Chronic pain has more than physical effects. Your pain may interfere with many activities you enjoy such as sports, dancing, or gardening. Having to limit or give up what you enjoy doing can leave you angry, frustrated, and anxious. When your body hurts, it’s not surprising that you’re also more prone to depression.
You may have tried numerous pain relief strategies, including nerve blocks and steroid injections, but they didn’t last. An alternative remedy is growing in popularity throughout the country: CBD oil.
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil — also formulated as a cream — is a plant-based remedy for relief of chronic pain. It’s one of over 100 substances called cannabinoids found in hemp, a plant in the same family as marijuana.
The oil or cream is produced by taking the CBD from plant and adding an oil such as hemp seed to dilute the mixture. It contains only traces of the ingredient (THC) that causes a “high” experienced from smoking marijuana, so using CBD oil doesn’t produce that effect.
Why the use of CBD oil is growing as a pain-relief treatment
Research on CBD oil as a treatment for pain relief is in its early stages, but anecdotal and early evidence supports its use. Millions of people are plagued with chronic pain from cancer, multiple sclerosis, back pain, arthritis, and more. Doctors now use a variety of treatments for chronic pain, including antiseizure drugs, antidepressants, and opiates, all of which have side effects. The opioid epidemic has been well-documented.
Both doctors and patients are seeking alternative remedies, and CBD oil and creams are providing new hope for many pain-sufferers.
How CBD alleviates pain
You probably didn’t know that your own body makes cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. Your endocannabinoid system helps regulate your body’s systems and brings them back to homeostasis, or a stable state. For example, if you’re too hot, your endocannabinoid system alerts your body that it needs to cool down, and you start sweating.
Preliminary studies on animals indicate that CBD oil affects the endocannabinoid system. You have many cannabinoid receptors in your central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Because the receptors are in your nervous system, they affect pain signals. Researchers think that CBD oil or cream stimulates your body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively to block pain.
Studies that have tested CBD for chronic neuropathic pain find that it reduces the intensity of the pain, aids sleep, and lessens the pain’s psychological effects. Research on animals shows CBD is likely to calm arthritis pain.
Evidence suggests CBD administered in oils and creams works more effectively than when taken orally. More robust research, including scientific clinical trials, is needed to confirm CBD oil as a proven treatment for chronic pain.
At Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation, we follow all laws and regulations relating to CBD oil. As a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Dr. David Berkower uses a variety of the most up-to-date advances in pain management.
Call us or book an appointment online with Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation for relief from your chronic pain. Help is a phone call or click away.