Pain is something we all experience. From a stubbed toe or a cut to more intense internal or chronic pain, all of us will experience some level of pain many times throughout our lives. While the more minor bouts of pain subside fairly quickly, those of us who experience intense or chronic pain might not be so lucky. In fact, some may find that the pain never really goes away completely.
When it comes to pain management, some may choose to just bite the bullet. However, that may not work so well for more severe or chronic pain. Instead, doctors can recommend a variety of pain medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. But, not everyone wants to be popping pills, especially when many of those pills have side effects.
If you experience frequent, intense, or chronic pain, CBD may be a natural way that you can find relief. While studies are still limited and we do not yet have the information we would like about CBD’s efficiency as a pain reliever, there are some preliminary studies that show promising results.
Types of Pain
Before we jump into how CBD can potentially help relieve pain, let’s briefly discuss the types of pain we can experience. There are two main types: neuropathic and inflammation. Neuropathic pain often involves the glutaminergic system, which is a major neuronal pathway. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that turns other neurons on, so it is highly involved in turning on and sending pain transmissions.
Inflammatory pain is linked to neuropathic pain, but it’s not limited to just neurons. When a cell becomes damaged, or if your body detects a foreign compound, your immune system jumps into action. It sends inflammatory agents to the area, which attach to the damaged cells and promote cell death, or apoptosis. Normally, when all damaged cells are dead, the inflammation stops. However, in some instances, this can become a chronic condition, resulting in inflammatory pain.
How CBD Can Help With Pain
Researchers have performed a handful of studies to see if and how CBD can help with pain. There are a variety of results, but overall, it seems that CBD has a lot to offer when it comes to pain relief.
Some studies have found that CBD works as a neuroprotectant by inhibiting the release of glutamate and other inflammatory agents. Essentially, this means that glutamate does not send the pain transmissions it normally would. As a result, you can experience less or no prickling, tingling, or burning feelings that are often symptoms of neuropathic pain.
Other studies have shown that CBD can work as an anti-inflammatory, thus relieving pain associated with inflammation. Inflammation is a root cause of many conditions, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and hypertension. While the cause of inflammation can be harder to pinpoint, CBD seems to help relieve overall inflammation, thus reducing and easing your symptoms or pain from inflammation, no matter where the root problem may be. For more information about how CBD can help with inflammation, check out this blog post.
Some other studies think that CBD can help boost your mood, thus improving your perception of pain and reducing the pain you actually feel. Others suggest that CBD may have just a placebo effect, which is potentially possible, but effective nonetheless.
A Natural Way To Relieve Pain
While preliminary studies have found that CBD can help relieve pain, it is still unclear as to how, exactly, CBD does this. Perhaps it works in several different ways, or simply offers a placebo effect. Scientists and doctors are still looking into how CBD works with the body to bring about these benefits, but at the moment, CBD offers a promising, natural way to experience pain relief.
With such positive results on initial studies, CBD may be the answer a lot of us are looking for. Time and studies have found that traditional pain medications (NSAIDs), while proving to be successful in relieving pain, bring along a host of negative side effects. If used too often, NSAIDs can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart-related death. They can also cause bloating, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, kidney problems, and more. Of course, NSAIDs can be safe when used sparingly, but if you need almost constant medication for pain relief, it might be time to look into a more natural option.
If you choose to use CBD to ease your pain, be sure to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are on any medications. You and your doctor can discuss your options and figure out a proper dosage to start with. As time goes on, and as more people become open about using CBD, we can complete more studies to learn just how CBD provides natural pain relief.