Three years ago, the Centers for Disease Control decided to look closely at chronic pain, and the numbers they published about the condition are staggering:
- 50 million people in the country suffer from chronic pain.
- 20 million of those sufferers report they have “high-impact chronic pain,” or pain so severe that it interferes with work and daily life.
- Women, the unemployed, people who reside in rural areas and those living in poverty are more likely to suffer from chronic pain.
Because so many people report ongoing pain from things like arthritis, old sports injuries or repetitive strain, more organizations are starting to look at how we talk about chronic pain—and our options for treating it.
Of course, many people end up turning to opioid medications to ease all kinds of chronic pain. But, as has been well documented, opioids come with heavy dependency risks and may not even be all that effective for many people.
That’s why folks who deal with chronic pain turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to see whether it can help ease their pain and allow them to lead a normal life.
Here are three of our most popular Q&As about the efficacy of CBD for different kinds of chronic pain. Members of the HelloMD community submitted these questions anonymously on our Answers page, and cannabis-savvy doctors and nurses answered them. Don’t see your question about CBD for chronic pain here? You can visit our Answers page to ask your question.
Q. Can CBD oil be used to treat knee and back pain?
Answer: drblair Yes, CBD works orally or topically. Typical response I get is pain significantly improved within 10 minutes of a topical application with 10 mg/ml tincture or higher. Oral doses for chronic pain are quite individualized but for arthritis a target dose I use is 60 mg per day.
Q. Can CBD help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Answer: drkim Hi there!
Yes it can. It all boils to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is largely devoted to maintaining homeostasis (the tendency of organisms to auto-regulate and maintain their internal environment at equilibrium). Deficiency or malfunction of the ECS has become a focus for researchers seeking treatment options for several maladies—especially those that have few, if any, effective pharmocotherapeutic interventions, such as celiac disease, MS, fibromyalgia, IBD and IBS. In fact, the scientific community has recently termed the ECS malfunction: Clinical Endocannabanoid Decifiency, or CEDC.
CBD works by balancing and supporting the ECS through its subtle effects on cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) receptors, as well as other receptors that modulate serotonin, GABA, dopamine, and many more.
In IBS, IBD and GERD, like most every physical-chronic condition, inflammation is central to both the etiology and symptomology of the respective disease. CBD works to reduce inflammation by restoring balance to the ECS.
Q. I have chronic pain from hamstring tendinopathy. Will CBD help?
Answer: helenanp Some emerging research indicates that CBD is beneficial for orthopedic and musculoskeletal health. Some studies have demonstrated that CBD has amazing anti-inflammatory effects. CBD works by activating cannabinoid receptors. Activating these receptors causes lipids to be secreted that signal inflammation to shut off. It also encourages the body to repair and remodel the damaged sites. CBD should decrease inflammation from tendinopathy and promote healing.
Photo credit: Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com
Want to try CBD, but don’t know where to start? Shop our selection of high-quality, lab-tested CBD products and have them shipped to your door. And if you have questions about CBD, ask them and our community will answer.