CBD or cannabidiol is an extract from the hemp plant that is popular as a natural alternative medicine for relieving pain associated with various conditions such as arthritis, cancer, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Lower back pain and many other conditions that manifest with chronic pain can be managed using CBD creams and lotions which are suited for localized application.
Research findings indicate that patients with various conditions have been able to achieve better lives through the use of CBD creams and lotions for chronic pain management.
We now explore the full benefits and effects of using CBD creams and lotions in managing pain.
If you’re ready to try the best CBD creams and lotions that will relieve your pain, click below
CBD Cream for Pain
The main advantage when using CBD creams is that they offer targeted pain relief because they can be applied directly to the area that needs them. CBD oils may have to be taken through the gastrointestinal route which may not be effective in the immediate need of localized pain.
CBD or cannabidiol and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both extracts of the cannabis plant. However there is a distinct difference between the two substances. Although the two extracts have chemical structures that are almost identical, their pharmacological actions differ extensively. Whereas THC is the active ingredient responsible for the “high” effect in marijuana, CBD which is mainly found in the hemp plant, is non-psychoactive. It is important to note that both marijuana and hemp belong to the cannabis family but exhibit dissimilar characteristics.
The hemp plant contains low concentrations of THC (on average a maximum THC level of 0.3%) and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) while marijuana contains between 5–20% THC content with some strains of marijuana reported to contain up to 30% THC content.
Cannabidiol is actually an antagonist to THC with the ability to decrease or eliminate the psychoactive effects of THC.
The major difference between CBD and THC is based on the mind-altering effects of THC. Scientists have long investigated the impact of THC on pain which has resulted in the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In the course of this research, studies have been conducted on the combined effect of both THC and CBD.
Current studies are now giving us a deeper understanding of the impact of CBD as a standalone extract on various conditions.
With increased research on cannabidiol, we now have credible linkages that indicate that this natural extract can alleviate several conditions that afflict millions of people around the world. CBD has been found to act as an:
- Anti-inflammatory agent that acts on swelling in the body
- Antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals and restore cells
- Antipsychotic medication to manage hallucinations, paranoia or delusions in conditions such as schizophrenia.
- Analgesic medicine to relieve pain.
- Neuroprotectant that helps to regenerate the cells in the nervous system and restore its cell function
- Antitumor agent that inhibits the growth of tumors
- Anxiolytic agent to prevent and treat anxiety
- Anti-epileptic medicine that reduces the frequency of seizures
At the moment we have many CBD products (pure CBD oil or products infused with cannabidiol) which have not been analyzed by the Federal Drug Administration or any other regulatory agencies for use in the management or treatment of various medical conditions including the ones mentioned above. More research is needed to narrow down the detailed impact of CBD on specific health conditions and determine how far the scope can capture other ailments.
How Cannabidiol Affects Pain
Research data indicates that CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the human body through the endocannabinoid system in the brain. This interaction results in correction of any chemical imbalances which in turn leads to the transmission of signals to respond to pain in a particular area of the body.
The endocannabinoid system (also known as the endogenous cannabinoid system) is considered the epicenter of mood and sleep regulation. This system is made up of specialized CB2 receptors which interact with CBD to trigger actions that affect both the brain and the immune system. Found in the paralimbic and limbic regions of the brain, the CB2 receptors interact with CBD to influence processes in immune system cells, muscles, connective tissues, organs, glands, nerves and even within the brain that result in the body being able to manage inflammation and pain.
The stimulation of the body’s immune system is as a direct outcome of CBD attaching itself to CB2 receptors. Cannabidiol may also lead to the activation of CB2 receptors within the brain and immune system by triggering the production of natural cannabinoid compounds found in the human body (the body naturally produces cannabinoids of its own, known as endocannabinoids). The detailed mechanism of action that CBD employs in relieving pain is yet to be fully understood. Current and future research will study how CBD affects the intricate immune system to trigger some of the observations made so far.
CBD Arthritis Cream
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis have continued to be a source of extreme pain for millions of patients around the world. These patients can now be able to relieve this pain by using an effective natural remedy. CBD cream is the new approach to managing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Research findings show that the application of CBD cream on rats with arthritis produced relief for the pain and inflammation. It was further noted that the subjects in this study did not exhibit any significant side effects compared to those experienced by users of conventional medicine.
Although more research is needed to study the mode of action used by CBD in achieving the observed effect, it is clear that cannabidiol can help in the relief of pain and inflammation for arthritis patients. This can be attributed to the behavior of cannabidiol as an antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent.
CBD Topical Cream for Cancer Pain
Cancer is known to cause chronic pain for sufferers and relief of this pain forms an integral part of managing the disease. Apart from pain, other symptoms such as swelling and redness arise from chemotherapy treatments. CBD cream can be used to effectively manage these symptoms. Other studies have indicated the potential of CBD oil to slow down the growth of tumors linked to cancer and an increase in the efficacy of opiates used to treat pain in cancer patients when used in conjunction with CBD oil.
The impact of CBD creams or lotions in the management of pain has not been studied extensively. They however, present a suitable method of managing pain at the source with minimal side effects.
CBD creams are made using a topical base that is infused with oils extracted from hemp. Some topical creams, salves or ointments may contain traces of THC but these will not give you any euphoric feeling since the maximum THC content in hemp is 0.3%.
Creams, ointments and salves differ from each other because of the consistency and texture of the mixture. Creams have an aqueous solution or water as their base. Salves use oils or waxes as the topical base while ointments may contain a combination of water and oils in a semi-solid state. Some ointments may also contain alcohols.
Since creams are applied precisely to the site of pain by rubbing onto the skin, they act in a precise way by binding with naturally occurring CB2 receptors in the skin cells – CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are mainly found in the immune system, but they are also found throughout the body. The CB2 receptors are naturally activated by the body’s ECS. They can also be activated by phytocannabinoids such as THC or CBD.
The CBD in the creams interacts with the CB2 receptors to provide pain-relieving effects by activating chemical signals to that effect.
There are different opinions on the preferred method when using topical application of CBD. Some users have claimed that they have observed higher potency while using ointments compared to creams or topical CBD salve products. In terms of bioavailability (the proportion of the active ingredient – in this case CBD – that reaches the systemic circulation after administration via the skin), creams and lotions may have an upper hand compared to oils.
CBD Cream Safety and Side Effects
CBD creams offer targeted pain relief because they can be applied directly to the area that is experiencing pain. Topicals are known to work effectively to alleviate arthritis, migraines, inflammation and cramps. Other studies have shown positive effects on dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
Some users of CBD oils have reported, in uncommon cases, irritability, trouble sleeping and mild nausea. These side effects are exceptionally manageable because of their mild nature compared to the extreme discomfort for patients using conventional medicine to alleviate chronic pain.
Cannabidiol therefore offers the best natural option available for people seeking alternative medicines that can alleviate chronic pain, inflammation and mood swings.