What Is CBD Oil and Can It Help Treat Chronic Pain?
How CBD Helps With Chronic Pain
I'm fairly reluctant to dabble with medication. So when I had exhausted all of my efforts to manage my chronic pain in my lower back and cervical neck area, I was looking for another solution.
I've been a big fan of using ergonomic props while working on the computer, taking Epsom salt baths at the end of the day, apply topical muscle-relaxing gels, using heat on sore areas, throwing turmeric in my coffee . . . the list goes on.
One day my sister offered me CBD tincture for sleep. We were staying at my aunt's house for a family wedding the next and getting ready for bed. I took about 1 mL of the tincture and did not expect anything. I went to sleep, slept wonderfully, and woke up ready for the day.
It took me over a month to think back and realize WHY I had slept so well and woke up so pain-free when sleeping at my aunt's. After all, I was sleeping on a futon—I figured I was just sleep-deprived and must've really needed rest. In reality, I had woken up pain-free for the first time in a long time thanks to the CBD tincture I had tried. I decided to give it another try.
What Does CBD Feel Like?
You most likely will not notice any effects of CBD unless you are a chronic pain sufferer. I say this with 100% sincerity. You may find that you feel generally calmer, less anxious, more relaxed before bed and transition much more easily into sleep, but you will never take CBD and be sitting there thinking, "Ok, now I feel it." It just doesn't work that way if you aren't painful. If you are painful, you finally feel "normal" as in pain-free. It's a very pleasant change and so subtle you really can't put your finger on any particular "feeling."
How Much CBD Should I Take?
You need to check the strength of the bottle and the recommended allowances. I've taken anything from 7 mg when I first tried CBD to 50 mg at night for sleep and pain. I tend to do well at 15 mg but it's different for everyone and the quality of the product may differ.
How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work?
CBD drastically helps to relieve my chronic pain. When I apply it topically, it takes about 10 minutes to start to offer relief. It sort of just erases the pain. As for oral consumption, it usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour. Sometimes it can take under 20 minutes if I take a tincture in a carrier oil on an empty stomach. It may vary person to person.
How Do You Use CBD?
The body contains the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is involved in sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system function. What's nice about CBD is that it is not psychoactive. It is easy to consume, too, and comes in various forms for consumption. CBD is C02 extracted, so it does not need to be inahled to be consumed. Most individuals take it orally—tincture, tablet, lozenge, or apply it topically as well.
What Works Best for My Chronic Pain
I've found that a combination of topical application on my painful sites combined with an oral tablet works best for me. I've used tinctures, too, and they are certainly more affordable depending on the quality (bottles range from $30.00 to over $100.00), but I find there to be solid discrepancies among the products. Some tinctures will be clear and based in coconut oil, while others will be based in olive oil and have a nutty flavor.
The Health Benefits of CBD
Reduces Neurodegenerative Inflammation
Eases Muscle and Joint Pain
Prevents Sebaceous Gland Overactivity
Reduces Symptoms of Spinal Injuries
Is CBD Legal?
CBD that is derived from the hemp plant is indeed legal, but this answer gets confusing. CBD plant is unique in that it can be both derived from the hemp plant and the weed plant. CBD or cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant is what you find in your local markets and is easy to purchase without question. In fact, many products these days contain CBD derived from hemp—honey sticks, latte discs, etc.
What Is CBD Isolate and What Is Full Spectrum CBD?
Full spectrum CBD contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in low concentrations (up to 0.3%) and has very little psychoactive stimulation. CBD isolate is purified and extracted from the weed plant.
Can CBD Get You High?
No. The hemp plant contains less than 0.3% which is not enough to produce any psychoactive effects. When purchasing a product, make sure that the bottle reads 0 mg THC if you are concerned (most products with 0 mg THC will be of high quality and sold at designated dispensaries).
Can CBD Solve the Opioid Crisis?
The opioid crisis is out of control. According to HHS.gov, opioids caused more than 42,000 deaths in 2016. Wow. Whenever I think about prescription pain medication, it makes me nervous. For one, I've had surgery for sports injuries in the past—foot surgery, a tonsillectomy at 25, etc. I've been prescribed heavy pain meds and I can very well see how abusive they could be.
As someone who wants to live a pain-free life, I have no desire to have pain relief of that form. That's why CBD has really changed my life. If only it could become more widely available and at a more affordable rate so that others can benefit. It is even emerging as a method of treatment for anxious or painful companion animals and may very well be prescribable at least in California come 2020.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
CBD is considered non-toxic to humans, so too much CBD won't necessarily result in any signs of toxicity but will produce the following symptoms:
- Rebound anxiety and depression
- GI Upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
Always communicate with your designated healthcare professional before trying a new supplement. CBD is not FDA-approved.
Video: How Does CBD Work?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2018 Layne Holmes