Do you have to combat pain on a daily basis? If so, you’re far from being alone. An incredible 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which is defined as persistent pain that plagues you for weeks, months, or even years. Approximately 10% of Americans have suffered from pain every day for the last three months or more. The most common types of chronic pain are as follows:
- Lower Back Pain: 27%
- Headache/Migraine: 15%
- Neck Pain: 15%
- Facial Pain: 4%
Additionally, chronic pain costs American society over $560 billion a year, which includes up to $325 billion in lost productivity. This astonishing data means the painkiller industry is thriving. However, CBD, which is the non-intoxicating compound in marijuana, is finally threatening Big Pharma’s monopoly – it is now legal for medicinal use in 46 states, as long as it comes from industrial hemp and has little or no THC.
Before we get into the benefits of CBD for pain management, though, let’s outline why you need to ditch your pills and go all-natural.
The Problem with Painkillers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have quadrupled since 1999. It is difficult to understand why American society is content to allow a small minority of people to steer it towards oblivion. The same thing is happening with gun control measures, which are vigorously opposed despite the increasing number of mass shootings.
Likewise, opioids should be banned because they cause hundreds of deaths per week. Instead, though, they are available to buy with ease — while marijuana is federally illegal! In 2016 alone, for example, over 42,000 people died from an opioid overdose. To put that figure in perspective, it is nearly as much as the number of Americans that were killed in the entire Vietnam War! Also, in the same year, 236 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed. The International Narcotics Control Board recently reported that America is responsible for 99.7% of the world’s consumption of hydrocodone!
Isn’t it ironic that while the FDA, DEA, and various other ignorant politicians (we’re looking at you Jeff Sessions) continue to parrot their lazy anti-marijuana rhetoric, opioids are killing people by the thousands, and nothing is being done? Marijuana is supposedly highly addictive, yet the reason why so many people die from opioid use is precisely because of addiction!
There are people who suffered from migraine headaches and went to the doctor, were prescribed an opioid, became addicted, and are now lying in a cemetery somewhere. Fortunately – and this is way overdue – there is a genuine painkilling alternative that won’t get you high, and won’t lead to addiction. Best of all, it really works.
Meet CBD, The Non-Addictive Painkiller
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 identified compounds in marijuana, and unlike its famous brother, THC, it is not intoxicating – there is no concern about getting ‘high’ or failing a drug test. The human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is significantly affected by CBD, and the series of receptors involved produce a direct influence on pain management. By interacting with other major pain control systems in the body, CBD (along with other cannabinoids) decreases signaling in neural pathways that are responsible for sending pain messages to the brain.
Studies have shown that CBD helps all three categories of pain, which are classified as the following:
- Neuropathic Pain: This arises due to nervous system damage. It includes conditions such as multiple sclerosis and sciatica.
- Nociceptive Pain: This comes from different types of problems in the tissues that are reported by signals to the brain. It includes conditions such as repetitive strain injuries and inflammatory arthritis.
- Other: This refers to pain that doesn’t fit neatly into either category. It includes conditions such as a migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Of course, ‘pain’ can relate to different areas of the body so now, let’s see how CBD can help the most common kinds of pain.
The American Chiropractic Association says that 31 million Americans will experience lower back pain at any given time. This is like Christmas Day for Big Pharma, as it allows them to sell NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Valium, and Voltaren like candy. Side effects such as cramps and constipation mean you’ll have a whole new set of problems to deal with, though.
The degeneration of your intervertebral discs (IVD) is the main cause of both chronic back pain and neck pain. A 2015 study on 19 rodents with an intentionally created condition similar to IVD degeneration had some interesting results. CBD doses were divided into small, medium and large, and results showed that the smaller doses had little effect, while the large doses reduced damage within 15 days. In humans, CBD can be consumed as either an oil or an edible, or it can even be rubbed onto an affected area through the skin as a topical ointment.
CBD works for back pain because of its interaction with the ECS. This interaction triggers the ECS to release pain-relieving effects. CBD is also capable of reducing neuropathic pain by interacting with 5-HT1A receptors, which regulate the release of serotonin (a neurotransmitter associated with pain processing in the body’s peripheral nervous system).
Migraines are far more debilitating than a ‘normal’ headache, and can last up to 72 hours. Although CBD research is still regulated which makes it hard to conduct studies, some fascinating data has recently come to light. A 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, for example, focused on 26 people with migraines over a six-month period.
They used a combination of oral cannabis with nabilone or ibuprofen; each combination was used for eight weeks with the same period off between combinations. The cannabis-nabilone combination worked best, hands down.
A more pertinent study in 2016 found that people who used medical marijuana had 40% fewer headaches than those who did not – simple proof that cannabis, including both THC and CBD, is a great therapeutic relief for chronic migraines.
As far as CBD, it is believed to work so well on migraines because it impacts serotonin levels in the central nervous system. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter believed to affect things like mood, digestive processes, memory, and sleep patterns – lack of serotonin can lead to depression, which is a known migraine trigger.
Also, CBD can affect the way the body’s serotonin transport system works by slowing down loss of the neurotransmitter. It helps maintain higher serotonin levels, which in turn reduce the risk of depression and related conditions, such as a migraine.
Once again, it is the interaction with receptors in the brain and immune system that makes CBD such a great pain-relieving option. The receptors receive chemical signals from varying stimuli, and your cells respond. The result is anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that assist with chronic pain management. Pretty much everything depends on the ECS’ reaction to CBD and other cannabinoids – the more research we have on the issue, the more we’ll understand.
However, there are hundreds of studies available right now that show CBD’s benefits when treating the chronic pain associated with an array of medical conditions. For example, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has suggested that CBD is a viable option when relieving the symptoms caused by chemotherapy, and it is supported by many dozens of other similar studies.
Likewise, back in 2008 Ethan Russo published a review which covered a variety of studies conducted on CBD’s painkilling qualities between 1980 and 2007. He concluded that CBD was extremely effective when it came to pain management, and best of all, determined that it did not induce any major adverse side effects.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Pain Management
Even though we need more evidence, the available research already suggests that CBD is a safer alternative to NSAIDs and opioid painkillers. Unlike those drugs, CBD is not addictive, nor will it cause a raft of harmful side effects. While over 100 people die from an opioid dosage every single day, not one person in recorded history, going back at least 8,000 years, has died from a cannabis overdose.
When choosing CBD for pain management, choose a brand that sells products high in CBD but low in THC. We also recommend products with additional cannabinoids and terpenes because they have been shown to work together via the ‘entourage effect’ to provide faster, better, and longer-lasting pain relief.
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
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- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
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- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
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- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)