Health Crush Contributor
CBD oil has huge potential to completely change chronic pain management and workout recovery regimens. Up until recently, pain management for individuals suffering from chronic pain stemming from conditions including cancer, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis, has been limited to pharmaceutical analgesics typically accompanied by aversive side effects. In contrast, topical or ingestible CBD oil for pain is a viable, well-tolerated alternative to painkillers currently on the market without the added risk of negative side effects.
What Exactly is CBD and How is it different from THC or Marijuana?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of over 60+ naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in Cannabis, though keep in mind cannabis does not mean marijuana.CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana and the top non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp. Cannabis is the genus name and general term, which all forms of hemp and marijuana fall under. THC is the most well-known and studied cannabinoid due to its abundance in marijuana. But CBD has been gaining momentum in the scientific community and mainstream media for its use for dealing with chronic pain and stress.
Wait, Why CBD Oil Rather Than Medical Marijuana?
Unlike medical marijuana, which contains THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects upon its users. This is a boon for individuals who seek the benefits of cannabis without the “high” of medical cannabis (though some studies have highlighted the synergistic effects of CBD when combined with THC as a more potent treatment of chronic pain).
“CBD oils actually relax the body in the same way that is experienced when people have the feeling of a runner’s high.” Explains Dr. Matthew Mosquera, a medical residence at Bringham Women’s hospital and mental health expert for SuReceta.
Because CBD alone does not get users high, it is a less restricted substance than medical marijuana and is legal to possess, to an extent, in almost all 50 states. The growing trend of CBD legalization at the state level — which is distinct from legalization of marijuana — promises patient’s broader access to CBD oil for pain management. While illegal at the federal level, CBD oil is currently legal in 44 states, though legality in some states is limited to treatment of specific conditions.
CBD Oil Benefits
Regarding the use of CBD oil for pain, clinical research thus far has been limited; while high quality clinical trials have consistently demonstrated the benefits of CBD through inhalation, topical gels, or oromucosal sprays, only a few available studies specifically cover CBD oil benefits for pain, making it a great option for high performance athletes looking for pain relief. However, preliminary studies have shown promise that CBD’s benefits can be obtained through oil formulations as well. A recent report cited findings that CBD oil use reduced the incidence of painful spasms in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Another study concluded that both oral and inhaled CBD use were associated with a similar reduction in pain that was more effective than traditional treatments for fibromyalgia. Traditional treatments, on the other hand, resulted in little improvement of symptoms. (Fibromyalgia, typically, is treated with opioids, corticosteroids, or anti-inflammatory medications.)
What Does CBD Oil Do for You?
Generally speaking, CBD has been shown to be an effective compound for pain management. A 2011review of high quality clinical trials showed that CBD, as compared to a placebo, had a significant analgesic effect on individuals, and was specifically found to be effective for neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, several study participants reported improvements in quality of sleep and none reported any serious adverse effects; most adverse effects were mild to moderate in severity.
While the efficacy of CBD and other compounds in medical marijuana for chronic pain may come as a surprise to the average American, the analgesic properties of cannabis are by no means a new discovery. Historically, cannabis has been used to treat pain, along with a variety of other ailments, including seizures, malaria, gout, and rheumatism. But despite millennia of use in cultures around the world and even centuries of pharmaceutical use in the United States, medical cannabis has not been a viable option for health for Americans since the early 20th century. Fortunately, this is changing.
Purchasing CBD Oil for Pain Online
CBD oil, extracted from hemp plants, can be taken alone, mixed into smoothies or other food items that don’t require exposure to heat, or administered in capsule form. Keep in mind, even though CBD oil may be legal to possess in your state, transporting it across state lines from where it was originally, legally purchased is a felony. That means ordering it online can also get you into legal trouble.
If you’re able to try CBD oil for pain, know that not all CBD oils are created equal. Currently, the CBD oil market is highly unregulated; unsurprisingly, some formulations labeled as “CBD oil” have been exposed as fraudulent products — not containing the listed amount of CBD, or not containing any CBD whatsoever. As of now, only four states sell CBD oil through licensed retailers that require testing for purity and potency which allow shipment to any of the other 50 states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
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