Several people use CBD as a means to relieve their chronic pain. With the legalization of CBD in various regions, more research is done on the potential of CBD on pain.
Evidence has surely shown that CBD can be beneficial in pain management, mostly involving the nervous system and pain. However several factors must be considered before the acceptance of CBD as a potential analgesic.
The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in helping with pain among people suffering from long-term pain. CBD dosage will also depend on your condition, body weight, circumstances, and medications that you use.
Keep reading to know more about what research says on CBD and chronic pain. Let’s start!
Can CBD Help With Chronic Pain?
CBD has a few benefits for chronic pain but it is not yet proven to be fully effective.
The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) stated that some findings suggest CBD benefits for chronic pain patients.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the medical use of CBD for chronic pain.
While the Frontiers in Pharmacology reported that CBD may have some potential of relieving pain, the review concluded that the effects depend on people’s conditions.
Some researchers are also concerned about the dosage of CBD since it is not regulated by the FDA.
Therefore, people should be careful when choosing their dosage.
It is best to talk to your doctor to assess your condition and your dosage before using CBD as a treatment.
How Does It Work?
CBD acts on the body by binding to the cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2.
According to a review from the National Library of Medicine in 2009, CB1 (cannabinoid type 1) is located in the central nervous system while CB2 (cannabinoid type 2) is found in immune cells.
CBD is mainly a CB2 receptor antagonist.
It blocks the binding of receptors to the CB2.
It is neuroprotective and is highly useful in neurodegenerative conditions such as neuropathic pain.
CB2 receptors are widely present in inflammation and neuroinflammation.
Pain and inflammation work together.
The presence of foreign bodies gives rise to inflammatory mediators that will bring about some irritation as a means to get rid of the foreign bodies or to alarm the body about it.
While doing so the body tissues and organs are destroyed and pain is released.
Since CBD has soothing characteristics, the use of CBD will inhibit the inflammatory responses and hence reduce pain, especially in chronic conditions.
A study from the National Library of Medicine discovered that orally administered CBD is effective in relieving irritation and pain in rats.
However, no research has yet been conducted to see that the same efficacy can be achieved with humans.
The Dosage For CBD Products
There is no universal dosage of CBD products for patients.
Instead, to obtain your optimum dosage, you should consider several factors such as:
- Your condition
- Your body’s metabolism rate
- CBD concentration in your products
According to the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research review, the majority of research concluded that CBD is a relatively safe treatment for chronic pain.
The review discovered that most studies on humans used a dosage between 20 to 1500 milligrams per day.
It should be highlighted that there are still massive gaps in CBD research and CBD dosage should be taken with caution.
Taking too much CBD may lead to liver damage, especially when interacting with other drug treatments.
From the MDPI Journal, a study revealed that a high dosage of CBD in mice exhibited signs of liver damage due to reactions among several drugs.
It is also crucial that you use high-quality CBD products from reputable sources with third-party testing to avoid any accident.
You should also speak to your doctor for accurate CBD dosage especially if you are on other drug treatment.
Types Of CBD Products
Several forms of CBD are available on the market to suit your needs and preferences. These include:
- CBD oils and tinctures
- Oral pills and capsules
- Topical creams, balms, and salves
- Topical patches
For oral CBD products, gummies and capsules are favorites among CBD users.
Topical CBD creams and balms can be applied to specific areas to relieve aching joints and sore muscles.
However, the most versatile CBD products are CBD oils and tinctures.
Chronic pain patients can use the dropper to add CBD oil in their food and drinks, or under their tongue as tinctures.
You should follow the dosage and directions provided with your product.
CBD Side Effects
As with any other medical treatments, there are side effects associated with the usage of CBD.
CBD side effects are:
- Bowel problems
- Changes in appetite
- Bodyweight fluctuation
- Potential dangerous interactions with certain medications
Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that CBD is usually well tolerated by people.
Besides, using CBD along with certain drug treatments may decrease the effectiveness and potency of the pain medications used.
According to the Cannabis and Cannabinoid review in 2017, there are other factors such as the effect of long-term usage of CBD on hormones, that are yet to be studied.
Therefore, you should consult your doctor to ensure that CBD is not interfering with other pain medications that you are taking.
However, a 2011 study from the National Library of Medicine stated that people can usually tolerate high doses of up to 1,500 mg per day without experiencing any potential side effects.
There is also a strong emphasis on choosing high-quality and laboratory-certified CBD products, especially for chronic pain management.
In addition, CBD users should also be careful when mixing CBD products and medications warning about possible dangerous interactions with grapefruit according to the FDA.
Grapefruit inhibits the metabolism of some drugs by the liver due to the blocking of enzyme actions.
Since research is limited on CBD, scientists are still unsure if CBD has the same effect as grapefruit on enzymes in the liver.
As precautionary actions, it is therefore recommended that you do not consume CBD when taking drugs on the grapefruit list.
Other Treatment For Chronic Pain
There are also other ways to treat chronic pain.
The root cause of the pain should be identified and then treatment can be started.
Several treatments can be performed including medications, therapy, or a lifestyle change.
Things like acupuncture or meditation can be very beneficial in letting go of all the stress that your body is holding back.
Stress reduction, mindfulness training, and exercises can help patients deal with the root cause of the problem and hence alleviate their suffering.