How Can CBD Help With Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is defined as recurrent or persistent pain lasting more than three months and causes disabilities, distress, and bodily impairment. Treatments of chronic pain take multiple pharmacological approaches due to the complexity of the condition.
Pain management practitioners are searching towards more effective, innovative, and safer methods to treat pain, given the mounting issues in chronic pain management and the ongoing implications of the opioid epidemic.
Alternative treatments have been proposed due to the opioid epidemic, so cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the Cannabis Sativa plant, has recently received interest as a therapy option.
How is CBD different from psychoactive drugs?
CBD is one of the cannabinoids, a group of over 100 chemicals present in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are found in many plants, but they are most usually associated with cannabis.
Cannabidiol treatment has been documented for decades, but recently a more scientific, data-based approach has emerged, and ongoing research continues to investigate its potential medical effects.
Without the euphoric effects of THC, CBD is emerging as a promising medicinal agent for treating pain, swelling, seizures, and depression.
Although CBD’s role in pain control is still under study, animal research suggests that CBD reduces pain by interacting with and modulating the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive systems.
Cannabinoid receptors interact with our own naturally occurring cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. Many activities in the body are regulated by this system, including metabolism and hunger, anxiety, and cognitive function of pain perception. CBD, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, does not provide a euphoric “high” associated with THC. It is because CBD does not bind to the same receptors as THC. Various reports have confirmed chronic pain-relieving benefits of CBD along with other health benefits such as:
- Improved sleep-wake cycle
- Reduction of inflammation
- Improved mood
- Better immune response
The natural Cannabinoid production in the human body
The human body produces its own cannabinoids through a system called the endocannabinoid system. This endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. The ECS system naturally regulates the immune response system, sleep, and pain in the body.
How does CBD work to relieve Pain? The Mechanism behind it:
The natural endocannabinoid system in human supports CBD: It is made of three major components:
- CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors
CB1 receptors are primarily present in the cerebral cortex (CNS, which includes the nerves that run along the spine and the brain). They are accountable for many of marijuana’s cognitive and emotional impacts, as well as our feeling of pain.
CB2 receptors are more abundant in our peripheral nerves (PNS), which includes neurons that run outside of the spinal cord and brain, such as those in our limbs; however, they can also be present in our central nervous system (CNS).
- Endogenous cannabinoids: the cannabinoids that our body produces)
- Enzymes that assist the metabolization of cannabinoids
When our bodies detect inflammation or establish homeostasis (a state of harmony), our endogenous endocannabinoids are activated on-demand, which means they attach to cannabinoid receptors.
CBD does not attach to receptors, but it acts to stimulate other parts of the cannabinoid system.
CBD as an Antioxidant:
CBD has a wide range of effects on the central and peripheral neurological systems and the immunological system in the body. It functions as an antioxidant, reduces inflammation, and acts as an analgesic or pain reliever in conjunction with our endocannabinoid system.
CBD exerts a wide array of effects on the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as the immune system. It works in conjunction with our endocannabinoid system to function in an antioxidant capacity, decrease inflammation, and act as an analgesic or pain reliever.
Studies have also revealed that CBD helps reduce nerve damage and prevent osteoarthritis
CBD as a Pain Reliever
CBD is lipophilic, which means it dissolves in lipids. The dissolution allows it to bridge the blood-brain membrane and affect the central nervous system, where it has a wide range of pain-relieving effects, including:
Pain Signals reduction
By increasing levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain, CBD reduces pain or the perception of pain. CBD may also prevent pain signals from reaching brain processing regions by attaching to TRPV1, a protein involved in chronic pain.
Increasing Immune Response
CBD slows the multiplication of T cells and can modify the immune response by lowering concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, both of which are linked to autoimmune illnesses.
CBD acts as an antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress and systemic inflammation. CBD reduces neuropathic pain by counteracting hyperalgesia and preventing the loss of microelements like Zn and Se, which are essential for maintaining your immune system’s balance.
Improving Mood and Sleep
Chronic pain discomforts our daily life, employment, and mental wellbeing. CBD may help you relax or get the restful sleep you need if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, or exhaustion, all of which are frequent side effects of chronic pain.
Why is CBD pain treatment such a huge deal in the United States?
- Between 50 and 116 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain, a startling amount affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.
- Furthermore, these studies estimate that chronic pain costs $560 to $635 billion in medical productivity losses per year. Despite recent therapeutic improvements, many people with chronic pain build resistance to traditional medical therapies or experience side effects from commonly prescribed medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- That is why formulations having CBD have been in clinical use since 2003 to investigate its usefulness in decreasing pain when other treatments have failed.
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is becoming increasingly popular to treat persistent chronic pain for whom traditional treatments are ineffective or impossible. Besides chronic pain, CBD is also considered a potential treatment for various health conditions. You should definitely consider trying CBD oil if you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above.