The term chronic pain refers to ongoing pain that lasts longer than six weeks in duration. This can be caused by inflammation, injury, or as a symptom of another underlying medical issue. This condition is also often attributed to a misfiring of pain signals within the nervous system.
Life with a chronic pain condition is difficult and can feel hopeless. Because of this, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders can frequently co-occur. When pain begins to have this kind of impact on everyday life, it’s referred to as chronic pain syndrome (CPS). 25 percent of people suffering from chronic pain will go on to have CPS.
Chronic pain is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are entirely subjective. There is no test or universal benchmark to establish the severity or cause of chronic pain, so patients must fully communicate the depths of their condition to their healthcare team in order to obtain proper treatment.
Treatments for chronic pain largely depend on the reason why the pain is occurring in the first place, but usually involves a pain reliever of some sort to alleviate symptoms while figuring out what is causing the condition.
Medical studies have shown that extracts from the cannabis plant are effective in controlling chronic pain with a high rate of success.
Cannabidiol, an active compound in cannabis, offers pain sufferers relief without the risky side effects of pharmaceutical pain relievers, which may be addictive if used long term for a chronic condition. CBD doesn’t produce a high (unlike its famous counterpart, THC), and is a proven way to manage chronic pain.
CBD reduces the effects of chronic pain by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, the network within the body that regulates homeostasis on a cellular level. It works with receptors within the brain to help your body respond appropriately to stimuli without becoming overloaded and causing unnecessary pain signals. This causes CBD to have a potent analgesic effect, making it a useful tool for fighting chronic pain of many types and causes.
In addition, CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is involved in many pain conditions, and can throw your entire system out of whack by initiating attacks on systemic threats that aren’t there. This itself can cause pain in some people, and can exacerbate existing conditions to the point of causing chronic pain. CBD has proven many times over that it should be taken seriously as a scientific approach to fighting inflammation, and can be an effective step to eliminate chronic pain.
CBD products are available in many different forms, all of which can be beneficial for people suffering from chronic pain.
For long term relief, tinctures and edibles offer pain management that lasts for hours. Edibles come in the form of candy, gummies, lollipops, and other easy to eat snacks. Tinctures typically come in a bottle with a medicine dropper, and are best taken sublingually (under the tongue).
Both come with pros and cons (tinctures take effect faster, but edibles last longer), but both are effective ways to treat chronic pain with CBD.
CBD capsules are also helpful for people who want to use cannabidiol for chronic pain in a consistent and effective manner. These take the guesswork out of making sure you have the right dose, and are a convenient way for many people to take their CBD supplements.
CBD topical treatments can also provide relief. When rubbed into affected joints and muscles, CBD creams, lotions, salves, and balms interact with CB receptors in the skin and relieve pain that may be radiating from tender areas.
The right dosage of CBD for chronic pain depends greatly on the individual and the underlying condition or illness causing it. Because there’s likely to be some trial and error involved in figuring out which dose will work for your pain, experts typically suggest starting with a small amount and slowly increasing it until you find your ideal dose.
Start out by taking a dose of 10-20 mg, two to three times per day. If results aren’t experienced within a week or two, increase each dose to 25-30 mg. Keep in mind that taking too much CBD won’t make you sick, but may result in a less effective dose.
Topical CBD can be used similarly to Bengay or other topical analgesic treatments. Rub into the affected area, and wait for the relief to set in.
If left unmanaged, chronic pain can rob you of the ability to enjoy everyday life. CBD can help. By interacting with your pain on a cellular level, CBD can help get your symptoms back under control so you can begin to feel like yourself again.
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