There are has been a surge in the number of people turning to CBD oil to obtain relief from chronic pain. CBD is touted by many as a safe alternative for chronic pain control considering the current opioid epidemic in the United States. Here are some of the facts about CBD oil for pain management:
CBD (cannabidiol) is derived from the hemp plant which is different from the marijuana plant. An important difference is that the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient that causes the “high” associated with marijuana. Marijuana, on the other hand, usually contains anywhere between 5-30% of THC. So, you can’t get high on CBD.
How CBD may help control pain:
Increasing the level of the anandamide in the blood. Anandamide is a natural pain reliever produced by your body. The problem is it gets metabolized very quickly. CBD prevents the breakdown of anandamide and enhances its pain-relieving effects.
Lowering neuropathic pain: Following injury to a nerve, neurons tend to sprout pain-sensitive nerve endings. CBD may inhibit pain sensation by modifying such cellular changes.
Anti-inflammatory effect: CBD minimizes oxidative stresses acting within the body that cause swell and inflammation.
Preventing muscle spasm: The results of several research studies have demonstrated that CBD can relieve pain caused by muscle spasms. In fact, the FDA has approved a CBD-based drug for treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
Improving sleep: Many patients report that the use of CBD has reduced anxiety and improved sleep, both of which help reduce sensitivity to pain.
Although scientific evidence around the use of CBD is thin, the results of available research studies show CBD is well tolerated in humans and has very few side effects. Many patients report positive effects when used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil to ensure it doesn’t affect your other medications and just to be on the safe side.
Dr. Yaser A. Metwally is board-certified by both the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He received his fellowship of Reconstructive Surgery from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery.