CBD also known as Cannabidiol, is a molecule that is found in the hemp/cannabis that is well known for its medicinal benefits. One of many molecules, cannabidiol is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of marijuana/hemp. CBD is often mistaken for THC, (tetrahydrocannabidiol) a psychoactive compound that has intoxicating effects on humans. Although THC exists in both the hemp and marijuana plan it is important to note that the amounts of each compound vary. In the United States marijuana is defined as any Cannabis sativa plant that has greater than 0.3 % THC. Whereas the hemp plant is defined by any cannabis plant that has 0.3 % or less THC. It is said that any plant that contains lower than 0.3% is not considered to contain enough THC to have a strong effect on brain activity and doesn’t cause the “high” allowing it to be safe for medicinal purposes.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system that is composed of endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. CBD acts upon CB1 and CB2 receptors, by stimulating these receptors, CBD effects on the brain promotes homeostasis; CBD is being recognized for its ability to bring balance and harmony to irregularities in neural processes.
The emergence of new research suggests that CBD for pain could provide a great alternative to individuals who are seeking a holistic approach.
How does CBD treat pain?
By leveraging the endocannabinoid system and central nervous system, CBD encourages the body to help maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis can be defined by stability, balance or any equilibrium. Hence, CBD is often referred to as a stabilizer or balancer.
The endocannabinoid system contains several receptors that are attached to cells in the brain. These receptors receive signals that help create anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. In a recent study taken in 2018 examining cancer pain, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, results concluded that CBD for pain is an effective reliever that didn’t cause negative side effects.
In a recent study that examined the effects of CBD on rats with arthritis, results showed that anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects of CBD gel could potentially reduce pain. The researchers were able to notice reduced inflammation and overall pain in the affected rats’ joints, while noting that there were no obvious side effects. This finding suggests that CBD provides a strong solution for Arthritic patients that is free of negative long term effects. In addition, Rats who received a lower dose of CBD particularly below 6.2mg didn’t show any improvement in their pain. Research suggested that 6.2mg and higher showed similar results. Moreover, the minimum dosage amount is extremely important in yielding positive results and should be measured accordingly. Scientists were also able to conclude that higher doses particularly (62.3mg) of CBD did not show any negative side effects; suggesting that it is virtually impossible to overdose on CBD.
Cancer Induced Pain
Research suggests that the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD can potentially aid in alleviating pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments.
In addition to this, research shows that CBD may be linked to shrinking the size of cancerous tumours. More specifically, a review in 2019 was taken of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can help slow tumour growth, reduce tumour invasion, and induce tumour cell death via cannabinoid receptor or receptor-independent pathways. However, the emergence of new research continues to focus on the ability to manage pain with CBD; more research is needed to further confirm this theory.
Another study was taken in order to test the ability of CBD enhances the effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer. A recent study taken in 2019 demonstrated that “CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells”. While this study not only suggests that cancer treatment could be more effective, its contents negate the notion that this strategy could potentially yield long term health issues.
In conclusion, there are many different tests that speak in favour of CBD being highly beneficial for cancer patients. The National Cancer Institute has confirmed that “commercially available cannabinoids are approved for the treatment of cancer-related side effects”. These side effects can potentially include, pain, vomiting and lack of appetite amongst many others. This decision suggests that CBD could likely be a helpful tool for Cancer patients who are interested in trying a holistic approach to health.
CBD for Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual pain is caused by inflammation and shedding of the uterine lining in the female reproductive system. By improving digestive function and reducing inflammation it is possible that CBD may reduce pain caused by menstrual function. In addition to inflammation, the menstrual cycle does affect the digestive process in some women. These symptoms range from nausea, vomiting, body aches to even bloating. CBD can help attenuate cramping and bloating.
During a females menstrual cycle, breasts, stomach and low back can be painful tender as a result likely inflamed. The vanilloid receptor is responsible for our perception of pain. CBD can aid in regulating this receptor; ideally allowing for a reduced pain sensation.
CBD for Headache Relief
In order to understand how to treat any health ailment, it is important to understand its cause, “research has found that the endocannabinoid system might be a target for the treatment of diseases such as migraine headache (HA), fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and irritable bowel syndrome”. Research suggests that CBD is an effective approach to maintaining homeostasis in our bodies. A 2016 study indicates that the Cannabidiol molecule may reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Based on the sample group, migraine frequency reduced from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medical marijuana (containing CBD).
How much CBD should I take for pain?
The dosage recommendation for CBD can vary depending on the health ailment, body weight, and tolerance of the individual ingesting CBD. Despite what health ailment is being treated it is important to find the appropriate dosage to ensure that you are able to get the full benefit of CBD that you are expecting. Before taking CBD, be sure to consult your doctor about dosage instructions as well as any potential drug conflicts that you may have. If your doctor does not have any dosage instructions for you, it is best to start with a smaller dose and increase your dosage daily.
Is it possible to take too much CBD?
Based on a study taken in 2011, on the safety and side effects of CBD, research suggests that even high doses of CBD use up to 1,500mg a day is received well by humans.
Each body reacts differently to CBD based on a few variables. Amongst many others, the effects of CBD can alter based on body weight, tolerance and the health ailment being treated. It is important to take enough CBD in order to achieve the results that you are expecting.
There are very few side effects that are linked with CBD however when side effects do occur if any, they include diarrhea, appetite changes and fatigue. Research suggests that these reactions are very uncommon.
It is recommended to ask a doctor or practitioner for guidance in finding a potency bracket that is suitable for your needs.
How long does CBD last for pain?
There are several different ways to take CBD, allowing for different rates of absorption. Not all CBD ingested will be fully absorbed by your bloodstream and the endocannabinoid system. “CBD is first processed by the gut, liver and then other digestive organs.” The best way to absorb CBD is both intravenous and sublingually as research states that these methods have the highest bioavailability. Alternatively, the next popular way to ingest CBD is in capsule or powder form, meaning any option that is swallowed or edible. Research suggests that CBD taken orally can take anywhere from 1-6 hours to reach its full absorption potential where as, CBD taken sublingually/intravenously takes anywhere from 15-30 mins to be absorbed. In a recent study taken, scientists found that CBD that it takes around 1 week for CBD to be metabolized completely in your body. However, it can take longer for people with more body fat.
To conclude, CBD provides a great alternative for individuals that are looking for holistic approaches to health ailments. Generally, it is proven that pharmaceuticals are more likely to yield negative side effects. Holistic approaches to health treat the whole of a person, meaning, they take into account mental, social and physical factors rather than just the symptoms of a disease. The human body is codependent meaning that the body, mind and soul can have an effect on one another. CBD creates a holistic natural solution for the body, mind and soul for several different health issues.
By leveraging the endocannabinoid system, it is clear that various study results suggest that CBD will likely yield positive results on the human mind and body.
With the right guidance, CBD products can provide a great solution for body pain.