Cannabis has been used for medicinal, ritual and recreational purposes for ages (literally). This stout plant, originating in Central Asia, has found its way around the world and has been largely hailed for its many uses – from its fibers, to its seeds and everything in-between. In the last two decades it has captured the attention of the scientific community and clinical research has gained momentum around its health benefits and more specifically, its effects on the management of pain.
CBD and the Human Body
The cannabis plant contains over a hundred cannabinoids, terpenes and oils. Two of these cannabinoids are well-known and have been studied extensively: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
THC is the psychoactive component that will give a user the high or feeling of euphoria when consumed. CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. Pure CBD products (or CBD isolate) have undergone a process that removes all traces of the THC. This means the consumer can safely consume cannabidiol without the high, but with all its health benefits.
The human body has its very own endocannabinoid system. This is an internal molecular signaling system that works to regulate vital internal processes – from brain function (mood, memory) and pain-sensation to immune response, appetite, sleep and reproductive processes.
The primary goal of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain balance in the body and keep it in a state of homeostasis. An imbalance in physiological processes is the cause of many condition and ailments, ranging from mild to severe.
This system consists of molecules and receptors that communicate with each other on a cellular level. The receptors are essentially tiny proteins that receive chemical signals from all over the body and help cells to respond. Optimal communication between these cells create pain-relieving ad anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
So where does CBD come in? Researchers have discovered that external cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, will interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the same way and thus has an impact on the brain and immune system. Some scientists have also suggested that cannabidiol can protect the receptors from being destroyed and even create new pathways for communication.
Pain Management and Other Health Benefits
Cannabidiol is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It has been effectively used to manage and relief symptoms of various ailments. The first and foremost being that of pain.
Chronic pain affects hundreds of millions of people globally – more than those affected by diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined. Research have shown that the use of cannabidiol can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as its safety for prolonged use.
Visit this link to learn more about acute pain: https://health.ucdavis.edu/livinghealthy/topic/pain-management/acute-pain-verses-chronic-pain.html#.
In 2016 a study was done on an animal model to determine the effects of CBD on arthritis pain. The results were positive and indicated reduced inflammation and pain. Anecdotal evidence from people with arthritis have reported an improvement in their pain levels, sleep quality and anxiety levels.
Cancer treatment relief
Studies have shown that CBD can be used to effectively manage cancer-related pain and the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, loss of appetite and pain.
This type of pain is caused by damage to the nerves. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are prominent examples of this type of pain. Recent reports and studies on a small scale have shown that the use of CBD decreased the muscles spasms and associated pain of this disease.
Remember how cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body? When the vital physiological processes are not properly regulated or imbalanced, the results thereof can manifest as pain and inflammation. Research has shown that CBD cannabinoids support the endocannabinoid system to perform its function and it therefore makes sense that users are reporting improvement in the same areas.
Over and above the management of pain, cannabidiol has also proved to improve sleep quality and relieve mood and anxiety disorders, causing a general improvement of quality of life.
More health benefits of using cannabidiol products include:
- Relieves anxiety, stress and depression
- Assists with addiction management
- Assists with better sleep
- Improves mood and appetite
- Improves heart health
- Relieves inflammation and other immune system responses
- Reduces seizures and epilepsy
- Assists with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis
- Improves skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis
- Improves overall health and well-being
Getting that daily dose of cannabidiol is highly beneficial – learn more! about it.
How to Get Started with CBD Products
The rising popularity of CBD products provides consumers with a myriad of platforms from which they can purchase them and choices of how to consume them.
It is of the utmost importance to ensure the manufacturer is buying their cannabidiol form a safe and legal source. Reputable manufacturers will disclose this information and confirm that all their products are third party lab tested. CBD products are available as organic, non-GMO and vegan. Labels should also clearly provide the dosage of each quantity consumed.
There are a few ways in which CBD can be consumed:
CBD is infused into lotions and balms. These can be applied to the skin and on directly affected areas like joints.
CBD can be ingested by means of capsules (swallowed), tinctures (held under the tongue) and edible such as gummies. Capsules and edibles are the most convenient way to determine dosage and is then absorbed by the digestive tract,
CBD is infused into vapor oils and can be inhaled by means of a vaporizing or a vape pen.