Pros & Cons of CBD Oil for Pain Management

What is CBD Oil?

CBD or Cannabidiol oil is derived from a cannabis plant which is controversial in its usage, because of recreational marijuana use. Even though it is extracted from marijuana or hemp plants, CBD oil is popular for its medicinal usage with the least amount of intoxication in comparison to other cannabinoids.

CBD is available in various forms including oils,  balms, candy and other edibles which are extremely helpful for people experiencing physical pain. Many people use CBD for medical conditions such as treating chronic pain, arthritis, joint pain and anxiety. CBD oil is a mixture of CBD and an inert carrier oil such as coconut oil in varying concentrations. 

CBD is a chemical found in marijuana or hemp plants. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, and CBD does not cause high effects.

 

What Medical Conditions are treated with CBD?

CBD is a promising option for pain relief treatment, researchers are still skeptical about its safety and effectiveness. It is effective in relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation, however these effects are condition-specific. CBD has properties helpful in treating medical condition such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory- Potential to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis
  • Anti-oxidative- Helps in reducing systemic inflammation by fighting oxidative stress as well as potent in decreasing symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as lupus
  • Antiemetic-It is beneficial in decreasing vomiting and nausea associated with cancer treatments
  • Antipsychotic- Affecting in easing symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Neuroprotective- It may help to slow the progression of neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis

Some of the medical conditions treated with CBD are:

  • Neuro-protection- This is mainly caused by damage to the nerves and is a result of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, injuries like herniated discs, and infections like shingles. Body produces neurotransmitters which bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system thus reducing chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptors and reducing inflammation as well as interacting with neurotransmitters. CBD oil helps in reducing the inflammation that might worsen the neurodegenerative symptoms.
  • Pain Relief-The effects of CBD oil on the brain’s receptors would also help in managing the pain. Cannabis offers many benefits taken after chemotherapy treatments. Other roles of cannabis in relieving symptoms caused by arthritis, chronic pain, muscle pain and spinal cord injuries.
  • Anxiety relief- CBD helps in managing and providing relief from anxiety by reducing stress, decreasing physiological effects of anxiety like increased heart rate, relief in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as inducing sleep in case of insomnia.
  • Anti-Seizure-Seizures are caused due to changes in the electrical activity in the brain. CBD helps in reducing the frequency of seizures in people suffering with epilepsy. Epidiolex is a commonly prescribed CBD drug which is approved by FDA and is used to treat epilepsy.
  • Multiple sclerosis-Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition which affects the body through the nerves and brain with muscle spasms as one of the most common symptoms. The spasms might be strong causing constant pain. The short-term use of CBD oil helps in reducing the levels of muscle spasms resulting in reduction of symptoms.
  • Cancer Treatment- CBD is effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells, reducing anxiety, improving the action of chemotherapy as well as lessen the side effects of conventional chemotherapy. CBD might also reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting that are common chemotherapy-related side effects for those suffering with cancer.
  • Acne- CBD oil helps in reducing acne which is a common condition affecting more than 9% of the population. Acne might be caused by a number of factors such as genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum which is an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin. CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties as well as ability to reduce sebum production from sebaceous glands (secreting excessive sebum) and prevents the activation of pro-acne agents like inflammatory cytokines.
  • Heart Health- CBD has several benefits for the heart and circulatory system such as lowering high blood pressure that is linked to higher risks of health conditions, such as stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome. The stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for lowering the blood pressure. CBD also helps in reducing the inflammation and cell death related with heart disease because of its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.

 

CBD is also helpful in other conditions like:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing drug withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing effects of Alzheimer’s diseas
  • Reducing antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia
  • Potentially combating type 1 diabetes
  • Reducing symptoms and side effects of cancer
  • Reducing the effect of tumors

 

CBD has also shown promising improvement in symptoms related to medical conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Migraine, Osteoarthritis, PTSD and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What are the Side Effects of CBD?

CBD oil is beneficial in treating multiple medical conditions; however, there are many side-effects of CBD such as:

  • sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • liver damage
  • fertility problems in males
  • potentially severe interactions with alcohol and certain medications

 

Most people tolerate CBD oil easily without the side-effects, but rarely there are some possible side effects.

  • CBD oil taken with other medications might make other medications a little less effective.
  • CBD might interact with certain over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications as well as certain dietary supplements.
  • CBD should not be used with medications or supplements containing grapefruit warning as grapefruit and CBD might interfere with enzymes that are crucial to drug metabolism.
  • CBD might also increase the risk of liver toxicity due to increase in level of liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation).
  • CBD oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it causes potential risks to a baby's development.

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