Chances are yourself, a family member or loved one, or someone you know suffers from chronic pain and the issues often associated with it daily. It can be debilitating and exhausting and leaves many people looking for further relief or better alternatives. Welcome cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, into the mix. The powerful cannabis-derived cannabinoid, CBD, continues to gain popularity as a more natural product that is potentially the answer many people are looking for.
The use of cannabis to help treat pain is not something new. According to a 2017 report published inCannabis and Cannabinoid Research, there is evidence dating back to ancient China of this powerful plant being used in the treatment of pain relief. The naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory properties found in CBD oil is believed to greatly ease chronic pain and promote sounder sleep.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why CBD is potentially an excellent alternative in helping to relieve chronic pain in today’s society.
Chronic pain, by definition, is a constant nagging pain that lasts for 12 weeks or more. Relief is often hard to reach when the pain has gotten to the point of it being considered chronic. This is where further medical treatment or alternatives are needed. Chronic pain can be caused by an injury or sometimes by an underlying illness. This is why it can often take a significant amount of time for doctors to find the underlying cause and develop a proper treatment plan.
Unfortunately, over 100 million Americans are living with and battling chronic pain, according to theInstitute of Medicine of The National Academies. This means a drastically reduced quality of life with a huge number of sufferers and an increased overall cost of chronic pain in the US. Between $560 and $635 billion annually to be exact. This includes healthcare costs, loss of productivity in the workforce, and lost wages.
There are also a significant number of other problems and chronic issues that stem from chronic pain including:
Chronic pain has been most often treated with a range of medications from over-the-counter painkillers to prescription pain medications. There are physicians and other medical professionals who advise some alternative treatments, like physical therapy and meditation, before medication. For centuries, these alternative treatments have been around and advised. But, they can fail to fully alleviate the chronic pain that many people suffer from. Thus leading to the need for further alternatives, medical treatments, and medications.
Chronic pain is completely different for every sufferer. Also, because muscular pain and skeletal-based pain differ so greatly, oftentimes it can be hard for doctors to pinpoint the root cause of the pain and fully treat it over a consistent long-term approach. This often leads to unwanted side effects from medication, often from long-term use, while not fully treating the pain. Long-term use of many pain medications can sometimes lead to:
Pain “treatments” that are often used by doctors include prescription steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and also Opioid-based medications. The rise of Opioid addictions in the US is happening at an alarming rate and many of these start because of an issue with chronic pain. Over 2 Million Americans suffer from substance abuse brought on by prescription painkillers.
Even more alarming is that over 130 people die each day from Opioids. According to estimates from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $78.5 billion a year is the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the US alone. This number includes addiction treatment, costs of healthcare, lost job productivity, and involvement by police and court systems.
So, it is no surprise that many people are looking for a more natural and non-addictive alternative to “traditional” treatments and dangerous painkillers for chronic pain. CBD is just the alternative that has piqued many people’s interest and is becoming an outstanding alternative that is potentially a lifesaver for those suffering from chronic pain.
With so many problems occurring with prescription pain medications, whether from long-term use or dependancy, many people are looking for a safer alternative. One that does not affect your mental state or provide any form of intoxication.
The good thing about CBD is that it is the cannabis cannabinoid that does not cause the “high” that many people associate with marijuana.Unlike THC, the high-inducing cannabinoid cousin to CBD, hemp-derived CBD without THC can be taken daily by people who are still needing to work, carry on daily activities, etc. without being impaired.
The naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory properties found in CBD oil is said to help greatly ease chronic pain, help promote sounder sleep and help reduce anxiety and depression. All of which are just some of the additional problems often encountered by those battling chronic pain.
Scientific research is showing more and more evidence that CBD directly affects our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS was first identified by researchers in the 1990s and is a complex cell-to-cell communication system in our body. This system sends signals to our brain from endocannabinoid receptors throughout our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The ECS significantly influences brain functions. Specifically like how we experience pain, as well as our mood and memory.
CBD is an externally-occurring cannabinoid that, when introduced into our body, influences naturally-occurring endocannabinoids and possibly binds to an ECS receptor just like endocannabinoids do. To date, there is some debate within the medical community on exactly how CBD interacts with our body but all agree that only positive results have been seen so far from usage. Many researchers believe CBD functions by preventing natural endocannabinoids from being broken down. Thus allowing them to function better and have more of an effect on our body. Other experts believe that CBD directly binds to an undiscovered ECS receptor.
There has been a significant increase in the amount and extent of scientific and medical research being done into the effect of CBD on chronic pain management. The studies are indeed showing promising results and pointing to CBD as a potentially “better” and much safer alternative to traditional pain treatments.
How well CBD works to relieve and manage chronic pain was recently extensively studied in a 2018 review. This review, published in theCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, examined multiple studies that were done between 1975 and March 2018. All of these studies looked at multiple different types of chronic pain including:
Because of these study results, researchers concluded that in overall pain management CBD was effective and didn’t cause lasting negative side effects.
As you can see, there are a number of promising medical studies and scientific research reviews happening that are pointing to CBD as a great potential for helping alleviate chronic pain. But, as with starting any new supplement, medication, etc, there are important considerations to remember.
Chances are you are probably already taking some medication or nutritional supplements. So research is key. There is a chance that CBD may interact with:
It is also important to note that caution should be taken if any of your current supplements or medications contain a “grapefruit warning.”It has been found that both grapefruit (and grapefruit juice) and CBD both interfere with particular enzymes that are crucial to the drug metabolism process.
It is also very important to do your due diligence and research the CBD manufacturer (and brand if they are different) because CBD is still not fully FDA regulated and approved. The thing to look for is that the products have been third-party lab tested and approved. This verifies that the company’s product claims, like the lack of THC levels or CBD strength, are true.
While there isn’t what some would consider concrete conclusive data yet to support CBD as the preferred method of treatment for chronic pain, more and more researchers agree that it has significant potential. Interested in trying to CBD as an alternative for your chronic pain? Make sure to talk to your doctor. Most doctors now can help you determine a starting CBD dosage that is right for you. Keep in mind thatCBD products should never be used as a quick full substitute for standard medical care for chronic pain.
Have you recently started using CBD products to help manage your chronic pain? Know someone who has? Tell us about it! We want to hear from you.
All of the CBD products available here at Crush CBD are of the highest quality, all-natural, non-GMO, and derived solely from Hemp. So you don’t have to worry about any detectable levels of the “high-inducing” cannabinoid THC.
Check out our options for products today. Do you have questions or need help finding what may work for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us now!