Why are so many people switching to Cannabidiol-commonly known as CBD- to find relief for their chronic pain and inflammation? Is CBD truly all that it has been talked up to be? How is it possible that CBD is so effective for pain and inflammation? We understand some of you need more than some aesthetic Instagram posts and your coworker's word to convince you of the benefits CBD offers. So, let's take a deeper look at the science behind CBD, specifically for chronic pain and inflammation relief.
If you are unfamiliar with what CBD is, click HERE to learn more about the basics of CBD.
First, let's look at some common types of chronic pain that our users are using CBD for:
Headaches & Migraines
Rheumatoid Arthritis & Osteoarthritis
This is a very short, non-comprehensive list of some types of chronic pain we have personally been able to assist users with.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. Even with the plethora of research performed on this topic, chronic pain is still poorly understood. There are many different factors that can contribute to or induce chronic pain such as a prior injury, a surgery, or even a serious infection. Sometimes chronic pain develops in absence of any apparent cause. Chronic pain usually develops after some type of nerve damage; however, there is a general understanding that many causes of chronic pain are commonly associated with some type of inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Without going too in depth, inflammation is the way our bodies react to an injury or infection. When our body gets sick or injured, our white blood cells and healing chemicals invade the site under attack to defend us, which causes irritation and swelling (inflammation). Inflammation is often a positive and necessary biological function, but when it is not performed correctly, it can cause serious negative effects to our health. There are two general types of inflammation-acute and chronic. Both may lead to symptoms such as pain, limited movement, swelling, and redness; and both may lead to more serious conditions and diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.
How are Chronic Pain & Inflammation Related?
At this point you may be asking yourself, "Okay, but how are chronic pain and inflammation related and why is this important to understanding CBD?" We will address the latter part of this question shortly, but let's take a look at how chronic pain and inflammation are related.
The important thing to understand is that inflammation may be the underlying cause to one's condition or disease causing chronic pain. The body may be causing unnecessary inflammation, which damages and weakens the body. Thus, the inflammation is essentially causing the underlying conditions or disease due to the damaged tissue. Let's look at an example to try and put this into context.
Someone may develop an infection in their hand. The infection causes the immune system to send white blood cells and other chemicals to combat the infection. After the infection is neutralized, the body may still be sending these agents unnecessarily. With no foreign agent to attack, the body starts attacking itself- inflicting damage to the body's own tissue. This damage results in chronic pain.
Now, it is important to understand this is an extremely simplified example, and does not even come close to explaining all causes of chronic pain or inflammation, but we thought it might help to connect the dots.
The Science Behind Using CBD to Manage Chronic Pain
If you do not know already, CBD is a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant that works with our Endocannabinoid System to keep us happy and healthy (for more information about CBD and the Endocannabinoid System click here). Essentially, CBD helps to manage chronic pain in several ways, most notably by reducing inflammation. Few people know that CBD has actually been used for chronic pain for thousands of years, dating back to ancient China. Today people turn towards CBD to avoid potential side effects frequently associated with standard pain medication, while others are concerned about becoming dependent on such medications.
The Endocannabinoid System works cohesively with our other systems, such as our immune system, to maintain homeostasis, or balance (good health).The Endocannabinoid System also influences how we experience pain. Some research studies have shown that CBD Oil works with our Endocannabinoid System to help with pain relief and reduce pain intensity, which also helps with related sleep difficulties and psychological distress. Furthermore, research has found that subjects were not likely to build up a tolerance to the effects of CBD, so they would not need to increase their dose continually.
While there is certainly much more research to be done to fully understand the benefits using CBD Oil for chronic pain, the initial research that has been done yields very promising results for the use of CBD for managing chronic pain and inflammation. We encourage you to do further research beyond what we have provided here concerning the use of CBD Oil for these conditions and let us know what you think! Do you or someone you know successfully manage chronic pain with the use of CBD Oil? We love hearing from you!