Right now, due to the legalization of hemp with the 2018 Farm Bill, we’re in the middle of a research boom. Scientists, doctors, and researchers are looking into why CBD (in particular, due to its non-psychoactive properties) makes an amazing, accessible treatment option. And especially in the area that has to do with pain. Now while pain can be very subjective, and only the person experiencing it can really express the extent of the pain, we can all see the effects, including on employment and therefore financial independence, on freedom of movement and social opportunity, and on our potential overall. The less we need to deal with pain, the better for everyone.
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We all know that people have been treating pain with cannabis for a very long time; some even believe for thousands of years but, how does it work and how can you use it to help with your pain? According to a study done in 2017, “the utilization of cannabis for pain can be traced back to ancient Chinese texts, dating to 2900 BC. The Shennong Ben Cao Jing, a Chinese encyclopedia on agriculture and medicine, contains the oldest written record of cannabis as a medicine, recommending cannabis for constipation, rheumatic pain, female reproductive tract disorders, and malaria.”
Also, reportedly found in Indian societies dating 3000 years back began to use cannabis flowers to diminish pain too. And it’s not just the anti-inflammatory action that makes cannabis an effective pain reliever, it’s also the antispasmodic and analgesic qualities. People that experience pain on a fairly regular basis know that it’s often a combination of multiple pain symptoms that causes an issue, not simply soreness. The only pharmaceutical cannabis product approved for pain, Sativex, bears a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio that has been used to treat neuropathic pain in some countries for over a decade. This is made possible by CBD’s ability to stimulate CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system, many of which are located in the nervous system. In a study over a decade old, they stated it like this: “The endocannabinoid system parallels and interacts at many points with the other major endogenous pain control systems: endorphin/enkephalin, vanilloid/transient receptor potential, and inflammatory.” This study also says that CBD has more of an antioxidant effect than Vitamin C & E, while modulating the CB1 receptors to not take in too many other cannabinoids. Lastly, it stresses the potential importance of terpenes in pain relief— meaning it’s important to go for a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum cannabis oil versus a CBD isolate to help get the complete picture when it comes to pain relief.
Now that you know a bit more about how CBD can help address pain, how should you use it? Applying pain cream to yourself in localized pain areas is a start. pain balms and topical CBD (including patches and suppositories) can reduce inflammation, noted by countless users, as well as a 2016 study on lab mice, that stated that “outcomes of this study indicate that topical application of CBD gel is an effective treatment for reduction in inflammation and hypersensitivity associated with the rodent adjuvant-induced monoarthritis model … Transdermal cannabidiol (CBD) gel application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritic pain-related behaviours and exerts an anti-inflammation property without evident high brain centre psychoactive effects.” Then there’s the edibles CBD category.
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Steady internal dosing also can balance the whole endocannabinoid system, which is sometimes beneficial to pain. One study from 2012 explored this, saying: “Cannabinoids can effectively attenuate pathological pain without significantly causing major psychoactive side effects and analgesic tolerance.” Another way to get a hit of CBD to deal with pain relief is through oral consumption. This spans tinctures and sublingual products. Oral CBD also works faster too—sometimes within 15 minutes—which is important for those dealing with pain. If you suffer from pain, incorporating CBD into your regular routine could be a very good choice. The method for deploying it is more of an individual preference for you, so make sure that you not only find relief, but enjoy the method you’ve chosen to get it.