Chronic pain is a stubborn and complex condition that is becoming increasingly common. The pain can be repetitive or persistent, lasts more than three months and can lead to chronic suffering, physical breakdown and disability. Due to its complex nature, treatment for this type of pain usually requires a pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach.
Given the growing challenges in the treatment of chronic pain, physicians and health practitioners are looking for innovative, effective and natural alternatives. Today, more and more people recognise the effectiveness of CBD for alleviating the symptoms of various mental and physical ailments, including some forms of chronic pain. Let’s explore the relationship between chronic pain and CBD and how one can benefit from using CBD oil for pain and chronic aches.
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, CBD oil or cannabis oil, is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients found in cannabis, a common oil for comparison would be the Eucalyptus oil used in flu remedies. It is a non-intoxicating and non-psychoactive compound purported to have huge therapeutic effects. CBD is also non-addictive and is known to interact with your body’s natural systems to provide relief and encourage balance in all its functions.
Usually used in the treatment of chronic pain to reduce anxiety and aid in relaxation, there are a variety of ways to use CBD oil, such as via ingestion or in a muscle rub. There is no lack in variety to the methods in which CBD oil has been tried; however, like most things in life, the benefits produced can depend greatly on the person as well as his or her particular needs, metabolism, lifestyle and health condition.
The medical profession understands pain under two main broad terms, acute and chronic. Acute pain usually has a quick onset and results from an injury or another underlying health concern within the human body. It often lasts for less than six months and can almost always be cured by correcting the initial cause of the pain. In the UK, Chronic pain is defined simply as pain lasting longer than three months. It’s important to realise, however, that chronic pain is no longer the result of the original cause of pain. Chronic pain is its own entity. It exists whether or not the initial issue is addressed.
At this time, the scientific and medical communities do not fully understand why some people suffer from chronic pain and others do not. What we do understand, however, is why chronic pain exists in those people who experience it. Individuals that are subjected to chronic pain are now known to have experienced a permanent change in the central nervous system called central sensitisation.
Once chronic pain has established itself, it isn’t easy to treat. It can consist of different types of pain, which can exist alone or comorbidly in chronic pain patients. We must recognise the kind of pain we are experiencing before we treat it, as different types of pain will require their own management techniques.
There are two primary pain categories recognised by the medical community. Nociceptive pain appears as a result of tissue damage (or threat thereof), and its signals are transmitted to the brain via nociceptors. This usually signifies a normally functioning central nervous system. Neuropathic pain is the direct result of some form of damage or disease affecting the somatosensory system. This is the most predominant type of pain found in chronic pain sufferers, however by no means the only type. Both types of pain can also be experienced simultaneously. There are many more subcategories of pain, all of which exist under the umbrella of these two broader terms.
Pain itself exists as a notification system that something is wrong with our bodies. When we experience nociceptive pain, it is usually acute and, therefore, can be managed or cured in a relatively short space of time. Neuropathic pain has no beneficial effect on the human body and is notoriously hard to treat.
The endocannabinoid system serves a significant role in regulating our experience of pain. Phytocannabinoids CBD1 and CBD2 usage is increasingly documented in the successful normalisation of nociceptor functionality. In turn, the normalisation of the nociceptor function reduces the intensity of central sensitisation symptoms. Regular use of CBD can aid syndromes of chronic pain by decreasing pain and inflammation, improving sleep and the overall state of relaxation and addressing anxiety, which might often be associated with long-lasting or chronic pain. In addition to this, some studies now indicate that CBD can also contribute to pain relief via anti-inflammatory action.
There are so many CBD products on the market these days; you’d be forgiven for struggling to know which one is the best for you. From CBD vape juice and capsules through to energy drinks and even beauty products, CBD is definitely the key wellness ingredient of current times.
When it comes to choosing your ideal CBD product, there are several important factors to consider. First of all, it’s a good idea to research the current usage of CBD amongst sufferers of your condition(s). Finding a quality supplier of CBD is also imperative, as there is a vast range in quality and potency in a largely unregulated industry. Once you’ve found a reputable supplier, knowing which form of CBD oil is best for you is the next step. As well as making a choice between broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum and CBD isolate, you need to choose whether you would prefer to ingest it orally, inhale or apply it topically. Last of all, it’s essential to establish the right dose for you and understand how this may change over time. Remember to always consult a doctor or a health care provider before taking any CBD infused product.