CBD for Pain Relief
CBD for Pain Relief:
History of Use, How it Works, and Our Recommendations
–By Brett Quattrucci & Emily CotterMuch of the cannabis plant’s history has revolved around providing humans with pain relief. With modern advances in cannabis genetics and extraction techniques, as well as the legalization of industrial hemp in the US, CBD products have become more effective and available than ever before, and many people are choosing CBD as an alternative to traditional pain management methods, or as an addition to their current treatment protocol. Read on to learn more about the history of using cannabis for pain, how it works in the body, and how Lovewell Farms CBD may be able to help ease your pain.
History of Use
For thousands of years, people have used cannabis (and therefore, CBD) to alleviate physical pain. In ancient China, healers used cannabis to aid individuals with ailments such as malaria, gout, menstrual pain and constipation, while in medieval times it was used to assist with pain, epilepsy, nausea, and vomiting.
Even here in the US, cannabis was widely prescribed as an analgesic until the 1930’s, but that practice came to a complete halt in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, which categorized cannabis as a Schedule I substance – a drug with no currently accepted medical use, and a high potential for abuse. The explanation and impacts of that decision are a topic for another blog post altogether, but suffice it to say that as a result of that unfortunate misrepresentation, there has been little to no scientific research conducted on the cannabis plant and its potential benefits, risks, or medical uses – at least in the United States, up until very recently.
In the first decade of the 21st century, there were only nine studies published on the potential benefits of cannabinoids for pain management, and there have been only 30 published studies since 20125. At the same time, chronic pain is the most frequently cited use of medical cannabis in the US, and is one of the most common physical symptoms of many diseases. While we can certainly draw valuable information from the scientific studies we do have access to, it’s important to note that there is still a significant need for more research in this area, as well as in all aspects of the cannabis plant and its therapeutic potential. Currently, this dynamic industry is outpacing the scientific community when it comes to CBD, and therefore we rely on anecdotal evidence as well as scientific data in our work at Lovewell Farms.
How it Works
Many of our own customers report successfully incorporating CBD into their routine for pain management, especially when the pain is inflammatory in nature. We have been told that our CBD products significantly decrease pain from ailments such as arthritis, sciatica, tendonitis, muscle soreness and injuries, as well as other forms of bodily aches and pains. There are a number of studies that have been done that support these experiences, as well as help to explain some of the mechanisms behind CBD’s pain relieving properties.
According to a 2018 article published in Frontiers in Pharmacology (Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules), cannabinoids (both plant-derived and endogenous to the human body) act simultaneously on multiple targets in the central and peripheral nervous systems. CBD, in particular, has been found to have potential analgesic, antianxiety, anti-spasmodic, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant effects, especially when combined with other phytocannabinoids and plant compounds like THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. This is one reason why we recommend using a full-spectrum CBD product, rather than one that is made with CBD Isolate.
The specific mechanisms that help relieve pain depend on the type of ailment. It has been suggested that CBD’s primary mode of action represents that of a blockade to other compounds, such as anandamide, which normally regulates and triggers the sensation of pain. For inflammatory pain, which is what most of our customers deal with, CBD may have the potential to be used as an adjuvant to supplement or replace use of traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other studies show promising potential for the management of multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, menstrual pain, sciatica and many other neuropathic and inflammatory disorders.
When it comes to managing chronic muscle or joint pain, we suggest our topical CBD remedies, because of their ability to target specific areas of inflammation. Available in various scents and strengths, you can apply a small amount to the affected area as often as needed, and combine topical treatments with other application methods for even more relief.
Our customers are the first to recommend “The Balm” as a favorite salve that has the ability to improve one’s quality of life. “The Balm” is the star of our CBD+ plant-powered line, in part because of the numerous botanical ingredients that we have incorporated alongside our CBD. Menthol acts to gently restrict blood vessels, reducing inflammation and creating a therapeutic cooling sensation, while organic essential oils such as cassia, clove, and camphor, are highly anti-inflammatory on their own – these ingredients work together with our CBD extract to create a more effective product.
Overall, there is a lot of promise for CBD as an effective method for pain management across a number of disorders. Some argue that its greatest potential lies in its ability to supplement, or even replace opioids for some users. While peer reviewed research on this topic is limited, many states have seen significant reductions in opioid use and misuse since legalizing cannabis. With real potential for CBD to aid with common ailments like chronic pain, it is critical that CBD companies create accurately labeled, clean, and effective products, so that people can feel comfortable about using CBD to feel better in their bodies.