Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the predominant chemicals found in marijuana and hemp, which is touted for its many health benefits. CBD oil is usually extracted from hemp to avoid THC or tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana, which is responsible for giving a feeling of being “high.” However, CBD, when used alone, doesn’t cause addiction or have psychoactive effects.
Medical marijuana that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be used to treat childhood epilepsy syndromes, although many people use CBD for many reasons, including chronic pain.
What You Need to Know About Pain
Before you understand how quality CBD oil is used for chronic pain, let’s understand what pain is. Pain can be classified into three categories:
- Neuropathic Pain – Caused by inflammation or damage to the nerves. Examples include sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome. This kind of pain could be the result of misinterpreted signals between your spinal cord or brain and nerves. Faulty signals coming from the nerves are interpreted by the brain as pain.
- Acute or Nociceptive Pain – Results from tissue damage or injury. This includes arthritis or pain due to a broken bone. It’s the kind of pain that tell you something is wrong with your body.
- Centralized or Nociplastic Pain – This is a more complicated kind of pain that is usually characterized by chronic overlapping pain conditions. This should include tension headaches and migraines.
Pain Management with CBD Oil
Pain can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. While acute pain can occur suddenly, it will resolve in a matter of time and you can fully recover. However, chronic pain is different and would need medical intervention to help manage it.
One of the ways that people manage pain is by using CBD oil. It has been linked to relieve chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD can be taken as an oral spray or capsule form. But many people prefer using CBD gels, creams, or oils to apply to the area affected by pain.
The body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating various functions, including appetite, sleep, and pain. CBD is believed to help relieve pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, which interacts with the nerves and reduces inflammation.
CBD is said to interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the immune system and brain. These receptors are small proteins that link to your cells, which work by receiving chemical signals from various stimuli and help the cell’s responses. These responses result to pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial to people suffering from chronic pain.
CBD is also known to help with anxiety and depression, which usually happens to people experiencing chronic pain.
Dosage, Safety and Side Effects
When taking medication, it’s important to know the right dosage. However, topical CBD treatments are generally safe to use whenever needed. This means that you can apply CBD oil on the affected areas without worrying about its side effects, though you may still need to do a skin test before applying CBD oil on your skin as it may cause irritation.
When taken in oral form, the safe dosage is 300 mg daily for a period of six months or less. Sublingual CBD or tongue sprays can be given safely in doses of not more than 2.5 milligrams in two weeks.
CBD has minimal side effects compared to prescription painkillers that come with addictive effects. Common side effects of using CBD oil for pain include reduced blood pressure, dry mouth, minor headaches, and drowsiness. A very rare side effect is liver injury, which is brought about by a high level of liver enzymes.
Lactating and pregnant women are recommended to avoid CBD as it can cause complications for the development of the baby.
Because the FDA has not regulated the use of CBD for many conditions other than epilepsy in children, it’s highly recommended that you speak to a trusted health professional before you start using it.
CBD oil for pain has only been tested on adults and experts don’t recommend its use for children since there are very few studies on the effects of using CBD oil on developing brains.
Moreover, cannabis-derived products are not legal everywhere. Thus, it’s important to check with state laws if you’re travelling or if you’re unsure of its legality in your location. Since CBD products are not FDA-approved, it’s crucial to find a reliable source.
There are many studies that suggest the benefits of using CBD oil for pain, anxiety, and depression. Like most studies, these were conducted on animals. However, CBD has been shown to be a promising drug to help manage painful conditions, including fibromyalgia, arthritis and migraine. CBD oil is also seen to have an edge over prescription painkillers because of its lack of addictive effects on the brain.