Millions of people around the globe struggle with chronic pain from a multitude of sources. Some of these are due to old injuries that didn’t heal properly and flare up as a person ages. Others suffer with chronic pain syndromes, like Fibromyalgia or CFS. More still suffer from chronic pain as a byproduct of another serious disease, like cancer.
Many of these people have recently turned to CBD oil as a primary or secondary source of pain management – and most cannot stop praising the oil’s effectiveness. But what makes CBD oil so amazing for people with chronic pain? What is the science backing up individual claims?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Mammals contain something called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short. This system was discovered relatively recently and has been shown to interact with most other major systems. This includes the respiratory, immune, neurological, and inflammatory systems, to name just a few.
The interaction with the ECS and brain is what makes it such a powerful health system. Most neurons in the body only send one-way signals, which means they can either send or receive messages from the brain or other parts of the body. But the ECS is special in that it sends two-way responses, where the neurons can both send and receive information. This makes it twice as effective as other major systems in the way that it communicates.
That two-way response with most major body systems is the major player in why CBD is proven to be so effective in the treatment of chronic pain. In fact, a study conducted in February of 2008 by Ethan B. Russo of GW Pharmaceuticals showed that an oral spray containing cannabidiol helped manage difficult to treat pain. The study saw improvement both with and without the use of complimentary opioids in test subjects.
Cannabidiol is an Anti-Inflammatory
Much chronic pain is caused by inflammation somewhere in the body. In fact, too much inflammation is the cause of many health conditions. Let’s say that a person suffers from chronic knee pain as a result of an injury in their youth. This pain can be hard to treat because surgical measures and many modern medications have little to no effect on long-standing issues.
The key to the pain is inflammation, caused by prior strain on the joint. This combines with improper healing (common with work or sports injuries), and that places undue pressure on the wrong parts of the joint. This causes further inflammation and continues a cycle that keeps the patient in chronic pain.
When you introduce cannabidiol (CBD), it targets the inflammation and helps decrease the internal swelling. When this is combined with the two-way receptor responses, the brain knows that the knee needs healing. It sends out messages and internal resources to help achieve that.A June 2012 study by Li Zhang of the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience (in conjunction with numerous other health professionals) showed that cannabinoids effectively suppressed both inflammatory and neuropathic pain.