Irritation, discomfort and pain are major influencers in our life. Brought about due to outside stimuli such as environmental strain, emotional or physical stress and even diagnosed illnesses that we are faced with in our modern world.
The elimination, or minimising, of pain is a great concern to the entirety of inhabitants on our planet, and with the help of intense scientific research, modern technology and a step back to our roots; we’ve been able to find solutions for a great number of pain inducing strains on the body. CBD is one of them.
CBD For Chronic Pain Management
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD is a chemical compound sourced from the Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica plant; most often associated with the recreational smoking of marijuana. This magical plant is claimed to have therapeutic effects on sufferers of a great deal of illnesses and discomforts; some of which include:
- multiple sclerosis,
- chronic pain disorders such as migraines and back pain,
- PTSD, anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- acne and other skin related problems or discomforts,
- various types of cancer and
- high blood pressure.
The biggest reason CBD’s popularity came back into existence, and hit Valletta, Malta in the process, is probably due to the fact that, as a global population, we’re looking to rekindle our connection with natural treatment. We are also becoming more inclined to adopting holistic approaches when it comes to the use of medicine. It’s also clear to say that the legalisation of ‘medicating’ with marijuana in the USA pushed the cause in the legalisation-worthy direction. But are people actually feeling better?
How Does CBD Perform As A Pain Management Solution?
Well, reviews are mixed; from users claiming to have reduced pain in fibromyalgia, others promoting positive results in pain relief for arthritis. Some others though, do suggest that even after prolonged use; sometimes even reaching a six-month test period; they experienced no changes in their pain levels. The response to CBD use is not unanimous; and this might lead us to believe that, it’s not all plain sailing. Some products containing Cannabis sativa extract or Cannabis indica properties, in the form of cannabidiol do seem to have more positive results than others.
But How Does It Work?
CBD, as well as THC, work by communicating with the endocannabinoid system. This regulatory system occurs naturally in the body in the form of cannabis-like molecules; and act as neurotransmitters that interact with the body to maintain homeostasis. Cannabidiols react with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body causing reactions in the brain and body as a result.
CB1 receptors are primarily present in the brain and can also be found in the nervous system, liver, thyroid and uterus among others. CB2 receptors are found in the immune and gastrointestinal systems as well as the brain and nervous system.
CBD and THC were thought to have the same relieving effects as these two receptors; but recent scientific studies have shown that all Cannabis does in its introduction to the body is produce more endocannabinoids. A ‘health benefit’ that would have been debunked had this spike in endocannabinoids not caused a significant reduction in anxiety, pain and even inflammation.
Types Of Pains Relieved By CBD
CBD can help in reducing and alleviating pain such as:
- muscle pain and spasms,
- joint pain,
- abdominal pain,
- headaches and strains,
- mental suffering induced by stress, insomnia, depression or anxiety and
- discomfort caused by diagnosed diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
What CBD Products Are Used For Pain Relief?
The medicinal cannabis market is vast. There are multiple companies shouting claims of ‘cure’, ‘relief’ and ‘solution’ over their competitors. The truth is that Company A might very well have the same grade of CBD products as Company B.
The most important judgement you should place on any products you are using is the quality of its raw material, its potency and the strain you are using in your daily routine.
Types Of CBD Products
Your choice of product is pretty vast; there are many techniques, applications and practices such as:
- Edibles: such as gummies, chocolates, CBD water and other concoctions consumed directly into the body
- Oils and Tinctures: processed and concentrated forms of CBD used orally, under the tongue
- Pills and Capsules: ingested orally and generally contain full spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate
- Topicals: oils, creams, lotions used on the skin, hair and nails to treat localised pain
- Vape liquid: CBD oil used in the form of an e-cigarette that generally omits nicotine (but can include it)
Results vs Side Effects
The CBD and medical marijuana industry is not as regulated as it should be. Potencies, routine treatment advice and prescription recommendations are not as set-in-stone (or reliable) as they ought to be, therefore results and side effects are rather hazy. CBD is not researched to its full potential due to the Cannabis plant being classed as a Schedule 1 Drug.
In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that CBD, in its pure state is safe to use and reacts positively in humans and animals. They further added that there is no knowledge of physical dependence or abuse once treatment is altered or stopped. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also noted that 1,500mg of CBD can be taken orally for up to 4 weeks without negative effects. Scientific backing is limited, but there have been a few side effects noted in early research;
- dry mouth,
- low blood pressure,
- drowsiness and
- liver injury (although highly uncommon – according to the NIH)
The interaction between cannabidiols and other chemical compounds entering the body through Western Medicine is not sufficient. Neither is there enough data on pre- and post-natal use of CBD.
Types Of CBD Strains For Pain Management
The marijuana plant, as it is most commonly known, comes in 3 forms; Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa and Hybrids that combine both indica and sativa properties. Each of which are further divided into different strains, each containing different ratios of CBD and THC. The best strains noted for pain management include;
Sour Diesel: Sativa
Sour Diesel is known for its distinct ‘diesel-like-smell’ and delivers an energising effect, typical in sativa strains. This strain is noted to decrease the effects of stress, depression and chronic pain. Its fast-acting and long-lasting effects makes it popular among patients.
Pineapple Express: Hybrid
Pineapple Express is a hybrid, which means it is a combination of two strains. The sativa Trainwreck and the hybrid Hawaiian strain which is a sativa dominant. Pineapple Express has a fragrant aroma with earth notes. It is a strain said to relieve pain while keeping productivity alive.
Bubba Kush: Indica
Bubba Kush is an indica strain that carries highly tranquilizing effects. This strain is described to give users head-to-toe muscle ease, reduces stress and relieves pain. Bubba Kush has a sweet flavour with subtle notes of coffee and chocolate.
Medicinal marijuana in the form of CBD can significantly improve the effects of chronic pain and discomfort. There is not enough research to clear its use as a medicinal herb, although many countries including Malta have adopted measures to introduce the treatment through facilities such as Mater Dei national hospital. The only way to know whether it can help reduce and manage your own pain is to test with the assistance and oversight of your own Dr or health professionals.