Pain is something we are all familiar with however, until recently, very few of us realized just how effective CBD is for pain relief. Not only does it ease the pain and soothes inflammation, it comes with a host of other health benefits.
Ever since hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC became legal, the world has become flooded with CBD products.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in cannabis plants (marijuana and hemp). However, CBD will not make you “high” unless it contains some amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound.
If you are suffering from Asthma, you need to check this article: 5 Ways to Take CBD to Treat Asthma
Pain, especially chronic pain, can make your life hell. Fortunately, our bodies evolved with an adaptive response to pain that includes certain physiological changes, which are useful and potentially life-saving during the early stages of pain.
However, this adaptive response is helpful only if it does not go on for a long time. . Fortunately or unfortunately, pain is something that cannot be ignored and this often helps, because it forces you to do something about it.
In other words, you are forced to adopt behaviors that indirectly promote healing, eg you rest more, you don’t use the arm that is injured, you stop eating foods that give you stomach cramps, etc.
From exercising and a healthier diet to relaxation and going for therapy, you can go through different routes to reduce pain. From the physiological point of view, sensitization of nerve endings needs to be reduced and mainstream medicine achieves this with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Pain is usually the result of trauma or illness and sometimes cannot be avoided, eg after surgery. No matter acute or chronic, pain needs to be managed otherwise it can seriously affect the quality of your life.
Still, the management of acute pain remains inadequate even when effective treatments are within reach because of the side effects they brings along.
Pain Symptoms and Characteristics
Although pain can be classified in different ways, the two main categories are acute and chronic pain.
Pain symptoms and the way it is experienced vary from person to person and also depends on the condition that has triggered it.
Other conditions that come with pain include:
- Chest pain, difficulty breathing, coughing
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Disrupted sleep
- Renal and GI tract dysfunction
- Anxiety and depression
- Personality changes
- Decreased libido
Bearing in mind that pain can affect your nerves, bones, and tissues, it manifests in many different ways:
Different manifestations of pain:
- Somatic nociceptive pain (aching, squeezing, throbbing, and stabbing)
- Visceral nociceptive pain caused by an obstruction (cramping and gnawing)
- Visceral nociceptive pain caused by stretching of the covering of the organ (sharp, stabbing, or throbbing)
- Neuropathic or nerve pain (severe, sharp, stabbing, burning, cold, tingling, pins and needles, numbness or weakness
- Anginal pain (oppressive or tightening)
- The phantom limb pain (squeezing, burning, crushing)
The Effects of Pain
Pain, especially chronic pain, affects you on both the physical and psychological levels. It affects how you relate to your body as well as to others. It interferes with many of your vital functions, such as gastrointestinal functions.
It lowers your resistance to disease while at the same time encouraging negative thoughts, resentment, and isolation.
The physical effects of pain include:
- Decreased movement of the affected part of the body and increased risk of developing blood clots in the veins and in the lungs
- Shallow breathing that increases the risk of pneumonia
- Increased sodium and water retention
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Weaker immune system
- Loss of appetite
- Los of weight
The psychological effects of pain include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulty relating to other people
- Reduced libido
- Anger and resentment
Experiencing acute pain is unpleasant but living with chronic pain can be devastating. But, if something can’t be avoided, you have to learn to cope with it. That’s why pain management is so important.
Inadequate pain management can be the result of not having access to medical care, lack of patient education about opioid use, unavailability of medical service, financial constraints, etc.
However, even those that have access to good medical service often complain that conventional medicine is not doing enough to find a cure for the pain.
Pain comes in different intensity and frequency and we all experience it in our own way. However, regardless of how well you cope, chronic pain will eventually hurt all aspects of your life, including your ability to work, maintain meaningful relationships, your physical and mental health, etc.
Having access to effective medical services is crucial but this is unfortunately not available to everyone. This is one of the reasons many people are ready to explore natural therapies even if their efficacy is not supported by science.
Timely pain treatment is very important because it can prevent pain from escalating and becoming chronic. Pain is often combined with physiotherapy and alternative therapies, as well as counseling.
Types of pain
There are different approaches to pain management and it partly depends on the type of pain that is experienced:
- Neuropathic pain
It’s caused by damage or inflammation of the nerves (eg carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica)
- Acute pain
This is the most common type of pain and is caused by an injury or tissue damage, eg a broken bone, a wound, arthritis
- Centralized pain
This pain is the most difficult to treat because it is difficult to characterize and cannot be identified on an x-ray or MRI, eg fibromyalgia, migraines, tension headaches, etc.
Pain can occur anywhere on or inside the body but is most more common in certain places.
The most common places where pain is experienced:
- Lower back
What Types of Pain Can CBD Help With?
People who live with chronic pain usually rely on medications, eg opioids, to cope. Unfortunately, most medications, including those for pain relief, come with many side effects and are habit-forming.
Cannabidiol is extracted from industrial hemp plants that contain minimal amounts of the psychoactive substance (THC or tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana strains of cannabis. CBD, therefore, provides health benefits without getting you ‘high’ and is not addictive.
Although cannabis was legalized in 2018, mainstream science is still uncomfortable with it and rarely recommends it for healing due to not enough research. The only condition CBD is readily prescribed for in epilepsy. Besides, the production, sale, purity, and dosage of CBD are still not regulated.
Still, CBD is a natural remedy for many health conditions and is particularly efficient for pain relief. Although cannabis became well-known in the West only in the 1960s, it has been used by humans for thousands of years.
The oldest Cannabis plants originate from China and India from where they spread to Europe. Cannabis pollen is found in many central European countries dating from about 30,000 years ago so chances are it was used for healing for a very long time before it finally became legal in 2018.
CBD is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects on joints which is why it effectively relieves pain and stiffness. Besides, it also has an analgesic effect, which means it’s able to reduce pain perception in the brain.
This is achieved by CBD directly affecting the endocannabinoid system in the brain which in turn enhances the effects of certain brain chemicals. Some of these chemicals, eg serotonin, can successfully reduce pain perception.
How quickly will CBD alleviate your pain depends both on the severity of the pain but even more so on the way you choose to use CBD. Capsules are easy to use but usually take longer to act, between 20 minutes to an hour.
Oral sprays and liquid drops held in the mouth under the tongue, guarantee quick absorption and the first effects will be felt within minutes. The effects of CBD usually last for up to five hours.
The best CBD oil products should be 100% natural and extracted from the whole hemp plant. If the manufacturer provides a CBD/THC batch testing certificate of analysis that confirms the level of CBD present, you can be pretty certain you’re getting a good quality product.
5 types of pain that can effectively be relieved with CBD:
- Chronic pain
The intensity of the pain depends on the cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD relieves pain by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in your brain and immune system.
When your cells respond to the chemical signals, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects are triggered, which improves your pain management.
When it comes to chronic pain, CBD oil is particularly efficient for back pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. As it comes with no side effects and successfully reduces pain without developing a dependency, you can safely use it for years.
2. Arthritis pain
Living with arthritis isn’t easy and carrying out even simple tasks can become painful or impossible. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative condition which means it gets worse over time.
Managing a healthy weight and adopting a balanced diet is part of the natural arthritis treatment, but sooner or later, most people have to start taking medication.
Applying CBD gel to arthritic joints significantly reduces both the inflammation and overall pain. You can apply the gel as you need to, although not more than four times a day.
3. Cancer treatment pain
Cancer pain can be caused by many things. Some pain is caused by pressure on your organs by the growing tumor, or when cancer grows into organs like the liver, lungs, or spine. Neuropathic pain is the consequence of your nerves being damaged by cancer, chemotherapy, or a cancerous growth pressing on them.
Besides, cancer surgery can also cause pain. Some tests and procedures that are used in cancer treatment may also cause pain. Fortunately, there is good news. Early studies suggest that CBD oil can shrink the tumor cells.
Besides, CBD used by cancer patients can significantly reduce pain, vomiting, and improve their appetite. When CBD extracts are combined with opioids, they provide more effective pain management than when opioids are only used. Just make sure you consult with your doctor first.
4. Migraine pain
Chronic migraine is when you experience a migraine headache for 15 or more days a month, for at least three months. Episodes can last for hours at a time. Prescribed medications are not only not very effective but are based on some very powerful drugs that come with serious side effects.
Although migraines cannot be cured, not even with CBD, early studies suggest that a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids can quickly reduce the intensity of pain, provided the dosage taken orally is at least 200 mg.
5. Multiple sclerosis pain
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that damages the nerves and the brain. One of the most common symptoms of this disease is muscle spasms which can be very painful. The damage of the neurons in your brain and spine is crippling and extremely painful, as are aches in your bones, muscles, and joints.
In other words, with this disease, you’re in a lot of pain. Although this varies from person to person, the all-over pain gradually gets worse. Although CBD oil cannot cure this disorder, it can help reduce the intensity of spasms.
Generally speaking, CBD oil products are safe to use and side effects that some individuals may experience are usually very mild. They include fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, changes in weight, etc.
However, the main risk of using CBD for pain relief, is that it may interfere with some medications. Everyone on chronic medication should talk to their doctor before using CBD. Be particularly careful if any of the medications you are on have a “grapefruit warning.” Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with enzymes that are crucial to drug metabolism.
CBD oil is safe to use long-term and it does not cause intoxication and dependence. However, please note that there haven’t been many studies on the health benefits of CBD but we know it contains hundreds of components many of which we know nothing about. This is why it’s best to use only 100% pure CBD oil, made from the whole plant.
However, despite the potential side effects, living with chronic pain is no fun, and may people are more than willing to take the risk of a new drug if it can bring at least temporary relief from pain and agony.
Different Ways of Using CBD for Pain Relief
An increasing number of people are turning to natural healing therapies, including CBD. Being a natural pain reliever, CBD can be used alongside or instead of prescribed pain medicines.
CBD works by targeting receptors in your endocannabinoid system. So, when CBD enters your body, it helps improve many of your functions, eg sleep, emotions, immunity, pain tolerance, etc.
CBD for pain relief can be used orally or topically. If used orally (eg as a tincture or oil drops kept under the tongue for a minute or two), the effect will be felt within minutes.
It can also be used topically to target specific areas, such as arthritic joints or skin irritated by sunburn.
Vaping is another way of getting CBD quickly into your system. That way, CBD is easily absorbed and the first effects are felt even faster than if used orally. However, if you suffer from a respiratory condition, such as asthma, vaping is out of the question.
CBD capsules can also be used for pain relief but as they have to go through your digestive system, it will take some time before the first effects can be felt (sometimes up to an hour).
Other CBD products that can all help with acute or chronic pain include CBD edibles, bath additives, massage oils, balms, and ointments.
So, there is no one best way to use CBD oil. To benefit most from it, choose the delivery method that suits your lifestyle and is most effective for the condition you are struggling with. Don’t forget that the speed at which CBD will act also depends on the type and intensity of your pain.
Finally, remember that although CBD comes with no side effects, the dosage is very important and depends on your size, weight, as well as on how your body responds to this kind of therapy.
Some people may get relief even from minimal amounts of CBD, while others may require a significant dose before they feel any improvement.
The severity of your pain is another factor that will determine the required dosage. Although certain types of pain may require a large dose of CBD, overdosing may lead to many other problems so you need to understand how CBD works and how much is safe to use.
If you are new to CBD, it’s best to start with small doses and see how your body responds to it. It’s better to gradually increase your dosage than risk overdosing.
CBD Gel for Joints and Muscle Pain
Arthritic pain can be particularly difficult to live with. Even if it’s not very strong, it gnaws at you all the time and interferes with your life.
The latest natural remedy for persistent arthritic pain comes in the form of CBD pain freeze. It calms the pain and helps manage cramps.
The beauty of CBD gel is that it works on two fronts – it relieves the pain and soothes inflammations.
CBD pain relief gel works by providing cooling properties of menthol and healing properties of hundreds of CBD compounds as well as other herbs that are added to this gel. This enhances the healing and offers relief for different aches and pains.
CBD gel is a combination of herbs such as arnica and menthol, as well as essential oil blends that together provide a warming/cooling sensation for the skin and muscles on the spot where they are applied.
Pain freeze CBD gel is easy to use. Simply apply it to the painful area, eg neck, shoulders, knee, or back (if you can reach the spot). You can also massage it into muscles for the full-body relief. You can use it up to 4 times a day. Simply rub it in a thin layer on the affected area.
CBD pain freeze can also relieve skin irritations and discomfort resulting from sunburn, inflammation, or swollen joints. If used consistently, it will improve your joints’ flexibility.
There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of healthy and strong bones lately. However, having strong bones and weak joints is pointless. To bend down, get up, kneel, jog, or lift, your joints need to be flexible and strong.
CBD gel can help. All you have to do is massage it into painful areas until the gel is absorbed through the skin. The skin takes about 20 minutes to absorb an ointment, so this is how long you should wait before putting on some clothes over the place you’ve rubbed gel into.
Again, ou can apply the gel throughout the day although you shouldn’t use it more than four times a day. The gel is easy to carry around so you can use it even when away from home.
There are over 100 types of arthritis and what they all have in common is inflammation. The inflammation irritates nerves and causes pain. An anti-inflammatory diet can help to a certain degree, but advanced arthritis requires treatment.
As CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are well-known, it is one of the most efficient natural therapies for pain related to muscles and joints. CBD remedies can soothe inflammation by reducing the response by the immune system and by decreasing the levels of inflammatory substances found around the joint.