Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the two most popular cannabinoids found within the Cannabis/Hemp plant. The second being THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main compound in the marijuana plant that contains the psycho-active properties responsible for the “high” effect. CBD, while a close sister of THC, does not render it’s user “high”, although some testimonials will claim they have mild feelings of euphoria. This could also be a result of the pain relief they experience when using CBD oil for pain. Understanding CBD and it’s functions is the first step to erasing some of the negative stigma surrounding the subject. CBD is commonly used to make oils, capsules, rubs, and even edibles.
Let’s begin with how CBD is able to do what it does. The Endocannabinoid System is an area found within the human brain that is responsible for regulating certain functions throughout the human body., some including mood, inflammation, appetite, pain sensation, and sleep. This system reacts to endogenous cannabinoids that are naturally produced within our body.
More recent studies have discovered, however, that the endocannabinoid system can, in fact, recognize and react to cannabinoids that are introduced to the body from outside sources, which would include the phytocannabinoid: CBD. This discovery was a HUGE breakthrough into a whole world of health benefits provided through one small compound.
CBD for Chronic Pain Relief
Again, CBD does not produce any “high” effects in the user. It simply encourages the body to use it’s own endocannabinoids in a more effective manner. One study suggest that CBD does not directly effect the Endocannabinoid System, but instead, activates the other compounds found inside the system. It stops the absorption of anandamide in the body. This is the compound that is associated with the regulation of pain. Levels of higher anandamide produced in the bloodstream may be why people using CBD for pain, feel less.
Research conducted from 1975 to 2018 was assessed to look at how CBD can be used to relieve some patients of their Chronic Pain. Some ailments that were studied include neuropathic pain, cancer treatment related pain, and fibromyalgia. This research suggested that not only was CBD successful in regulating the pain caused by these issues, but also that it’s side effects (if any) were mild.
CBD for Arthritis Pain Relief
Scientists often use rats to test and study the efficiency of CBD oil for pain. In 2016, a study on rats with arthritis was conducted to understand the benefits of using CBD to manage this pain. The arthritis riddled rats were rubbed with CBD gel for 4 consecutive days, with varying levels of concentration. Noticeable signs of reduced inflammation and reduced pain were noted in the rats given the higher doses of CBD. These higher doses proved to relieve the swelling and pain in the rats. While this study was very promising, more human subjects are needed to test the use of CBD for pain cause by Arthritis. Many people who have already used it in their everyday life, though, will attest to the pain relief they have personally felt.
CBD for Cancer Treatment Relief
Probably one of the more talked about uses for CBD would be Cancer. Because there is no known “cure”, per say, for cancer, many questions were being asked when the rumor that CBD could be used to treat it erupted. While CBD has not been proven to cure Cancer, some people are already using it to treat their cancer related pains.
There have been tests conducted on rats that showed a noticeable shrinking in tumors, but most tests done on humans have focused on managing the pain caused by cancer treatments. Some chemo-therapy related issues that CBD is used to treat as of right now include vomiting, pain, and lack of appetite. Studies have been done using CBD, THC, and opioids together that showed significant levels of reduced pain, more so than just opioids alone. While more study and research will be necessary in the future to examine the full extent of this compound on cancer, science has already made huge leaps toward the positive effects it can have on the body.
CBD for Migraine Pain Relief
Migraines are one of the more common conditions that CBD is currently being used to treat. About 12% of the U.S. population suffers from reoccurring migraines. This is roughly 1 in 8 people in the United States, a pretty significant number. Some rely solely on over the counter pain relievers and will testify that these will just not cut it. Most studies done on the effects of CBD on migraines is typically when it is paired with THC as well. These studies have shown significant decreases in pain levels for migraine sufferers. While the studies on CBD and migraine pain relief are limited as of right now, regular people using CBD to treat migraines will testify to it’s ability to relieve some levels of their pain. If you’ve ever had a migraine, you may find this impossible to believe, but maybe have some readily available for when your next migraine begins to test the theory for yourself.
Some Other Possible Benefits and Uses of CBD
The effects that CBD has on endocannabinoid system leads scientists to believe that CBD can have multiple health benefits in the human body. The medical world continues to do more research and test CBD’s abilities in every possible situation. We already know that CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in the human brain to regulate sensations of pain and inflammation, but what else can it be used to treat exactly?
Some other conditions CBD is currently being used to treat include:
- Relieving some symptoms cause by depression.
- Lowering inflammation in the intestines.
- The lowering of high blood pressure.
- Lowered levels of anxiety.
- Lowered stress levels.
- Relieving some symptoms cause by schizophrenia: paranoia and fear.
- Treating seizures directly related to Epilepsy.
- Reducing some of the symptoms cause by Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Symptoms related to Type 1 Diabetes.
- Improves sleep cycles.
- Positive improvements in heart health. and many more.
While more research will be needed to prove the benefits of CBD for pain and other issues, the future of CBD appears to be very bright as of right now. The research already done has definitely shed a more attractive light on the once dark stigmas surround the compound and it’s mother plant. The FDA recently approved a type of CBD that is used to treat two specific and rare forms of epilepsy which are called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This step really paved the way for more research to be done on CBD and all of it’s abilities to treat the human body.
Finding Your Dosage
Because the use of CBD is still so new, it is not supported by the FDA in the treatments of most other health conditions. More research is still needed to prove it’s worth to the medical community. As a result of this, dosages of CBD remain in a sort of gray area and should be approached with relative caution.
Every package of CBD related products will have a recommended dosage, but there are no official dosages for any conditions. Even so, it is advised that you speak with your doctor so that you two can discuss your particular condition and the amount of CBD that you should use, or if you should use it at all. While the side effects of CBD oil for pain use are rare and limited, they are still possible and may bother existing health issues in some people.
The amount of CBD you use can depend on a few different things, all of which will be specific to you and your body.
These factors include:
- Your Body Mass Index or BMI.
- The condition you plan to use CBD to treat.
- Your personal body chemistry
- The concentration contained within your chosen CBD product.
If your doctor gives you a specific dosage to use, stick to their recommended amount until you are instructed to do otherwise. Your doctor knows you best. Typically, however, most people will find a CBD product they are comfortable with and begin by trying to smallest dosage possible, and then slowly work their way up in dosages until the desired levels of relief in achieved. It is always recommended that this method is done slowly and carefully. While CBD will not get you high if taken in large quantities, it can increase the risks of any negative side effects.
Possible Side Effects of CBD Use
As stated above, research is still being done to fully understand CBD. This includes its health benefits, as well as any negative side effects it may have on people. To date, these side effects remain few and far between. When taken in recommended dosages, CBD appears to treat most peoples conditions without any rough side effects.
Any reported side effects of using CBD for pain have included:
- Appetite Changes.
- Changes in Weight.
- Possible Anxiety.
- Dry Mouth.
Side effects may vary from person to person, if they are to become an issue at all. Like any other medication, it is not for everyone. Women who are pregnant are advised not to use CBD as it has been studied passing through the placental barrier. While it remains unknown how this may affect the unborn baby, doctors prefer that mother’s remain cautious until further scientific testing can be done. Again, it is always recommended that you first speak with your doctor before using any CBD products. Use under the direction of a medical professional is always your safest bet.
Some Other Things to Consider
If you are considering using CBD to treat pain or other medical conditions, it is good to know that some types of CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. If you are using a CBD product that contains levels of THC, avoid driving and any work with heavy machinery until you are aware of how the product is going to effect you and your abilities to operate such things.
CBD related testing has not yet been done on children and because of this it is highly recommended against unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. There is no information to disprove whether or not CBD has any negative effects on the development of a child, and therefore should be treated with caution.
CBD products containing THC are technically legal as long as the level of THC remains below 0.3% concentrate. If you are looking for a CBD product without the tr5aces of THC, CBD Isolates are a good place to start. If you are using a Full Spectrum product that contains THC, it is possible to fail a drug screening test. It is always best to study your states laws regarding THC and CBD use as they vary from state to state.
When you are considering using CBD oil for pain, it is always suggested that you seek out your doctor’s advice before doing so. While there is so much research to support the use of CBD for pain, more will continue to be needed before it can be undoubtedly refuted. If you are considering using CBD without the advice of a doctor, be sure to slowly introduce it to your system as side effects may vary. Using only high quality and top of the line CBD oils and products is also highly recommended. This is not a medication that you want to cut corners to save money on. Look for organic and natural products. This compound shows a lot of potential for future pain relief in a number of different conditions. Only time will tell just how much we have to benefit from the use of CBD for pain.