According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academics, about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. CBD (Cannabidiol) oil is gaining popularity for its effective and natural pain relief.
Cannabidiol is a compound found in the marijuana plant. It’s used widely because it doesn’t produce the high associated with marijuana, due to the absence of the psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Some believe that CBD might offer chronic pain relief by reducing inflammation. More and more, CBD oil is becoming an alternative to prescription drugs in the treatment of conditions like arthritis and back pain. Apart from pain relief, CBD often helps with better sleep, so it is often used by people suffering from sleep disorders.
The extensive usage of CBD oil
Chronic pain can largely hamper everyday life and reduce productivity. Common types of chronic pain include:
- Neuropathic pain
- Cancer pain
- Multiple sclerosis pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Over-the-counter medications are often prescribed for chronic pain relief but are there other natural options like herbs we should explore? OTC and prescription drugs have a bad rap for the side-effects they cause, not to mention the dependence associated with them. Some theories also suggest that CBD could help solve opioid addiction.
Benefits of CBD oil
How CBD oil might ease pain is still a question the scientists are finding an answer to. But there’s some evidence that suggests that CBD could be somehow involved in the functioning of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a complex system of intracellular communication. The endocannabinoid system influences brain functions like cognition, memory, and mood, and how we experience pain.
Oral administration of CBD has poor bioavailability, which means that when CBD is taken orally, much of it isn’t available for effective use by the body. So CBD is applied topically to the areas of pain as the less the circulatory system is involved, the more effective CBD is.
A 2018 Pediatric Dermatology report reported three cases of topical CBD applications in children with epidermolysis bullosa, a blistering skin condition. All three children healed faster, with less pain, and with no reported adverse effects.
Cannabis-based medicines have also been tested to relieve chronic neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is triggered by a damaged somatosensory (ability to interpret bodily sensation) system. It often occurs in people who suffer from conditions like multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Cannabis-based medicines do relieve chronic pain in addition to helping with sleep difficulties, but they’re often associated with side-effects like dizziness and mental confusion. It should also be noted that these side-effects are more likely to occur with drugs containing THC than without it.
CBD and Safety
There hasn’t been much research regarding the safe use of CBD. Since no regulations or rules are available at present, CBD oil may (or may not) have varying amounts of the psychoactive THC.
Varied doses, routes of administration of the non-psychoactive CBD, with different concentrations of THC, have reported many side-effects like:
- Appetite changes
- Mood changes
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Mental confusion
CBD may also worsen tremors and muscle movements in people with Parkinson’s. CBD oil has also been reported to interact with certain medicines, which consequently show different effects than they’re expected to.
People with a suppressed immune system should also take care while administering CBD as cannabis has also been found to contain the fungus Aspergillus, which can infect the administerer. It is also important to note that topical application of CBD oil may also cause skin irritation.
Research has also suggested that pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid marijuana. A study in review for the report stated that even a short exposure to CBD increased the placental barrier permeability, thus placing the unborn at risk from more substances reaching it.
CBD oil availability
With the increasing legalization of marijuana in the U.S., CBD oil has become more available. It is now widely sold in various forms; you can spray it under your tongue, take a capsule, sip it in your coffee and so forth. You can also look for CBD products online, but it’s better to make sure that it isn’t illegal in your state.