CBD For Pain Relief?
To find out if CBD is for pain relief we need to first learn what is CBD. Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more commonly referred to, is one of the many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants.
Despite CBD only recently becoming legal in the US. Recent research shows that 62 percent of CBD users use CBD to treat a medical condition. The majority of these users use CBD to manage chronic pain, anxiety and depression. So this poses the question to Errl Cup is CBD for pain relief?
That’s millions of CBD users but is there any science behind CBD for pain relief?
What types of pain there are
The Journal of Clinical Investigations says “Pain can be broadly divided into three classes.
(A) Nociceptive pain. – Represents the sensation associated with the detection of potentially tissue-damaging noxious stimuli and is protective. (Bruises, Burns, Broken Bones, Arthritis)
(B) Inflammatory pain. – Is associated with tissue damage and the infiltration of immune cells. It can promote repair by causing pain hypersensitivity until healing occurs. (tissue injury, harmful bacteria, overactive immune system)
(C) Pathological pain. – Is a disease state caused by damage to the nervous system. (neuropathic) or by its abnormal function (dysfunctional).” (defect or trauma)
Then there are some pains, like migraines that are more difficult to categorize. This is because they do not show up on x-ray or an MRI. Each one of the pain types is vastly different from each other. Just like each individual system responds to pain in its own way.
But the one thing they all have in common is they don’t feel good.
Look at how CBD works
CBD comes from cannabis but is not psychoactive. This means it does not produce a “high” or change a person’s state of mind. What it does do is helps the body to make better use its own endocannabinoids.
A study posted to Neurotherapeutics stated. “This is because CBD itself does very little to the endocannabinoid System (ECS). Instead, it activates or inhibits other compounds in the ECS.”
This means, CBD inhibits the body from absorbing anandamide. A compound associated with regulating pain. This translates to increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream. That could reduce the amount of pain a person feels.
CBD may also limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system. Which may benefit people experiencing pain, insomnia, and certain immune-system responses.
What does the research say
Would you believe it up until December 2008 CBD was classified as cannabis and was illegal! Because of its legal status very little studies have been done on CBD by itself.
That does not mean studies on medical marijuana and pain don’t exist. They do. However they look at CBD in conjunction with THC, aka delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. (The compound in cannabis that makes you “high.”) This is due to the common belief CBD/THC work better together.
A 2017 review by the Department of Veterans Affairs found. “Low-strength evidence that cannabis preparations with precisely defined THC-cannabidiol content. (most in a 1:1 to 2:1 ratio) May alleviate neuropathic pain but insufficient evidence in populations with other types of pain.”
But a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). Published in the same year concluded that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain, nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. As well as multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms / stiffness.
This is strong evidence CBD is for pain relief
Although the majority of research is focused on THC and CBD. The cannabis plant has hundreds of compounds that are thought to contribute to the benefits.
Canadian researchers Amol Deshpande, M.D. and Angela Mailis, M.D. wrote in The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine. “What becomes lost in the rhetoric is the importance of associated compounds found in the whole plant … Although the biological activity of many of these still needs to be explored, preliminary work suggests that some may operate synergistically to produce an entourage effect.”
With more time and more research, experts could conclude CBD alone can relieve pain. Earlier this year a animal study in Pain learned how CBD interacts with serotonin receptors. Many believe serotine receptors play a role in regulating pain, depression and anxiety.
Cannabis Past and Future
The marijuana tax act of 1937 made the transfer and possession of marijuana and CBD illegal. Without having the proper forms and tax stamps from the state.
This was just the beginning of a series of increasing penalties on marijuana and CBD. Ending when marijuana including CBD was ultimately made schedule 1. (labeled no medicinal value) Through the controlled substances act of 1970.
Flash forward 39 years. The DEA has rescheduled CBD and Hemp can be grown. We have FDA approval Epidiolex, a CBD based medication used to treat various forms of epilepsy. Also Sativex, a cannabis-based medication that is successful in treating neuropathic pain. Multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms and stiffness, and severe pain from advanced cancer.
Cannabis also shines light on the opioid epidemic. A growing body of research shows that the combination of cannabinoids and opioids is stronger than opioids alone. This could result in reduced opiate dosages.
A 2019 study found that 80% of chronic pain sufferers say they have replaced traditional pain medications (both opioids & benzos) with cannabis after having much less side effects and much better symptom management.
Although CBD and cannabis research is promising. Experts acknowledge the current limitations. In May of this year, the American Academy of Pain Medicine published a statement urging federal agencies to reschedule medical cannabis in order to encourage research leading to responsible regulation.
After looking at all their research, there is overwhelming evidence that Cannabis and CBD have some positive effects on the body. That they can affect multiple systems, multiple illnesses and even multiple types of pain.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.