CBD or Cannabidiol is a chemical found naturally in Sativa plants, mainly cannabis and hemp. It is essential to understand that it is different from THC, which is the chemical that induces a ‘high’ when smoked or ingested. Contrary to this, CBD does not alter the mind but is thought to have many medical uses. Unfortunately, a long period of prohibition has resulted in a lack of appropriate research; however, it is widely agreed that CBD is safer than opioids, and it has been approved by the FDA as a product for epilepsy in a brand called Epidiolex.
How Can It Help Pain?
Every person has an endocannabinoid system, and CBD interacts with the receptors in your brain and immune system. These receptors are small proteins attached to your cells that receive signals, mostly chemical ones, and help your cells respond appropriately. This response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects to help with pain management.
Although clinical trials and studies are thin on the ground, one study conducted between 1975 and 2018 has examined CBD and its effects on various types of pain, including:
- Cancer pain
- Neuropathic pain
These studies concluded that CBD was effective in managing pain; however, it is widely recognized that more studies are necessary to fully understand how this takes place and how to use the product optimally.
CBD for Arthritis
A 2016 study looked at CBD use in rats with arthritis. The rats had gel applied to the site of inflammation for four days in a row, and the results were a considerable reduction in inflammation with no apparent side effects.
A similar study in dogs using a double-blind placebo found that when CBD was administered to the dogs twice a day, it was effective in the management of arthritis and dogs in the study revealed improvements in both mobility and activity following the study. CBD dog biscuits are now widely used to treat arthritis in canines.
CBD for Cancer Treatment Relief
Research has shown CBD to shrink tumors in mice, although there has been little in the way of scientific evidence of the same effect being prevalent in humans. However, CBD has been studied in the management of pain and other symptoms following treatments for cancer, and The National Cancer Institute has identified it as a possible option for reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, including pain, vomiting and lack of appetite.
A 2010 study revealed that using CBD was more effective at reducing pain than opioids alone. This is a significant finding given that opioids are responsible for many addictions across the globe. They not only make patients sleepy, but in higher doses, they can slow breathing and heart rate, which in turn can lead to death. The number of people who have died resulting from taking opioids is significant enough to make the medical community look for an alternative. In 2017 along more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose.
*This is a collaborative post