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Does it work?
Yes. One of the many properties that have drawn millions of people to the magic of CBD is the simple fact that yes, CBD plays a key factor in the reduction of pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Moreso, CBD reduces pain, inflammation, and discomfort naturally. Naturally meaning without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. This is especially significant because unlike many pharmaceutical pain relief medications, CBD is neither addictive, nor habit forming.CBD is also known for lacking the side-effects that traditional opioid pharmaceuticals bring into your body. (See the post on CBD and addiction here.)
How does it work?
How does CBD fight pain, reduce inflammation, and combat discomfort? Well, the answer lies deep in the science behind what CBD is and how it interacts with your brain and body. As we have previously outlined, CBD works within your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell signaling system that each and every one of us has. In your ECS lives your endocannabinoid receptors, said receptors are key actors in your brain function and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells. They receive signals, mostly chemical ones, from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. So, we know that CBD does play a role in pain relief, and, scientifically speaking, we know how.
How do you use CBD for pain relief?
CBD comes in many different forms, and as we continue to explore CBD’s many uses and medicinal properties, we will educate on each form of CBD “consumption” for lack of a better word. For now, as it pertains to the relief of pain, we will primarily focus on CBD oil. CBD oil is a highly concentrated liquid whose primary ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then infusing oil with the extraction. Coconut and hemp seed oils are commonly used as the carrier oil. I also want to take a moment here to make something clear that was not clear to me when I began my own CBD education. CBD oil, and CBD tincture, while often used interchangeably, are not always the same. A tincture comes in the form of a tincture, duh, but it also may have additional ingredients for flavor, and different compounds depending on intended use. CBD oil, on the other hand, while it can be in the form of a tincture, it may also come in the form of soft gel, capsule, and oil to be vaped (ie. a cartridge).
Anyways, here are the ways that we recommend using CBD oil for pain relief:
Orally: First, in my opinion, the easiest way to consume CBD is in the form of a capsule or soft gel. You would take this form of CBD in the same way that you would take a vitamin or daily medication, just wash it down with a nice glass of water. Or you could add some CBD oil to your food or drink and consume it that way, many of the oils developed now are virtually tasteless, so no worries there. The one downside to oral consumption of CBD is that it’s not as fast-acting as the other methods that we’ll dive into in a moment. Digesting CBD orally essentially means that the CBD’s pain relieving properties will kick in as soon as your body metabolizes it, which is different for everyone.
Under the Tongue (Sublingually): Administering CBD oil under the tongue is one of the quickest ways to experience relief. The active ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, nice and fast acting. Of course when dropping CBD oil under the tongue you will get a taste of the CBD oil, I don’t think it’s bad, but this is very much so personal preference.
Topically: Finally, perhaps the most common way CBD is used in general is in topical form. CBD oils can be infused into your daily moisturizers or creams that you already use or you can purchase premade topical salves, roll-ons, lotions, etc. Topical application is great because you can target the specific pain point; achey, stiff joints, sore muscles, etc.
Dosage: as a general rule of thumb, start low and increase in small increments (5mgs to 10 mgs) if you’re not getting the relief you’re looking for. We recommend starting with 25 mgs!
Two of the most frequently asked questions that pertain to CBD and pain relief is whether or not
CBD helps with arthritis and joint pain, and headaches and migraines. It sure does.
CBD for Arthritis & Joint Pain Relief
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints that results in pain, discomfort, stiffness, and decreased mobility. Arthritis and joint pain are debilitating and prevent people from performing, better yet enjoying, everyday activities. It’s because of this that countless studies, pharmaceuticals, and medical experiments have been created in search of some sort of relief. Naturally, one of these experiments contained Cannabidiol (CBD).
In this 2016 study, CBD was given to rats with arthritis (Fleur does not condone animal testing, nor test our own products on animals). My reasoning for sharing this study is not that I think testing CBD on animals is appropriate, instead that it gives strong scientific evidence on the effectiveness of CBD in reducing real inflammation due to arthritis and joint pain. This study was looking into CBD as an alternative form of arthritis pain relief due to the many side effects associated with other arthritis remedies. CBD was applied transdermally to the infected areas and the joints were measured for reduction in inflammation. The rats were also monitored for any potential side effects associated with the CBD treatment. The results of this study concluded that CBD not only greatly reduced the levels of inflammation around the joints but did so without producing any recognizable side effects. “These data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
CBD has been trusted to reduce inflammation in labs, pets, and of course, you and I. While this specific study explored the use of topical CBD relief and the application of CBD oil to the targeted area, there is also evidence that taking CBD sublingually or orally produces similar results. It truly is personal preference. For me, I enjoy our CBD roll on, for topical applications. If I am having overwhelming aches and pains, I like the CBD soft gel with Curcummin for extra inflammation relief!
CBD for Headaches & Migraine Relief
If you get migraines you know the intensity of migraine attacks. Migraines go beyond the typical stress or sinus pressure headaches. It’s understood in the migraine community (I just named it that right now), that the only cure for your migraine pain is a dark, silent room, with the hope that you’ll be able to fall asleep long enough for the pain to subside. Migraines can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days and require a complete halt in your daily activities. Besides that dark and quiet room, there really is a lack in actual treatments for migraine headaches, and all current pharmaceutical solutions come with their own lists of possible side effects.
Research on the use of CBD for migraine pain is limited. Existing studies look at the combined effects of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a different cannabinoid. There are currently no published studies that examine the effects of CBD as a single ingredient on migraine. This limited research is due, in part, to regulations on CBD and obstacles with cannabis legalization. Still, some laboratory studies have suggested that CBD oil may help all forms of chronic and acute pain, including migraine.
For migraine sufferers you’ll likely want to explore vaping or orally taking CBD. Vaping could be a great way to access migraine relief on the go/vaping allows CBD to enter the bloodstream faster than all other methods. Vaping does however come with it’s own stigmas and risks associated with inhalation. Vaping is not recommended for people with asthma or other lung conditions. Alternatively, taking CBD orally or sublingually for migraine relief offers the same benefits with a slightly longer timeframe for entering your bloodstream. For those considering oral consumption we recommend a sublingual tincture to start, one dropper at a time under the tongue until relieved. Again, as far as figuring out what dosage works for you we advise that you start low, with 25 mg, and then increasing incrementally.
Are there side effects when using CBD?
CBD is understood to be a remarkably safe alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Though no serious or life threatening side effects have been found with using CBD there are some side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications.
Drowsiness: I’m hesitant to list drowsiness as a side effect of CBD because it is often a welcomed and desired effect. CBD has sedative qualities that are not only known to make for better, more restful sleep, but also to combat over stimulation and anxiety. The relaxing and sedating effects of CBD however, could get intense if combined with other sedative drugs. If you’re currently on other medication, make sure you ask your doctor if it’s okay to supplement with CBD.
Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea and gastrointestinal issues are a pretty common side effect of CBD oil. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and other symptoms associated with a digestive problem (think how you would feel after eating something that disagreed with you). In part, some people simply don't digest CBD oil well. This is not uncommon with oils and supplements.
Dry Mouth / Reduced Appetite: Ironically, perhaps, for a cannabis product, CBD oil has been linked to loss of appetite in some people. (Again, think eating something new that your body didn’t agree with.) Along with dry mouth, a rather non-ironic effect of a cannabis product. CBD can simply leave you feeling unpleasant after ingesting. As with most other side effects, this will pass in time.
Again CBD poses no significant side effects, but does have a few mild ones. Mild side effects will pass with time. It is important to understand CBD as medicine when it comes to adding it to your regimen. That being said, be sure to consult your doctor if you have a pre-existing health condition or take other prescription or OTC medications regularly.