Physical pain comes from several sources, but those who suffer from extreme pain all have one thing in common: They want and deserve relief. That’s why many people have turned to CBD for pain relief. In preclinical trials and small studies, CBD for pain relief has shown a lot of promise.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for “cannabidiol”, and it’s a natural compound that can be found in cannabis and hemp plants. Hemp and cannabis contain well over 100 compounds that impact the body in different ways. CBD is one of the most famous of these compounds, second only to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD comes in a lot of varieties, including vapes, oils, edibles, and topical creams. People use these products for many reasons, including pain, insomnia, and to promote general wellbeing.
Is CBD the Same as Marijuana?
No, CBD is not the same thing as marijuana. It’s true that CBD can be found in marijuana plants, but CBD isn’t the part of the plant that causes euphoria. It’s a non-psychoactive compound, which means that it does not get people “high.” The part of marijuana that does cause a high is THC. THC is an entirely different compound from CBD, and it produces a variety of different effects.
Is CBD Legal?
Unlike marijuana itself, CBD is federally legal in the United States. Some states have legalized marijuana-derived CBD. However, the CBD that’s legal in all 50 states is CBD that comes from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant. Hemp plants and marijuana plants share a lot of similarities, and they’re often confused for one another. However, they’re actually two different types of plants. Hemp contains far less THC than marijuana plants. To be legal in all 50 states, CBD products must also contain less than 0.3% THC, which is not enough to cause a high. However, many users do report feeling relaxed or even sleepy after taking CBD. All of the CBD products at Aspen Green follow US federal guidelines and are fully legal. These full-spectrum products come from whole hemp and contain less than 0.3% CBD. Our clients safely and legally purchase our products from all across the US.
CBD for Pain Relief
Pain can get in the way of life. It prevents people from doing everything that they want to do and being there for the people they love. It also takes focus away from day to day tasks. For some, that pain can become intolerable. Many people use CBD for pain relief as a way to reclaim their lives, promote full health for their bodies, and bring their pain to tolerable levels.
Types of Pain
People experience many different types of pain. From the short, stabbing pain of a stubbed toe to the prolonged, dull pain of a headache, there’s no shortage of pain to go around. When people turn to CBD for pain, they may have any number of reasons to seek relief. We can sort pain into three main categories. There’s acute pain, which is a sharp pain that goes away quickly. Stubbed toes, bumped heads, and scraped knees all fall into this category. The kinds of pain that make people seek CBD, however, are inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. These types of pain don’t go away quickly, which is why they often have a major impact on people’s lives.
Inflammatory pain, as you might have guessed, is pain that comes from inflammation. Under normal circumstances, inflammation isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s the body’s way of protecting itself. Inflammation gets rid of damaged cells, and it shields the body from further damage. In the short term, it’s a great system. As long as inflammation is temporary, it’s healthy, and it helps the body maintain homeostasis.
The problem is that for some people, inflammation isn’t temporary. In the long term, inflammation hurts. Sometimes, the body doesn’t resolve its own inflammation effectively, so that inflammation can stick around for a long time. In some cases, like with autoimmune inflammatory disorders, inflammation can attack healthy cells instead of damaged ones. The body’s inflammatory chemicals put everything into “high vigilance” mode, and that includes the nerve endings. As a result, inflammation causes more sensitivity to pain.
When pain comes from inflammation, CBD may play a big part in reducing that pain. That’s because CBD has several anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers don’t know all of those properties yet. However, what we do know is that CBD interacts with certain receptors throughout the body called endocannabinoid receptors. Humans have a bodily system called the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS.
Though not as well known as other systems like the nervous system or digestive system, the ECS performs a lot of important functions in the human body. It helps the body maintain homeostasis, partly by managing inflammation. The ECS has many receptors throughout the brain and nerves, which are the two major players in how humans perceive pain. This might be why so many people report inflammatory pain reduction while using CBD. Cannabinoids such as CBD interact with ECS receptors much like the endocannabinoids that the human body products on its own.
Neuropathic pain comes from damage to the sensory system, either through disease or injury. The sensory system is responsible for regulating how you perceive and experience pain. Neuropathic pain can feel like tingling, burning, and itching, and it comes in various degrees of severity. A chemical called glutamate plays a role in the sensory system and neuropathic pain. It’s a chemical that makes neurons “wake up,” which is not a problem under normal circumstances. The right amount of glutamate helps humans learn and form memories about what they’ve learned. However, if those neurons become too awake, they can cause nerve pain and even nerve death. CBD, slows the release of Glutamate, which may lead to relief from neuropathic pain.
Alternatives to Pain Medication
Thanks to the Opioid Crisis, many are more hesitant to seek pain medication these days. Opioids were originally marketed as a minimally-addictive substance, which is why they were prescribed so often. Unfortunately, those widely-prescribed opioids turned out to be extremely addictive. Once doctors and pharmacists finally learned just how addictive opioids are, millions of people had already developed addictions.
CBD, however, is natural and non-addictive. For those who are concerned about addiction but still need relief from serious pain, CBD may present an appealing option. Of course, opioids aren’t the only medicinal pain relief option, but even non-addictive medications come with side effects that many would rather avoid. Consider NSAID pain relievers, for example. They may work well for a lot of people, but they’re generally not a long-term solution because they can cause liver problems. Likewise, corticosteroids can treat inflammatory pain, but those medications can also bring irritability, sleeplessness, nausea, and other highly unpleasant effects. For that matter, long-term steroid use can also put serious stress on the adrenal system and lead to serious disorders such as Cushing Syndrome. CBD has not been shown to produce any of these side effects, which may make CBD the better option for long-term use.
CBD for Pain-Related Conditions
In addition to CBD for pain relief, some people take CBD for conditions that come with pain or contribute to pain. For example, a lot of people use CBD for anxiety relief. Chronic pain is often a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. People often report anxiety relief from taking CBD, and several small studies have shown positive results in this area.
People also take CBD for insomnia, with many users reporting better quality sleep as a result. A lack of sleep can make pain worse because it dampens the body’s pain-numbing reaction. This is why many chronic pain sufferers find themselves in a vicious cycle. It’s not easy for people to get to sleep when they’re in pain. Pain causes insomnia, and then insomnia causes pain. How can a person get out of this cycle? Some choose CBD. If CBD is as effective as the preliminary research suggests, then it can help with both the initial pain and the insomnia, targeting both parts of the cycle at the same time.
The Science of CBD for Pain Relief
CBD has a lot of popularity among pain sufferers. In fact, pain is one of the most common reasons for purchasing CBD products. For example, according to the University of Michigan and the Arthritis Foundation, 29% of people who use CBD do so for arthritis pain. Anecdotal evidence appears to reveal positive results when it comes to CBD for pain relief. In a University of Michigan blog post, Kelly Malcolm quotes Dr. Keven Boehnke of the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center: “There are also observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive. People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain.”
Several preclinical trials have shown positive results and limited side effects as well. Unfortunately, published clinical research is severely limited at the moment, and that’s because of anti-cannabis prejudice in the United States. The United States still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD. Up until recently, CBD was also considered a Schedule 1 drug, in spite of its lack of intoxicating effects. As a result, researchers couldn’t get funding to examine the potential benefits of CBD.
Now that researchers finally have more freedom to study CBD, they’re doing exactly that. However, scientific research can take years to go from the preclinical stage to the clinical stage, which is why we’re only seeing the results of preclinical trials at the moment. Again, though, those preclinical trials do look promising, and many pain sufferers are more than willing to try CBD for their own pain.
How to Use CBD for Pain Relief
When it comes to CBD for pain relief, there are no hard and fast “rules” for getting started. So, if you want to try CBD for your pain, what should you do? Start with the guidelines that we’ve listed below. This step-by-step approach can help you get started. First, talk to your doctor and ask if CBD might make a good choice for your pain. During this conversation, ask about potential interactions between CBD and your current medications. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t eat grapefruit while on a medication, then you should probably avoid CBD for now, too. CBD can sometimes increase or decrease a medication’s potency, rendering it either ineffective or dangerous. Practice caution if you’re already taking medications, and make sure that your doctor knows about any supplements that you take. Don’t stop taking any medication without approval from your doctor. Once you have your doctor’s go-ahead, then it’s time to move on to the next step.
Find the Right Products
When you decide to use CBD for pain relief, it’s important to find the right products so that you get the most out of them. You can find “CBD-infused” products almost everywhere these days, but not all of these CBD products are the same. Because CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, companies can put any amount of CBD into their products and call it a day. That’s why you’ll want to do a bit of background research before you choose your CBD company. What qualities should you look for? First, look for a CBD company that makes its products in the USA. Ideally, the company should grow their hemp in the US, formulate their products in the US, and bottle their products in the US.
Make sure that you take a look at the fine print. Some products will come with a “made in the USA” sticker because they were mixed in America, but only after the hemp was flown in from overseas. Some companies use this approach to save themselves some money. The problem is that when they import their hemp, they can’t oversee the hemp growth process. They have no way to guarantee the hemp’s growing conditions, which means that they can’t ultimately know the quality of their own product. On the other hand, when your CBD is truly made in the USA from start to finish, it’s easier for you to verify its purity.
High Purity Standards
Speaking of purity, you’ll want to look for high purity standards. If you want CBD for pain relief, then you want products without any unnecessary fillers, chemicals, or preservatives. For the best CBD products, look for companies that only use certified organic hemp. Furthermore, look for companies that use third-party laboratory testing for their products. This way, you can verify the purity of your CBD by checking with an unbiased source. Once you’ve found your ideal CBD source, the next step is to find the right CBD product. When it comes to CBD for pain relief, you can choose from several options. We recommend that you don’t smoke or vape your CBD. For one thing, smoking and vaping both cause lung damage. For another thing, smoking and vaping don’t let you control your dosage as well as other methods do. You may get a different amount of CBD each time you smoke or vape, so you won’t be able to figure out your ideal dosage.
For generalized pain, you might consider CBD oil. CBD oil works quickly, especially when you hold it under your tongue for several seconds before swallowing. Plus, taking CBD oil won’t harm your lungs like smoking and vaping will.
Another benefit of CBD oil is that it gives you full control over your dosage. As we’ll see in a moment, you’ll want to take your time with CBD to figure out how much CBD is right for your needs. Because CBD oil generally comes with a medicine dropper, you can measure your dose accurately and adjust it as needed. For more localized pain, you might try topical products. Lotions and salves can deliver CBD straight to the part of the body that hurts. Topicals may be a good option for sporadic pain. If your pain isn’t consistent but shows up at random intervals, then using a salve as needed may be helpful.
Start Low, Go Slow
If you choose a CBD oil for pain relief, it may take some time for you to find your ideal dosage level. Your ideal level will depend on several factors like weight, metabolism, sensitivity to cannabinoids, and more.
How do you find the right amount? We recommend the “start low, go slow” approach. Begin with a low dose once a day, and take a week or so to see how you feel. Over time, you can build from there as you add CBD for pain relief to regiment. Pain shouldn’t make your life difficult. You deserve to find relief.