CBD For Pain And Inflammation: Does It Work?
Does CBD for pain and inflammationworks? Is it a better substitute for pain killers? Let’s find out!
Occasionally people suffer from pain and exhaustion. Sudden pain causes your immune system to react spontaneously, sending instant signals from the injured area up to your spinal cord.
But what if the pain becomes consistent and there is no way for you to ease the extreme pain? This is what physicians refer to as “Chronic Pain.”
Chronic Pain Overview
Chronic pain lasts for a minimum of 12 weeks, and in this situation, your body continues to send pain signals to your brain even after an injury heals. An individual can suffer from chronic pain from several weeks to years. Chronic pain can have an adverse effect on your movements and muscular strength, making it impossible for you to carry on with your daily task. Chronic pain can occur due to many reasons such as headache, post-trauma pain, arthritis, cancer, lower back pain, and so on.
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, about 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. Doctors use medicines (OTC pain-killers, opioids, and analgesics), medical procedures such as electric stimulation, surgery, nerve block injections, and lifestyle procedures to reduce pain and boost mobility. These are used independently or in combination depending on patient symptoms and any underlying health conditions.
However, both medicines and medical procedures come with side effects and are expensive. CBD for chronic pain is emerging as a 100% natural and zero-side effects alternative.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. The cannabis plant has more than 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids, among which CBD is the most abundantly found compound. CBD does not create the “high” feeling like THC and offers tons of therapeutic benefits, as proven by medical research.
CBD‘s popularity is skyrocketing due to its ability to treat several medical conditions, including pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorder, among others. CBD also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and boost the immune system for overall well-being.
How CBD Deals With Chronic Pain?
The human body has a unique network of neurotransmitters spread all across the brain, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a cell signaling system in the human body that balances and regulates appetite and metabolism, memory, and immune response.
According to CBD research, it indirectly influences the endocannabinoid receptors and mediates the transmission of pain signals, which in turn, reducing pain and inflammation. Cannabinoids are 10 times more effective than morphine for pain management, as per research.
According to evidence gathered by the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), CBD is a natural remedy for reducing chronic pain. In a 2020 review, it was further concluded that CBD could alleviate chronic pain while also significantly reducing inflammation, both chronic and acute inflammation.
CBD and Pain
Considering all the research on the effects of CBD, let’s see how effective it is in different chronic pain types.
It is one of the trickiest types of chronic pain to treat. It is caused due to damage in the somatosensory nerves, which is responsible for controlling sensory stimuli. People suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes, and injuries caused by herniated discs commonly experience neuropathic pain.
A 2017 review reposted that CBD can effectively treat chronic neuropathy pain, looking at 11 random controlled trials with 1,219 patients.
An animal study conducted in 2016 by the European Journal of Pain applied CBD gel on rats suffering from arthritis for 4 days. It was observed that there was a significant reduction in both pain and swelling without any side-effects. The researchers deduced that using CBD for arthritis can help soothe the pain and work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
A human study conducted in 2006 on CBD for inflammation and pain provided similar results. Seeing the medical results and anecdotal evidence, the Arthritis Foundation of Atlanta has also recognized CBD as a natural remedy for treating arthritis pain and has released the guidance for CBD use.
When we look at studies on migraine and CBD, there are not many, and almost all look at the combined use of THC and CBD for migraine pain relief.
Researchers carried out a study in 2017, which indicates that pairing CBD with THC can reduce acute migraine pain to a significant degree. This was a two-phase study in which two groups of participants took two different combinations of CBD, one with THC and one without. The results showed that CBD and THC combination helped reduce migraine pain and cluster headache significantly.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that affects the whole body using the brain and nerves, making the body fall into spasms. These spams can be very strong and lead to consistent pain.
CBD pain relief properties may have the answer to reduce muscle spasms in patients suffering from MS, as research has found short-term use of CBD oil for MS to be quite effective in treating the symptoms.
Relieve Pain for Cancer Treatment
CBD has also proven beneficial in treating pain in cancer patients. Based on a mice study, it was concluded that CBD could help reduce cancerous tumors, but human studies deal with CBD and cancer-related pain.
The National Cancer Institute reports that CBD can help patients deal with the chemotherapy side effects such as pain, vomiting, and lack of appetite. A 2010 study concluded that CBD provides effective pain relief and used oral spray containing a combination of both CBD and THC in combination with opioids.
Possible Side Effects of CBD
Although CBD has become an ideal natural alternative for treating pain, it may cause some minor side effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and weight.
Moreover, if you are taking any prescription medicines, you must consult your physician before taking CBD. A doctor will suggest you the right CBD dose for pain depending on your condition and physical structure.