Can CBD Help with Chronic Pain?
With all the hype surrounding CBD, one of two major compounds in cannabis sativa, and the claims made concerning its medicinal effects, it might be difficult not to get carried away with the crowd.
Some enthusiasts insist that the compound can effectively treat a wide range of health conditions and it is, therefore, necessary to weigh these statements in light of present scientific research to determine whether or not CBD is capable of producing the touted effects.
Of the various conditions claimed to be easily treated by CBD, we would be focusing on chronic pain.
Did you know that about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain? This information is supplied by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, and the statistics raise worries about the prevalence of chronic pain in other countries of the world.
What is Chronic Pain?
The key element of chronic pain is persistence. Chronic pain is any persistent pain that lasts up to weeks, months, and even years. It may be caused by internal injuries, inflammation, dysfunctional nerves, and even other health conditions. Examples of conditions that present with chronic pain include;
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
CBD and Chronic Pain
Some proponents of CBD take the substance because regular pharmaceutical medications have proven ineffective in providing relief to their pain and to also avoid the side effects.
Some evidence exists, showing that CBD may indeed be able to influence pain receptors through its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system and its receptors.
However, scientists are still trying to identify the specific components and pathways in the body which enable CBD to affect pain and thus far, much of this evidence comes from animal-based research.
According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Pain, scientists observed that applying topical CBD to rats with osteoarthritis helped reduce the development of joint pain.
In another report published in Pediatric Dermatology in 2018, scientists reported three cases where topical CBD was applied on children with epidermolysis bullosa (a rare skin condition ) by their parents, resulting in enhanced wound healing, reduced blisters and pain relief.
It is also necessary to mention a report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2018, where the use of cannabis-based medicines was examined and found to be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
There is an absence of considerable research on the effect of CBD on chronic pain, but this is not to say that it may not offer some level of relief to those with chronic pain. It is, however, important to emphasize that CBD should not be used as an alternative to standard medication, and professional medical advice should be sought before CBD is introduced into your pain relief regimen.