CBD and Beyond: Pain Management Alternatives

Traditionally, patients suffering from chronic pain have turned to Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), opiates, and opioids for chronic pain. Even though these substances are many times successful at reducing or blocking pain, they come with significant negative side effects, especially with long-term use. These drugs can cause damage to organs such as the stomach, liver, kidneys, and even the brain. Opiates and opioids are also highly addictive, which has led to the current national crisis. Because of these negative side effects, many patients are urgently looking for pain relief alternatives. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be that alternative.

The general population may view CBD oil as a new remedy but actually it was first extracted in the 1940s and the cannabis plant it is derived from has been used for its medicinal properties for over four thousand years. Now, with relaxing cannabis prohibition laws and lowering stigmas, CBD oil has become a popular remedy for a wide variety of pains and ailments. The reason for its variety of uses is due to how it interacts with the body.

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps the body maintain a state of balance otherwise known as homeostasis. Homeostasis in the human body refers to the internal environmental conditions for cells to function properly. The body’s endocannabinoid system helps maintain balance by controlling biological factors such as the immune system, sleep, appetite, digestion, temperature regulation, motor control, pain, and inflammation.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) works through cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells and respective endocannabinoid molecules that signal the cell to react in a particular way to help keep internal homeostasis. CBD is a phytocannabinoid which is a cannabinoid found in plants. Phytocannabinoids can interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, but rather than merely binding with the receptors, CBD stimulates the creation of the natural endocannabinoids in the body. Through this process CBD encourages the body's ECS system to function better throughout the whole body. This is why it is used for such a wide variety of pains and ailments.

CBD is a great alternative to Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), opiates, and opioids and their negative side effects, but ultimately all these solutions are just masking the problem. In order to achieve a more permanent pain solution, the cause of the pain must be accurately assessed. The fact is, if you have chronic pain you will be forever at it's mercy if you don't understand its root causes.

There is no doubt that CBD oil is an exciting alternative to pain management, but that is only part of the story. The rest of the story must be in locating and fixing the damaged tissue that is causing the pain and inflammation. Remember to always consult your physician before taking CBD oil or any other products to treat a medical condition.

Dr. Orlando Landrum

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