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One in five Americans suffer from chronic pain, and nearly half of these say it severely impacts their quality of life. It’s no surprise that nearly two thirds of those regularly taking CBD oil say they use it to help with chronic pain.
Research on the use of CBD is ongoing but the data so far has shown promise. That being said, CBD should not be used in place of needed medical treatment. Also, if it recommend that if you are under a doctor’s supervision for a health condition that you check with them before using CBD.
A big benefit of CBD is that it has been shown to have a low-risk profile when it comes to side effects. CBD can be taken regularly without the type of concerns one would have with using opioids on a daily basis. Plus, there is no risk of overdose with CBD.
So, what exactly is CBD, how does it work to help alleviate aches and discomfort, and what type of CBD helps best for pain management?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s a chemical compound from the family of cannabinoids, which include other three letter acronyms like CBD, CBG, CBC, and the well known psychoactive cousin of them all, THC.
When CBD was legalized at federal level for manufacture and sale to the public, THC was the sticking point. Since THC acts on the neuroreceptors of the brain to produce feelings of euphoria, it was necessary to figure out how to make CBD products that avoided giving users that psychoactive high.
The solutions was to mandate that to be sold legally in the United States, CBD must be extracted from a plant with less than .3% CBD. This led to the refinement of a special kind of plant known as industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp has many uses. It can be used to make fabric, paper, and other products. The seed and stalk are used as livestock feed, and the oil from the seed is in demand for use in cosmetic products thanks to its hydration qualities.
The entire plant is full of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial chemical compounds that can interact with the human body. When processed, these compounds can be extracted and mixed with a carrier oil for sale to the public.
It still isn’t completely clear why CBD seems to help so many people with so many different chronic pain conditions and other health issues, but what is known is this:
CBD is a natural phytocannabinoid, meaning it comes from a plant. Our bodies make natural endocannabinoids, meaning they come from within ourselves. We make endocannabinoids as needed to help regulate bodily functions. These functions range from mood to sleep to pain signals and more.
The body also has an endocannabinoid system, which runs through our central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS), with receptors that can interact with both endocannabinoids (made within our body) and phytocannabinoids (made by plants).
While THC binds directly to these receptors and causes a psychoactive reaction such as euphoria or paranoia, CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids don’t bind directly to the receptors. Instead, they boost the body’s endocannabinoids, helping them last longer and preventing reuptake of helpful chemicals in the body, like serotonin and dopamine.
These chemicals are known as “feel good” chemicals, and work to improve mood and reduce pain signals being transmitted to the brain. This is one reason scientists think that CBD seems to work so well for pain patients and anxiety patients.
CBD has been shown to work in conjunction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to decrease inflammation, function in an antioxidant capacity, and act as an analgesic (pain reliever), exerting a wide array of effects on the body’s immune system and central and peripheral nervous systems.
Early model studies provide indications that CBD may even slow the progression of osteoarthritis and prevent nerve damage, which could help reduce pain levels long-term for people with degenerative disorders.
Bioavailability of CBD is an important factor in how it reacts with your endocannabinoid system and how your body will respond to the potential pain-relieving effects of CBD. To understand bioavailability is to think about the amount of CBD that actually makes it into your bloodstream, and how it has effects based on a number of factors having to do with your body’s state at that time.
These factors include:
There is also a spectrum of CBD. CBD isolate means the CBD plant has been processed and filtered to isolate only the cannabinoid CBD. It has the least strong effects. In comparison, broad-spectrum CBD includes some other cannabinoids from the hemp plant, which help boost the effectiveness of the CBD.
Finally, if the entire range of cannabinoids and terpenes and other chemical compounds from the hemp plant are infused into the oil or a gummy, you get the full-spectrum CBD, which has the most potency. This is because the “entourage effect” kicks in as all the different components in the full-specrtum formula work to increase the total effect far beyond isolates alone.
All Yummy CBD products are full-spectrum, meaning they contain primarily CBD, but also other beneficial compounds from the hemp plants, including terpenes that help the cannabinoids operate at even higher levels of efficiency.
CBD has been found to directly affect the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems, which can help have a positive effect for those in pain. In-depth research on the use of CBD to help provide relief to those experiencing aches and discomfort is ongoing but researchers are excited about the potential use for CBD and are seeing promising results. Regardless, if you are experiencing chronic pain, be sure to work with your doctor to find the best course for you. Health supplements are not meant to replace needed medical care.
CBD is thought to help stimulate the reuptake of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which modulates pain and the sensations of pain transmitted from the nerves to the brain. Boosting adenosine levels in the brain helps to inhibit pain sensations. It’s also thought that CBD may block pain signals from reaching processing centers in the brain by binding to the receptor TPRV1, which is expressed in immune cells around the spinal cord and is responsible for pain and inflammation response.
CBD has also been shown to have an effect on modulation of immune response, decreasing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting proliferation of T cells. T cells are indicated in systemic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and inhibiting proliferation is thought to help reduce flares and cycles of pain and other symptoms.
Acting as an antioxidant, CBD is thought to decrease both oxidative stress and reduce systemic inflammation by preventing reductions in zinc and selenium. These “micro-elements” help balance immune response, which may help in the reduction of fibromyalgia or neuropathic back pain by dampening down heightened pain responses (hyperalgesia.)
Side effects of chronic pain include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia. CBD – specifically full-spectrum CBD – has been shown to improve sleep, from the initial ability to fall asleep to the ability to continue through all phases of sleep included REM sleep and reap the full benefits of a good night’s rest.
While the FDA hasn’t officially “approved” CBD for medical use for pain, and CBD product manufacturers can’t directly market CBD as a “pain relief” product, CBD has been shown by research to have many beneficial effects that have caused it to be sought after as a natural supplement for those dealing with pain. Based on early research results and knowledge of the science behind how CBD works in the body, CBD has potential to be helpful in easing physical discomfort.
A lot of pain is caused by inflammation. That’s why most pain medications sold over the counter or by prescription have an anti-inflammatory agent. When you have inflammation, it causes swelling. Swelling expands tissues and presses on nerves, causing pain.
Many chronic pain conditions are inflammatory, like arthritis. CBD has been shown to have the potential to reduce joint aches associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another source of inflammation in the body is oxidative stress. This happens when the antioxidants and free radicals in your body are out of sync. This causes systematic inflammation and increases symptoms of autoimmune conditions like lupus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD is thought to help block certain types of oxidative stress by preventing the formation of superoxide radicals and helping to restore balance. Traditional ingestible antioxidants are found elsewhere in nature, such as in berries and other fruits.
Research shows that CBD works in much the same way to help achieve balance in the body, and cut down on oxidative stresses that cause chronic pain.
Another benefit of CBD is its value as an anti-emetic, meaning a nausea reduction agent. This can be critical for cancer patients, who often suffer from the dual agony of chronic pain from their condition and constant nausea and vomiting from their treatments.
CBD has been consistently shown to decrease vomiting and nausea associated with cancer treatments, and help improve appetite to stave off the weight loss and weakness that routinely accompany cancer therapy and recovery.
Not all chronic pain is strictly physical. CBD has been shown to have a positive effect for those suffering with anxiety, stress, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people find that their stress and anxiety levels are calmed by regular use of CBD.
While CBD is not a mental illness medication, the side effects that often arise from constant anxiety or PTSD may be affected by CBD use, and researchers hold out hope that the correlation between the calming effects of CBD and relief of these and other similar symptoms will continue to be made stronger.
Some of the most interesting research going on right now around CBD has to do with its neuroprotective potential, meaning it might be useful for patient who suffer from progressive neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.
MS in particular can mean chronic tingling and pain. Neurological diseases also can bring a great deal of stress and anxiety due to the unrelenting progression of the condition and worries about the future. CBD has been shown to have a lot of potential to help patients with these types of illnesses.
Yummy CBD offers two types of CBD oils. Each option is full-spectrum, meaning you get the entourage effect from your CBD dose. The oil comes in a bottle made of opaque glass tro prevent degradation of the contents by sunlight. It also comes a clearly marked dropper for easy dosing. Each bottle holds 30 mL of MCT coconut oil, infused with CBD.
Our standard CBD oil tincture has 33 mg of CBD per mL. You can use this at any time to help you relax and reduce stress and help with any aches you may be experiencing. Plus, it has a delightful natural orange flavor.
Our CBD oil sleep formula has 67 mg of CBD per mL, plus an extra ingredient: 1 mg of melatonin per mL. You can take it to address night-time pain and get to sleep more easily. Plus, it has a yummy mint taste.
Want more information about the use of CBD oils for pain? Review our helpful CBD Buyer’s Guide, then head over to our SHOP page to check out our full-spectrum Yummy CBD products.
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