Many people are living day to day with aches and pains. They suffer through this with no end in sight and often times no treatment. Given the ongoing challenges of chronic pain management coupled with the consequences of the opioid epidemic, pain management practitioners and their patients are searching for effective and safer alternatives to opioids to alleviate pain. With the legalization of marijuana in many states and resulting cultural acceptance of this drug for recreational and medical use, there has been an increased interest in using cannabis for a myriad of medical problems, including pain. CBD is emerging as a promising pharmaceutical agent to treat pain, inflammation, seizures, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. The role of CBD in pain management continues to evolve, and evidence from animal studies has shown that CBD exerts its pain-relieving effects through its various interactions and modulation of the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive (pain-sensing) systems.
Cannabidiol has gained popularity as a promising complementary remedy for various health issues, including anxiety, epilepsy, and pain management. CBD is one of several cannabinoids that are naturally present in the cannabis plant. There is a vast range of CBD products, including oils, tinctures, balms, and candy, all of which may help people who are experiencing physical pain.
CBD and other cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. These receptors, combined with naturally occurring cannabinoids, make up the endocannabinoid system. The ECS consists of complex cell signaling pathways in the central nervous system and immune system.
There are endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids. Endogenous cannabinoids are naturally occurring lipids that the body produces. The body does not produce exogenous cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids, both endogenous and exogenous, bind to endocannabinoid receptors attached to cells. CBD does not bind very well to endocannabinoid receptors.
CBD comes in several different forms, including:
- oils and tinctures
- oral capsules or pills
- creams, balms, and salves
- topical patches
CBD gummies and capsules are for oral ingestion. Topical CBD products, on the other hand, are for external use only. People can apply these products to specific areas of the body, such as sore muscles or aching joints.
CBD oils and tinctures are more versatile than other forms. They usually come in tinted glass bottles with a dropper. People can either add a few drops of CBD oil to food or beverages or place a few drops under their tongue, where they can hold the oil for up to 1 minute before swallowing.
Products that undergo third-party testing will have a certificate of analysis, which is a document that contains information about the product’s CBD potency, the presence of THC and other cannabinoids, and safety test results.
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