Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. You can even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?
How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Is cannabidiol legal?
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status has been in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal – that would be like making oranges legal, but keeping orange juice illegal.
The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the possession of drugs. In essence, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) – even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first cannabis-derived medicine approved by the FDA for these conditions.
Animal studies, and self-reports or research in humans, suggest CBD may also help with:
Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety.
- Insomnia. Studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Chronic pain. Further human studies are needed to substantiate claims that CBD helps control pain. One animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to skin. Other research identifies how CBD may inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are difficult treat.
- Addiction. CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some research in humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help lessen cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.
Is CBD safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level of blood thinning and other medicines in your blood by competing for the liver enzymes that break down these drugs. Grapefruit has a similar effect with certain medicines.
People taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver related blood tests. Many non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. So, you should let your doctor know if you are regularly using CBD.
A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot be sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other unknown elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
How can CBD be taken?
CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical preparations for use on skin. If you’re hoping to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion or cream – or even a bath bomb — may be the best option. Alternatively, a CBC patch or a tincture or spray designed to be placed under the tongue allows CBD to directly enter the bloodstream.
Outside of the US, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and for cancer pain. Within the US, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.
The bottom line on cannabidiol
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer or COVID-19, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may prove to be a helpful, relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD currently is typically available as an unregulated supplement, it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting.
If you decide to try CBD, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source. And talk with your doctor to make sure that it won’t affect any other medicines you take.
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain
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CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years. This isn’t a surprising trend, especially considering the fact that CBD is therapeutically versatile, well-studied, and is generally safe and well-tolerated.
Unlike THC, which is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis and hemp plants, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. Because CBD doesn’t cause a high, it appeals to a wider audience, especially those who are looking for natural relief.
One of the biggest benefits that CBD may offer is pain relief. CBD has shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is often the underlying cause of aches and pains. If you’re interested in using CBD to keep chronic pain at bay, you’ve come to the right place!
Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD oil for pain so that you can feel your best everyday.
CBD and Its Impact on Pain
Everyone has a cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When ingested, CBD interacts with the core components of the system, including receptors located in the immune system and throughout the brain.
All cells have receptors, which are responsible for receiving chemical signals from stimuli, which in turn help the cells properly respond. In terms of pain, CBD helps to create pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, which greatly helps with pain management.
CBD has shown to be effective in relieving various types of chronic pain, including pain caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even neuropathic pain.
Tips for the Best Pain Relief
Now that you know how CBD interacts within the body to ease aches and pains, you may be more interested than ever to enjoy these benefits. But before you run out and buy CBD, there are some tips and tricks that you’ll want to know.
Choose the Right Product
There are hundreds of CBD products on the market, including oils, capsules, topicals, and unique products like bath bombs, drinks, and even dried fruit. When treating pain with CBD, it’s important to choose a product that best meets your needs. There are definitely certain CBD products that may be more suitable for treating pain than others, but the fact is that any form of CBD will reduce inflammation.
CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of CBD. This is because oil is easy to take and offers fast, long-lasting results. CBD oil is taken sublingually, which allows the cannabinoid to quickly make its way into the bloodstream. These days, CBD oil is available in all sorts of flavors, including mint, various fruits, and even dessert-type flavors.
If you aren’t a fan of putting oil under your tongue, CBD edibles are another popular option. Edibles are meant to resemble gummy candies that taste great while also offering the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Many prefer gummies and other edible products because they’re convenient, taste good, and require no special dosing.
For those with muscle aches and pains, a topical CBD product may be beneficial. There are all sorts of lotions, creams, and slaves that can be applied to the skin to minimize pain. Many topical CBD products are made with menthol or capisicum for further relief.
Other options that can be used for pain relief include:
When choosing the type of CBD product, it’s most important to find one that offers the best relief and experience. For example, if you aren’t someone who likes to take pills, you wouldn’t want to buy CBD capsules. Choose a product that you like and actually enjoy using. You want to have a great experience from beginning to end.
Choose the Right Extract
There are three different types of CBD extract that can be used to make CBD products. These include isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum. Understanding the differences between each of these extracts will make it easier to find a product that best meets your needs.
Isolate is the purest form of CBD. As the name implies, CBD isolate has been isolated from all of the other plant compounds. Products that contain CBD isolate are pure CBD. There are no traces of other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.
Full spectrum CBD contains all of the whole plant compounds, including THC. While these products do contain THC, which is known for its psychoactive properties, the legal amount must be less than 0.3%. This is a very small percentage, which won’t cause any noticeable effects. So using a product that is made with full spectrum CBD won’t get you high.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of other plant compounds but don’t want any exposure to THC, look for a product that contains broad spectrum CBD. This extract offers terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids, but is free of THC.
Pick a Reputable Brand
Last but not least, when using CBD for pain relief, it’s important to buy products from a brand you can trust. Reputable brands make high quality products, so you’re more likely to get the side effects that you want.
Here are five of the best CBD products for pain relief.
If you’re looking for quick, long-lasting relief, consider a high quality CBD oil. One of the top brands in the industry that is known for its flavorful oils is Penguin. Each bottle is made with broad spectrum extract that originates from top of the line Oregon grown hemp. Penguin CBD oil is made with hemp oil, MCT oil, terpenes, and natural flavor.
Penguin CBD oil is available in several flavors, including Mint, Citrus, Strawberry, and Cookies & Cream. There’s also a Natural flavor if you enjoy the earthy profile that CBD offers.
What’s nice about CBD oil is that it can be taken in many ways. You can use the traditional sublingual method, or you can add a few drops to your favorite food or drinks. Nothing beats a CBD-infused smoothie in the mornings!
2. Verma Farms
Verma Farms is best known for their tropical paradise-inspired gummies. However, the brand also offers a full line of other products, including topicals. Mahalo Muscle Relief is a roll-on product that can be used on any part of your body that needs a little extra care.
The roll-on is made with unadulterated CBD extract along with natural menthol. The product also contains other pain-relieving ingredients, including Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Boswellia Serrata Extract, and Ilex Paraguariensis.
Mahalo Muscle Relief is available in 200mg and 500mg strengths, so you can get the relief you need when you need it the most.
3. Evn CBD
Evn CBD products are made with organically grown, non-GMO hemp. They are also lab tested and contain no THC.
For a tasty CBD experience from chew to chew, try CBD gummy bears from Evn CBD. These gummies are made with broad spectrum CBD, offering 10mg of CBD per gummy. Gummies are a great option if you’re looking for a quick, convenient, and tasty way to take your daily CBD dose.
Evn CBD gummies are made with simple ingredients, including sugar, gelatin, coconut oil, and natural flavoring. Gummy bears are available in both sweet and sour flavors, and we highly recommend both types!
4. Irwin Naturals
Irwin Naturals was founded in 1994 with the mission of providing plant-based healing. The brand offers several CBD-infused products, including capsules. CBD + Turmeric is made with full spectrum hemp extract along with the Curcumin C3 Complex. Each serving offers 15mg of CBD and 450mg of turmeric.
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used herbal ingredients to treat pain. The active compounds in the herb, known as curcuminoids, have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD + Turmeric is also made with other pain-relieving compounds, including Boswellia serrata, which has shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation, including pain caused by arthritis.
5. FAB CBD
FAB CBD offers a wide assortment of CBD products, but for the ultimate pain relief, we recommend the brand’s topical CBD cream. Each jar contains 600mg of CBD along with full spectrum hemp extract from organically grown hemp in Colorado. The cream has a subtle, refreshing blood orange scent.
What’s great about this cream is that a little goes a long way. A fingertip-sized amount is plenty to get the relief that you want. Of course, more can always be applied over time to achieve and maintain the effects.
Unlike other CBD topicals, FAB CBD’s cream doesn’t contain menthol or capsicum. Instead, it nourishes the skin and eases pain with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Cinnamon.
CBD is a great alternative treatment for aches and pains. If you’re looking for a product that’s powered by nature and has little to no negative side effects, CBD is one of the best options on the market today. Enjoy life without aches and pains with a high quality CBD product.
To have the best experience possible, choose a product that best fits your needs. It’s also important to buy from a brand that you can trust. This way you can invest in a product that is formulated to keep aches and pains at bay.
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Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1
CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2
CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.
What Is CBD?
CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.
The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:
- THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
- Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.
While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.
Ways CBD Treats Back Pain
Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:
- Reducing inflammation 3
- Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
- Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5
Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.
Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
More severe side effects, while rare, include:
- Mental confusion
As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.
CBD use prior to surgery
Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6