Chronic and acute pain has become the toughest problem nowadays. It usually affects the quality of our life and experiences, our mood, and our relationships. Chronic pain is very difficult to treat as it affects every person individually and every person experiences it uniquely. Hence, very often, treatments of these conditions fall short, leading to frustration and despair. So, pain management practitioners are searching for more effective, decent, and natural ways to help them and their patients manage their sufferings.
As it happens, they easily blunder on the alternative to all those painkillers, cannabidiol, or CBD for short. Lured by all the brave promises to cure almost any health issue and by CBD’s therapeutic properties, people enthusiastically replace painkillers, including opioids, with this natural compound.
So, if you are new to this field, or want to learn how CBD can help manage chronic pain and how conclusive research in this field can benefit patients around the world, go on reading this article.
What is CBD and What is the Science Behind It?
CBD is one of the natural compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. THC does not develop an addiction unlike its notorious counterpart and is not likely to cause you “high” even when you take the strongest CBD oil. CBD has been shown to have a myriad of medicinal properties, the most important and popular of which are the following:
- anti-inflammatory, to reduce the pain associated with arthritis
- anti-emetic, to alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatments
- anti-psychotic, to ease symptoms of stress and depression, and improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Hence, the following conditions can be most apt to be affected by CBD:
- Neuropathic pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Anxiety, depression
Actually, today there are more than 160 active clinical trials as to CBD’s role in a wide range of health issues. This ever-growing curiosity in the therapeutic use of CBD has been caused by the recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans. The endocannabinoid system regulates our mood, pain perception, inflammation, and sleep. Our natural endocannabinoids usually function on demand: whenever there is a broken “cell” in the biological chain in our bodies, the latter releases more endocannabinoids to bind with the receptors CB1 and CB2 and help repair it.
It has been proven that CBD does not bind to either receptor, instead, it stimulates our own endocannabinoid system to produce more natural cannabinoids to tackle the health issue. This fact has made many pharmaceutical companies recognize CBD as a therapeutic ingredient.
The process of science here may be annoyingly slow, but the results obtained so far are quite promising. Given the fact that CBD can be extracted from marijuana, governments put tight restrictions on the compound itself, and scientists have had tough luck getting access to it to carry out their studies. So, at this point, it is dubious to claim with full certainty whether CBD is a kind of a universal remedy or just another hype.
However, this unknown has not stopped companies from marketing thousands of CBD products as remedies for a thousand and one issues. And in spite of anecdotal research and evidence, the number of people going for dosage-based CBD products is getting amazingly great.
Ongoing Challenges of Pain Management
Chronic pain management has become almost the number one priority in the world, as according to statistics the number of people seeking medical intervention for pain is growing rather rapidly. Pain has a great effect on our mood, mental and physical functioning, sleep, and it considerably worsens the quality of our life.
Chronic pain, besides, is individual to each person going through it, making its treatment even more problematic. So what health professionals are left with, in this case, is opioids: a very uncertain and suspicious alternative to over-the-counter medications. These are usually considered safe if taken for a short period of time. But the situation changes dramatically and they become risky for patients who need long-term pain management. These facts have made both health professionals and patients look for some other alternative to opioids, less harmful and more effective.
CBD as a Promising Alternative in Pain Management
There is anecdotal research and evidence that even the relatively strong CBD potencies are a comparatively safe and effective ingredient capable of relieving pain. Today more than 50% of CBD enthusiasts consume it for pain. It is having a moment in both the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical space.
Thus, with every passing day, we become more and more scientifically informed about how CBD works to ease pain and how safe it is to consume. This can be true but the advice here is just not to make it the first and only choice for pain alleviation.
There is still much to be revealed and understood about CBD oil, and we should be careful and well-informed not to be caught by marketing baits about CBD’s miraculous effects. However, it is, undoubtedly, very popular and promising in the pharmaceutical market along with its numerous opportunities for development, but more studies are necessary to realize CBD’s full potential and let it enter the market and our homes with full confidence.