Chronic pain currently affects approximately 20.4 percent of adults in the U.S. Are you part of this group? Do you need help finding relief?
There are lots of remedies you might consider using, including CBD for chronic pain. Read on to learn more about CBD for chronic pain and how it may help you to start feeling your best.
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid (a type of plant compound) that’s found in the cannabis plant.
Some people are hesitant to try CBD products at first because CBD is derived from cannabis. It’s important to note, though, that CBD will not cause you to feel high. It’s not the same as THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the cannabinoid that’s responsible for cannabis’s mind-altering effects.
The Endocannabinoid System
Before we dive into the benefits of CBD for chronic pain, specifically, you need to understand the basics of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a unique network of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body). This system helps to regulate several bodily processes, from sleep, mood, and appetite to hormone production, nerve signaling, and pain sensation.
The two main receptors in the endocannabinoid system are known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and spinal cord. When THC binds to these receptors, you experience mind-altering effects and feel “high.”
The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, exist throughout the body and are heavily concentrated in the immune cells, as well as organs like the spleen and tonsils.
CBD doesn’t bind directly to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it activates other receptors in the body, including those associated with pain perception and inflammation.
Benefits of CBD for Chronic Pain
At this point, you have a better understanding of CBD and the endocannabinoid system. You’re probably wondering, though, how CBD can help you manage your chronic back pain (or pain in any other part of your body).
Don’t worry, we’re about to dive into that. Outlined below are some specific benefits that CBD can offer those who struggle with chronic pain:
Of all the benefits associated with CBD, one of the most frequently talked about is reduced inflammation.
Chronic pain is associated with elevated levels of inflammation in the body. By incorporating CBD into your routine, you may minimize this inflammation and, in turn, reduce your pain and discomfort.
How does CBD reduce inflammation?
Researchers are still learning about how CBD works and its effects. However, they have learned that it inhibits a specific enzyme known as COX2 (or cyclooxygenase-2) Pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen and aspirin also target this enzyme to reduce pain and inflammation.
CBD may also be beneficial when it comes to chronic pain relief because it reduces the effects of molecules known as cytokines. Cytokines contribute to elevated levels of inflammation.
Improved Sleep Quality
It’s common for people who deal with chronic pain to have trouble sleeping through the night. After all, how are you supposed to rest well when you’re struggling with constant aches and pains?
This issue creates a vicious cycle, too. Not only does chronic pain impact your sleep quality, but poor sleep can also exacerbate your pain perception and make your symptoms worse.
Incorporating CBD into your daily routine can help to break this cycle and provide you with some much-needed relief.
CBD has relaxing and mildly sedating benefits that make it easier for you to wind down in the evening and fall asleep faster. These benefits, combined with the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits of CBD, can help you feel better when you’re awake and when you’re sleeping.
Improved Mood and Mental Health
For those who suffer from chronic pain, mental health issues are common. This is especially true for those whose chronic pain gets in the way of daily activities and impacts their quality of life.
Over time, if you can’t manage your pain effectively, you may develop conditions like depression or anxiety. These conditions can worsen your pain perception and tolerance, impact your sleep quality, and increase inflammation in the body. All of this, in turn, makes chronic pain even harder to handle.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory and sleep-promoting properties, CBD is also known for its mental health benefits.
CBD can reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heartbeat, which makes it easier for you to feel calm and at ease. It can also reduce symptoms of depression by interacting with the serotonin receptors in the brain.
When your mental health improves, you’ll likely find that your chronic pain symptoms improve, too. When they’re in a good place with their mental health, many people find that it’s easier to engage in other pain-reducing activities, such as regular exercise or time outdoors.
Pain Relief with Minimal Side Effects
Finally, CBD is a great option for those struggling with chronic pain because it comes with very few side effects.
Most people don’t notice any side effects at all when they include CBD in their daily regimen. If they take too much, they may feel a bit sleepier than usual. That’s typically the extent of it, though.
This isn’t the case with traditional pain-relievers, especially prescription drugs like opioids. There are a lot of potential side effects (many of which are quite serious) that can accompany these drugs. For example, you may experience severe dizziness (which increases your risk of falling — the last thing someone with chronic pain needs) and nausea.
Prescription painkillers can also be habit-forming. Your body develops a tolerance to them over time, which then leads to withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking these medications.
Unlike many other pain-relievers, CBD does not appear to be habit-forming. This makes it a safer (but still effective) option for those who are suffering from chronic pain and just looking for some relief.
How to Use CBD for Pain Relief
Do any of these benefits appeal to you? Are you ready to try CBD for yourself?
Before you grab the first CBD product you see online or at your local supplement shop, it’s important to know how to shop for CBD and use it properly. Here are some tips that will help you see the best results:
Choose the Right CBD Product
Great results from CBD start with choosing high-quality products.
There are tons of CBD products on the market these days, and not all of them are created equal. The following are some factors to consider when weighing your different options:
- Product Type: Are you looking for CBD pills? Lozenges? Transdermal patches? Pick a product type that aligns with your needs and goals
- CBD Concentration: How much CBD does a serving of each product contain? How many milligrams of CBD are you getting with each dose?
- Testing: Are the products 3rd party lab-tested for quality, strength, etc.? If so, do you have access to the test results?
Consider the product’s reviews, too.
What do past users have to say about it? Would they recommend it? Do they think it was worth their time and money?
Take the Proper Dose
Proper dosing is essential if you want to see great results from your CBD products. With a lot of common CBD products (such as CBD sublingual oils), it can be hard to measure out a dose and know how much CBD you’re getting per serving.
This is why options like pills, lozenges, and transdermal patches are so great. They’re already dosed for you, so you don’t have to play any guessing games.
When dosing your CBD products for the first time, use these guidelines as a starting point:
- Begin with a 10 mg (milligram) dose
- If you don’t notice any effects or need a stronger effect within 30-180 minutes, depending on the delivery, take another 10 mg dose.
- Repeat this process until you achieve the desired effect
For those with chronic pain, it’s recommended that you take between 2 and 4 10-milligram doses of CBD per day (and spread them out throughout the day). If this doesn’t work, it may be helpful to double up and take a larger dose (20 milligrams).
Most people notice improvements within about a week. For some, though, it can take up to 4 weeks before they start feeling better.
Remember to be consistent with your CBD products, too.
The effects of CBD products are cumulative. This means they typically become stronger and more noticeable over time.
If you want to experience relief from chronic pain symptoms, you’ll need to be diligent about taking your CBD lozenges or using your CBD patches regularly.
When you’re consistent, you’re more likely to see improvements. It’ll be easier to determine whether or not you need to increase your dosage, too.
Try CBD for Chronic Pain Today
Now that you know more about how it works and the benefits it has to offer, do you want to give CBD for chronic pain a try? If so, make sure you’re using high-quality, tested CBD products so you can stay safe and feel great.
Whether you’re looking for CBD lozenges, transdermal CBD patches or CBD pills for chronic pain, we have lots of options available in our CBD shop. Check it out today to find the right CBD product for your needs.