General, Pain, Science

CBD and pain: does it help?

CBD has gained popularity as a natural alternative to a number of medical conditions, but one of the most common reasons people turn to cannabidiol is for pain management. Effective and with limited side effects, CBD is fast becoming the preferred choice for pain relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is having a moment in the world of natural medicine and is fast becoming the elixir of choice for those suffering from a myriad health conditions, particularly pain.

Whether you suffer from migraines, are recovering from an injury or surgery, or are battling with the long-term effects of neuropathic pain often associated with diseases like MS and diabetes, CBD is showing promise as an effective treatment for pain management. 

While opioids are often prescribed for the management of pain, they come with the risk of side effects, ranging from dizziness and nausea to vomiting. But perhaps more concerning is the risk of addiction. Opioids have earned themselves the reputation of being habit-forming – the more you take, the more you need. CBD on the other hand has limited side effects and because as some research suggests you don’t build up a tolerance to it, you are less likely to become dependent and won’t have to adjust your dosage constantly in order for it to be effective. 

So what makes CBD the treatment du jour? Working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains balance in the body by regulating everything from sleep and appetite to immune function, CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that signal the cells in your body to respond a particular way. For the purpose of pain relief, CBD activates the CB2 receptors, which are part of the body’s immune function and are believed to help suppress pain and inflammation.

Some studies suggest that CBD also promotes the production of more natural cannabinoids in the body, which in turn boosts its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving response. One study of rats demonstrated this by looking at the effect of CBD on arthritic pain. Researchers applied a CBD gel to the knee joints of the rats and after four consecutive days of this transdermal treatment, they observed reduced swelling in the affected area as well as an improvement in pain scores, demonstrating cannabidiol’s potent analgesic ability.

Merril Wallace, who had a hysterectomy after being diagnosed with uterine cancer, was introduced to CBD by a friend for the management of post-op pain, which was affecting her sleep. After just a few days, she felt the positive effects, noticing her pain had reduced and her sleep had improved. More importantly, she didn’t experience the drowsiness brought on by most prescription pain medications.  

If the research, albeit limited, along with the mounting anecdotal evidence, still doesn’t convince you of CBD’s health benefits, consider the fact that the cannabis plant, from which CBD is extracted, has been used to treat pain for centuries. From Mongolia to Siberia, there is archeological evidence that suggests cannabis was used medicinally thousands of years ago. In fact, a Siberian burial mound dating back to 3000BC was found to have traces of charred cannabis seeds.  

Unlike centuries ago though, CBD is now available in different forms, from vapes and oil to edibles and topical treatments. So if you’re finding your current treatment arsenal isn’t enough, why not consider throwing CBD into the mix to supplement some of your more conventional pain management methods?

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One thought on “CBD and pain: does it help?

  1. Carolynn Koekemoer says:

    PLEASE i am desperate need help with severe insomnia, What will assist with that challeng?. I have tried every peeping medication, nothing works, long term.

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