Does CBD Oil Help in Pain Management?
With its recent legalization across several countries, the popularity of CBD oil is booming for obvious reasons — it’s potential health benefits.
For many people experiencing chronic pain due to disorders like multiple sclerosis, cancer treatment, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy, finding an effective method of managing pain is a crucial concern.
While there are pharmaceutical drugs like opioids, acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief, it’s long term use may cause adverse side effects or lead to dependency.
CBD (cannabidiol) could be the ultimate solution for patients with unrelenting pain.
But first, what is CBD?
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is one of a hundred naturally occurring compounds derived from the cannabis plant, particularly hemp plants.
CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, doesn’t cause a high often associated with cannabis.
The “high feeling” is usually caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a different type of cannabinoid.
CBD is known to treat conditions that cause relentless pain, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Cancer treatment
- And much more
How Does CBD Oil Reduce Pain?
The human body has a complex network known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates the body’s operational functions, such as response to pain, mood, appetite, immune, and sleep.
CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors) in the ECS, releasing enzymes throughout the central nervous system, brain, and the rest of the body.
CB1 receptors are primarily abundant in the central nervous system and the brain, whereas CB2 receptors are available in the immune system.
Unlike THC, which interacts with receptors directly, CBD does indirectly; that’s why they are known as “indirect antagonists.”
Instead, CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid that regulates pain and is linked to feelings of happiness and general well-being.
Cannabidiol heightens anandamide production in the bloodstream, which aids in reducing pain.
CBD oil for chronic pain
While some researchers think that CBD interacts with the core components of the ECS — the endocannabinoid receptors in the immune system and the brain.
However, receptors are small proteins attached to the cells, which receive signals and help cells to respond.
Such a response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help in pain management.
In a 2018 review, CBD works to relieve chronic pain types like back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer, and neuropathic pain.
CBD for arthritis pain relief
A study done in 2016, looked at CBD in rodent models.
Researchers applied CBD cream to rat’s affected joints in four days.
They noted reduced inflammation and overall pain relief, and there were no side effects.
The pain-relieving effects and anti-inflammatory effects of the CBD gel could also help patients with arthritis.
CBD oil for cancer treatment relief
Patients with cancer use CBD to manage pain associated with treatment and chemotherapy. Research on mice showed that CBD could curb the spread of tumor cells in the body.
However, multiple studies in humans indicate that the role of CBD in managing pain related to cancer and its treatment.
The National Cancer Institute has pointed CBD as the possible solution for the treatment of chemotherapy side effects such as pain, vomiting, nausea, and lack of appetite.
CBD for migraine pain relief
While studies on CBD and migraines are limited, current studies look at CBD when used with THC.
However, studies done in 2017 shows that CBD and THC can reduce pain for people with migraines.
Why has CBD gained popularity as a pain management tool?
While there are dozens of over the counter drugs for pain management, they have possible side effects or may not be effective.
CBD is some kind of a miracle cure for relieving pain because it has fewer or no side effects, and it works insanely.
CBD side effects
Research on the CBD side effects is minimal. While some people tolerate CBD, there are some possible side effects, including:
- Weight loss/gain
- Changes in appetite
Besides, CBD oil may interact with other medications such as over the counter drugs, dietary supplements, and prescribed medicine.
The Bottom Line
While there’s no conclusive information to support CBD oil as the preferred method for pain management, researchers agree that the product looks promising.
CBD oil might help people suffering from different types of pain without causing addiction or dependence.
However, if you’re considering using CBD on your daily regimen, consult your physician first to monitor and make adjustments accordingly.