The Benefits of CBD for Inflammation and Pain Management

When people hear someone talking about CBD or CBD oil, they often think the individual is using it to get high, but CBD is not linked to an altered mental state or dependence [1]. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural extract from the cannabis plant and it is becoming more widely used due to its ability to help ease pain and inflammation.

CBD supports a healthy pain response by enhancing the activity of specific proteins in the body that regulate pain responses, including, for example, short term pain that is experienced due to joint inflammation for example [2]. More specifically, CBD use reduces movement-induced pain [2]. In addition to influencing pain responses, CBD also eases pain by improving the regulation of nerves that contribute to pain sensations [3].

CBD targets inflammation through its calming effect on the nervous system and the immune system [4, 5]. Irritated nerves as well as an overactive immune system can actually worsen inflammation [6]. CBD promotes a healthy immune response, which disrupts its overactivity and prevents the accumulation of substances that contribute to inflammation. In doing so, CBD demonstrates immune-regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

The inflammation and pain management properties of CBD are especially beneficial for people who have joint problems such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, but CBD targets discomfort in different parts of the body as well [4, 5]. For instance, some people suffering from nerve pain, multiple sclerosis-associated inflammation, and cancer pain have tried CBD and reported improved well-being when more conventional approaches failed to provide them with significant relief [7-9].

These benefits have been demonstrated when it is inhaled in a liquid form through a vaporizer, when CBD oil is placed under the tongue in tincture or spray form, or when it is consumed as a tea, but it has also been found to improve discomfort when it is used topically [10]. Indeed, CBD is potent enough to penetrate through the skin where it can stimulate proteins that regulate inflammatory processes. This makes topical forms optimal for those who prefer not to take it orally or who want rapid relief without having to use stronger medicated creams.

Overall, CBD has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to support the management of pain and inflammation without causing unwanted side effects. Therefore, it is a safe and useful alternative to conventional approaches that are typically used to address various types of discomfort.

It is important to use CBD, and not a mixture of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, as THC is the substance in cannabis that is associated with side effects such as psychosis, dependence, and even schizophrenia in some individuals [11]. CBD alone is potent enough to target even the most difficult types of pain [12], thereby making it an especially attractive alternative for long-term pain and inflammation management.

 

 

References

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  2. Schuelert N, McDougall JJ. The abnormal cannabidiol analogue O-1602 reduces nociception in a rat model of acute arthritis via the putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55. Neurosci Lett. 2011;500(1):72-76.
  3. La Porta C, Bura SA, Negrete R, Maldonado R. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in osteoarthritis pain. Eur J Neurosci. 2014;39(3):485-500.
  4. Malfait AM, Gallily R, et al. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000;97(17):9561-9566.
  5. Sumariwalla PF, Gallily R, et al. A novel synthetic, nonpsychoactive cannabinoid acid (HU-320) with antiinflammatory properties in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2004;50(3):985-998.
  6. Zhang JM, An J. Cytokines, inflammation, and pain. Int Anesthesiol Clin. 2007;45(2):27-37.
  7. Mechoulam R, Hanus L. Cannabidiol: an overview of some chemical and pharmacological aspects. Part I: chemical aspects. Chem Phys Lipids. 2002; 121(1-2):35-43.
  8. Mechoulam R, Parker LA, Gallily R. Cannabidiol: an overview of some pharmacological aspects. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002; 42(S1):11S-19S.
  9. Burstein SH, Zurier RB. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and related analogs in inflammation. AAPS J. 2009; 11(1):109-119.
  10. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936-948.
  11. Berman JS, Symonds C, Birch R. Efficacy of two cannabis based medicinal extracts for relief of central neuropathic pain from brachial plexus avulsion: results of a randomised controlled trial. Pain. 2004; 112(3):299-306.
  12. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259.
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