As the name suggests, psychogenic pain is associated with certain psychological factors that can trigger pain or even prolong it. In many cases a person’s physical pain doesn’t match their symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. Headaches, stomach aches and aching muscles are common. While therapy is recommended, pain medication and anti-depressants are also often prescribed, both of which tend to come with a range of unpleasant side-effects. CBD is becoming a popular alternative, offering a strong analgesic effect while also delivering a myriad other health benefits.
By acting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to keep our body functioning optimally, CBD is able to influence everything from our immune function and nervous system to our mood and even our memory processing. By maintaining the balance of the ECS, CBD helps to improve our pain response, alter our pain perception and alleviate the anxiety and insomnia that are often associated with continued or chronic pain.
While more research needs to be done to better understand psychogenic pain, some argue that pain memory can trigger new episodes of pain. Cognitive behavioural therapy is useful in addressing the psychological factors underpinning this type of pain, but with its ability to potentially influence memory processing, CBD might be a valuable addition to any treatment plan.
While there are no studies on the link between CBD and pain memory in particular, CBD’s potential to assist with the reconsolidation of memory is evident in a study on addiction. The study of rats looked at how CBD disrupts the reconsolidation of contextual drug-associated memories, suggesting it can influence memory recall, blocking memories linked to drug use. If it can achieve these results for addicts, there is the possiblity it can do the same for pain memory. Equally important for the treatment of this type of pain, which often stems from an emotional or mental stressor, is CBD’s abilitiy to promote relaxation and calm the mind to aid better sleep and reduce anxiety.
Psychology aside, CBD is able to relieve the physical symptoms of pain, making it more manageable. By acting on cytokine molecules, which are produced by the immune cells, CBD helps to reduce inflammation – the soure of most pain – in turn delivering a potent analgesic effect. CBD also impacts the functioning of the nervous system, which plays a role in our pain response. By binding to the receptors in the peripheral nervous system that are responsible for triggering the sensation of pain, CBD helps to increase our pain threshold.
Natural, safe and effective, CBD is a therapeutic treatment worth exploring. Whether you choose a CBD vape, oil, edible or even a topical treatment, start with a lower dose and increase it incrementally until you find the dosage that works for your particular pain profile.