CBD (cannabidiol) oil has been gaining popularity as an alternative pain relief method, due to its natural properties and health benefits. Cannabidiol oil, which is a specific compound extracted from cannabis plants, has the potential to provide pain relief from a wide range of different ailments like arthritis and back pain, as it is thought to reduce inflammation and your perception of pain. Unlike other painkillers, it also has little to no side effects. This is great news for people suffering from chronic pain, who find it difficult to find lasting and effective pain relief.
However, while people in traditional cultures having been using cannabinoids plants for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, the modern medical community have only recently begun to study it again. As well, because CBD oil comes from marijuana plants, many people associate it with the drug and see it simply as a way of getting high, when in fact that is not the case. Because of this, its benefits and uses are still relatively unknown to the population at large. In this article, we are going to break down what exactly CBD is, how it works, and the benefits it has in treating different types of pain.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of more than 80 chemical cannabinoids found in the plant Cannabis Sativa. CBD oil is the oil that is developed using this particular compound.
It is important to note that CBD is different from the other well-known cannabinoid, THC. While cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both compounds found within the cannabis plant that can act as pain relievers, THC is the one that is responsible for most of the psychoactive effects that cause users to feel “high”.
THC and CBD are found in different concentrations in the cannabis plants’ two primary species, hemp, and marijuana. Because both hemp and marijuana derive from the Cannabis Sativa plant family, they of course share certain similarities, however, hemp has a much higher ratio of CBD and very low concentrations of THC. In fact, hemp contains less than 0.3.% THC. This is the crucial difference, and is why the CBD oil that is legally available in all 50 states is extracted from hemp plants.
How does CBD Oil Work?
Research suggests that CBD oil works by connecting with our cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies contain two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1, and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain, while CB2 receptors are located throughout the body, most importantly in the immune system.
CB2 receptors play a significant role in our immune systems, regulating pain and inflammation. Nearly every type of human disease, including pain-related illnesses, involve some sort of the change in CB2 function.
While CBD can bind to some CB2 receptors, it seems to have the biggest impact indirectly, by activating our non-cannabinoid receptors, which in turn creates a positive effect on the body’s pain and inflammation responses. For example, one of the receptors that CBD has been found to act is the Glycine receptors, which are located in the central nervous system and play a major role in the perception of pain. CBD boosts the effects of these receptors, as so helps treat neuropathic pain.
CBD is also able to reduce inflammation in the body by limiting re-uptake of the neurotransmitter, adenosine. It slows down how quickly your brain absorbs adenosine, therefore increasing its levels and impacting the activity of adenosine receptors, particularly the A2A receptor. This receptor plays a significant role in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
CBD Oil For Joint Pain and Arthritis
For people experiencing joint pain related to different types of arthritis, CBD offers alternative a pain relief solution. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and as mentioned earlier, CBD can help to reduce inflammation in the body. In this way, it can help to decrease the pain, stiffness, and discomfort that sufferers of joint pain deal with.
As well, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus impact the immune system, which can give you achy joints. Both of these are autoimmune disorders, which means they occur in part because the immune system is unable to recognize the body’s natural processes. Your body gets confused, and so begins to attack and destroy the wrong cells. CBD can help suppress this undesired immune response, and therefore relieve achy joints.
CBD Oil For Back Pain
Chronic back pain is one of the most common complaints in adults, and it is often hard to find pain relief that works. Whether caused by injury, disease, or lifestyle, back pain can cause stiffness, immobility, and debilitating nerve damage that severely impacts your day to day life.
Usually this type of pain is treated with opiate medications, however a lot of people find they become too reliant and face harmful side effects. CBD is a good alternative, as its pain reducing, anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve discomfort, without the negative side effects. CBD does this by activating the TRPV1 receptors, which are involved in regulating pain, body temperature, and inflammation.
CBD Oil For Muscle Pain and Spasms
Muscle pain, tightness, and spasms happen to everyone from time to time, while for others with certain conditions, like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, or epilepsy, the pain, tremors or spasms are chronic. Even though studies into the use of CBD oil for this type is pain is limited, there have been results that suggest that it can help. Like with the other types of pain mentioned, CBD has an effect on receptors in the nervous system, and in that way calms your muscles and provides relief.
How to use CBD Oil for Pain
It is always recommended to talk with your doctor before using CBD oil, especially if you are suffering from chronic pain. While CBD oil is largely safe, there is always a very small chance that you will have side effects, and since studies into this are still new, it is hard to say exactly what they would be. The main concern is it could affect any medications you are already taking, so where possible check with a physician first. If your doctor is not familiar with CBD Oil and its uses for pain, consider consulting with a cannabis doctor.
The second potential side effect is drowsiness. Even though this is a relatively mild side effect, it is important to know that it can affect your alertness, so be mindful of when you take it.
With that said, there are multiple ways to take CBD oil. How you use CBD oil depends on your personal preferences and your unique needs. For example, if you are suffering from joint or muscle pain, using a topical CDB oil cream may be the most effective format. However, you can also take it in the form of capsules, vape, smokables, edibles, drops, and dietary supplements.
Because everyone is different, there is no one standard dosage of CBD oil for pain. No matter which format you choose for your CBD oil, it is important that you follow the suggested serving sizes that are normally provided. As a rough guideline, start by taking 20mg of CBD twice a day. If you find after a few weeks that you are not seeing any results, try upping your dosage.
The idea is to start slow and see how your body responds. As studies into CBD Oil for Pain are still limited, it is best to err on the side of caution. Make sure to buy your CBD products from a reputable seller, and always check the provided use guidelines.