CBD for Fast and Effective Pain Relief
Like an obnoxious party guest or your lout of an uncle, pain can be a real pain in the butt. When it shows up, it reduces an otherwise fun, productive, or exciting day into a real disappointment.
The trouble with pain is that it has many sprawling effects. Pain can be debilitating, especially when it becomes continuous or chronic due to injuries, diseases, or disorders. It robs your motivation, saps your productivity, and drains your emotions.
Pain expresses itself in your muscles, your nervous system, and your joints. There’s even emerging evidence that emotional pain, if not dealt with effectively, can translate into physical pain.
Pain is a dangerous game in our healthcare system. Because pain is so uncomfortable, those who experience it regularly often seek relief in prescription medications: fentanyl, codeine, oxycodone, etc. The danger of these opioids was underreported because they came from a pharmacy and are prescribed by a man in a white coat. The result? Over 72,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2017.
Thankfully, scientists are working to uncover new remedies and methods to mitigate pain. One of the most promising avenues they are exploring deals with Cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD and Pain Relief
Cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring compound that can be found in the marijuana plant. Unlike its more well-known counterpart, THC, CBD won’t get you high. Instead, CBD is gaining traction for its near-miraculous capability to reduce pain, soothe anxiety, quiet seizures, and increase the immune system’s capabilities.
Although more research is still needed to fully uncover CBD’s healing potential, the results are pretty clear: CBD can reduce difficult-to-treat pain. But how?
Pain relief starts with how your body reacts when CBD is introduced. Your body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates functions like eating, sleeping, and relaxation. When CBD molecules bind to receptors in certain parts of that ECS, it reduces pain, inflammation, and hyperalgesia, or enhanced pain response. Study after study shows participants finding relief from pain through the use of CBD products.
Let’s take a look at some of the major types of pain, and our recommendation for the best form of CBD to help you find relief.
Definition: Any pain felt in the head region. A headache can occur on the left side of your head, the right side, or both. It may be concentrated into a single region or radiate across the scalp. Headache pain can feel vice-like, with bouts of stabbing and throbbing sensations.
Cause: The Mayo Clinic explains that headaches can be attributed to a whole host of lifestyle, behavioral, and medical causes. Simply put, you get a headache when you experience overactivity or malfunctioning within the pain-sensitive structures in your head. The trigger event for that activity could be deeply seated in your genetics, or it could be a reactionary event due to allergies, alcohol, dehydration, stress, or even poor posture.
CBD Recommendation: Inhalation or Vaporizer. Inhaling CBD vapor from a high-density cartridge is the quickest way to circulate CBD’s healing effects throughout the body. When you’re battling a headache that just won’t quit, or sensing a migraine beginning to develop, you want a fast dose that will directly cut your pain.
Definition: Pain experienced in the connection points between bones. Joint pain can cause sharp, dull, or radiating pain, and often interferes with and is exacerbated by movement. Commonly affected areas include the knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists.
Cause: Many different conditions can lead to joint pain. Joint pain can affect individuals of all ages, especially those who have experienced injuries or accidents. Regardless of the underlying issue, Arthritis.org explains that when joints become inflamed, resulting in “joint swelling, increased joint fluid, cartilage and bone damage, and muscle loss. Nerves in the joints are activated, causing pain.”
CBD Recommendation: Topical, Cream, or Oil. CBD’s healing properties can be absorbed through the skin. Although additional methods of using CBD might also be useful in decreasing your overall pain response, applying a CBD-based cream or oil directly to the affected area can produce powerful spot relief.
Definition: Pain that occurs in any of the muscles in the body, often the back, neck, and shoulders. Muscle pain is characterized by a sensation of “tightness” and is occasionally accompanied by swelling, tenderness, and redness. Because of the interconnectedness of your muscular system, muscle pain might be felt in areas other than the affected site. For example, a pulled muscle in your shoulder could result in referred pain in your neck.
Cause: Most instances of muscle pain occur as a direct result of stress, tension, or physical overexertion. However, Healthline also outlines medical conditions that can result in muscle pain, including:
- infections (flu, polio, or bacterial infections)
- autoimmune disorders (lupus, dermatomyositis, or polymyositis)
- use of certain medications or drugs
- thyroid problems (hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism)
- hypokalemia (low potassium)
CBD Recommendation: Edible. CBD comes in edible forms including gummies, chocolates, and other snack items. Eating or drinking your CBD allows your body to process it more slowly – although the onset of relief might come a bit slower, you’ll get longer-lasting results that will take the edge off your pain and help relax the affected areas.
Definition: Unique and often complex pain that can occur throughout the body or in concentrated areas. Nerve pain is associated with sensations like burning, tingling, stabbing, shooting, or prickling, and can be one of the hardest types of pain to address. Those with nerve pain might also experience full or partial numbness, paralysis, or atrophy.
Cause: There are a wide array of causes that can result in nerve pain. According to HealthDirect, a few of these might include brain injury, stroke, cancer, trapped nerves, heavy drinking, and diabetes among others.
When your nervous system is functioning normally, your nerves send messages to your brain as a result of a direct stimulus – accidentally touching a hot stove or banging your bare pinky toe against the corner of a piece of furniture (I’m cringing just thinking about that one). When an individual experiences nerve pain, the nervous system sends pain messages to the brain unprompted.
CBD Recommendation: Dried Flower. Although harder to come by, you can purchase CBD in flower form. It looks like a bud of marijuana, but the plant has been specially cultivated to contain only trace amounts of THC. The plant can be vaporized and then inhaled; it provides full-body soothing effects.
Discover New Paths to Pain Management
Pain is a complex issue, with many causes and symptoms. There is no magic pill. Finding out what remedies work best for you and your biochemistry is the best way to get yourself on the path to living a pain-free life. In addition to CBD, you might also want to explore mind-body strengthening practices like yoga, meditation, or visualization; or physical care like massage, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. CBD is the perfect complement for any pain management plan because it is so effective and well-tolerated.
No one should have to deal with pain day in and day out, or for weeks or months on end.
I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, pain often becomes an emotional experience laced with fear and anxiety. Will it get worse? When will it stop? How will I get through my day if it doesn’t go away? Knowing that relief is available through the use of CBD products and medications has been a powerful tool for me in managing both my pain and my anxiety. I encourage you to begin exploring your health and your body to find out what works best for you.
How do you find CBD to be most effective? Leave us a comment below letting us know what types of CBD products work best for you, and help our growing community learn more about CBD by sharing your personal experience.
Kyra is a freelance marketing and communications professional and the co-founder of K to Z Careers, a small business that helps individuals and entrepreneurs find their voice their in a busy digital world. Kyra holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English education. She’s worked in the health and wellness, hospitality, and addiction treatment/behavioral healthcare industries primarily in media, marketing, and content development. When she’s not working, Kyra absolutely loves to cook, and dedicates regular time to researching recipes, experimenting with exciting new ingredients, and generally making a sizeable mess in the kitchen. She also enjoys practicing Yoga, drawing, spending time with her fiance, and walking outdoors. She is a CBD user and advocate.