According to users, CBD oil eases anxiety, relieves depression, and helps with sleep issues. In May 2018, the Food and Drugs Administration approved CBD in the treatment of two forms of severe epilepsy. That made CBD the first marijuana compound to be approved by the federal government.
The point is that CBD could have a significant impact in the world of medicine. There is potential for the compound to be a game-changer in pain relief and management. There are several studies and ongoing research that suggest it could help the millions of Americans that struggle with chronic pain. It is already in use as a pain relief drug. The trend towards the compound for pain relief is attributed to the fact that it is natural and non-addictive. People are ingesting it as a pill, smoking it through a vaporizer, and applying it as a topical oil.
What you should be asking yourself is if CBD oil really works for pain relief. Read on to find out more.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of the more than 120 compounds referred to as cannabinoids. Many plants contain cannabinoids. However, the compound is mostly found in cannabis plants such as hemp.
The method used to breed the plant affects the CBD levels. Industrial Hemp produces most CBD as it has a higher level of CBD compared to other cannabis plants. CBD is extracted and added to a carrier oil, after which it is called CBD oil.
Using CBD Oil for Pain Relief
The medical world has been using opioids for pain relief. But, opioids are highly addictive and have led to what is commonly referred to as the opioid epidemic. CBD has been in use for pain relief for many years. The medical world has just recently begun studying it to see if it can become a non-addictive alternative for pain management.
The following are some possible applications of CBD to treat and manage pain:
CBD and Chronic Pain
According to this report, CBD can be used to treat chronic pain. In the report, the researchers compiled results from studies and research conducted between 1980 and 2007. The researchers concluded that CBD was effective in relieving chronic pain without adverse side effects.
Experts think that CBD interacts with receptors in the immune system and brain. Receptors are attached to cells and help cells respond to signals from different stimuli. CBD helps receptors to react accurately leading to anti-inflammation and pain-killing effects. CBD, therefore, could help people with chronic pain such as back pain.
CBD and Arthritis Pain
According to this study, CBD could help in pain management for people with arthritis. The researchers conducting this study applied a topical gel containing CBD on rats suffering from arthritis. They applied the gel for four days.
Within that period, they noted a significant drop in signs of pain in the rats and they observed there were no side effects. Scientists are yet to conduct human trials to confirm these findings. However, there is hope that CBD oil might help people living with arthritis with pain management.
CBD and Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition that affects the nervous system and the brain. Its most common symptom is muscle spasms. Muscle spasms cause constant pain.
This report suggests that CBD oil reduces the levels of spasms in people suffering from MS. Most people in the study reported a reduction in these symptoms. More studies are needed before CBD oil can be approved as a treatment for MS.
CBD and Cancer Treatment
Researchers are looking into CBD as an alternative for managing pain related to cancer and cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute sees CBD as a possible treatment for pain caused by chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
Other Uses of CBD Oil
CBD oil in the USA has multiple applications. However, its legality varies across different states.
Apart from pain relief, its current uses and future possibilities include:
- Treating seizures in epileptic patients
- Treating anxiety
- Stopping smoking and the effects of drug withdrawal
- Antipsychotic effects on people suffering from schizophrenia
- Reducing some effects of Alzheimer’s
- Future applications in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and acne
CBD Does Not Make You High
CBD is derived from cannabis and closely associated with marijuana. So, it is fair to be concerned about getting ‘high’ after using it. The good news is that it does not have any psychoactive effects; it does not affect the state of your mind.
When you smoke weed, you get the ‘high’ feeling because marijuana contains a cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Your body has a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. In fact, the human body generates cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. The ECS helps with body functions such as sleep, pain, and immune system responses.
THC causes the ‘high’ feeling after interacting with the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. CBD effects are very different. It makes the endocannabinoids, produced by your body, to work effectively.
According to this study, CBD on its own has a minimal effect on the ECS. What it does is activate or inhibit other compounds in the ECS. For instance, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide (a compound involved in pain regulation). By doing that, anandamide levels in the bloodstream increases reducing pain.
Best CBD Oil for Pain
There are different types of CBD oil products. The following are the most popular types of CBD oil used in pain relief.
Tinctures - Tinctures are CBD concentrates that are taken sublingually (under the tongue). Typically, a tincture CBD dosage is one or two drops. You will experience the effects of CBD oil fast since the area under the tongue absorbs compounds directly into the bloodstream.
CBD Topical Creams - CBD concentrates are added to other oils and sold as creams or salves. You apply the cream directly on the skin. This CBD oil option is excellent for treating joint and muscle pain. Topical creams are not a good option for internal pain which cannot be targeted.
CBD Capsules - CBD capsules contain CBD concentrates. The dosage is dependent on the strength of the concentrate in the capsule and the level of pain you are experiencing. Generally, CBD capsules take longer to take effect.
CBD Oil Side Effects
CBD oil does not have adverse side effects. The following are the side effects of CBD oil according to this review by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research:
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss or weight gain
CBD’s long-term side effects are yet to be studied. However, the fact that it does not have any adverse short-term effects such as addiction is a good sign.
CBD Oil Dosage
Unfortunately, the FDA currently does not regulate CBD as a form of treatment for pain relief. Most of the dosages you find are those that different users have come up with after trial and error.
Before using CBD oil to treat pain, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you whether it is a good idea to use CBD oil and the amount to take.
There are lots of studies suggesting that CBD oil can be used in pain management and relief. CBD is promising, especially considering it does not have adverse side effects and it is non-addictive. However, additional research and human trials to confirm these studies are needed.