CBD Oil for Pain
Cannabidiol commonly known as CBD, is one among more than 60 compounds that are called cannabidiols found in the plant cannabis. CBD content in most of these plants is less than 4% and thus the only means of getting reasonable amounts of the compound is extracting from CBD oil. CBD oil is mostly extracted from the industrial hemp having higher content of CBD compared to marijuana. CBD oil is added to carrier oil after extraction and is sold in different potency used in different methods.
How does CBD Work in the Human Body?
The properties of CBD may appear unbelievable at first glance. How it is possible for a plant-derived compound to have unrelated effects on human body? It is actually because of the endocannabinoid system. All of us have an endocannabinoid system which receives, and processes signals received by the cannabinoids into the body (Serpell et.al, 2014). It is not that this system has evolved in our bodies to accommodate smoking of weed by humans. Its purpose is the regulation of different systems in the body which work with the cannabinoids produced by the body itself.
Even as the knowledge about this system is just evolving, it is understood that this has regulatory function in the capsular, neuronal, immune, metabolic and reproductive systems. Due to these systems that are involved, endocannabinoids can affect cognition, motor movements, memory, perception of pain, weight regulation, inflammation, stress response, cardiovascular health and sleep functions.
Benefits of CBD Oil in humans
Though the research on effects of CBD on human body is in elementary stages, it has already been seen to affect humans in various ways (Davis, 2014). There is preliminary evidence to suggest that CBD oil:
- Reduces Inflammation
- Modulates immune system
- Relieves stress and muscle tension
- Decreases seizures
- Improves mental health. Prevents nausea
- Protects brain cells from inflammation or damage
- Regulates bowel motions
- Causes reduction of blood pressure
- Decreases heart rate
- Exhibits anti-cancer properties as against lung cancer and gliomas
Using CBD Oil for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a nervous system disease and is the type of pain having no biological value continuing beyond natural healing time. It affects one in five persons worldwide. It is subjective and multi-factored experiences including physical, social, emotional and spiritual factors (Hauser et.al, 2007). Many authorized medications are available, and specialists suggest that pharmacological treatment is just one element of a multi-faceted solution to management of chronic pain, which also includes psychological and physical interventions.
Clinical trials with cannabis in relieving chronic pain included patients suffering from wide range of conditions such as cancer pain, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia (Serpell et.al, 2014). The products evaluated used authorized medicines as well as smoked cannabis. Data suggests an improvement in pain. When the clinical trials are seen together, there is a moderate level of benefits and no effect on quality of life reported by the patient. The pain symptoms are subjective, and many clinical trials are conducted show that they are subject to some moderate risk due to bias where repeated errors of data collection led to inaccurate estimates. Such biases mean that treatment effects reported in clinical trials of the cannabis must be viewed with some caution and evidence for the benefits achieved is still uncertain. Also, the cannabis products are associated with higher risks of side effects some of which are serious compared to other pain medicines. There are no studies conducted to evaluate long-term safety of CBD oil treatment.
A study by Ware et.al.(2003) suggests that more clinical trials are necessary. The approach concurs with the view of the pain specialists and professional bodies who cite concern about such use of cannabinoids and cannabis in chronic pain management without having data about benefit and risk data (Ware et.al, 2003).
Use of cannabis for pain management merits more research, especially clinical trials that compare effectiveness of medicines based on cannabis with the authorized medicines. Researchers must conduct randomized, long-term, double-blind trials to characterize the safety and effectiveness profile these medicines. This will be most beneficially carried in a collaborative international program.
A Harvard-led review (2015-16) states that use of marijuana in chronic pain, spasticity and neuropathic pain management is supported by reliable evidence (Ananth et.al, 2018). According to National Academy of Science, engineering and Medicine, conclusive or substantive evidence was found that patients treated with cannabinoids were likely to achieve significant reductions in symptoms of chronic pain.
CBD Oil for Arthritics Pain
CBD oil found to be popular for treating arthritis related pain. A study published in European Journal of Pain employed an animal model to study whether CBD oil can help people manage arthritics pain. They applied topical gen with CBD to rats having arthritis for four days. The researchers noted significant drop in the inflammation and pain with no additional adverse side effects. Using CBD oil for people having arthritis may get relief from pain; however, more studies on humans is required to confirm the findings.
According to a study by Shannon & Opila-Lehman (2015), total of 1248 or 46% of respondents reported that they used cannabinoids as substitute for the prescription drugs (Shannon & Opila-Lehman, 2015).
States permitting medical cannabis reported lower mortality rates related to opioid, with a decrease of about 25%. According to Health Affairs Journal, 2016, doctors from these states prescribed eighteen hundred fewer pain killers for the patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal reported that hospitalization raters for opioid dependence and abuse reduced by 23% on average after marijuana being legal for medical purposes (Schräder et.al, 2018).
How to Use CBD Oil to manage pain
Most commonly, CBD is taken orally in form of drops, tincture or as concentrated paste. While taking CBD oil, it should be held under tongue to absorb the oil in the mouth before swallowing the oil. This step is considered importance as a portion of the CBD oil is broken down in the digestive system. The other oral methods of taking CBD oil include mouth strips, capsules and edibles in form of chocolate bars. It is observed that many people prefer to enjoy using the CBD e-liquid with the help of vaporizers or inhalers or CBD Vape oil as these methods provide almost instant delivery which could be highly effective. Some take CBD oil through their skin in the form of lotions, creams, patches or balms. Thus, it is seen that CBD oil can be taken in different ways; but what matters is that to try different approaches and to find out which of the method works. It is natural that individuals differ.
There is no regulation of CBD by FDA for most conditions. This has allowed for dosages being open to different interpretation currently and hence people should treat such prescriptions with caution.
Anyone who decides to take CBD must first discuss with a doctor regarding whether taking CBD is a good idea and about the amount of CBD to be taken. In the treatment of chronic pain, 2.5 to 20 mg of CBD oil can be taken for an average period of 25 days (Oil, 2014).
The FDA has recently approved CBD in purified form prescribed for some epilepsy types under the brand name of Epidiolex. In case you are taking this medication, it must be taken by consulting a doctor including about its dosage.
Side Effects of CBD oil
Majority of people tolerate CBD oil well, however it has certain potential side effects when taken in higher doses. A review in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research states that the CBD oil’s commonest side effects are inclusive of weight gain or weight loss, Diarrhea, Tiredness, and Changes in appetite.
According to another review regarding the possible side effects in humans is that issues with dosages of nearly 1500 mg/day of CBD oil are rarely found. It is worth noting that majority of people will not have to take half of the dosage to get the benefits of the oil (Hauser et.al, 2007). Moreover, making use of CBD oil along with other medicines can make those medicines effective.
The review states that certain aspects of CBD are yet to be studied by scientists, like CBD’s long-term effects on hormones. More long-term researches will help to determine CBD’s any side effects on body in course of time.
People who are thinking of using CBD oil must consult their doctors regarding this. Doctors should monitor the patient for changes occurring and accordingly adjust. The leaflet containing patient information for Epidiolex warns that risks of lethargy, thoughts of suicide, depression, and liver damage are there however these risks can be there for other treatments of epilepsy (Davis, 2014).
Other cannabinoids and CBD can also expose he user for the risk of lung problems. According to a study in Frontiers in Pharmacology anti-inflammatory effect of cannabinoids can reduce inflammation excessively. Excessive reduction of inflammation might weaken the ling’s defense system thereby enhancing the risk of infection.
Risks of CBD Oil:
It is to be noted that majority of the official research about CBD oil has revealed that the use of CBD has quite a few negative side effects. Conversely, it is not without certain side effects. Most particularly, in the clinical studies about epilepsy, one among the more common side effects was sedation. Some patients also exhibited diarrhea and decreased appetite. Dependent on the other medicines taken by the patients some of them will have to undergo periodic blood tests to check on liver function (Shannon & Opila-Lehman, 2015).
Moreover, certain drug interactions may be caused by CBD. Conversely, in the opinion of Bonn-Miller evidence is there revealing that it does not have potential to become dependent (addicted).
CBD’s legality is a real mystery that is an obstacle making it hard for several researches to get off the ground. In all the 50 states, Hemp (a cannabis plant having less than three per cent THC), however when you begin extracting CBD from that plant’s flowers, which may be redefined technically the plant as marijuana.
In contrast, CBD that is marijuana-derived and whatever else extracted from a cannabis plant, DEA has still classified it as a Schedule I drug (described as a drug having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”) up to October 2018 (Ananth et.al, 2018). It was stated by the DEA in 2016 that all extracts that contain more than one cannabinoid will be classified as a drug of schedule I. Conversely, Epidiolex’s approval exerted an influence to change this, and prescription CBD drugs having a content of THC below 0.1% are now reclassified as Schedule 5, which is the lowest rating.
This suggests that still scientists may merely obtain marijuana-derived CBD from plantations having the license of National Institute on Drug Abuse. Some theories propose that THC- and even cannabis’s taste and smell could make CBD more effective. However, Bonn-Miller opines that such ideas are still to be proved.
CBD oil pain for pain treatment is very trendy and is also proving itself to be credible and legitimate in the eyes of science with incredible medicinal properties.
It is possible that CBD oil could make the medications currently taken by an individual less or more effective. For instance, CBD could improve effectiveness of anti-epileptic drugs like clobazam or valproate but could negatively impact other anti-epileptic drugs such as phenytoin and carbamazepine. Because of this reason and because of our very little knowledge on interacting of CBD with other medicines, it is very critical for you to discuss about CBD oil supplements with your doctor and calibrate your dosages in small increments as suggested.
Yet another thing to be considered is about the long-term effects CBD can have on hormones and other health aspects. There are no studies till today that examine the ways CBD oil supplementation affects the body over long durations of time. But there are some recent studies which confirm safety of CBD oil at recommended dosage in long term and short terms.
This must be kept in mind that all the studies discussed in this paper are performed with adults and animals. Thus, the safety of CBD oil for pregnant women and children is not clearly understood. But it is known that the endocannabinoid system is also an active component in the placenta and it impacts fetal development. It is expected that future research will find if CBD oil can help improve health of fetus and mother during pregnancy, but as for the present there is no evidence to support this assumption.
Ananth, P., Reed‐Weston, A., & Wolfe, J. (2018). Medical marijuana in pediatric oncology: A review of the evidence and implications for practice. Pediatric blood & cancer, 65(2), e26826.
Davis, M. P. (2014). Cannabinoids in pain management: CB1, CB2 and non-classic receptor ligands. Expert opinion on investigational drugs, 23(8), 1123-1140.
Häuser, W., Fitzcharles, M. A., Radbruch, L., & Petzke, F. (2017). Cannabinoids in Pain Management and Palliative Medicine: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Prospective Observational Studies. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 114(38), 627.
Oil, H. H. (2014). Everything You Need to Know About Buying CBD Oil Online.
Russo, E. B. (2001). Role of cannabis and cannabinoids in pain management. Pain management: A practical guide for clinicians, 357-375.
Serpell, M., Ratcliffe, S., Hovorka, J., Schofield, M., Taylor, L., Lauder, H., & Ehler, E. (2014). A double‐blind, randomized, placebo‐controlled, parallel group study of THC/CBD spray in peripheral neuropathic pain treatment. European journal of pain, 18(7), 999-1012.
Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2015). Cannabidiol oil for decreasing addictive use of marijuana: a case report. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 14(6), 31.
Schräder, N. H. B., Duipmans, J. C., Molenbuur, B., Wolff, A., & Jonkman, M. F. (2018). Combined THC and CBD to treat pain in epidermolysis bullosa: a report of three cases. British Journal of Dermatology.
Ware, M. A., Doyle, C. R., Woods, R., Lynch, M. E., & Clark, A. J. (2003). Cannabis use for chronic non-cancer pain: results of a prospective survey. Pain, 102(1-2), 211-216.