Individuals suffering from chronic pain often have limited options to treat their symptoms. Many choose to pursue alternative methods of treatment for a variety of reasons. Though studies are still in progress to determine the exact benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), many individuals with chronic pain have opted to use this product to help alleviate their pain.
Science Behind the Treatment
The human body possesses an endocannabinoid system that is connected to brain functions such as memory, mood, and pain receptors. Throughout the body, there are cannabinoid receptors, one variety located in the brain and the other kind spread throughout the body, that contribute to the effectiveness of the immune system. They also help regulate pain. According to some existing research, CBD can bind to these receptors and affect the perception of pain. Other research suggests that the reaction between CBD and different receptors that are primarily tied to the nervous system are what cause the pain relief.
Limited Side Effects
One of the primary reasons some people turn to alternative treatments for pain is due to the potential side effects that can accompany traditional treatments. Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for an extended period of time can cause damage to organs, namely the liver; additionally, if use of NSAIDs persists, the individual will likely require a higher dosage over time to achieve the same amount of pain or inflammation relief. With CBD, developing a tolerance for the treatment is uncommon, meaning individuals will not need to use more of it over time.
Perhaps the most compelling motivator for seeking alternative treatments like CBD is to avoid the addictive properties of some treatment methods. With the current opioid epidemic, the desire to prevent a dangerous addiction is understandable. CBD is non-addictive and is largely considered a safer treatment option than the alternatives.
As opposed to more traditional treatments that contain an abundance of manufactured chemicals, CBD is derived from a natural source and is often favored by individuals who want more eco-conscious and natural treatment methods. As a holistic treatment option, CBD is one of the most popular choices for individuals who want an effective, natural treatment for their pain.
Many pain treatments like NSAIDs are taken orally, and while they can prove effective, CBD is most beneficial when applied directly to the location of pain or inflammation. This topical application allows individuals to ensure that their treatment is affecting a specified area.
It is important to recognize that CBD is different from marijuana, as CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is responsible for the induced “high” feeling associated with the drug. Additionally, CBD is drawn primarily from industrial hemp which produces a higher amount of CBD than the alternatives.
There is a significant amount of stigma associated with alternative treatments like CBD, but the benefits for individuals with chronic pain demonstrate the effectiveness and validity of this treatment.