CBD or cannabidiol is now being used in the medical industry. Many people purport it to be a natural quick fix to insomnia, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and pain. You can also find it in various forms, such as CBD-infused drinks, meals, lotions, and oils.
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Although its legality is still in question, it is increasingly popular in the U.S. According to NCBI, more than 62 percent of its users use it to treat and manage their chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. But does it work?
Before we can delve into its ability to relieve pain, you need to fully understand what cannabidiol is, its benefits, and its effects.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound that is part of the more than 120 compounds called cannabinoids derived from cannabis. Another cannabinoid that most people confuse with CBD is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, unlike THC, CBD does not leave you with a euphoric effect since the two compounds do not affect the same receptors. Although it is not intoxicating, it can leave you feeling drowsy.
CBD is an extract of the hemp plant. To be considered legal under federal law, the hemp plant should not contain more than 0.3 percent THC.
Is CBD an Effective Painkiller?
According to medical experts, CBD can relieve pain, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation. But how does it work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the part of the human body that receives and translates the signals from cannabinoids. It has a range of body functions that regulate sleep, mood, appetite, immune system response, and pain.
The ECS system produces endocannabinoids that help to keep the internal functions of the body running smoothly. They are very similar to cannabinoids, only that the body makes them.
When THC enters the body, it interacts with endocannabinoid receptors, causing the brain to release pleasure chemicals such as dopamine, giving you the “high” feeling. It also causes other effects such as an increase in your appetite or even a reduction in pain.
Though, it can also cause some harmful effects such as anxiety and paranoia. On the other hand, CBD interacts with the ECS very differently. More research is needed for experts to be entirely sure of how the CBD interacts with the ECS.
However, researchers have discovered that CBD does not bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in the same way that THC does. Instead, research has revealed that CBD prevents endocannabinoids from breaking down, allowing them to be more effective in your body.
For example, CBD prevents the absorption of anandamide by the body. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid that helps the body to regulate pain. By preventing its absorption, its amount in the bloodstream increases, thus decreasing the amount of pain a person feels.
It also reduced inflammation in the nervous system and brain, benefiting people with insomnia, pain, or any other immune-related issue. It is, therefore, only right to say that CBD has both painkilling and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Since it does not provoke any psychoactive effects, it presents an alternative option for treating people without causing any substantial side effects or addiction.
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How CBD Counteracts Pain?
According to a recent survey, approximately 100 million people in the United States alone live with chronic pain. As a result, most people explore alternative remedies as they search for the best option to provide them with chronic pain relief.
The most common option when all other alternatives fail to work is the use of opioids. But the use of opioids follows with very severe effects such as addiction, breathing difficulty, or even the risk of respiratory depression.
However, you can opt to switch to a CBD prescription since it has a more powerful effect on chronic pain and with only mild effects on the body. The most common way to benefit from CBD is through CBD oil, a hemp oil extract added to carrier oil. You can find it at different concentration levels and use it in various ways, depending on the doctor’s prescription.
There is plenty of research and evidence pointing to CBD oil, providing pain relief to several medical conditions. Some of them include:
A study conducted on lab rats in 2016 revealed positive results regarding the effect of CBD oil on rats with arthritis. After the researchers applied CBD gel for four consecutive days, there was a reduction in inflammation and pain.
There was a study conducted in 2017 on the application of CBD medication on migraines. However, it also incorporated the use of THC but in a lower percentage to CBD. Nonetheless, the results showed tremendous success, with the participants showing a 40.4 percent decrease in the frequency of their migraine attacks.
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Talk to Us
CBD offers a new pathway in the treatment of chronic pain. It may be an excellent option to explore if you have any chronic pain condition that the standard treatment has failed to control. Before trying any CBD oil for pain relief, consult our licensed doctors. They can advise you on whether it is appropriate for you and guide you on the best way to incorporate it into your pain management therapy.