Humans become more vulnerable to diseases and other ailments as they grow older. No wonder, they experience chronic pains brought by conditions, such as arthritis and inflammation. To fight off the discomfort, people resort to supplements which promise relief.
One of the rising supplement products nowadays is the CBD or cannabis oil. A lot of supplementation and even drugs use this as an ingredient since it is believed to have many health benefits. Among its claimed wonders, it is said to be an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.
Before you run to the nearest drug store or check online shops for CBD products, read below first. Find out for yourself if it is worth the try.
Know About CBD
If you have no idea what cannabis oil is, it is a herbal extract made of the substance Cannabidiol (CBD). This comes from the cannabis variation, hemp plant, which is related to marijuana.
However, unlike the other cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive. This means it will not give you that euphoric sensation. Since it does not cause consumers to be “high”, CBD products are legal to sell.
Why People Use It
Millions of adults live with chronic pain. The usual kinds of chronic pain include low back pain, multiple sclerosis pain, osteoarthritis, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. Aside from the discomfort and decreased quality of life it can cause, having chronic pain means more healthcare costs due to medications.
Not only do people care about increased expenses. Many of them are worried about the possible side effects that taking medications may have on them. For this reason, there are people who turn to alternative solutions, like herbal treatments and supplements.
Nutritional products, including CBD oil, are becoming popular supplementation to relieve pain. Some people take them alongside with prescribed or over-the-counter medications, while some rely solely on them.
The question now is: can CBD be an effective cure for chronic pain? Is this claim backed up by scientific studies? Should this replace recommended medications?
Can It Cure Chronic Pain?
According to a published report in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, using cannabis to treat pain originated in ancient China. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil is believed to relieve chronic pain. Moreover, it might help people with chronic pain get better sleep.
A lot of studies, both done on animals and humans, have been conducted to prove the health benefits and effectiveness of CBD. There are researchers who have compiled reviews on the studies and trials involving this compound. According to them, there is a piece of significant evidence suggesting the effectiveness of cannabis as a chronic pain treatment. (1, 2, 3, 4)
According to studies, CBD has the ability to control the activity of the neurotransmitter endocannabinoid receptor in the nervous system. It interacts with the neurotransmitters and reduces inflammation. (1, 2)
One study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggested that CBD can decrease inflammation and pain. This makes the substance a potential treatment for chronic pain. Furthermore, it was found out that the respondents did not build up a tolerance to CBD’s effects, so it would not be necessary to raise up the dosage over time.
In 2016, a study conducted on rats with arthritis was published in the European Journal of Pain. It concluded that CBD helped decrease inflammation, joint swelling, and pain in the subjects.
Another study was published in 2017 in the journal Pain. The result showed that CBD prevented joint pain in rats that had osteoarthritis.
Then, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews released a report in 2018 examining how cannabis-based medications might help treat chronic neuropathic pain. The report reviewed 16 studies, and based on these, the researchers concluded that medicines containing CBD could result in reduced pain, psychological distress, and sleep problems.
More Effective with THC
However, there are human studies suggesting that CBD becomes more effective as a treatment for chronic pain when combined with THC. Medications including both components are recommended to treat pain that is caused by arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Sativex, an oral spray containing CBD and THC, is used in several countries as a treatment for pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Also, one study concluded that this product improved pain symptoms, sleep quality, and movement in 58 respondents with rheumatoid arthritis. Another study showed that taking Sativex may give more pain relief to multiple sclerosis patients than those in the placebo. (1, 2)
What to Consider
As of now, the FDA has not set regulation for CBD usage as a supplement of medication ingredient. For this reason, dosages vary depending on the products and the interpretation of manufacturers.
Therefore, anyone who wants to use CBD as a treatment for chronic pain must consult a doctor first. People taking medications for certain conditions must seek advice if this is a good idea, or it might interfere with the prescribed medicines they take. Also, the doctor should monitor the patient’s condition while s/he is taking cannabis.
In addition, existing studies on CBD’s effect on pain only involved adults. For this reason, specialists do not advise the usage of this compound in children. There is a need for further studies regarding the effect of CBD on the development of a child’s brain.
Pregnant and nursing women are advised not to take CBD oil as well. This could have an effect on the baby’s development.
More Information about CBD
Health supplements that contain CBD may help relieve chronic pain in adults who experience arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other ailments. However, beware of products that guarantee treatment. Supplementation are meant to help improve one’s condition, but they do not have therapeutic claims.
Aside from providing pain relief, cannabis oil may have other health benefits. More studies are conducted to test the effectiveness of this component in treating several human conditions. Until then, consumers are strictly advised not to replace conventional medications with CBD supplements.
To understand CBD oil more, search for other articles that were published in scientific journals. You can also check out other Yuuto blogs featuring the possible benefits of taking CBD.