You know, there is actual science behind CBD for pain. In fact, there is a book by renowned CBD scientists, CBD: what does the science say, offers plenty of evidence-based information about how and why CBD works to relieve pain.
Scientists suggest there is promising research on using CBD to help people with unmanageable pain to avoid opioid addiction. According to the book authors, “To date, nearly 50 clinical trials registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov are investigating the ability of CBD (alone or in combination with THC) to reduce pain associated with conditions such as tooth extractions, chronic back pain, postsurgical pain, diabetic neuropathy and cancer pain. These important properly controlled randomized clinical trials will help to better understand the potential analgesic properties of CBD.”
CBD seems to be heralded as having magical qualities. So, scientists conducted other studies by university researchers to see how people with chronic pain responded to CBD or a placebo. The results? Martin de Vita, a researcher in the psychology department in the College of Arts and Sciences talks about the project. “In some cases, participants were told that they got CBD when they actually received a placebo, or told they would be getting a placebo when they actually got CBD,” he says. “…we found improvements in pain measures caused by the pharmacological effects of CBD and the psychological effects of just expecting that they had gotten CBD. It was pretty remarkable and surprising.”
CBD topicals for pain
There are many ways to use CBD. There are edibles, oils, tinctures, vapes and topicals. For this blog, we’ll discuss topicals because Lost Remedy only produces topicals. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many components of hemp. However, the concentration of CBD is higher than the other components. CBD, unlike it’s cousin THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, will not get you high.
CBD has been shown to be:
- Anti-inflammatory, meaning it has potential to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis
- Anti-oxidative, so it may reduce systematic inflammation by fighting oxidative stress and decrease symptoms of autoimmune conditions like lupus
- Anti-emetic, meaning it can decrease vomiting and nausea associated with cancer treatments
- Anti-psychotic, so it can ease symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Neuroprotective, meaning it may help to slow the progression of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia
How does CBD help relieve pain?
Now CBD doesn’t wander around in a vacuum, trying to find pain to relieve. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) every mammal has. The ECS has three main parts: CB1 and CB2 receptors, endogenous cannabinoids produced by your body and enzymes that help your body break down and use cannabinoids. The ECS is what maintains homeostasis, or balance. CB1 is found mostly in the nervous system and brain. CB2 is found outside the brain and tends to monitor and regulate the immune system. Both are found throughout the skin. Once enzymes break down cannabinoids, the resulting endocannabinoids search for receptors to bind with.
When the ECS is functioning optimally, you’ll have a general sense of well-being and good health. Our bodies create endocannabinoids to stimulate the receptors. When the balance is off, the receptors can’t do their jobs and illness or imbalance can occur. That’s where applying CBD products can help our bodies get back on track.
Clinical studies have shown that CBD topicals can alleviate pain for conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy, nerve pain, joint and muscle aches and migraines. CBD applied topically, interacts with the CB receptors in the ECS. The topical is absorbed directly into the affected area, never reaching the bloodstream. As a result, it can reach and release its analgesic component to relieve the pain within minutes, not hours.
Does it work for everyone, every time?
Good question. Every person assimilates CBD differently. A lot depends on your current state of health, age, diet and other factors. Because more research needs to be conducted to understand the best way to use CBD, you’ll need to experiment. Fortunately, CBD topicals are safe and rarely cause problematic side effects.
For pain, CBD is best used as full spectrum, meaning it contains all the cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant. In addition, it contains many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum hemp oil contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most abundant is CBD, which makes up 90% of this full-spectrum oil. Other cannabinoids contained in hemp oil are CBD, CBG, CBN and trace levels of THC (under .2%).
Here, in a nutshell, is the science behind CBD for pain. As more people seek out alternative pain reduction methods, researchers will garner more knowledge and information that can help people use CBD effectively and efficiently. It’s up to you, however, to do the research to find products that are high quality and contain what the product label says. Check out these frequently asked questions to get a better understanding of CBD and what to look for.