Can you use CBD topicals for TMJ pain? Hemp-derived CBD topicals are a natural for TMJ pain; but before we get into why and how, let’s look at the basics.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is that part of your mouth where the jawbone hinges to the skull. That joint lets you open and close your mouth easily. Sometimes, however, for reasons not always clear, a disorder stops the TMJ from working smoothly and your face and
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
TMJ pain often can make any facial movement difficult or painful, including chewing, talking or smiling. But the pain can be farther reaching, including headaches or migraines, neck or backache and earaches or pain around the ear that spreads to the cheeks.
What are CBD topicals?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 60 compounds in the hemp plant. CBD and all of its associated essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids and terpenes are extracted from the plant to create a full-spectrum hemp oil. Two things you will want to remember about CBD from hemp: it’s nonpsychoactive (won’t get you
high), and there are few if any side effects from using it.
Standard equipment for every person is an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system, with the assistance of patrolling CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, helps maintain balance in our bodies by regulating appetite, mood, pain and other body processes.
- CB-1 is found primarily in the central nervous system, including parts of the brain and spinal cord.
- CB2 is found mainly in immune system tissues.
- Interestingly, both have been found in skin.
If the body falls out of balance, CB receptors move quickly to restore equanimity. Sometimes, however, the receptors need a little help themselves. That’s where CBD comes in. It’s a known anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic and antioxidant. So, for skin care, wounds, burns, arthritis, pain, sore muscles, TMJ, etc., you can apply CBD topicals directly to the affected area. All of the hemp-derived nutrients are almost instantly absorbed, allowing a quicker, more focused effect.
Why CBD topicals for TMJ pain?
Two words: anti-inflammatory, analgesic. CBD is a known anti-inflammatory and analgesic. TMJ pain is a form of inflammation that can cause pain. Relieve the inflammation, relax the joint pain. A recent study of 60 people with a TMJ disorder found that the individuals in the group who used CBD topicals to control pain experienced muscle relaxation that helped relieved the joint pain.
Of all the uses for CBD, relieving pain seems to be the most common. In addition to being convenient to use, you can take CBD topicals with you anywhere. They act quickly for pain from TMJ, arthritis, nerve conditions, peripheral neuropathy or joint and muscle strains or aches. In fact, “Reliable topical CBD products don’t just mask pain or inflammation as some over-the-counter topical pain relief creams do. They actually can make the pain go away for a certain time period, says Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “This is because of the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin. Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, a bodywide system discovered in the 1990s that affects many important functions.”
Medically, TMJ is more commonly treated with over-the-counter pain killers, antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Although they provide some relief, all of them come with the potential for adverse or harmful side effects. CBD topicals on the other hand, have few if any side effects. They are not addictive, and you can use them as often as you need to.
Plus, because topicals are available as lotions, creams, balms and salves, you apply them directly to the skin at an affected area. So, they get to the heart of the matter faster for certain conditions.
Are CBD topicals safe?
The short answer is, yes. However, if you have an underlying condition that requires you to take prescription medicine, talk to your doctor. CBD has the potential to affect how your medication works. Learn all you can about the product you want to use and the ingredients in it and discuss with your doctor how it may affect medications you take. Usually, a bigger concern for affecting your medications is when CBD is ingested, but it’s better to be safe.
Before you buy a CBD topical, understand what you’re using it for. Topicals combine CBD with essential oils that have known therapeutic benefits. Look for a product that is for a specific condition such as arthritis, eczema, nerve pain, TMJ – you get the idea.
You’ll also need to do some research on the various suppliers. Not all CBD products are the same, regardless of claims. The most important consideration should be given to the way the hemp is grown. It should be grown as organically as possible without using harmful herbicides, pesticides or growth enhancers. Second on the list is the manner in which the CBD is extracted. Look for a product derived from CO2 extraction. This is the most expensive extraction method, but by far the safest.
Now that you have a better understanding of CBD topicals, be sure to do your homework. Find the right product for your condition. If you’re dealing with a chronic condition, make sure to consult with your doctor first.