People are hurting. Surveys from the National Institutes of Health report that over 10 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of chronic pain. Headaches, backaches, and all other manner of persistent pain seem to plague a huge portion of the population like a cumbersome specter. But what is the chronic pain sufferer to do? Prescription painkillers are a marvel of modern medicine and can be lifesavers for many people, but they carry with them numerous risks, including addiction and other serious side effects. Even over the counter drugs can make people very sick if they are taken too frequently.
Many people prefer to try more natural or holistic approaches to treating chronic pain, but in the past these have proven largely ineffective–until recently, however, when we began to understand the full benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD.
For years, marijuana has been known to relieve pain, especially chronic pain. The first U.S. states to legalize marijuana did so for medical purposes only. However, little was understood about how marijuana affected pain levels, with many people erroneously believing that the only reason consuming marijuana led to pain relief was because people were becoming too high to notice how they felt.
Nowadays, we have a bit better understanding of how cannabis plants interact with the human body. Most importantly, we’ve conducted a lot more research into different cannabinoids, most notably CBD.
CBD is found in the cannabis plants hemp and marijuana. It can be sourced independently of THC or in combination. Since CBD can be extracted from hemp and is universally legal, this has led to confusion over what CBD actually is. CBD is a cannabinoid that prompts your endocannabinoid system to release cannabinoids of its own, thus potentially aiding pain relief, anxiety, inflammation and stress. The side effects of CBD are mild to nonexistent, at least in the short term. More long term studies are underway to determine the full effects of a lifetime use of CBD.
CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and is safe even in large doses, making it the perfect candidate for chronic pain relief.
Research into CBD
Research into CBD use for pain relief is ongoing. Most studies examine CBD use over short periods of time or up to a few years. So far, there appears to be no threshold for tolerance and no serious side effects. CBD has already been approved by the FDA for use in preventing seizures, but no official statement on its effectiveness for chronic pain relief has been made yet. However, with more promising research coming in by the day, many people are choosing CBD on their own.
CBD is a largely unregulated industry, with consumers left to determine their own dosages and CBD being available for purchase almost everywhere. You may buy CBD supplements online or in physical stores regardless of your state’s policies on medical or recreational marijuana. However, you will be unable to purchase CBD products which also contain large amounts of THC if your state has a prohibition on marijuana.
How to use CBD
CBD can be ingested, inhaled, absorbed sublingually, or applied topically. For chronic pain relief, CBD capsules added to your daily supplement regimen are the most effective. Topical applications can help as well for subdermal inflammation, but remember that topically applied CBD will not enter the bloodstream. CBD can take up to two hours for the full effects to kick in, which makes it ideal for chronic pain management but less effective for acute pain.
When purchasing your CBD supplements, make sure you do your research. Many sellers offer low-quality CBD edibles or supplements. Also be sure to take into consideration local marijuana laws. Since CBD can be sourced from marijuana as well as hemp, it is possible to find CBD products that also contain THC. People who choose to vape CBD oil for pain relief need to be cautious of vaping laws as well.
There are many options for pain relief, from CBD to NSAIDS and traditional prescription medicines. No one option is going to be universally right for every person. If you suffer from chronic pain, you should first consult a physician to determine the cause and discuss possible treatments. From there, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option. CBD, for example, is less effective in treating sudden, acute flare ups and is better taken as a consistent, preventative measure for pain. Many people find that a combination of CBD for pain management combined with access to stronger drugs for emergencies is a good mix. It may take some time and a bit of trial and error for you to find the pain treatment regimen that works best for you.
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