CBD for Pain

One of the most common uses for CBD is pain management, with 97% of its users siting chronic pain as the primary reason for using CBD.  Chronic pain, or pain that persists for weeks to years, affects more than 38 million people in the United States every year.  There are numerous over the counter and prescription medications for pain, but many of these have serious and even life-threatening side effects. 

Physicians are facing difficulties in managing chronic pain associated with cancer-related, neuropathic and central pain (multiple sclerosis) using available prescription medications.  With the emergence of the current opioid epidemic, doctors are looking for novel, safer ways to manage their patients’ pain. 

Over the counter pain medications, NSAIDs, can carry significant side effects, especially when used for longer periods of time.  These drugs act to block COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes that are responsible in prostaglandin production that are associated with fever, pain and inflammation.  However, these enzymes are not all bad and are responsible for protecting the stomach and intestinal lining and promoting platelet and kidney function.  In fact, COX-1 inhibition has been associated with gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, while COX-2 inhibition has been associated with myocardial infarct (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular accidents (strokes).

One benefit of CBD is that it does not affect either of these enzymes, eliminating any associated side effects.  Its primary role in treating pain, is by acting on the Endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation.    

There have been numerous animal model studies that show CBD has tremendous potential in treating chronic pain.  In 2007, a study in rats treated with CBD once a day for 7 days resulted in reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.  Another study in 2017, where CBD was given transdermally, reduced joint inflammation and associated pain in arthritic rats.

Although there is still much to discover about CBD and its uses, it is evident that it is beneficial in treating chronic pain.  In addition to physical therapy and self-care, CBD can be incorporated into your treatment regimen to provide natural plant base pain relief.