Using CBD oil for pain seems to be effective, however, pain can be hard to accurately describe, especially considering how pain thresholds vary considerably from person to person. Therefore, understanding what type of pain you are experiencing is very important when considering how to treat it.
CBD should in no way be thought of as a cure-all for pain in general. Just like you wouldn’t consider treating a cut the same way you would treat a headache, CBD oil for pain should be applied correctly.
In today’s article, we will be looking into the research on CBD oil for pain and how you might be able to use CBD effectively.
What is CBD
CBD or “cannabidiol” is one of over 120 compounds known as cannabinoids that are sourced from the industrial hemp plant. It has been shown to interact with the endocannabinoid system, a collection of neurotransmitters in the brain and throughout the body. Burgeoning research suggests that CBD has a large number of health benefits, with the potential to treat pain being one of them.
For a more in-depth description of CBD and its background, please take a look at our previous articles to learn more about CBD and its many applications.
CBD’s Connection to Pain
In our last article, ‘CBD for Sleep‘, we touched briefly on the idea that CBD can be used to treat pain. Basically, there are two types of pain that CBD has the potential to treat: neuropathic and inflammatory. Let’s begin by taking a quick look at how exactly CBD could relieve these types of pain.
Within the endocannabinoid system of our bodies, there are two different receptors called CB1 and CB2. The first predominantly interacts with neurons in the brain and the latter plays a considerable role in the immune system by regulating pain and inflammation. CBD indirectly with these receptors, producing a positive stimulating effect.
CBD can interact with other receptors as well, including glycine receptors, which are inhibitory receptors responsible for the way in which we interpret pain. Studies suggest that glycine receptors, interact with cannabinoids like CBD and help reduce neuropathic pain.
The Science Behind CBD and Pain Management
CBD is also said to act as a reuptake inhibitor of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in reducing inflammatory pain, allowing more adenosine to reach the brain. There are a fair number of preclinical studies with rats to support this claim. Specifically, preclinical trials conducted by the European Journal of Pain looked into how CBD might be used to treat arthritis-related pain and revealed that over the course of four days, researchers saw a decrease in inflammation and reported signs of reduced pain in rat subjects with zero notable side effects.
In addition, the study revealed evidence to support the claim that CBD may be able to modulate how we feel pain and to what degree we feel pain. The Journal of Experimental Medicine reports CBD usage for chronic pain, also by reducing inflammation. It also notes that subjects are not likely to develop a tolerance to CBD’s analgesic (painkiller) effect, thus eliminating the need for progressively higher doses.
Finally, the results of a nearly two-decade-long study on the effectiveness of CBD oil for pain concluded that not only is CBD a viable method of pain management, but its side effects also are quite small. Side effects are usually limited to diarrhea, appetite changes, or drowsiness. Compare this to traditional pain relief medication such as habit-forming opiates or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, which can cause kidney damage, stroke, and other negative side effects if used in the long-term to treat chronic pain.
Conclusion: A Safer Alternative?
For some of us, pain may feel like a fact of life, but your options for treatment don’t have to be limited to traditional methods. With the large amount of research backing its claim to pain relief, CBD could very well be considered an alternative to the more common NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) and seems to be better for you in the long term as well.
If you are considering CBD to treat pain, would like to learn more, or have any questions about CBD or health in general, please feel free to contact us here at HealthyTOKYO by using the onsite chat feature located at the bottom right of the page.
Before you go, just remember:
- CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce a number of positive health benefits such as pain reduction
- CBD is reported to work well in treating both neuropathic and inflammatory based pain
- CBD oil for pain has not shown any loss of effectiveness after periods of long-term use and has only minor reported side effects