Did you know that over 50 million adults in the U.S. live with arthritis? This is according to the Arthritis Foundation, but some estimates put this number much higher. What’s worse about this is the fact that cases of rheumatoid disease are constantly rising, and the medication given to combat the pain doesn’t work very well. The symptoms of bad joints usually include pain, stiffness, and the obvious limited mobility, which in itself affects productivity and leaves millions of people broke and unhappy.
The best that conventional medicine can offer for some of the more extreme cases of arthritis is painkillers and other numbing medication; but the downside is that some of the medication causes other problems including weight gain, weight loss, heart problems, anxiety, addiction, liver damage, among others. The interest in alternative medicine comes from the need to use products that don’t interfere with biological processes while offering relief for pain or other ailments.
CBD oil shows promise as a treatment for arthritis pain
CBD has been studied for its effect on pain than perhaps any other condition, and most of what we know from all the published papers is that it can reduce the sensation of pain by altering brain signals and releasing more of the pleasant hormones. But this is only a simplification of a much more complex process that involves the body’s own cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, the nervous system, and the brain.
But you don’t have to trust us; this story from the National Geographic details how Siberian burial sites were found to contain cannabis seeds from as far back as 3,000 B.C. Apparently the Chinese also used it for pain management thousands of years ago, and although it has taken the modern health community a long time to acknowledge the healing power inherent in both types of cannabis (sativa and indica), there’s no denying the value CBD has in treating pain, or its effectiveness.
Cannabidiol affects receptors in the brain and the immune system
The immune system response to pain can be altered through the endocannabinoid system. In fact, this is what happens when we use cannabidiol to treat pain. It works with brain receptors to manage pain threshold, reduce sensitivity, and release chemicals that create the feeling opposite to pain. CB1 and CB2 receptors have been mentioned quite a lot when describing how cannabidiol reduces pain, and this is accurate because the human body has its own cannabinoids which work through these same brain receptors. CBD engages with these pre-existing mechanisms in the body to change how we experience pain, and to manage how the immune system responds to it. One of the ways this happens is by reducing inflammation, and by targeting CB2 receptors to create more of a positive feeling.
CBD is effective against arthritis pain
Arthritis causes intense pain through the in the bones but despite how intense this experience might be, the same mechanism is involved here, which means that CBD can be used quite effectively to manage the pain. Some people have gone on to restore their old lives, get back to work, and live relatively happily because of combining cannabidiol with other forms of therapy to reduce pain. This piece of research published in Therapeutics & Clinical Risk Management showed how cannabinoids have helped people with chronic pain in developing a healthier day-to-day scenario that doesn’t involve immobility and sharp-shooting pain.
CBD relieves some of the stress caused by chronic pain
As you can imagine, one of the downsides of living with a debilitating medical condition and constant pain is high stress levels. Under normal conditions you wouldn’t be able to sleep through the night and your days would be just as miserable. This is what leads to many people to abuse pain medication – which can cause you to develop another problem. CBD not only treats the pain; it also helps you reduce stress and therefore release healthier hormones that can restore your energy, elevate your mood, and strengthen the immune system.
Is CBD safe?
Nobody can claim that any drug is completely, 100% safe; however, we can check clinical trials and other research to see how people respond or react to the compound. As far as the research goes, there hasn’t been any evidence to show that using cannabidiol in any form to treat pain can have negative effects in the body. That being said, some people have reported some unpleasant effects from taking too much CBD, or from using it the first time. Although uncommon, some side effects have been reported such as:
This article from Medscape outlines some of the questions people have about the safety of CBD, and for the most part, it is considered safe. At this point it’s worth noting that the FDA approved a CBD drug to treat a type of epilepsy not too long ago, which is a great indicator that the compound does have healing properties and is safe enough to use.
CBD doesn’t show up on drug tests
There has been some discussion about whether CBD is really a drug, or psychoactive, because the literature around it seems to suggest that it’s not a drug because it doesn’t make you high. This isn’t true. CBD is indeed a drug, and technically psychoactive because it changes the hormones and how a person feels. But still, it does this by working within the ECS in a way that makes it seem as if the body is just naturally healing itself. It doesn’t show up on drug tests either, which is an added plus.