Everything you need to know about CBD for pain

May 12, 2021

Pain hurts – that’s nothing new. Physical pain caused by an accident, ongoing condition or a neuropathic imbalance can heavily impact your quality of life. Eventually, you may suffer psychological symptoms like depression and anxiety when physical aches, tension, and spasms are left untreated.

Being stiff and sore is hard on the body, which means these symptoms are typically treated on a daily basis. If you’re suffering from a long term condition it’s likely you’ll be using opioids and over the counter pain relief medication to treat your symptoms. But opioids can be addictive, and you may be suffering from additional symptoms caused by medication such damage to your gastrointestinal system from using NSAIDs like ibuprofen on a long term basis.

If your condition is ongoing it may be hard to remember a time where you could walk, rest, and thoroughly enjoy your day without being in pain. However, research is continuing to show early signs that CBD (cannabidiol) may help your body, without a high, naturally, and with no side-effects.

Many people are changing from Ibuprofen and prescription pain relief in favour of CBD oil because it works within our ECS (endocannabinoid system) on receptors that react positively to cannabinoids like CBD. Our bodies produce cannabinoids that help regulate and manage vital systems inside our body.

While research is still in its infant stage, it is believed our endocannabinoid system primary function is to respond to attacks on the body, help your body heal, and restore homeostasis, or balance.

Disruptions or dysfunctions in our ECS can cause unwanted symptoms like aches and inflammation, which means our body is fighting off an attack. It’s not a hopeless fight though, cannabinoids like CBD can give your ECS the boost it needs to help your body function optimally.

What is CBD, and why should I use it?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that is making noise in the medical industry. Because of a doctor named Raphael Mechoulam, who clarified the arrangement of molecules, structure, and atoms of CBD over 55 years ago, cannabidiol has become an active go-to alternative treatment for severe medical conditions such as seizures.

CBD comes from the hemp and cannabis plant. Hemp and cannabis are the same species of plant, but hemp has virtually no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)  content. This means there is no psychoactive effect in humans, in simple terms, CBD doesn’t get you high.

Hemp has been grown for industrial and medical purposes for thousands of years. CBD is also found in cannabis strains that have the psychoactive compound THC, and it is at the forefront of treating medical conditions and symptoms naturally. Compounds that make up the plant structure of cannabis are called phytocannabinoids.

Cannabidiol is only a single cannabinoid out of hundreds that have been found in cannabis. The study of CBD took the backseat to THC for quite some time, but times are changing at a rapid pace.

Cannabinoids are proving to be medically beneficial in regards to the treatment of many diseases, conditions, and symptoms. CBD is taking the spotlight because of its anti-seizure properties, but it is the massive amount of success stories from patients that make CBD the main act.

Dr. Mechoulam also discovered animals and humans produce our own endocannabinoids naturally within our body. Our endocannabinoids that our body creates are the same as the phytocannabinoids that are found in CBD.

Our brain and body communicate through neurotransmitters. They send messages throughout our entire nervous system, body, and mind. Our body has two main receptors that respond to cannabidiol: CB1 and CB2.

What is the ECS?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of chemical receptors and molecules that allow your body’s homeostatic mechanisms to work effectively. These are mechanisms present to maintain the state of homeostasis in the body. Homeostasis is the healthy balance that your body maintains to keep you healthy.

The two main receptors of the ECS are CB1 and CB2 receptors. When phytocannabinoids like CBD synergize within our body, these receptors are activated and release other important neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins.

While CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, they can be found throughout our body and play a significant role in the regulation of our breathing, heart rate, and metabolic rate. CB2 receptors activate in our brain and provide an anti-inflammatory response when we feel pain. CB2 receptors are found mainly in our immune system.  Incorporating a high-quality CBD oil into your medical regime can give your body’s ECS the boost it needs to restore balance when you are ill or injured.

the endocannabinoid system

Yes. CBD oil with a THC level of less than 1mg per container is considered legal in the UK. The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) never used to differentiate between the cannabis plant and its compounds meaning that all of it was illegal. However, changes in the law in 2017 meant that the different compounds can now be separated out and classified separately. It was consequently stipulated that in the UK, CBD containing products are completely legal to buy, sell and consume.

What is the best way to use CBD for pain?

The most common method of consuming CBD is an oil, placed sublingually (under your tongue) – because the oil enters the body quickly, and efficiently, CBD oil is an effective method of treating physical pain symptoms within minutes. If the idea of placing oil under your tongue seems strange or confusing, there are many other ways to consume CBD. While side effects from CBD aren’t common, its best to calculate your dose based on your symptoms and body weight. Understand this may take some experimentation and some time to find the optimum dose for you. Keeping a CBD diary is a great way to track your CBD journey and is a great tool for making small changes that can enhance your CBD experience.

Start low, and go slow

Using a CBD oil sublingually means the cannabinoids bypass your digestive system and enter your bloodstream quickly. Figuring out your ideal dose means starting with a small amount and working your way up to a dose where you feel the most effects while using the least CBD oil.

Everybody is different

Our body, our ECS, our symptoms, and our environment are all unique to us. This means a standard CBD dose may benefit a person who weighs 60kg, but that same dose may not be as effective when a person who weighs 95kg wants the same relief.

Also, your environment, mental health, and diet play a role in how effectively any remedy will work. Utilising a diary and keeping notes of what you ate and how you feel is an effective tool to use on your CBD journey.  

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