Marijuana is a popular recreational drug, used legally in various countries, that induces a sedative and psychedelic state, which people mainly use for recreational purposes. The two main chemicals responsible are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD alone is not necessary for inducing the psychoactive effects, but it possesses various medicinal properties, for which they are becoming extremely popular in recent times. Products formed by CBD extractions provide a handful of benefits to the users by interacting with the endocannabinoid system responsible for inducing emotional responses, managing pain, balancing energy, and much more.
According to WHO, CBD does not possess a psychedelic or addictive effect and is considered one of the best remedies for generating drugs and other medicinal products to relieve pain and anxiety and treat severe conditions like epilepsy.
CBD for pain relief
Recently, the popularity of CBD-based medications has increased in the pharmaceutical market.
However, only Epidiolex is approved by FDA to treat conditions of epilepsy in the US. Other countries have also extended their research on CBD products to treat certain conditions and manage pain induced by chronic diseases. For example:
- India approved CBD-based medicines in 2019 for pain management under Ayurveda.
- The UK has approved the use of CBD-based drugs to treat conditions like multiple sclerosis.
- Canada has approved the use of CBD-based medications for pain relief from cancer.
Much research has stated that some extreme pains cannot be treated alone by CBD. Hence a small amount of THC is essential in Western medications to induce a soothing effect. Almost 60% of CBD medication users in the US use it for its pain-relieving properties.
CBD for chronic pain
Any pain lasting for over six months is considered chronic. CBD medications with slight traces of THC help manage chronic pain. For example, clinical trials have been conducted on Sativex spray, with equal parts of THC and CBD, to relieve chronic pain caused by cancer. It is also helpful in treating sclerosis-related pain. There are three types of pains in the body – Nocueceotive, which affects the tissues, neuropathic, which affects the nerves and mixed pain. Sativex spray relieves all three pains, especially providing relief against neuropathic pain.
CBD for joint pain
Arthritis is the term that refers to all types of joint pains, which are followed by symptoms like joint stiffness, swelling, and pain that progress over time. Since CBD contains analgesic properties, they act as an anti-inflammatory substance to treat arthritis pain. Research conducted on the clinical trial of CBD sprays on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis showed a significant improvement in their swelling and pain, with no complications or withdrawal symptoms.
CBD for neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain mainly refers to pain induced by damaged nerves, which results in muscle weakness, tingling, burning, or stabbing pain. Many CBD-based sprays like Sativex are recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic pain. They are sprayed directly into the mouth. Hence, they begin to act instantly. In addition to sprays, many CBD oils are also recommended by studies to relieve the pain and numbness induced by neuropathic symptoms.
CBD products for pain relief
While several studies and research are ongoing on using CBD medicinal products for pain and inflammation relief, many products have been released into the market in different forms for this purpose.
CBD capsules are like general capsules, which are orally consumed with water. They are similar to CBD oils, which contain carrier oils and hemp extracts but do not have taste, color, or smell. They are covered by a soft gel layer on the outside, which are swallowed like regular capsules. Compared to other forms of CBD consumption, capsules take longer to diffuse into the body and start their effect, mostly between 30 to 120 minutes.
One of the best pain relief methods is consuming and applying CBD oils. CBD oils are extracts from cannabis plants that are diluted by adding essential oils, carrier oils (mainly coconut oil), and other active ingredients. Although it does not contain THC, it still produces mild sedative effects, effectively reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Generally, CBD Roll on for pain relief comes in bottles that can be applied on the affected area or in the form of a bottle with a nozzle where the oil is dropped below the tongue. Either way, they are effective in reducing chronic pain and inflammation.
CBD patch is a significantly new concept to relieve pain from some regions of the body. It is designed to stick to the skin without causing pain or discomfort. The patch mainly contains extracts of CBD, which is used to relieve pain from specific regions on the body. The CBD and pain-relieving particles are absorbed and diffused into the body, almost providing instant pain relief.
CBD cream or gel
Like the other sources of CBD pain relief mentioned above, the gel similarly reduces pain and inflammation from localized areas. Generally, they are transparent creams, which are infused with cannabis extracts. It helps in reliving the symptoms of chronic anxiety, in addition to relieving pain and inflammation. They help provide instant relief, both on the surface level and also on the deeper muscle level. Since they induce the feeling of relaxation, they often help people sleep.
CBD gummies are the most popular form of CBD eatables. Generally, they are made like regular gummies and are infused with cannabidiol from the hemp plant. In addition to pain relief, they help maintain the patient’s overall wellness. However, it is not one of the most recommended ways for pain relief as it takes 2 hours for the product to kick in, and the system absorbs only 20-30% of it.
Pain management is associated with every disease. While some people know how to tolerate the pain, others find important ways, including CBD-based products in pain relief and management. CBD for pain relief is available in different forms, and people need to understand the degree and intensity of pain and find the right form and dosage to alleviate it.