Among many treatment options available in the 21st century (for hundreds of painful illnesses), one has become the center of attention: CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component found in marijuana; in other words, unlike THC, CBD does not produce the euphoric “high”, but rather provides healthy and therapeutic substances to the human body.
What makes CBD so unique is its ability to reduce high levels of pain, and therefore act as a last resort when other serious medications have not worked.
Specifically, CBD lowers pain while interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex system of cell-to-cell communication responsible for the regulation of pain and immune-system responses.
CBD, in general, links with the immune system and brain receptors, and those responses then react with the chemical component of cannabis in order to form anti-inflammatory properties that reduces pain.
According to Rosenberg’s study, CBD does not directly affect ECS’ responses, but rather activates or inhibits compounds in the ECS.
For example, CBD does not activate the body’s absorption of anandamide, a component associated with regulating pain. With that in mind, CBD allows the endocannabinoids to work independently.
Overall, CBD limits inflammation in the brain and nervous system, which can aid people suffering from general pain, insomnia, and specific immune-system responses.
Based on this report, the use of cannabidiol works specifically for pain relief by reducing inflammation originated in ancient China. Furthermore, the researchers claim that CBD oil promotes better sleep, which is a beneficial quality for people suffering from chronic pain and in need to improve their quality of sleep.
Cannabidiol has been used for centuries, and some of the benefits accumulated over the years include managing arthritis pain, seizures/epilepsy, and chronic pain.
A study was conducted in 2016 which tested if CBD could help people with arthritis using an animal model. Researchers applied a topical gel containing CBD on rats for four days, discovering positive results – a significant drop in inflammation and reduction of pain without any side effects.
Dr. Daniel Clauw of University of Michigan provided suggestions on how to use CBD-infused remedies for arthritis or even chronic pain. Some of his tips include using low doses, starting with CBD products, and allowing a low dose of THC if the CBD alone does not provide the full relief of pain.
Furthermore, CBD-infused products can help significantly with seizures and epilepsy. In fact, after the enactment of the Farm Bill of 2018 that legalized hemp derivatives, and therefore CBD, the FDA approved the Epidiolex.
Not only does Epidiolex contain CBD, but it is essential in aiding specifically children experiencing seizures and pediatric epilepsy.
Epidiolex, unlike regular cannabis, is recognized as a Schedule V drug by the DEA, meaning that the prescription can be used only to treat medical issues and has a low potential for abuse.
This particular drug is welcomed by the public so much so that the TSA only weeks ago changed its policy and allowed CBD oils on board in either carry-on or checked luggage.
The agency claimed that Epidiolex is the main reason behind the new regulation, as it helps children and parents travel safely and calmly.
About 100 million Americans live with chronic pain with most conditions caused by cancer-related pain, low back pain, migraines or MS. Some standard medications for these illnesses do not fully eliminate pain, and CBD can solve that problem.
Although most studies are conducted using an animal model, one report in particular published in 2018 claimed that three children diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and blistering skin condition, had revolutionary results when using topical CBD gel.
Parents of the test subjects reported that when using the CBD product, their children had faster wound healing, fever blisters, a significant improvement in pain, and no side effects.
Other studies conducted have explored CBD’s effects on joint pain from osteoarthritis, as well as pain and inflammation from arthritis, and both reported great results in managing pain.
Researchers have found that topical medications containing CBD would be most effective in pain management compared to taking the substance orally.
Topical creams can essentially localize the area of pain and discomfort and supply consistent levels of CBD, while oral medications can have poor bioavailability.
CBD is shaping to be a versatile form of treatment, as seen not only with the already verified list of serious diagnoses the substance helps, but also other various departments of medicine. CBD can help with anxiety, depression, early onset Alzheimer’s, antipsychotic effects of schizophrenia, acne, type 1 diabetes, and cancer.
Even if CBD does not directly reduce inflammation, and thus provide actual pain relief, the chemical component does affect mood positively, which can improve perceived pain, according to studies.
Few scientists believe that CBD can serve a revolutionary purpose of relieving pain more than standard medicine. CBD could result in being a great alternative to traditional medicine, especially when dealing with chronic pain.
While standard medications for major diagnoses can become addictive to patients, CBD gives quite an opposite reaction.
Opioids are prescribed for chronic pain, and patients can become addicted to drugs. On the other hand, CBD is recommended to be taken in small doses.
The most important effect of CBD oil is its non-addictive quality, meaning that patients will not have the urge to increase the dosage of their medication, while having the same, if not better, effect on their physical and mental state.
Since opioid addiction and overdose has become a common problem, CBD can sometimes prove to be an effective replacement.
It is clear that the scientific community is warming up to CBD as a viable solution to deal with pain conditions. As research continues globally on this topic, the number of pros to take this direction seem to be on the rise.