Chronic pain is pain that has been occurring over the span of several months. It’s different from acute pain, which occurs immediately as the result of a direct insult to the body like a cut or burn.
Pain is an indication that something is wrong. While acute pain is more obvious, chronic pain may have many sources or be the result of a long-term imbalance. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has been promoted as a way to help deal with chronic pain due to its effects on the nervous system. This article will explain how CBD works and ways to take it for the management of chronic pain.
What is chronic Pain?
Chronic pain, to put it in simple terms, is pain that lasts a long time. Some medical practitioners typically characterize it as pain that continues for several months as a result of a chronic condition.
Diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer cause a great deal of pain, however simply using drugs or pain-relieving treatments do not cure the underlying disease. Compared to the chemical effects of many pain-relieving medications however, CBD is considered to be safe and effective with several studies stating that the future of CBD as a pain-relieving treatment is promising.
The Root Causes of Chronic Pain
All chronic pain stems from systematic dysfunction in the body. The pain itself is not the disease, but a symptom of an underlying issue.
This is why pain-relievers do not work in the long-term, and some are even dangerous. Acetaminophen (known as Tylenol in the U.S. and Paracetamol in the E.U.), despite being widely-prescribed and available over the counter, is actually a harmful substance that, according to some respected professionals, is “by far the most dangerous drug ever made”:
“Analysis of national databases show that acetaminophen-associated overdoses account for about 50,000 emergency room visits and 25,000 hospitalizations yearly. Acetaminophen is the nation’s leading cause of acute liver failure, according to data from an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes for Health. Analysis of national mortality files shows about 450 deaths occur each year from acetaminophen-associated overdoses; 100 of these are unintentional.”
Aric Hausknecht, M.D.
How Acetaminophen Works
Despite its popularity among doctors, medical researchers still do not understand how acetaminophen works. While there are several theories, there is not an overarching consensus about which stands above the rest.
Some researchers believe that acetaminophen works by blocking specific enzymes that make the body feel pain. Others feel that acetaminophen alters signaling from the neurotransmitter serotonin, inhibiting receptors in the brain that register pain. A third theory relates to the interaction of acetaminophen with the endocannabinoid system.
How the Endocannabinoid System Works to Help with Chronic Pain
The endocannabinoid system works with the nervous system, which acts as a network in the human body for sending messages from its various parts.
Neurotransmitters “transmit” messages from neurons (cells responsible for receiving sensory input) to their specific receptors.
An example could be getting a muscle strain. The neurons in the skin register the “ouch” that sent the neurotransmitters to your brain for help. The brain then sends other neurotransmitters to specific receptors on the site to start the work of healing and pain relief.
The endocannabinoid system represents a system within the nervous system that works to relieve pain through various mechanisms that promote balance within the body.
Cannabinoids are the special neurotransmitters that send messages throughout the endocannabinoid system. There are endocannabinoids (the body’s internal cannabinoids) and external cannabinoids such as phytocannabinoids that are found in cannabis.
Can CBD Oil Help with Chronic Pain?
CBD is one of the 421 chemicals found in the cannabis plant. It is also the most abundant of the 117 different cannabinoids, which are the neurotransmitters used by the cannabinoid system.
Unlike acetaminophen (which has terrible side effects), CBD has been proven to be extremely safe after having been tested on humans with extremely large doses.
CBD works by mimicking the action of the natural endocannabinoids found in the body to stimulate specific receptors and provide pain relief. While it is not a cure for a specific disease, it is a more gentle way to relieve pain when compared to chemical pain-relievers like acetaminophen.
CBD Products & Treatments For Chronic Pain
CBD Balm for Chronic Pain
CBD balm can be applied directly to the skin and it may help muscles recover from pains due to strain and other chronic issues.
Besides relieving pain, some users report that CBD balm is very useful to relieve sensitive, dry or irritated skin.
CBD Drops for Chronic Pain
Taken internally under the tongue, CBD drops absorb quickly and work directly with the endocannabinoid receptors to provide relief for a variety of conditions that include chronic pain, epileptic seizures, depression and conditions resulting from inflammation.
CBD Hash for Chronic Pain
Made from the resin of the cannabis plant, CBD hash is composed of the essential oils derived from the leaves that are then pressed into solid bricks. Whether it’s smoked or used in cooking, many users enjoy CBD hash to obtain the effects of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD Herb for Chronic Pain
CBD herb can provide the pain-relieving effects of CBD without the added THC in a smokeable form that has a similar taste, texture and aroma of regular psychoactive marijuana.
CBD Powder for Chronic Pain
CBD powder consists of pure CBD isolate that is derived from THC-free hemp and isolated into an easy to use powder form that can be incorporated into cooking, smoothies or infused into a tea.
For these products and more, please see our entire line in the Green Cuisine shop.