Everyone is pushing themselves further and harder today. Many think that living with pain is necessary. From long schedules keeping us on our feet 12 to 18 hours per day to training to stay in top physical shape, people are going non-stop. Research shows one in five Americans has chronic pain. However, experience shows that there is s a right and a wrong way to relieve sore muscles and joints. America’s opioid epidemic is unfortunately still raging. That leaves some consumers heading in two directions—giving up on relief or looking for an all-natural remedy.
This is not happening only in the U.S. Daily pain affects people worldwide. Although it is not easy to pinpoint the exact statistics for global chronic pain, world health agencies estimate 1.5 billion people experience chronic pain that gets in the way of their quality of life. These sobering numbers do not even include acute pain, such as soreness following a workout, the occasional headache, or post-surgical discomfort. The world’s population is suffering, but it does not have to be this way. Many consumers are turning to CBD for pain.
An Overview of CBD
What is CBD? Also known as cannabidiol, it is one of over 525 naturally occurring compounds produced in the hemp plant’s trichomes. The non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid works with the other compounds to promote many wellness benefits for consumers. Cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other essential nutrients are extracted from the flowers and leaves. The popular compound is legal in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, and many European and South American countries.
Studies show that CBD interacts with neurotransmitters. These send chemical signals that affect mood, anxiousness, and inflammation levels. Researchers believe CBD can work with the endocannabinoid system to regulate pain perception and inflammation.
The compound does not get people high. Although the two plants share many characteristics, including appearance, aroma, flavor, and chemical makeup, they have one very big difference. Hemp does not make enough THC, which is the intoxicating compound found in large amounts in cannabis. Instead, hemp’s THC percentage is capped at 0.3% in the U.S. and 0.2% throughout the UK and much of Europe.
The Endocannabinoid System
You have heard of the nervous and digestive systems, but did you know about the endocannabinoid system? If this is the first time you are hearing about it, you are not alone. The discovery is relatively new. Scientists confirmed its existence in the early 1990s. Also known as the ECS, it is a biological system that helps regulate the body’s functions. It is mostly made up of endocannabinoid or internal cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, including the brain, central nervous system, immune cells, and peripheral tissues. The two most-studied receptors are the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and Cannabinoid Receptor two. They are both involved in memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite, and more.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. When these attach to cannabinoid receptors, they stimulate various physical processes. They also interact with enzymes that either make or break down neurotransmitters.
How CBD for Pain Works
As mentioned above, CBD has a complex relationship with the endocannabinoid system that shows promise for helping consumers find pain relief. CBD increases levels of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood and suppresses pain perception. The compound also works with CB2 receptors found throughout the body’s immune cells. The interaction stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory molecules on the spot, which helps relieve sore muscles and joints.
Research shows CBD has powerful antioxidant properties that directly affect pain. It inhibits COX-2 enzymes, which promote pain and inflammation. That shows CBD can do the same job as over-the-counter pain medications without the risks. Top cannabinoid doctor Bonni Goldstein, MD, wrote an article for ProjectCBD recommending phytocannabinoids instead of traditional NSAIDs, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Long-term daily use of NSAIDs can be dangerous. They can cause ulcers, liver damage, and an increased risk of cardiovascular issues in people over 60. In addition, CBD stimulates the release of cytokines that prevent swelling and redness in affected parts.
The bottom line is that CBD works with the body, not against it. Over time, regular use of CBD for pain management may give people better overall health and stronger resistance to illness. This makes the compound a great option for aging consumers dealing with the chronic aches and pains associated with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and sports injuries.
Let us Help
Remember that cannabinoids are an emerging industry. While there is enough evidence of their effectiveness for all levels of discomfort, including chronic pain, extensive research is still necessary. These are just a few of the benefits of using CBD for pain. While more research is required to uncover all of its potential uses, it seems to be a very versatile and safe compound. CBD is non-addictive and has no known side effects other than slight fatigue in large doses. Read part two of this article, CBD for Pain in Today’s Challenging World-Part 2. You will learn more about terpenes, the different ways to use CBD, dosing suggestions, and why your brand needs private label CBD products on your store’s shelves.