Updated: Oct 8, 2019
On September 19, 2019, the US federal government issued $3 million to fund grants that would research whether CBD can relieve pain. Cannabis is now recognized as a possible gateway out of the nation’s Opioid crisis.
CBD is a compound in Cannabis (aka Marijuana) and Hemp that doesn’t give you a buzz and it's becoming the latest trend in cosmetics, foods, and beverages.
But does it actually work?
When it comes to CBD alone to treat chronic pain, science is still lagging, hence the latest funding initiative.
However, there are many anecdotal testimonies that CBD products are effective.
Could this be a placebo effect? Possibly? Personally, I believe there is value in the placebo effect. Heck, whatever works!
One hypothesis is that, CBD receptors in the body, known as CB2 receptors, are located in the brain and immune system. When CBD binds with CB2 receptors, the response creates anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects that help pain management.
However, you have more THC receptors throughout your body which may assist in the overall effectiveness of pain relief. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis that makes you feel high. Part of that may be attributed to how THC works to amplify the therapeutic benefits of anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that our bodies naturally produce to enhance our mood and maintain homeostasis. It is also known as the bliss molecule, because the word Ananda comes from the Sanskrit word for bliss or joy.
When it comes to treating chronic pain, we need to look at more than just physical pain. We need to heal our emotional pain to release the physical pain. Tapping into joy and bliss is essential to healing.
Years ago, when I injured myself while teaching Zumba, it was the emotional pain that caused the majority of my suffering. I was afraid of not being able to dance again, losing income, gaining weight, and then I was frustrated by how long it took to heal. I wish I knew back then how to use Cannabis therapeutically.
Luckily, I do now.
If CBD can help relieve chronic pain, what products are good quality and are the most effective?
What I’ve learned working in the Cannabis industry for the past 2 years is that branding and marketing are driving consumer choice. It makes sense, as many of the new consumers exploring cannabis are uncertain. There are many mediocre products on the market and they’re popular because of the influence of a hefty marketing budget.
New consumers are also cautious of THC. Keep in mind that learning how to work with THC is an exploration of finding your therapeutic threshold. Too much THC can actually cause anxiety, whereas too little may not be effective.
If you’re new to Cannabis or don’t want to feel high, a 20:1 edible, capsule, or tincture is a good place to start experimenting. This is the ratio of CBD to THC. This ratio will consist of mostly CBD and only an effective amount of THC to get the full benefits WITHOUT making you feel "high."
Keep track of your results using the free app called Releaf. It could take several days to weeks to see results. Every body is different.
Other CBD:THC ratios include:
10:1 - Slight buzz. There is less CBD, but it’s still the majority of the dose.
1:1 - Balanced buzz. The ratio of CBD to THC is balanced.
1:5 - Buzz. For more experienced consumers of THC and include small amount of CBD
You can also apply CBD and THC topically or as a lotion. There is no psychoactive effect when applied to the skin. You won't get "high" from rubbing a CBD or THC cream on your back. However, you may experience pain relief.
The product I use is called CBD Alive and it’s a brand that I work closely with. I’ve been to their farm in Humboldt, where I saw them sing to their plants. There’s a lot of love in a product that’s family owned, produced in small batches, and made with integrity.
I saw their extraction process and witnessed the purity of their CBD oil. It’s full spectrum meaning that it’s rich in all the cannabinoids and terpenes. These are the chemical compounds that work synergistically for therapeutic effects.
They have a variety of consumption methods including time released capsules for longer relief, tinctures (for Pets too), lotions, and even suppositories.
Suppositories may sound crazy, but when you have horrible pain where you can’t even move, you may be willing to try it.
In fact, I did!
CBD Alive Cramp Ease Suppositories are specifically designed to relieve severe symptoms of PMS as well as chronic lower back pain. They’re made with coconut oil, natural botanicals, and Cannabis. It felt amazing, like my lower body was soaking in a warm bath, while I felt a light tingling sensation in my lower back and tummy. It was total relief and relaxation.
You can find CBD Alive at the following locations or ask for it at your neighborhood dispensary:
Because Chronic Pain is complex and multidimensional, Cannabis is not a "magic pill."
Personally, Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation was the perfect complement to my Cannabis regiment in treating my chronic back pain.
Chronic stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system to go into “fight or flight mode” which pulls energy away from healing and restoration. Some of us may be experiencing chronic pain because of muscle imbalances. Yoga strengthens the body, improves flexibility, and relieves stress. If you’re new to Yoga, try a YIN, Gentle, Hatha, or Iyengar format.
The research on CBD for Chronic Pain is still in development. With Cannabis legalization in many states, people now have the opportunity to experiment for themselves.
I leave you with some food for thought and would love to hear your answers in the comments section:.
What has been your experience using Cannabis for chronic pain?
What happens when you DON’T address your emotional pain?
What happens when you DO address your emotional pain?
Ready to uncover the hidden blocks that are causing pain so that you can transform your health?! Curious about Cannabis? Click HERE to schedule a free discovery session.
*Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.