According to the University of Michigan Health, “…ongoing preclinical studies in animals have demonstrated that CBD reduces pain and inflammation, and studies of CBD in humans show that it is well-tolerated and has few negative side effects. There are also observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive. People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain…”
Many people are turning to CBD as an alternative pain reliever, especially in light of the opioid crisis.
What types of pain can CBD help manage?
Arthritis: People using CBD oil for arthritis may find relief from their pain, but more human studies need to be done to confirm these findings.
Chronic Pain: This report shares the results from CBD use for general chronic pain. Researchers compiled the results of multiple systematic reviews covering dozens of trials and studies. Their research concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.
Other: CBD currently has a range of other applications and promising possibilities, including:
– future applications in combating acne, type 1 diabetes, and cancer
– smoking cessation and drug withdrawal
– treating seizures and epilepsy
– reducing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s, studies are still very early on this
– proposed studies on the antipsychotic effects on people with schizophrenia
– anxiety treatment
Although more research is required to confirm some uses of CBD oil, it is shaping up as a potentially promising and versatile treatment.
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved one form of CBD as a treatment for people with two rare and specific kinds of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS).
How does CBD work for Pain?
CBD inhibits glutamate release and other inflammatory agents, which makes it excellent at dulling the prickling, tingling and burning sensations that neuropathic pain is characterized for.
Pain due to inflammation is not as easily characterized as other types of pain, mostly because its origins of pain vary and so does the experience. On the bright side, CBD is good at calming inflammation, no matter what the root cause.
The anti-inflammatory mechanism of cannabidiol is unique to cannabis. It doesn’t work like other anti-inflammatory drugs by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 receptors, which means you don’t run the risk of developing gastrointestinal ulcers or heart attacks! Some studies have shown that cannabinoids (CBD and THC) are more potent anti-inflammatory agents when compared to NSAIDs (eg. ibuprofen).
Similar to other uses for CBD, the research on using CBD to help manage pain is early on. As studies continue to come out, we can learn more about how and why CBD helps manage pain. The potential benefits of shifting away from opioids and other drugs to a more natural solution are reason enough to follow the mounting research.