There’s no question about CBD’s incredible rise in popularity: More than 1 in 7 Americans have now tried the compound. CBD’s increased use has come for a variety of reasons, including an increase in scientific evidence, a rise in anecdotal stories and a large amount of marketing.
CBD has been touted by its backers as a potential cure-all for many ills. To be sure, a through, honest explanation is needed of CBD’s potential benefits and any drawbacks it may have. However, numerous studies have demonstrated that CBD does have the potential to provide a great deal of pain relief. Here’s a quick look at how that happens and how you can use CBD to reduce your pain.
How CBD May Help Reduce Pain
CBD does not provide your body with any additional cannabinoids. Instead, it works to change the way in which your body’s Endocannabinoid System works. Your Endocannabinoid System contains three parts: The cannabinoids your body produces, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that break down the cannabinoids after they have attached to the receptors.
CBD does not bind directly to any of these receptors. Instead, it alters the functioning of your Endocannabinoid System, making the connection between the cannabinoids and their receptors stronger and last longer.
This can have an impact on a variety of bodily systems. One of the primary jobs of the Endocannabinoid System seems to be to keep your body in a state of homeostasis. This means that it impacts numerous physical and emotional sensations, including appetite, stress, fatigue, inflammation, pain and more. As such, altering the functioning of your Endocannabinoid System could have a positive impact on your pain levels.
Scientific Studies on CBD and Pain
Research conducted has revealed that CBD may reduce pain. Even more interestingly: It appears that CBD may help address numerous types of pain, including chronic pain and pain associated with multiple conditions. For example:
● A study of rats with arthritis applied CBD topical gel to the rats. After four days, the rats showed less inflammation and fewer symptoms of experiencing pain. This is good news, but additional studies in humans are needed.
● Another report found that short-term use of CBD may be able to reduce muscle spasms in people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. These spasms are extremely painful, and a reduction in these types of spasms has been known to provide relief for MS sufferers.
● A comprehensive report on CBD and pain relief analyzed the results of multiple studies and found that using CBD for pain relief may be an area that provides tremendous potential. Another study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine came to the same conclusion. Specifically, these reviews found that CBD may help reduce chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with fibromyalgia.
● Some studies and a report by the National Cancer Institute have said that CBD may be able to help reduce the pain associated with chemotherapy side effects.
● A 2017 study found that CBD may be able to reduce the pain associated with migraines.
Furthermore, as we’ve written about before, CBD may be helpful for muscle recovery after a workout or sporting event and has been touted by many athletes as being very helpful for those purposes.
How To Take CBD for Pain Relief
CBD is available for purchase in many forms, including edibles, tinctures, creams, balms and more. To be sure, CBD’s benefits can be enjoyed regardless of the method of consumption.
However, when it comes to pain, it may be best to try topical products, like creams, salves or balms. The primary benefit of a topical is that it can be rubbed directly into the area which is sore or in pain, allowing for extremely targeted relief.
However, topicals do have their drawbacks. Dosing can be difficult to determine, and this may make it hard to figure out the amount of CBD you need to use in order to feel better. Topicals can take the most time to work on all the varying CBD ingestion methods, and it can be a little too easy to accidentally wipe the substance off. If all of these drawbacks present a problem for you, you should consider an alternative method, like an ingestible or tincture.
CBD and Pain Relief: The Conclusion
The initial research and countless anecdotal stories have made it very clear that CBD has real potential in this area. However, there is more work to be done before CBD can be recommended or prescribed specifically for pain relief.
If you want to take CBD, make sure to check with your doctor first, as CBD may have negative drug interactions. Start slow and gradually increase the dose.
These warnings aside, it appears that there is good news on the horizon for people who are in pain, as CBD seems to have a great deal of promise when it comes to pain relief.