Cannabidiol is the new buzz word in the market for health supplements due to its many therapeutic and medical benefits. It has been hailed as a quick remedy for many of our daily ailments like headaches, muscle and joint pains etc. Besides, it is found to be useful in the treatment of epileptic seizures, skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, acnes and wound healing. It is a fact that more than 60% of the people in the US who use CBD, use it for managing chronic pain conditions like joint pain and arthritic pain. So, how is CBD for pain management useful?
What Is Pain?
Before discussing the use of CBD for pain, let us try to understand about the physiological phenomena of pain. According to experts there are three types of pain, namely: neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain and centralised pain. The first type, i.e. neuropathic pain is caused due to damage or inflammation to the nerves and sciatica belongs to this category. The second type, i.e. nociceptive pain is caused due to injury or damage to tissues or bones like a wound or fracture etc. In certain cases it will also cause nerve damage or inflammation resulting in neuropathic pain as well. The third type, i.e. centralised pain or also known as nociplastic; conditions like tension headaches, fibromyalgia or migraines comes under this category as there is no specific pathology that can be identified with diagnostic methods.
Why Use CBD For Pain?
Most of the people who get treatments for their pain use opioid painkillers that have the disadvantage of side-effects, and can be potentially harmful on long-term usage. CBD is useful because it lacks side-effects and does not pose the risk of developing addiction unlike opioid painkillers. Besides, it is thought to be an effective tool in the fight against addiction from opioid painkillers due to their unregulated usage. Cannabidiol imparts its effects by enhancing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of our body through its interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The ECS is a network of endogenous endocannabinoids produced by our body that mainly function as neurotransmitters. Any deficiency in them causes diseases and consuming CBD products like CBD oil helps to fix that deficiency and restore health.
The Effectiveness Of CBD For Pain Management
The endocannabinoid system is also responsible for the homeostasis, it ensures good neurological, emotional and cardiovascular functioning. Its effect on the body depends on the bioavailability of different types of CBD products, i.e. the amount of CBD available in the bloodstream after consumption. The higher the bioavailability, the better its effects and vice versa, this varies according to the type of product used. For example, if you want quick relief from pain, then CBD vape product is the best option as it has the highest bioavailability. This is because it passes directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, and bypasses the first pass metabolism reducing the loss through filtration as the lungs are highly permeable.
Oral consumption in the form of CBD oil, pills and capsules have low bioavailability as low as 20%. This is because it has to pass through first pass metabolism in the gut as well as the liver, resulting in 80% of cannabidiol ingested being excreted. Both inhaling and oral consumption are effective in giving systemic lasting relief. CBD topical in the form of pain relief balms or ointments gives localised as well as consistent levels of pain relief. As a result, topical CBD products are used in pain relief in arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis, muscle and joint pains. Other cases include its use in skin condition in children known as epidermolysis bullosa that causes blistering skin.
Safety And Side Effects Of Cannabidiol
According to studies the side effects of CBD is very limited and in some people it appears in the beginning, but disappears as the body adapts to it. The side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety at higher doses, diarrhea, dry mouth, low blood pressure, nausea, mental confusion and vomiting. It is also found that at higher doses CBD is found to induce tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, it reduces liver capacity to metabolise pharmaceutical drugs as well as cannabidiol. This might result in toxic build-up and in rare cases poisoning due to it; this may also result in its interaction with certain medications. So, you must consult with the physician if you are planning to consume CBD for relieving pain.
You must also be aware that in some people who have any kind of plant allergies or to pollens etc, CBD products such as full-spectrum hemp oil can result in allergic symptoms. So, it is better for such people to consume products made from CBD isolate as it is 99% cannabidiol and there won’t be any kind of plant material or other phytocannabinoids of the hemp plant.
So, CBD for pain management holds great promise for people where other treatment options for pain relief are becoming ineffective. This has resulted in more research to identify its other potential uses in this particular aspect.