With CBD oil now being legal in Australia, and with changing attitudes in general towards the legalisation of cannabis, many people are starting to wonder about the benefits it may bring.
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol has many reported health benefits and in this post, we will look at how it may help those suffering with chronic pain and the research studies that have provided promising results.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of the many compounds that is found in the marijuana plant. CBD is not psychoactive (this is down to THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabin), so you will not feel high when consuming CBD oil.
CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD compound from the cannabis plant and then mixing it with a carrier oil. By EU regulations the seeds used to grow industrial hemp or cannabis need to have less than 0.2% THC, so the plants grown contain a higher level of CBD. Solvents can be used to separate the CBD molecule from the cannabis plant, then evaporate, resulting in a pure CBD oil.
Can CBD oil help with chronic pain?
Users worldwide report that the restorative relief they get from taking CBD oil can help with a variety of issues such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and nausea, to name a few. Chronic pain can derive from a range of medical conditions, from over-use or sports injures, inflammatory diseases, and musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis. Whilst there is little research on the specifics of joint pain and cannabis, scientists are seeing some positive correlation between the two.
What does the research say?
There is not a huge amount of research so far, but the initial findings are very promising, combined with the feedback from people actually using CBD oil to treat chronic pain.
A poll by the Arthritis Foundation reported that 29% of respondents were currently use CBD to manage symptoms of arthritis. With 94% of those using CBD for arthritis saying they use it to treat the associated pain. 67% saw an improvement in their physical function, whilst 71% found an improvement in the ability to sleep.
A 2017 study looked at rat osteoarthritis and pain prevention. It found that CBD prevented joint pain in rats with osteoarthritis, with effects being dose-dependent. As well as this, the study also found that CBD helped to prevent the development of future nerve damage and arthritis-related pain in the joints. The result of the study was that CBD is effective in animals to prevent both inflammatory responses which control the spread of disease, as well as helping to control pain.
Further studies have shown that CBD can work with endocannabinoid receptors, which will help to reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters in the body and nervous system. Another small study looked at Sativex which is an oral spray containing both CBD and THC. The study looked at the effects of Sativex on those who have pain related to multiple sclerosis. After taking Sativex for just four weeks, participants in the study noticed a reduction in muscle spasms and pain. A second study of Sativex found that those with pain from rheumatoid arthritis had improved pain relief while resting, moving, and also reported better sleep, after using the drug.
Is CBD oil right for me?
So, whilst there is still limited research on the matter, thousands of CBD users are already experiencing improvements from using CBD oil to treat pain, in fact it is one of the biggest reasons people try CBD. However, research is still in its infancy, although at the moment no serious safety concerns have been raised by researchers.
If you are looking for effective pain relief, before trying CBD, always speak to your doctor beforehand and work out a plan that best fits you. CBD may not be able to be used with other drugs, so always check with a medical professional before trying it yourself.
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