The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill has opened doors for more research studies regarding the beneficial effects of CBD for pain. Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound can be effective in managing chronic pain. Over the past few years, CBD’s popularity and usage have grown significantly. But what are its effectiveness in treating pain and potential side effects? This article offers a review of CBD for Chronic Pain, including how it works.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD is the 2nd most prevalent compound in the cannabis plant. It’s mostly extracted from the hemp plant which has less THC content. CBD is non-psychoactive and normally produces beneficial effects in the body.
How CBD Works for Chronic Pain
CBD usually works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for regulating homeostasis. This system helps to regulate functions such as sleep, pain, appetite, immune system responses, and others. ECS contains naturally produced endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that are found in the brain and the whole nervous system. CBD works by interacting with the receptors to naturally activate systems that can change how the brain perceives pain.
Cannabidiol can increase the levels of anandamide in the body. Anandamide is a compound that’s responsible for pain regulation. By lowering the levels of Anandamide, CBD can reduce the body’s pain perception and help to enhance good moods.
Using CBD oil can also limit inflammation in the nervous system. This effect may be beneficial in people experiencing chronic pain, sleeplessness, arthritis, and other immune conditions.
What The Research Says
The legalization of hemp has paved for more long-term and in-depth research. Even though there are currently limited research reports, evidence suggests that CBD can be great in supporting good well-being. Studies have established that CBD, alongside other cannabinoids such as THC, can effectively relieve pain for various chronic conditions. Clinical trials done with Sativex; a CBD-based spray found that it successfully reduced cancer-related pain.
A 2015 study that was published in Neurotherapeutics shows that CBD may effectively influence a wide range of receptors in the body. This may consequentially influence how the ECS and other cannabinoids in the body respond to pain. It’s important to know that current reports are from preliminary studies. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, more in-depth research studies are expected to be conducted to determine the full mechanism of action of CBD for pain.
How to Take CBD for Chronic Pain
There are several ways of using CBD. This depends on your source of discomfort, the effects you desire to achieve, and your preferred mode of application. Three of the most commonly used techniques of taking CBD for chronic pain include:
CBD oils are among the most popular forms of CBD. They are meant for sublingual application by placing a few drops under the tongue. By passing through the blood vessels found underneath the tongue, CBD compound will find its way into the bloodstream. For best results, always choose premium CBD oil for pain since they are likely to be more effective with fewer side effects.
CBD edibles are products for oral ingestion. They are generally ideal for managing chronic pain since they normally produce lasting effects on the body. You can find these consumables in the form of gummies, cookies, and capsules. Edibles come in pre-dosed format and are usually easy to dose. Furthermore, they are usually delicious treats that offer discreetness.
CBD topicals are made for external application to a specific body part. They include products such as balms, lotions, creams, or salves. You can use CBD topicals to treat painful joints such as those caused by arthritis. They are also ideal for muscle sprains or soreness, especially after workouts.
CBD Dosage for Chronic Pain
How much CBD should you take when dealing with pain? Well, there are several factors that determine CBD dosage. They include:
- Form of CBD: CBD vape oil has a higher bioavailability than CBD gummies. This means that you will use less vape oil and more CBD gummies to attain almost similar effects.
- Pain severity: Extreme chronic will require more CBD oil dosage and vice-versa.
- Weight: Individuals with more weight will need more CBD due to their high BMI and vice-versa.
Generally, you will need a mild to moderate CBD oil dose if you are dealing with mild pain like lower back pain, low-grade arthritis, and PMS. Treatment-resistant conditions or severe pain involving cancer tumors, multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain need a heavier dose of CBD oil.
Weight is the most commonly used way of determining dosage. For low-strength potency, consider using 2mg CBD per 10 kg. Medium-strength effects need around 7 mg CBD per 10 kg and high-strength effects would require about 13 mg CBD per 10 kg.
CBD oil for pain should be used like any other form of individualized therapy. Every patient is different and establishing your treatment goals initially is important. Besides that, it’s important to note that starting with a lower dosage is great. It helps to ensure you don’t experience harsh side effects due to high amounts of intake. Additionally, you can slowly adjust and increase your intake until you find an ideal solution.
Safety and Side Effects of CBD
CBD is a compound with a relatively good safety profile. However, it can result in minor side effects due to individual chemical reactions. Some of the side effects occur as a result of high cannabidiol doses as well. If you intend to use CBD for pain management, you might experience side effects such as:
- Lower heart rate
- Change in weight
- Low blood pressure
- Change in sleep patterns
CBD oil usually works with the endocannabinoid system to promote a feeling of normalcy and good well-being. Evidence from preliminary research studies shows that CBD can regulate hormonal response, inflammation, the nervous system, and the brain. These consequentially influence how the body responds to pain. You can use CBD topically, sublingually, or ingest edibles. Even though CBD has a good safety profile, it can result in possible side effects. So, users should exercise caution when using CBD oil.