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Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something isn’t working as it should. It can come in many forms – sharp, dull, constant or fleeting – and the level of pain and how long it lasts will have a bearing on why the pain is there and what you can do about it.
When the cause of the pain is established, it’s generally treated, and the pain will dissipate. Cases where pain remains over a long period of time are described as chronic and require a more extensive treatment plan. So what are some of the ways chronic pain is treated? For example: is CBD oil effective at relieving chronic pain? Let’s investigate.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain refers to recurring pain that lasts for a period of six months or more. Many conditions can lead to chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, gallbladder disease and cancer.
People suffering from chronic Lyme disease can also experience chronic pain. In patients with Lyme disease, chronic pain can be debilitating and widespread because the Borrelia bacteria affects the organs and nervous system. It also has a negative effect on the joints and muscles, which in turn can lead to widespread swelling and inflammation cross the entire body. This swelling of joints and inflammation of tissues causes chronic pain because it hinders the overall function of the body.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring product that comes from the cannabis plant, specifically the marijuana plant. The chemical can be extracted from the plant and used for many different things. Since it doesn’t contain any of the psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant (THC), it doesn’t lead to mental intoxication (a feeling of being ‘high’).
CBD oil can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions and has been known to help people suffering from anxiety, seizures, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer and chronic pain. The body produces its own endocannabinoids, a type of neurotransmitter. Endocannabinoids bind themselves to receptors in the nervous system and help to regulate several functions in the body, including appetite, pain response, immune response and sleep cycles. When the endocannabinoids are stimulated, it can help with a wide variety of health ailments.
How can CBD oil help ease the symptoms of chronic pain?
In terms of chronic pain, CBD oil has been hailed as a great help in the way of managing symptoms, regardless of why the pain exists in the first place. Although more studies need to be conducted, a good chunk of research on its effects has shown great promise. One particular study found that when rats were injected with CBD prior to surgery, their response to the incision was less than that of their placebo counterparts.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body is a prime culprit in how the body feels and processes pain. When CBD oil is introduced in patients with chronic pain, it has been shown that the receptor activity in the ECS is positively affected, reducing the overall severity and duration of pain. CBD oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
How to use CBD oil to help ease chronic pain
CBD oil can be administered in many different ways, depending on where the pain is and how severe it is. Oil is the most used method of taking CBD, but it can also come in the form of topical lotions and roll-ons, powered mixtures, capsules, oral sprays and edibles.
For muscle aches and pains, a topical administration of CBD oil may be the best way to tackle pain at the site, but if the pain is widespread, oral ingestion may be the way to go. If considering CBD oil for pain, it’s best to talk to your doctor about how you should use it, how much, and where on the body would work best.
What makes CBD oil better than traditional pain medications?
Pain relievers such as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are generally the first line of defence when it comes to chronic pain, followed up by harder-hitting pharmaceuticals if the pain persists or isn’t affected by the over-the-counter medication. For those who suffer from chronic pain, taking too many NSAIDS or other pain medications can also lead to serious health complications such as stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, lowered kidney function, and an increased risk of cardiac problems.
Since CBD oil is a natural pain relief medication, it doesn’t come with the same risks when used over a longer period of time. CBD oil can also be used in a localised manner, which leads to a more specific level of treatment. Since it is absorbed through the body (in most cases), it also has no effect on the way the liver or kidneys operate. Other benefits of CBD oil include reduced mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and relief from epilepsy, both of which can cause chronic pain throughout the body.
Other natural ways to combat chronic pain
In conjunction with CBD oil, or even on their own, other natural ways to help ease chronic pain include physical exercise, a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory foods, and supplements that help combat chronic pain, including curcumin, fish oil, ginger and alpha-lipoic acid.
Studies have shown that a healthy diet along with regular exercise can help the body’s systems function at their most optimal, so even if you’re suffering from chronic pain, there are ways to help ease it that don’t involve damaging your body’s systems with harsh chemical treatments.