aches and pain.
How Does CBD Regulate Pain?
Unfortunately, up until December of 2018 CBD was classified as a Schedule I drug by the United States government, making it very difficult for scientists to study. With a small study pool, it’s hard to find conclusive data on how CBD can be used to treat pain. However, the studies that we do have access to now show promising results.
According to this study that was conducted to study arthritic pain in animal models, CBD has been shown to be effective with inhibiting several different types of pain including acute, nociceptive, neuropathic, and inflammatory.
Current data suggests that CBD has the ability to relieve pain by:
Reducing inflammation. Swelling of tissue can put pressure on pain receptors. CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory. +
Stopping the absorption of anandamide which is a natural molecule that regulates pain +
By helping you get more sleep more for better pain management +
CBD can help reduce pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort.
What Types of Conditions Can CBD Help?
Studies so far suggest that CBD can help manage and reduce pain associated with:
spinal cord injuries
How to Take CBD for Pain
The potency of CBD is affected by the method of delivery chosen and the genetic makeup of the person consuming it. This means that finding the right method of delivery and proper dosage that works best for you is an individual process. What works for your friend taking CBD might not have the same impact on you. Learn more about CBD bioavailability and why it’s important.
With that in mind, it’s important to adjust your dosage until you find your sweet spot. If you find that you’re taking your CBD many times a day to reach your sweet spot, it’s time to up the potency of your CBD oil. For instance if you’re taking 3 dropper fulls a day of a 250mg CBD oil tincture, you might want to purchase a 500mg CBD oil tincture and take 1 dropper full instead.
Here is a general CBD dosage chart to help give you a starting point.
Remember to adjust your dosage as needed and work your way up to your sweet spot.
Use this chart as a starting point and work your way up to your sweet spot.
CBD Delivery Methods for Pain
Topical CBD pain creams and salves applied directly to affected areas may be helpful for localized pain. It can help reduce joint swelling, as well as offer anti-inflammatory, pain relief, and anti-itch relief properties.
CBD oil taken under the tongue, ingested, or inhaled can be more beneficial in treating more generalized pain.
CBD with Terpenes for Pain Relief
Terpenes are plant compounds found all over nature. Terpenes are what give plants their aromatic properties. This study showed that CBD with the added benefit of terpenes showed a greater reduction in pain due to the synergistic interaction between cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This highly suggests that CBD with terpenes that specifically target pain can offer a boost of therapeutic benefits over taking regular CBD when it comes to pain management because most terpenes are destroyed during the CBD extraction process.
CBD oil with terpenes offers greater therapeutic benefits over CBD oil alone.
Believe it or not, people have been using CBD for thousands of years to treat different types of pain. Due to the legality issues behind hemp and marijuana, the true effectiveness that CBD has with pain management hasn’t been fully studied yet. With loosening laws, however, we do expect to see an uptick in medical studies concerning CBD and pain management.