Ranging from irritating to debilitating, joint pain can be tricky to treat. If your pain is mild, ibuprofen or acetaminophen might be adequate. But the worse it gets, the more likely you are to be prescribed antidepressants, muscle relaxants, or even opioids. Because of the side effects associated with these prescription medications, there has been quite a bit of research on CBD and joint pain — with promising results. Here are a few studies that point to CBD’s potential:
The main thing to consider when figuring out how to find the right strength CBD oil is to realize that everyone’s internal biochemistry is different – while your friend may be able to relieve her anxiety with just a single 3 mg dose, you may require several times that much in order to obtain the same results. Or, you may not find any relief at all. This is why it’s important to start off with the smallest possible dose, and work up from there.
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
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Cannabidiol is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. Over the centuries, a number of medicinal preparations derived from C. sativa have been employed for a variety of disorders, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, pain, and fever. These preparations were widely employed as analgesics by Western medical practitioners in the 19th century (1). More recently, there is clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (1).
A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:
To my understanding, neither CBD nor THC are effective for “severe” pain; rather, they work better for mild to moderate chronic pain. Often, with severe pain, the dosage of opiates can be decreased with concomitant use of medical cannabis or CBD and that decrease in dose makes their use safer. Concurrent use of THC does increase the analgesic effect of CBD, but it also adds the “high” which some people do not want as a side effect.
There’s a growing consensus that cannabis is a highly effective treatment for many kinds of neuropathic pain. A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics states, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” But much of the human-based research (like this study) on CBD and nerve pain has centered around the efficacy of the FDA-approved medication Sativex, which includes both THC and CBD. Research on the best CBD for pain isolated from THC is still limited when it comes to neuropathic pain. There are exceptions, though:
Elixinol has a wide range of products, but their CBD Tincture does the trick. It’s the cream of the crop regarding CBD oils and that reflects in its price. One dropper (1mg) from the 300 series contains 10mg of CBD. This allows you to get precise amounts of CBD and no guess work is required. Elixinol has received numerous awards for their products and extraction process.
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
This is why Amanda Oliver, 31, a career consultant in Charleston, SC, pops a CBD gummy bear each night before bed. “I used to lie there tossing and turning as my mind raced from work projects to whether I had set the home alarm,” Oliver says. One piece of candy with 15 milligrams (mg) of CBD is enough to shut off her brain and facilitate sleep. She also swears by the CBD oil she takes at the height of her period, which she says quells her debilitating cramps.
When administered alone, CBD is an effective anticonvulsant in maximal electrical shock (MES), magnesium-free, 4-aminopyridine, and audiogenic models (7, 8). Co-administration with AEDs leads to various effects; anticonvulsant effects of CBD are enhanced with phenytoin or phenobarbital but decreased with chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, trimethadione, and ethosuximide. In a recent study using an acute pilocarpine model, although CBD administration reduced the number of animals displaying seizure activity, CBD did not appear to have any significant effect on the number of seizures per animal (7).