Cannabis has dozens of active compounds and components, of which CBD is perhaps the most studied. The current research shows consistent potential benefits for human consumption or use, ranging from pain relief to muscle spasm control. While further studies are needed, it is worth stopping to take stock of CBDs potential as an analgesic, and what conditions this might help patients tackle.
But what is cannabidiol, the substance which mostly goes by its acronym: CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid contained in high percentages in high-CBD strains of hemp (and to a lesser extent in cannabis with high THC content), and it can interact in beneficial ways with our organism. For example, CBD is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and has many other properties that are currently being studied in multiple research institutes.
Today we want to focus on the analgesic effect of CBD, sharing the latest studies done on it and attesting to its natural therapeutic potential.
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What CBD is (in brief) and how it can be an effective painkiller
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, which is an active ingredient found naturally in hemp plants. We can find it in high amounts in both legal cannabis flowers and other products such as CBD oil, legal CBD hashish and even topical products.
Unlike THC, CBD has no psychotropic effects, so it does not affect our psyche in any way. Instead, it acts at the body level by limiting inflammation, pain, muscle spasticity, and many other problems, often related even to serious pathologies.
Research on the effects of CBD used as an analgesic is promising, so much so that many people use hemp drops for chronic pain as an alternative to opioids. However, CBD oil does not (yet) have a reputation as a therapeutic product, as more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of cannabidiol in humans.
Specifically, several studies have shown that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which is made up of endocannabinoid receptors in our brain and immune system.
These receptors are precisely small proteins attached to cells whose main function is to pick up signals and help cells respond to them. When the receptors interact with CBD, receiving signals from the cannabinoid, they respond in different ways: the most obvious ones are pain relief and de-inflammation, but there is no lack of immunoregulatory effects, anti-emetic, antispasmodic, and many more effects.
In particular, CBD buds and their derivatives seem to be extremely effective in combating chronic pain, neuropathic pain, migraines, and even cancer-related pain.
Now let’s look at the two most studied subjects in humans: cannabidiol as an analgesic to combat chronic pain and CBD used in cancer therapies.
CBD for osteoarthritis, arthritis, and other conditions that cause chronic pain.
The analgesic effect of CBD can help people with chronic pain such as back pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and more.
For example, a 2016 study evaluated the benefits of cannabidiol in laboratory mice with arthritis and concluded that: transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis, that study was published in Eur J Pain).
Mice received 0.6, 3.1, 6.2 or 62.3 milligrams of CBD for 4 consecutive days. The researchers noted that mice that received low doses of cannabidiol found no significant benefit, while mice that took at least 6.2 mg of CBD per day experienced a marked reduction in both joint pain and inflammation.
Scholars can hypothesize that CBD therapy could help people with arthritis and even animals (in fact, there is CBD sativa or sensitive CBD oil for dogs ), sparing them the continuous intake of analgesic drugs, which have very serious side effects.
Despite this, more research in humans is needed to confirm this hypothesis with certainty.
The benefits of cannabidiol in people with cancer.
CBD as an analgesic is also a potential aid for cancer patients, particularly in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Specifically, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) studies on CBD affirm that this cannabinoid can be a valid ally for cancer patients, as it is capable of significantly attenuating the serious side effects of therapies.
Human research provides good results regarding the reduction of the following symptoms after taking CBD cannabis:
- Lack of appetite
Another cannabinoid study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM) shows that the combined use of THC, CBD and opioids has a greater analgesic effect than the use of opioids alone.
This means that the two active ingredients in cannabis have a remarkable analgesic effect.
However, even in this case, more human research is needed that can confirm the benefits of using CBD to attenuate chronic pain and as a result of other therapies.
The analgesic effect of CBD is commonly the subject of studies that, however, have been conducted mainly in the laboratory (in test tubes and in mice). Studies conducted directly on humans are, for the moment, small and scarce. This is why cannabidiol has not yet been formalized as a therapeutic active ingredient.
As a result, products based on this compound (such as CBD sativa oil and CBD sensitiva oil) cannot be sold as therapeutic, although they retain all the positive effects of cannabidiol.
We hope that research on this natural compound will continue to flourish and can help many patients combat pain and other symptoms.
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First published in El Vocero, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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