If you suffer from chronic pain, you know how complex it is — affected by moods, biology, and weather, as well as other factors. Pain comes from many sources and affects people in different ways. It only makes sense that people also respond differently to interventions, medications, and procedures.
A relatively new tool in the pain management toolkit is cannabinoid oil, or CBD, which some patients find helpful.
First, it’s important to understand that cannabidiol is a chemical found naturally in cannabis plants, commonly known as marijuana or hemp. However, CBD does not contain the chemical THC, which provides the feeling of being high that many people associate with marijuana.
At Lipson Pain Institute, our approach is to build relationships with patients to assist in diagnoses and developing treatment plans to address the root cause of their physical pain. Typically, this is a combination of education, lifestyle changes, medication, and procedural interventions. One goal is to reduce or eliminate the patient’s need for addictive pain medications. Opiods may have been prescribed for acute pain, such as surgical pain, but they can have serious side effects when used for on-going, chronic pain. The use of CBD oil has proven to be effective in reducing symptoms and medication dependence for some chronic pain sufferers.
So what are the potential benefits of CBD oil for pain relief?
CBD oil is known to dissolve in fats, which allows it to be carried across the blood-brain barrier and to affect your central nervous system. It has proven to be:
- anti-inflammatory, so as to reduce joint pain;
- anti-oxidative, reducing systemic inflammation and boosting immune response; and
- neuroprotective, reducing pain signals and helping to slow the progression of neurological disorders.
Specific pain-related conditions that may be helped by CBD include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Neuropathic Pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic pain can also be disabling and frequently leads to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue that interrupt sleep patterns. Sleep loss can exacerbate pain symptoms. CBD may help patients relax to get much-needed restful sleep.
(It’s vitally important to be aware that CBD can interact negatively with some common medications, such as blood thinners and heart medications. Drugs with a “grapefruit warning” are included. Review your prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements with your doctor before using CBD.)