Every day, millions of people have to deal with different medical conditions, all resulting in some pain they have to endure. For ages, humans have relied on pharmaceutically-manufactured painkillers to manage these pains.
However, their effectiveness has been a matter of great concern, especially because of their far-fetching side effects. To solve this, natural remedy such as cannabidiol (CBD) have come in handy as they do not result in dependency and are not associated with any severe side effects.
Today, there is a growing demand for CBD products for pain such as creams, pills, capsules, gummies, and various other products due to their effectiveness.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation of cannabidiol, one of the more than 100 natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. One other prominent compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Studies have shown that CBD is enriched with therapeutic properties that make it a perfect remedy for medical conditions such as pain, anxiety, appetite and even reduced episodes of epilepsy.
There are numerous uniquely formulated products such as CBD cream for pain that have proven effective in managing muscle and joint pains. Studies show that a combination of CBD and THC is more effective in managing pain, unlike when it is used independently.
Note that CBD used in making commercial products is extracted from industrial hemp with THC concentration below the legally-acceptable 0.3% and not from cannabis, which, according to the Food and Drugs Administration of the United States, is classified under Schedule 1 substance as per the Controlled Substance Act.
CBD for Pain Relief
40% of American CBD users have cited pain relief as their main reason for usage, with a majority ditching pharmaceutical painkillers altogether. Based on their feedback, they argue that CBD effectively manages various pains they have to endure daily. The following are some of the pains CBD products have come in handy.
Arthritis & Joint Pain
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 24% (about 58 million Americans) suffer from arthritis. It is a condition responsible for the highest number of work-related disabilities. Furthermore, managing arthritis is costly. The condition is characterized by stiffness, pain, and swellings in the joints. While pharmaceutical pain relief remains popular in managing arthritis-related pain, preliminary studies and clinical research indicate that CBD can be effective in managing this condition. A 2006 controlled trial of Sativex on rheumatoid arthritis patients showed that CBD could be effective in reducing pain for patients when they move or rest and helped improve the quality of their sleep.
A similar trial was conducted in 2018 where CBD topical gel was used by researchers in collaboration with Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), where significant improvements in pain levels were observed. Other studies have shown that full-spectrum CBD products deliver better results as cannabinoids synergistically complement each other.
Those who suffer from unending pain can find relief in CBD-infused products. Studies have shown that a combination of CBD can be your ultimate natural remedy, allowing you to live a normal life free from chronic pain. In Canada and the United Kingdom, Sativex is approved to treat pain related to cancer and multiple sclerosis. Similar trials are ongoing in the United States to establish efficacy. Chronic pain can stem from nerves, body tissues, joints or a blend of many other body parts of the body.
More than 16 million American adults (about 8%) suffer from chronic back pain, which eventually hinders their ability to carry out their daily activities. According to the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, back pain treatment is the sixth most expensive in the USA, costing about $12 billion annually.
Studies show that CBD can help reduce back pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to improve sleep quality and anxiety, usually caused by chronic back pain. CBD cream for pain and other topicals are especially recommended as it directly targets the nerves and muscles connected to the spinal cord.
Even though there is limited research specifically looking into the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of migraine pain, preliminary findings indicate that it can indeed be effective if used jointly with THC as opposed to being used independently. It helps reduce the pain intensity as well as the frequency. According to the study findings, the recommended dosage for peak performance was 200mg, which saw a drop in migraine attacks by close to 40%.
The sensitive nature of the nervous system makes it vulnerable to any form of injury, which usually results in severe pain normally characterized by weakness of muscles, numbness, tingling, sharp or stabbing pain. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis that consume nerve cell coatings known as myelin are currently managed by Sativex in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. A different study conducted in 2020 showed that CBD could equally manage peripheral neuropathy by reducing acute pain, itchiness, and cold.
Cancer Related Pain
According to the WHO, cancer is a leading killer disease worldwide, having claimed more than 20 million people in 2020 alone. For years, medical researchers have been trying to cure the disease. Recent research studies have shown that CBD can help shrink cancerous tumours due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. Furthermore, CBD is believed to help reduce symptoms associated with the side effects of chemotherapy, such as vomiting, pain, and loss of appetite.
A study conducted, In 2010 alluded that a combination of CBD with opioids delivered better pain relief than when either was used separately. While there is hope for cancer patients globally, more human studies are needed to establish the efficacy.
CBD for Athletes
In athletics, there is no gaining without pain. You have to endure hours of rigorous exercises, and when on the pitch or track, you have to deal with your equally prepared opponents. As a result, athletes are most likely to experience injuries, from mild to severe ones that result in excruciating pain.
CBD is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, making it the best natural remedy for pain relief. Depending on the nature of the pain, you may have to choose your CBD-infused products carefully. Topicals, for example, are highly recommended for muscle and joint pains.
It is also important to emphasize that athletes should only consume THC-free CBD products. Athletes can also use CBD for anxiety and depression just before any competition to help them calm down and focus on the task ahead.
Is CBD for Pain Relief Helpful?
While the effectiveness of CBD for pain relief may vary from one user to another, feedback from most CBD users has been positive that indeed it works. A 2019 report showed that 40% of CBD users cited pain relief, with some arguing that it was more effective than some pharmaceutical painkillers. Studies have also shown that CBD contains, among others, anti-inflammatory properties that aid in pain relief. So, based on that, it is safe to say that, indeed, it can be helpful.
How Do You Use CBD Products for Pain Relief?
How you use CBD-infused products for pain relief will squarely depend on several factors such as type or nature of pain, severity, and product type. For example, topicals such as creams and gels are great for muscle and joint pains. Edibles like pills and capsules might work best for migraines and other types of pain. Just ensure that you stick to the dosage guidelines and adjust where necessary to get the perfect effect.
Are There Any Possible Side Effects?
Most users do not experience any severe side effects as a natural supplement. However, a few users have reported some side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness and low blood pressure. Depending on the user’s tolerance levels, they might experience the following adverse effects diarrhea, vomiting, disorientation and nausea. Furthermore, medical experts discourage using CBD alongside other medicine as it might cause a reaction. Kindly consult your physician if you are undertaking any other medication before using CBD.
Even though the effectiveness of CBD for pain relief may vary from one person to another, scientific studies and research findings, as well as testimonials from CBD users, indicate that it is effective in managing various types of pain.
Products such as Sativex are already offering much-needed pain relief to patients who have to deal with pain resulting from various medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. However, more human-centric research is needed to establish their efficacies and applications.