Chronic pain related conditions are one of the top reasons why people pay visits to their physicians. Some people use cannabidiol (CBD) oil in relieving such pain and it has actually proven to be quite useful. The oil is an extract of the cannabis plant and it contains one of the several naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the hemp or marijuana plants; CBD. This compound is not responsible for the “high” feeling that is often associated with marijuana. The mind altering effects are caused by a totally different cannabinoid known as THC.
Research on cannabidiol oil and its influence on pain management has shown a lot of promise. The oil has been found to be quite effective in reducing inflammation, pain and other discomforts related to different health conditions. It is, in fact, a better alternative for individuals experiencing chronic pain and depend on the more risky, habit-forming drugs such as opioids.
How the substance works in the body
The human body has a communication system referred to as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is laced all over the body through the peripheral and central nervous systems. It has two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors, through which cannabinoids can attach to produce their effects on the human body. CBD specifically interacts with the CB2 receptor to produce its associated therapeutic effects such as pain management. Additionally, its interaction with the CB2 receptor helps to negate the negative mind-altering effects caused by the interaction of THC and the CB1 receptor.
Where it is derived?
Marijuana and hemp are two different species of the cannabis plant. It is, however, important to note that CBD derived from either hemp or marijuana is similar; there is no difference. The human body does not really recognize the source. Marijuana plants have a high concentration of cannabidiol by dry weight, but once the oil is extracted from both sources, the difference becomes insignificant. Hemp, on the other hand, seems to be a good source of CBD because it grows faster compared to other varieties of medical marijuana and it does not contain any traces of THC.
What type of pain it relieves?
CBD had been found to relieve all three kinds of pain. They are neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain and “other”, which is hard to categorize as it does not fall in either groups.
Neuropathic pain; it originates from injury to the nervous system. This group includes medical conditions like multiple sclerosis and sciatica.
Nociceptive pain; it originates from different kinds of damage to the tissues which are picked up by the brain. This group includes everything from finger stubs to bee stings to arthritis and many more.
“Other”; this group includes pain that does not fit in either groups such as fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome. And even though the causes of pain might vary, the brain is usually involved in all kinds of pain.
How it is used for the management of chronic pain
Extensive research has been conducted on the use of cannabinoids such as CBD in managing certain chronic pain conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and fibromyalgia. According to these research, cannabidiol has been found to be particularly effective in managing neuropathic pain. This type of pain is often a result of peripheral nerve injury.
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According to research, activation of the CB2 receptor appears to be useful in the management of chronic pain, which does not frequently respond nicely to other treatments. Given that CBD attaches itself to this particular ECS receptor, it might be useful in stimulating the channels that reduce the chronic pain. Another way cannabinoids like cannabidiol assist in alleviating pain is through targeting and then stimulating the central nervous system’s glycine receptors. These particular receptors are found in particular parts of the spinal cord and brain and they play a role in relieving neuropathic and inflammatory pain. The presence of inflammatory factors like prostaglandins often shuts down these receptors, which results to an increase the pain sensation. CBD is, however, capable of reactivating these receptors and reducing pain hypersensitivity.
Fibromyalgia is one serious case of chronic pain and it is characterized by constant, widespread pain that originates from a disturbance of the central nervous system. According to some researchers, a deficiency in the ECS might be involved in the reduced pain threshold, and sleep and mood variations that are associated with fibromyalgia. In instances whereby increased pain sensitivity was stemming from a depression of the ECS, treatment involving cannabinoids like CBD lowered pain sensitivity just was as expected. Additionally, in other studies, people suffering from fibromyalgia experienced great relief from anxiety, pain, sleep disturbances, mood disorders, and stiffness after utilizing cannabinoids.
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Emerging research have revealed a synergistic effect between CBD and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA acquired from concentrated fish oils. The merged pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties appear to offer a better overall effect on the central nervous system in reducing chronic pain sensitivity. In fact, an increasing number of physicians are now recommending this formulation to their patients.
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Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating and it is accompanied by an abundance of potential therapeutic benefits. Apart from relieving chronic pain, other therapeutic benefits of CBD include treating insomnia, relieving stress and anxiety, reducing inflammation and helping in cancer treatment among others.
What’s more, it has no side effects, which are quite common in the traditional painkillers. And whether derived from medical marijuana or hemp, CBD has proven to be effective in managing and relieving pain in various medical conditions.
And in the light of the increasing body of anecdotal and scientific evidence, there is a lot of hope in the compound for the future treatment of inflammation, chronic pain as well as neurodegenerative issues. Cannabidiol has succeeded where medical drugs have failed and that is precisely why it has managed to win the hearts of many!
Hopefully more in-depth research regarding the relationship between pain management and CBD will be conducted. There is definitely more to this cannabis plant compound than what meets the eye.