CBD for Pain

In light of the current opioid crisis in America, people are ditching their prescription drugs and opting for safer pain relief options. With far fewer side-effects compared to medications, cannabis-derived CBD products are flying off the shelves as studies continue to show CBD to assist with a slew of different aches and pains. If you are looking for a healthier alternative that may reduce inflammation and restore muscles quicker, hang out with us for a bit; CBD just might be the perfect option for you.

CBD and Types of Pain

There are many types of pain that often require different treatments, but how cool would it be if there was one product you could reach for that could help alleviate any type of pain you’re feeling? Although scientific studies are limited, mainly due to political agendas, it hasn’t stopped millions of Americans from experiencing fantastic results using CBD to assist with all types of discomfort:

  • Tired muscles
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Achy backs

History of CBD for Pain Relief

Using CBD to help with pain may sound like a new concept to you, but CBD from cannabis has been a medicinal staple for thousands of years. In the 1830s, Irish doctor Sir Willian Brooke O’Shaughnessy discovered a correlation between cannabis extracts and relief from stomach pain, and by the end of the 1800s, cannabis extracts were sold in clinics and pharmacies throughout the US and Europe to provide aid to those with stomach pain, nausea, and other ailments. Dating back to 2737 BC, ancient Chinese documents explain how hemp was one of the first herbs used for medicinal purposes. Emperor Shen-Nung utilized the flowers, leaves, and seeds of the cannabis plant to develop topical oils and teas to aid in pain relief. In the second century, there’s evidence that cannabis was used as an anesthetic to help patients endure medical procedures that would have otherwise been unbearable.

Asians weren’t the only ones benefiting from cannabis; even the Romans have a long history of hemp use. In 77 AD, a man by the name of Pliny the Elder documented how beneficial hemp was for extracting insects from ears and for general pain relief. Around the same era, Pedanius Dioscorides wrote a pharmacopeia where he listed all the medical benefits of hemp, including relief from ear pain, stomach-related issues, and burns. By 200 AD, Galen seconded hemp’s ability to relieve pain.

With so much history supporting hemp use for medicinal purposes, why does there still seem to be a stigma around using CBD from cannabis to improve health?

“Cannabis has been a Schedule 1 drug for a long time, which has limited the type of research needed to figure out how best to use it therapeutically,” says Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology and the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

“There are […] observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive,” he explains. “People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand in hand with chronic pain.”

Because of hemp’s extensive history, Dr. Boehke believes more people should be taking CBD seriously, especially since medical cannabis was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia before the implementation of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which put Federal restrictions on cannabis.

CBD vs. Opioids for Pain

Without the proper knowledge of CBD, it’s easy for people to assume that substituting opioids for CBD is only exchanging one problem for another. We’ve been trained to believe that cannabis, regardless of THC content, is addictive, unsafe, and could be detrimental to your health. There will be a handful of people who have adverse reactions to CBD, but for the majority, that’s just not the case. Let’s break down the truth surrounding the comparison of CBD and opioids so you can have a better understanding of the products at hand.

Myth #1: CBD is as addictive as opioids

Fact: There has been no research showing that CBD is addictive; in fact, the opposite is true. Studies have revealed that while THC initiates a psychological response from the brain, CBD does not.

Opioids, on the other hand, are one of the most addictive substances on the market. Opioids have a high risk of addiction even when the medications are prescribed appropriately and taken as directed. When you consume a pain-relief drug such as morphine or oxycodone, it changes the chemistry of your brain. Often, users will develop a drug tolerance to opioids, which means the dose they’re taking must be increased in order for the body to achieve the same effects. If you developed a dependence or an addiction to opioids, cutting them out could mean serious physical and psychological withdrawals.

Myth #2: CBD and opioids simply mask the pain

Fact: Unlike opioids, which are designed to relieve pain, CBD may actually treat pain at its source by reducing inflammation, which is one of the main causes of pain. What exactly is inflammation, you ask? Think of inflammation as your body’s way of protecting itself against harm. There are two types of inflammation: Acute and Chronic. Acute inflammation happens when you injure yourself, like when you cut your finger or sprain your ankle. Your immune system unleashes an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible swelling and redness. Without this response, injuries could get worse, and simple infections could become deadly. Chronic inflammation often occurs when there are unwanted substances in the body such as toxins from smoke or an overabundance of fat cells. The inflammation is often inside arteries and organs and can take years to treat.

CBD has been linked to supporting our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex internal system that plays a role in regulating inflammation and chronic pain. Although more research is needed to understand exactly how CBD impacts the ECS, the studies that have been done show that CBD strengthens the ECS and allows the ECS to do what it does best: keep the body in homeostasis. When pain or infection enters the body, the ECS sounds the alarm and puts the brain and organs on high alert. That way, the body is ready to fight whatever is infiltrating it. The ECS is kind of like an army general and CBD is the protein bar that the general eats before going into battle; the extra protein gives the general the fuel he needs to win the war.

Myth #3: CBD has as many side-effects as opioids

Fact: The potential side-effects of CBD compared to opioids is like comparing apples to oranges. Just like any health supplement, CBD does have some side-effects that have been recorded, especially for those who take consistently high doses, but they’re minor compared to opioid. The most common CBD side-effects users may experience are:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

Many people who take opioids will experience at least one of these common side-effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed Breathing (which can lead to hypoxia)
  • Addiction

Compared to the side-effects of opioids, CBD appears to be a much safer alternative for supporting pain relief, which is probably why so many senior citizens are choosing CBD over opioids and other medication. Shamans across the country are receiving flocks of retirees suffering from symptoms such as Fibromyalgia, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and general stiffness and pain with the desire to relieve these ailments using holistic methods. And because many experience tremendous results using CBD, repeat customers are on the rise.

Over-the-Counter Medications for Pain

Popping ibuprofen or aspirin for pain relief has become as common as popping mints. In 2019 alone, sales from brands such as Advil, Bayer, and Tylenol amounted to nearly $1.2 billion! As millions of people reach for their go-to bottle to ease headaches, inflammation, or bring pain levels down a notch, how many of them are thinking about these potential side-effects:

  • Elevated Risk of Stroke
  • Stomach Bleeding
  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Liver or Kidney Problems
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Swelling of Neck and Throat

Knowing there is a chance of severe health issues associated with medications, maybe it’s time to consider healthier alternatives for bringing you the relief you deserve.

Best Natural Remedies for Pain

 

As you might have read above, CBD is one of the fastest-growing remedies to help soothe and reduce pain. It’s non-addictive, has very few side-effects, and comes in a vast array of products. Incorporating other forms of natural treatments with CBD may help to enhance the benefits of CBD. How? Because living a healthy lifestyle can put the body in prime condition for healing and mending itself. The next time pain has you down, try a combination of natural treatments to get you back on top. Here are a few of our favorite combinations to improve overall wellness:

CBD + Stretching

There are numerous benefits of stretching, even for those who aren’t working out vigorously. Stretching not only stretches the muscles to improve flexibility but also strengthens them as well. It increases blood supply and nutrient supply to muscles and tendons, taking all the goodness of CBD and spreading it throughout the body. Stretching improves posture, boosts energy, and can even create a more peaceful mindset.

CBD + Healthy Eating

Listing all the benefits of eating healthy would add a hundred pages to this article, so to keep things short, let’s quickly discuss how eating healthy can lessen pain and increase healing. As we learned before, CBD assists with the ECS system to provide it with necessary support when the body detects pain and inflammation. How better to support the ECS system than to reduce the number of times the ‘alarm’ goes off. By reducing the foods that cause inflammation, the ECS will have more time to focus on other vital tasks like balancing hormones or improving your mood. Here are five foods you can start cutting out today so you can start feeling better tomorrow:

  1. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  2. Vegetable oils
  3. Refined carbohydrates
  4. Processed meats
  5. Excess alcohol

CBD + Meditation

Your brain has more power over your health than you have ever given it credit for. When the mind focuses on negative thoughts like worrying about your job or stressing over health, it triggers a panic response in the brain which often leads to anxiety. If the body can’t process anxiety healthily, negative emotions such as fear, panic, and gloom can overwhelm it, leading to immense mental, physical, and/or emotional damage. When we’re incapable of reasonably assessing situations, the body may freak out, creating physical reactions such as hyperventilating, excessive sweating, insomnia, inflammation, stomach pain, or headaches.

One proven way to reduce anxiety is by meditating for a few moments every day. Taking CBD before meditating may guide you into deeper meditation. By shifting your mindset to a more positive place, your brain can then release endorphins, a natural pain reliever, to help eliminate your physical and emotional pain.