Can CBD Oil Help With Chronic Pain?
People Are Hurting from Chronic Pain
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health more than 25 million adults in the United States have suffered from some form of chronic pain daily for at least the last three months. That is chronic pain, and it’s an epidemic. Like many other people, I have been looking for an alternative to habit-forming medications such as opioids to treat chronic pain. And I am intrigued by the evidence I’ve found for using CBD oil for pain. Whether you have arthritis, an injury, fibromyalgia, or some other cause for your pain, CBD oil for pain management might be the answer. Keep reading to learn what CBD can do for chronic pain.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound. CBD hemp oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. This makes it different than medical marijuana products, which are usually made from plants with high concentrations of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because hemp only has trace amounts of THC, CBD oil does not appear to have any intoxicating effects like those caused by THC. That’s because THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in different ways. The ECS is responsible for keeping your body balanced.
It has two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is found in the central nervous system. The CB2 receptor is located within the peripheral nervous system. THC specifically fits with the CB1 receptor, and that’s where its psychoactive effects are generated. CBD, on the other hand, interacts with endocannabinoid receptors indirectly and is not psychoactive. CBD is not going to get you high. But it can make a big difference in your life if you’re dealing with chronic pain.
Why Take CBD Oil for Chronic Pain?
Because the evidence shows it can help. While it’s best-known as an epilepsy treatment, CBD oil has been shown in several studies to help treat chronic pain from a variety of causes, including fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), migraines, and even cancer pain. For example, in a study published in Clinical Rehabilitation, a group of researchers from Oxford reported that patients suffering from MS as well as spinal cord injuries experienced significant pain relief from using CBD oil for pain.
Another study, published in Therapeutics and Clinic Risk Management, found that CBD helps with “difficult to manage pain.” The National Cancer Institute has identified CBD as a possible option for relieving pain from cancer and cancer treatments as well. Still another 2011 study that focused on CBD treatment for fibromyalgia found that a significant number of sufferers found relief using CBD oil for pain.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD oil is generally believed to be safe and non-toxic for humans. The World Health Organization reported in 2017 that naturally occurring CBD is safe and well-tolerated, and not associated with any negative health effects. Few side effects have been reported.
What to Know About CBD Oil and Chronic Pain
What is CBD oil, and can it really help reduce pain? Health’s medical editor weighs in.
CBD oil is a substance that’s made by extracting a specific compound from cannabis known as cannabidiol. You can ingest it or apply it directly on your skin, depending on the product that it’s in. It may have pain-relieving capabilities, but we’re still waiting for good clinical studies to prove this. It’s possible that a few drops of CBD oil can be therapeutic, but we need more info on what it’s really useful for. Some research has shown that CBD may be effective for relieving chronic pain, as well as pain associated with cancer treatment and arthritis. It’s not entirely clear how CBD may work to alleviate pain; it may be related to the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties. CBD also appears to activate a serotonin receptor, which may help reduce pain. Much more investigation needs to be done.
Unlike the other main chemical in marijuana, tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol does not get you high. Still, there is some controversy around the use of CBD for a variety of health conditions, even though it doesn’t have the same psychoactive effect that people feel from using marijuana recreationally. For one thing, CBD products aren’t approved by the FDA for any medical condition, so products are not regulated for purity and dosage. CBD oil is also not legal in all 50 states, so if you are curious about trying CBD oil for pain management, first look into the law in your jurisdiction. CBD oil can have side effects, like lightheadedness, and, as with any supplement, it has the potential to interact with medication you’re taking. So work closely with a physician to make sure that you’re using CBD oil appropriately.