My usual thoughts when I hear “pain management’ is one of a medical patient visiting a doctor for, perhaps back pain, and then receiving medication or powerful prescription drugs to help with the problem, not CBD.
A National dialogue began quite a few years ago when the abuse of many prescription medications, especially opioids, came to the forefront and was exposed as an epidemic.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), 2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and the synthetic opioid Fentanyl.
Additionally, the NIH reports that; Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain management misuse them. Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
In a positive update, NIH data shows that 38 states with prescription opioid overdose death data, 17 states saw a decline between 2017-2018, and none experienced a significant increase.
Opioids interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and the body. As such, Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor.
How CBD Works In Pain Management
Your body and your brain also have a cell-signaling receptor system known as the Endocannabinoid System or ECS. The ECS was discovered in the 1990s while researching how THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, affects pain, stress, and sleep. #THC #ECS #CBD #Opioids #Chronicpain #CBDOil
The two primary ECS receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mainly found in the central nervous system, which may target the spinal nerves to elicit pain relief. At the same time, other cannabinoids may bind to CB2 receptors found in the peripheral nervous system, which may be helpful in the reduction of inflammation and immune response disorders such as Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis.
An extremely detailed and technical manuscript from the NCBI and NIH shows the complexity of the research.
More Is Better?
Anxiety, Inflammation, Stress, and Mental Focus are almost always associated with Chronic Pain.
Taking large doses of CBD oil as an isolated compound may not be the best solution for pain management, or for that matter, any benefit you are seeking.
Something is known as the “Entourage Effect,” which, in the simplest terms, is a group of cannabinoids which work together to give a bigger bang for the buck. In other words, the whole plant is better than the sum of its parts.
In following a complementary and holistic approach to pain management, whole plant medicine is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese therapy and has been for centuries.
Knowing what we now know about the Endocannabinoid System described above, using a CBD oil described as “Full Spectrum,” meaning to allow the extraction of all the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, is used in the oil.
Research has identified at least 120 cannabinoids to date. Of those, there are seven cannabinoids to look for in CBD oils you are considering for chronic pain management. The ones that show some promise for chronic pain management when used in a full spectrum product are #CBD, #CBDA, #CBG, #CBN, #CBC, #CBDV, and #CBDV.
Another aspect of the entourage effect is the addition of terpenes found in the cannabis plant. You may know what terpenes are because terpenes are what give the hemp and cannabis plant its distinct aroma, or an orange its citrusy smell, and pine trees their fresh and unique aroma. They may even be responsible for the relaxing effect of lavender.
Most research of the entourage effect revolves around the THC/CBD relationship, as described in this article from Healthline.
How To Take CBD
There are many forms of CBD oils on the market. There are oils, pills, capsules, CBD vapes, edibles such as gummies, and topical lotions, and oils. The one you select will depend on your condition and the results you are seeking.
For chronic pain management, you may consider a topical CBD cream or a combination of creams and gummies. For other systemic pain issues, the sublingual oils may be a better alternative.
Regardless of the delivery method, a few things they should have.
- 1-Extraction of the cannabinoids by the CO2 method
- 2-Third party testing for purity and accurate labeling
- 3-Full Spectrum
You should also check the labeling since it can be confusing to determine the proper dosing. Higher milligrams is not always better. It’s the concentration that counts. If the label says 1000mg CBD in a 10ml bottle, this converts to a concentration of 10% but put 1000mg in a 20ml bottle, and it’s only half, or 5%, and 2% if it’s in a 50ml bottle.
The CBD industry is changing and expanding almost daily. The Farm Bill of 2018 made hemp farming and CBD legal (THC less than 0.3%). Since then, there has been significant research and products brought to the market, and more is being learned every day.
Research continues in the medical and holistic treatment of chronic pain management. Eastern and Western medicine show unique benefits and outcomes and should be examined before a final decision is made.
If I were to choose surgery, opioids, or CBD oil for my pain, I would always choose the least invasive first. Not just with the CBD, but also in nutrition, fitness, health, and wellness to relieve my pain. The testimonials are almost always positive and certainly worth a try.