CBD for Pain Relief

Using CBD to Manage Pain

Right now, CBD is the rising star of wellbeing therapies. CBD is already proven to treat certain forms of epilepsy, while anecdotally people are claiming CBD can ease insomnia and mental illnesses such as anxiety and addiction.

Further research is needed into the health benefits of CBD oilm but there’s no doubt that the CBD industry is flourishing with an amazing array of CBD products available to buy.

With physical pain, CBD has shown promising signs in tackling arthritis, improving heart health and even addressing the spasms associated with Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

Another therapeutic area CBD is currently showing a lot of potential in is the management of chronic pain and we’re going to explore that further in this post.

We’ll look at exactly what type of pain could be managed by CBD, how CBD works, and the potential benefits of using natural CBD oils over other pain management treatments. We’ll also look at how medical cannabis is now being used by the NHS to treat certain conditions.

What Is the Difference Between Chronic and Acute Pain?

A bandaged hand to demonstrate CDB use for pain relief.
Strange as it may sound, it is medically recognised that there are two types of pain: acute and chronic.

Acute Pain

Acute pain, is one everybody will encounter at some point. It is that sharp, stabbing feeling that you immediately think of when the word pain is mentioned.

Acute pain will usually have an easily identifiable cause. This could be an injury such as broken bones or a burn, or even a treatment like surgery or dental work. Acute pain will disappear once the injury or illness is healed.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain conditions, however, can continue for a much longer period. Possibly even years. It is associated with long term conditions such as cancer, headaches, arthritis or back pain and it can continue even after the initial condition is healed.

This is because once triggered, pain receptors can remain active for years causing long term pain.

Chronic pain is often felt even when there is no obvious, treatable cause. This is the case in conditions such as fibromyalgia. The unknowable, untreatable aspect of chronic pain means that sufferers can face a severe and long-term effects on their quality of life and on their mental health.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabinoid (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis plants. Usually extracted from hemp, CBD oils are refined and filtered to remove all traces of the psychoactive element tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound, commonly known as THC, is what creates the euphoric feeling associated with being ‘high’.

The health benefits of CBD oil are recognised by research as pain relief and reducing inflammation.

CBD Products

CBD oil is available in various forms of CBD products including

Which CBD product is the best CBD product for you is down to personal preference.

Topical CBD products are applied to certain parts of the body and are said to provide anti inflammatory benefits for health conditions such as arthritis and also provide relief from skin conditions such as eczema.

CBD products such as CBD capsules and CBD are taken orally.

Which Are the Best CBD Products?

CBD oils are just like any other products you buy – if the CBD oil sounds too good to be true in terms of price it probably is.

Our CBD oils are made using good manufacturing practices, with quality control, third party testing and using only organic 100% natural ingredients. It is always wise to do your own research to find trusted CBD oil brands .

Can CBD Be Used for Pain Management?

Thus far, CBD is only approved for treating two very specific types of epilepsy. However, increasing evidence suggests CBD could be revolutionary in the world of chronic pain management and pain relief.

There is not currently enough medical research to support doctors prescribing CBD to treat chronic pain, but a number of systematic reviews have suggested that it could have important implications in fighting pain. And this is supported by plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who believe they have benefited from using CBD.

How Does CBD Work to Treat Pain?

The specifics of how CBD works to give pain relief are still unclear due to lack of research. Many theories about how and why CBD can lessen chronic pain exist, all centered on the effects CBD treatment has on receptors in the body:

Desensitizing Certain Neurotransmitters

In particular the TRPV1 receptor, which is strongly linked to how sharp, burning pain is felt.

Enhancing Effects of Brain Chemicals

CBD may further work to reduce pain perception by increasing the effect of brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Reducing Inflammation

CBD is also a powerful antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Benefits of Using CBD to Treat Pain

It is claimed that CBD has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. This means it might not just numb pain but ease the cause of it as well.

Though it takes an extensive extraction process, a lot of champions of CBD pain relief appreciate the fact that CBD is a natural product. It works in harmony with the body’s existing endocannabinoid system.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using CBD to treat pain is that it escapes the drawbacks of other pain medications.

Most common, over-the-counter pain medications will cause you serious side effects if used over a prolonged period.

Ibuprofen, completely safe to use in the short-term, can have a toxic effect on the liver if used frequently over a longer time scale.

Aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen have all been linked to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding as well.

Many pain medications are also highly addictive and can also be gateways into harder drugs with more serious side effects and consequences.

There is currently no suggestion that CBD is in any way addictive. Any links to cannabis and addiction are concerned with THC the psychoactive compound in marijuana. CBD is THC free.

Side Effects of Using CBD

The majority of people who have experimented with taking CBD pain relief report little to no side effects. The most common side effects according to current research include:

  • Changes of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach upsets and diarrhea
  • Weight loss or gain

There have also been suggestions that long-term use of CBD could affect liver function, but there is not significant enough research into this to prove or deny it.

The most concerning side-effect of CBD is it’s potential to interact with other drugs or treatments. The medical industry has only recently started taking notice of the potential of CBD, so research is vastly limited on its benefits and interactions.

CBD may affect the power of other drugs, making any other treatments you undergo more or less effective. For this reason, it is advised that you should speak to a medical professional before supplementing with CBD oil to address any existing condition.

Chronic pain can be a life-changing condition. As well as the physical implications, the stress of constant or recurrent pain has major implications in causing fatigue and even depression.

Pain can leave people exhausted, miserable and forced to choose between the long-term implications of pain medication and the mental distress of constant pain.

Research is beginning to suggest that CBD oil has the promise to erase this choice and give hope to chronic pain sufferers. Perhaps they can live a life with less pain without depending on traditional painkillers.

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

There are three main types of CBD oils, all of which are extracted from the cannabis plant.

Full spectrum CBD contains many of the cannabinoids and cannabis compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum CBD can contain up to 0.3% THC.

Broad spectrum CBD has all of the same compounds as full, but no THC.

CBD isolate is also know as pure CBD as isolate only contains cannabidiol.

Which is the best CBD oil when it comes to pain management? It all comes down to personal choice. Full spectrum CBD has been shown to be more effective in some studies (1) than pure CBD isolate. What is certain, is that the best cbd oils tend to be non-GMO and organic, so free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is the term for cannabis products that are available via NHS prescriptions.

NICE Guidelines only allow for medical cannabis oil to be used for certain medical conditions such as:

  • Severe forms of epilepsy
  • To treat nausea caused by chemotherapy
  • For spasms and stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis

There are only three licensed cannabis medicines – Sativex, Epidyolex and Nabilone. It was only as recently as 2018 that the medical use of the cannabis plant was announced in the UK.

Where as numbers of prescriptions for medical cannabis products is estimated to be in the low hundreds, a poll by YouGov revealed that around 1.4 million people in the UK were using cannabis bought illegally to treat chronic health conditions.

With the sheer numbers of people using street cannabis it would seem that more search and trials of cannabis are needed to enable greater use of medical cannabis within the NHS for pain relief.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is different to CBD oil as hemp oil contains no CBD. Hemp seed oil is harvested from the seeds hemp plant (cannabis sativa). Hemp seed oil cannot offer the health benefits of CBD oils but is often used to improve skin health.

Hemp extract can be utilised in various forms including oils, creams and can be taken orally. As with CBD oils, organic hemp is where you will find the best quality.

1 Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis

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