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CBD oil is growing in popularity, and people use it for a wide variety of symptoms and ailments. Many use it for anxiety, stress relief, and more serious conditions like epilepsy. But does it work for pain?
According to the research, high-strength CBD oil can provide effective pain relief, especially for chronic conditions. CBD oil for back pain and other chronic ailments can be a powerful piece of your wellness routine.
But finding the best CBD oil for pain relief can be tricky. Nothing's standardized in the CBD world, and that makes navigating different products hard. Plus, everybody has a distinct physiology, so CBD that works for one person might not work for another.
So, to find the best CBD oil for pain relief in the UK, you need to understand a few things, and we're here to help. Below we'll cover what chronic pain is and who it affects. Then we'll talk about the benefits of CBD and explain how it works. By the time we're through, you'll know exactly what to look for when it comes to CBD so you can treat your chronic pain effectively.
What Is Chronic Pain And Who Does It Affect?
No human is a stranger to pain. We've all had cuts and scrapes, maybe even a broken bone or two. Many of us have even experienced traumatic events that leave us in pain for days or weeks. However, that sort of pain is what scientists and doctors label as acute pain.
It's temporary and resolves as soon as the underlying condition heals, whether that be an injury or an illness.
Chronic pain is different. It lingers for months, long after the body heals. And it can be hard to pinpoint its cause which makes it challenging to treat.
Chronic pain may be related to cancer, arthritis, nerve damage, or fibromyalgia. Regular migraines and constant back pain also fall into the chronic pain category.
Unfortunately, more than 28 million adults in the UK live with chronic pain. That's 43% of the population! And for 14.3%, the pain they experience is severe enough to be moderately or severely disabling.
Many with chronic pain experience tense muscles and a lack of energy. They also may experience appetite changes, depression, and anxiety. Chronic pain also reduces productivity at work and can significantly impact day-to-day life.
How Is Chronic Pain Typically Treated?
Unfortunately, as mentioned, treating chronic pain is difficult. With acute pain, a doctor can treat the underlying causes, but with chronic pain, that's not always possible. That means doctors have to turn to pain management treatments.
Pain management treatment could include any of the following:
- NSAIDS (like aspirin or ibuprofen)
- Sedatives (for anxiety or insomnia related to the pain)
- Muscle Relaxers
- Anticonvulsants (for nerve pain)
- Nerve Blocks
Sadly, many of these pain management options come with significant side effects. Opioids have a high potential for addiction, and NSAIDs can increase the risk for peptic ulcers and renal failure. While antidepressants, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxers, and sedatives can cause brain fog and lethargy.
The other treatments on the list aren't much better. Corticosteroids can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure, and mood swings. And nerve blocks only last for a couple of weeks and require a trip to the doctor's office.
Treatments like these may help the pain, but the cost is too great for many, which leads to lots of chronic pain sufferers searching for alternatives. CBD oil for pain relief might be one of the best options.
What Is High Strength CBD Oil?
High-strength CBD is an extra potent product that may help with chronic pain. CBD or cannabidiol is an active ingredient in hemp and marijuana. However, it causes no psychoactive effects.
Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, high-strength CBD oil drops won't cause you to feel intoxicated. But, it still provides many of the benefits that people relate to cannabis use, without the intoxicating effects.
The benefits of CBD include stress reducing effects, pain relief, and relief from poor sleep. CBD may also help with substance abuse recovery and neurological disorders. Plus, CBD has very few side effects. In some people, it may cause dry mouth and slight appetite changes, but for most, it's well-tolerated and has no adverse symptoms.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD works via the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is found in all mammals and is a widely distributed web of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors. In other words, the ECS helps regulate the activity in many other major body systems.
The ECS is partially responsible for regulating things like our mood, appetite, and levels of inflammation. It also regulates various parts of our cardiovascular and immune systems.
Cannabinoids, like CBD or THC, interact with the ECS cell receptors. Specifically, CBD stimulates the ECS to make more receptors, helping the body fine-tune its response to inflammation and pain.
Through these interactions, researchers have found CBD reduces inflammation. And inflammation plays a major role in chronic pain.
Beyond that, CBD may interact with serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a hormone, as well as a neurotransmitter, and you may already know it creates feelings of happiness. What you may not know is that serotonin also affects how we experience pain. CBD may help activate serotonin receptors, causing CBD users to feel less pain overall.
Can CBD Help With Chronic Pain?
So, does CBD oil help with pain?
The research says that it does. In this study, most participants reported that cannabinoids provided significant pain relief compared to a placebo. Admittedly, participants used a combination of THC and CBD.
But, that's not to say that CBD can't help chronic pain without involving THC. For example, a recent study showed that those with chronic pain report less pain when using CBD. And, 36% of the respondents in the study said the CBD, without any other pain therapies, treated their medical conditions "very well."
Of course, CBD can only work if it's bioavailable. Bioavailability refers to how much of a substance is available for absorption by the body. Different nutrients in various forms have different levels of bioavailability. And every person differs on how much of a nutrient they can absorb.
For example, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant prominent in tomatoes. But eating raw tomatoes isn't the best way to get it. Cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene, as does serving them with olive oil or another healthy fat.
The same goes for CBD. CBD's bioavailability depends on its form and the method of consumption. Since higher bioavailability means more potent pain relief from CBD, the way you choose to take this cannabinoid matters, as does the strength of the product.
How To Take CBD Oil For Pain
Learning how to use CBD oil for pain is essential to maximizing its effects. You can consume CBD in several different ways, and as mentioned, each method provides a different level of bioavailability which will affect its potency.
CBD is highly bioavailable when you inhale it by vaping or smoking, but smoking isn't for everyone. There are topical and edible forms of CBD as well, but they're not as bioavailable, nor are the effects as fast.
CBD oil provides high bioavailability, and it's convenient to take. You take it sublingually or under the tongue. The tissue there is very thin, so CBD absorbs quickly through the sublingual gland.
To ensure the CBD is absorbed through your sublingual gland and not your digestive system, though, you will need to hold the CBD under your tongue for 20-30 seconds.
The results aren't instant, but they're very fast. You'll feel the effects within 5 to 20 minutes. That's not as quick as smoking, but it's far faster than eating edible CBD, which can take 30 minutes to four hours or more!
And the effects of CBD oil are potent because the CBD is absorbed all at once, not in stages like edibles. That means just a few drops of MEND under the tongue can have you feeling less stress and fewer aches and pains in under half an hour.
Of course, potency for CBD has to do with more than the consumption method. CBD oil comes in varying strengths. You can purchase two 30ml bottles of 99% pure CBD and find that one relieves pain in a single dose while the other doesn't. The one that doesn't relieve pain as fast is probably lower strength.
When you're in pain, you want relief as quickly as possible. So, it's vital to choose a high-strength CBD oil. MEND, for example, provides 6000mg per 30ml bottle, which means each full dropper provides a potent 200mg dose.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Unfortunately, CBD doesn't have a one-size-fits-all dosage guideline when it comes to pain. And because CBD has a complex relationship with our bodies and brains, it will affect each person differently. That's why determining how much CBD you need to take for pain can be tricky.
It's best practice to start small with CBD and work your way up. Begin with just a drop or two of oil under your tongue, or if vaping is your jam, start with just one inhale. Pay attention to how you feel and note any effects. It may help to keep a journal through this process.
Gradually increase the amount of CBD you're taking on a weekly basis until you find relief. Then stick to that amount as long as it continues to work for your aches and pains.
It's important to remember, however, that the amount you need will likely change with time. The way your body reacts to CBD will evolve as you take it, and your physiology is far from static. In addition, the underlying causes for your chronic pain may change or begin to heal, which means your CBD needs will change as well.
How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work For Pain?
CBD doesn't clear your system all that quickly. Instead, it builds up over time. So, using CBD for pain relief isn't like popping a Tylenol or aspirin. Though some effects are near-instant via sublingual use or smoking, for maximum pain relief, you may need to take CBD for several days or more.
The first dose of CBD oil usually has a relaxing effect. You'll feel less stressed, which may make managing pain a bit easier. But, for serious pain relief, you need to give CBD time to build up, usually three weeks or so. By then, the cannabinoids will have built up in your fat cells, and the effects of taking CBD oil will be much more potent.
Sum It Up
High-strength CBD oil can be an effective piece of your chronic pain relief plan. If you experience chronic pain due to migraines, arthritis, or even cancer, CBD might be able to help mitigate the associated pain with next-to-no side effects. That makes CBD oil a popular choice for many individuals with chronic pain.
By interacting with receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD can reduce pain and increase serotonin, relieving everything from back pain to discomfort from damaged nerves.
However, for the most effective pain relief, you need to consume CBD in a form with high bioavailability. That means inhaling or using CBD oil drops sublingually is the best way to go. You also need to pay attention to CBD strength; look for one that's high strength for the most powerful pain relief.
Finally, it's crucial to remember that CBD takes some patience to work. One dose might leave you more relaxed and better able to deal with aches and pains, but for real-deal pain relief, you need a few days to a few weeks for the CBD to build up in your system, and to find your optimum dose.
Once it builds up, you should be feeling much better without the nasty side effects of other pain relief treatments. You may find your back or nerve pain ultimately disappears, or at the least, becomes far easier to bear.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.