Managing pain is perhaps the cannabis plant’s oldest claim to fame, at least in the medical world. The relief brought to patients living with terminal conditions and experiencing chronic pain was a significant driving force behind the initial push for medical marijuana laws in many states, and remains one of the more compelling arguments for accepting widespread use of the plant as a therapeutic treatment. Traditionally, the cannabinoid THC has been credited and studied as a pain reducer, but as the scientific research around Cannabidiol, or CBD, the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in the plant grows, its pain reducing powers are beginning to take the spotlight. The health benefits of CBD are numerous, and it has been especially celebrated for its potential to stop seizure activity in patients with epilepsy, but it’s also a powerful ally in reducing and managing both acute and chronic pain.
How CBD reduces pain in the body
CBD is an anti-inflammatory. It’s ability to target and reduce inflammation in connective tissue and muscles provides a huge benefit in reducing pain levels, especially those brought on by swelling. This property of Cannabidiol makes it a great treatment for acute, injury induced pain like sore muscles following a run, and can also be highly effective when treating chronic joint pain such as arthritis. In both cases, the anti-inflammatory action of CBD reduces the swelling that is the root cause of the pain. CBD topical treatments like IrieCBD’s Pain Balm can provide relief quickly when applied directly to injured or swollen areas, though ingested full spectrum CBD products and tinctures can also be extremely helpful in healing inflamed tissues.
CBD is also a neuroprotectant, meaning it counteracts injury or degeneration in the Central Nervous System. This particular feature has made cannabis and CBD of great interest to medical researchers looking for treatment options for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The body naturally produces cannabinoids, called Endocannabinoids, that protect neurons and damaged brain cells, reducing pain radiating from the Central Nervous System, and CBD mimics these naturally occurring cannabinoids. All pain that results from an imbalance, injury or dysfunction in the CNS can be alleviated by additional cannabinoid support, and CBD has been shown in some studies to be effective at treating pain with a neurological component.
CBD is an anti-oxidant, and reduces the harmful oxidation that can occur in the body when too many free radicals are present.Clinical research has shown that :
“consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can be helpful for relieving chronic pain. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and oxidative stress, which play a significant role in persistent pain conditions and have been linked to an increase in pain sensitivity (Tall, 2004).”
Many super-food fads of the last decade, from acai berries to kale, have centered around the presence of anti-oxidants, and for good reason. Oxidative stress can lead to a weakened immune system and increased inflammation, both of which increase pain, chronic and acute. CBD packs a powerful punch when it comes to anti-oxidant content, and tinctures with high concentrations of the cannabinoid can be miracle workers for some when it comes to quick and long lasting relief.
CBD also affects the endogenous opiod system. Our body’s natural opiod system is how our system treats pain itself, and is our first defense against discomfort. Our opiod system provides relief when we are hurt or suffering by releasing compounds that affect our opiod receptors, masking the pain and instead flooding us with uplifting or euphoric feelings. This is why pharmaceutical opiates are prescribed as painkillers, but the addiction problems and side effects that come with taking these pharmaceutical drugs are many. CBD has been shown to not only effect our cannabinoid receptors but also acts on our opiod receptors, which is why some scientists believe it to be an effective, and much safer, alternative to Opiod drugs for treating pain (read more about this here: CBD and Opiate Addiction ).
CBD has no negative side effects. Because CBD treats pain through working with the body’s natural Endocannabinoid System, affecting change on cannabinoid (and opiod) receptors naturally, there are no negative side effects from using CBD as part of a pain management plan. It can be highly effective, and in some cases patients have been able to move off of prescription medications completely while being treated with CBD. Obviously, all treatment decisions should be made after consulting a physician, but from the bumps and bruises sustained following a weekend adventure to managing a lifelong condition, CBD has potential to provide effective support, and the science on its many benefits is constantly expanding.
Check out these IrieCBD Products for great treatment options and more information:
IrieCBD Therapeutic Pain Support Blend
IrieCBD Pain Balm