The following article looks at the use of CBD for pain, and how this compound can be effectively harnessed to bring relief to those looking for treatment outside of the conventional pharmaceutical industry.
The United States is in the throes of a widespread epidemic of opiate addiction.
The availability and ease of access to powerful and addictive painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and fentanyl has lead to an estimated 3.8 million Americans misusing pain medication, with more than 42,000 people dying of an overdose in 2016 alone.
Given the statistics surrounding misuse, it’s not surprising that patients suffering from chronic pain are desperately seeking non-addictive alternatives to the prescription opiates that are destroying lives, families and communities across our nation.
In recent years, cannabis has emerged as a considerably safer and less debilitating alternative to prescription painkillers. In some cases, edibles and concentrates high in THC have proven to be effective alternatives to opioids for patients desperately seeking relief from pain.
But for some patients, the high that you get from THC just isn’t desirable, or medical marijuana is still prohibited in their state. CBD—the non-psychoactive, non-addictive pain-relieving compound found in the cannabis plant—has emerged as a compelling option for those in need of pain medication, but are concerned about very real risk of becoming addicted to dangerous prescription drugs.
In this article, we explore a little about what pain really is and how it works, and we’ll also look at some of the studies and emerging evidence supporting the application of CBD for pain.
What is pain?
Pain is essentially your body’s way of warning you that you’re in danger, and that you need to stop doing whatever you’re doing.
We have nerve cells called nociceptors in our bodies, and they send electrical signals to our brains. They only fire warning signals to the brain if something is causing them damage, otherwise they stay dormant.
But when these cells and nearby cells are damaged, they start producing tuning chemicals which lower the nociceptors’ threshold for pain to the point where things hurt to touch.
One function of painkillers is to block these tuning chemicals.
In most cases, when the damage is repaired the nerve stops sending distress signals to the brain. However, patients suffering from chronic pain will continue to have these nerves fire and send signals to the brain after the wound has healed.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts three to six months or more, and it affects an estimated 11% of Americans. The impact of this is debilitating, and can negatively impact every aspect of the patient’s life.
How Painkillers Work
Painkillers are the most common way for people living with pain or chronic pain to find relief.
There are myriad options for those seeking relief, from simple over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or aspirin to powerful, highly-addictive opiates like oxycodone, hydrocodone or Percocet.
Despite their varying levels of effectiveness and risk, they work in similar ways.
Painkillers are designed to trick your brain into thinking that everything’s okay, and you’re not actually experiencing discomfort or difficulty.
To get a deeper look into the science behind pain and pain relievers, watch the above video from TED-ed.
CBD for Pain and Inflammation
Some painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen are designed to reduce inflammation. These work by blocking the production of something called the prostaglandins, which is a substance produced by the body in response to inflammation and swelling.
CBD has been shown to be a hugely effective and potent anti-inflammatory.
“CBD is twice as potent as a steroidal anti-inflammatory, like cortisone, which is commonly used to treat arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis,” explains Carolina Vasquez, KushyCBD’s chief scientist.
Athletes such as UFC fighter Nate Diaz and NFL player Derrick Morgan have become visible advocates for CBD for pain. After his bout with Conor McGregor in 2016, a battered and bruised Diaz caused a stir during his press conference as he sucked on the end of a CBD vape.
“It helps with the healing process, the inflammation and stuff like that. You want to do this before and after a fight, during training, it will make your life a better place,” Diaz told a quizzical reporter.
A recent feature about the rise of CBD use amongst athletes in Outside magazine noted that: “A growing number of athletes like [triathlete Andrew] Talansky believe that aiding recovery without the long-term side effects of ibuprofen (such as increased risk of heart failure) or the addictive qualities of opioids is a step in the right direction.”
“I haven’t taken an Advil in months,” Andrew Talansky told Outside. “For any athlete who trains hard, that’s saying a lot.”
Below are some specific applications of CBD for pain and inflammation.
CBD for Arthritis
One of the earliest medical applications for CBD was arthritis, which affects more than 40 million people in the United States alone, and 350 million people worldwide. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties have been particularly effective in treating this ailment.
Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis, and since 2006 there have been five major medical studies conducted into CBD’s effectiveness in treating them.
But as with much of the medical research into the potential benefits and widespread applications of the cannabis plant, research is in its infancy.
“CBD oil shows promise as a treatment for arthritis pain. If it affects receptors in the brain and immune system in the way that researchers believe, it may reduce inflammation and pain. However, more studies are necessary before researchers can say with certainty that CBD oil is an effective treatment for arthritis pain,” writes Medical News Today.
CBD for Headaches
CBD has found a loyal following in those that suffer from migraines. Many that seek relief from chronic headaches are forced to heavily dose on over-the-counter medication, or transition into stronger—and more addictive—prescription medication.
A recent article in Medical News Today cities a cache of studies from 2017, and notes that “researchers saw a useful and effective role for marijuana in treating migraine, but there are not enough studies on using CBD oil specifically yet.”
CBD for Menstrual Cramps
Did you know that Queen Victoria’s was prescribed cannabis for her menstrual cramps after the celebrated Dr. O’Shaughnessy brought the plant back from his trip to the colonies?
While the scientific evidence of CBD’s application for minimizing the pain and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps is minimal and largely anecdotal, there are a number of articles around the internet on sites like Refinery29, Bustle, and Buzzfeed which explore this as-yet lesser known application of cannabidoil.
But it’s very important to talk to your Ob/Gyn before you try a CBD suppository. The vagina’s pH levels are notoriously delicate, so absolute caution is advised.
Writer Rebecca Norris at Buzzfeed did a perfectly Buzzfeedian account of her positive experimentation with vagina CBD suppositories. She even managed to utilize the phrase “my uterus felt like full on dreamland…”
Our CBD for Pain Management
“We feel that there is more than enough scientific evidence to suggest that anyone can enjoy the healing benefits of cannabis. That led us to develop products that are also available to those living under prohibition, and those that may not want the effects of THC but could still benefit from having cannabis in their lives.”
– KushyCBD CEO Ruben Cross talking to Leafly
KushyCBD is engineered specifically with relief and patient care in mind. We source the best extracts, distillates and organic ingredients to create the healthiest CBD gummies and the most efficient capsules.
Since launching in 2014, we have been regarded as one of the leading California-based cannabis companies. Despite a constantly evolving regulatory market, we have stayed ahead of changes to the marketplace and have continued to push for product innovation and improve upon our high standards of consistency and patient wellness.
“I take two or three capsules every morning, and for me, it works better than meditation for keeping me calm, grounded, and focused,” Ruben told Leafly in October 2018. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that personal experience is really what drives KushyPunch. I see the difference that cannabis and CBD makes in my life, every day.
“One of our customers is an 85-year-old grandfather who tells us that when he takes it, he goes dancing with his girlfriend!” Cross continues. “That’s something truly special. It’s been a tremendous joy and honor to be in this industry and to help people access the positive benefits of CBD.”
Key facts about KushyCBD
- Made with pure non-GMO CBD isolate, natural flavorings and organic sugar
- 6.8 cal per serving
- 3.4g sugar per serving
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Fat free
- Mold & pesticide free
- Heavy metals free
“Our gummies are very simple,” explains Carolina Vasquez, KushyCBD’s Chief Scientist and R&D Director. “They are made from only a handful of natural ingredients, and we strive to make sure that they are as healthy as possible for anyone looking to consume them.”
“One KushyCBD gummy serving—which contains 25mg of CBD—only has 3.4g of sugar,” she continues, “which is less than a quarter of an orange. It has a very low glycemic index and doesn’t affect your insulin levels.
“We use organic sugar, kosher gelatin and we have invested a lot in getting the best natural flavoring to ensure that our product is both delicious, healthy and the highest quality.”
KushyCBD gummies also use tapioca syrup, which is only 3% glucose and doesn’t contain any fructose or corn syrup at all. Fructose has been shown to contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type II diabetes, and given the considerable health benefits of our product, we considered finding an alternative to typical sugars and sweeteners.
To read more about the specifics of KushyCBD’s products and process, visit our ‘What is CBD?’ page
Disclaimer: KushyCBD vehemently encourages anyone suffering from chronic or debilitating pain to consult their doctor or medical professional before starting CBD treatment.