Among the most challenging conditions that health care providers struggle to treat, is chronic pain. By nature, chronic pain is a highly multidimensional and complex phenomenon. How we perceive pain is affected by our previous experiences, social environment, and unique body biology.
According to Wisdom Essentials, given the challenge of managing chronic pain and pharmaceutical medication not proving as effective, pain management researchers are looking for safer and healthier approaches for pain relief such as the use of cannabis.
With the legalization of marijuana in many states across the U.S., the drug has become socially acceptable when it comes to its recreational and medicinal uses. As such, there has been heightened interest over the past decade regarding the potential benefits of Cannabis in managing pain.
The Thinking Behind Cannabis and Treating Chronic Pain
Cannabis plants have three major components; terpenoids, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. While there are nearly two hundred cannabinoids, the two that occur the most include CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
A brief look at history will tell you that more attention has been paid to THC, which is the compound responsible for psychedelic effects or getting ‘high’. CBD, on the other hand, has emerged as a strong agent of pain and inflammation relief, among many other potential health benefits such as treating cancer, various mental disorders, insomnia, and seizures.
How Does It Work
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body is responsible for regulating body functions such as pain, appetite, sleep, and our immune system response.
The ECS is made up of 3 major components. They include the endogenous cannabinoids produced by the body, the enzymes that work to break down and use cannabinoids, and the cannabinoid receptors referred to as CB1 and CB2.
The endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, are neurotransmitters that bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD works to alleviate pain by interacting with these neurotransmitters and impacting the function of CB1 and CB2 receptors, reducing pain and inflammation in the process.
CB1 receptors are responsible for the emotional and cognitive effects of marijuana, including how we perceive pain. The CB1 receptors are mostly located in the CNS (Central Nervous System). The system is composed of a network of nerves that are attached around the human brain and the spinal cord.
CB2 receptors are predominantly found in the body’s immune cells and the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System). The PNS is made up of the nerves that go beyond the brain and spinal cord and are found in places such as the limbs.
CBD Products for Pain Relief
CBD-infused products for pain are available in several forms namely:
CBD Lotion for Pain
You can use CBD lotion for pain both as a pain reliever and for the better health of your skin. All you need to do is apply the product topically on your skin. However, keep in mind that some products vary in potency.
CBD Oil Tinctures
These are perhaps the most versatile of all forms of using CBD. They often come packed in tinted bottles and a dropper for adding the product to food, drinks, or under the tongue.