CBD (cannabidiol), is found to reduce inflammation in the body, which takes pressure off nerves, and helps to relieve pain. Cannabidiol is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis and is legal in all 50 states because it is derived from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC. It does not make people feel high. Instead, CBD promotes relaxation.
Hemp and marijuana come from Cannabis sativa. Any cannabis plant containing more that 0.3% THC (the psychoactive component) is considered marijuana. THC is the cannabinoid that makes people feel “high” and has also been found to reduce pain and depression (1). So far, research indicates that the combination of THC and CBD helps those suffering from pain associated with cancer (2), multiple sclerosis (3,4), rheumatoid arthritis (5), and Crohn’s disease (6). Research also indicates that patients required less pain-relieving medications when using cannabinoids. A 2011 study of cannabinoid and opiod interaction found that the use of cannabis did not change blood levels of opiods, but a significant reduction of pain was reported (7). A 2013 study found that Crohn’s patients, who were non-responsive to conventional approaches, found relief from bowel inflammation. Some were able to wean off of steroids, whiles others experienced complete remission in the 8-week trial (6).
The many cannabinoids in cannabis have been found to produce different effects in the body. Therefore, ‘full spectrum’ products are preferred for the synergistic effect over isolated CBD alone (8). A 2017 study indicated topical CBD treatment to prevent the development of pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritic joints (9).
We get a lot of great feedback about pain relief from people using full spectrum internal and topical CBD products, such as from the Receptra. Their Relief liquid extract also contains other inflammation modulating botanicals such as Turmeric and black pepper. People suffering from chronic pain also love topical CBD products from the Herbal Relief Co. and American Shaman brands. There are several factors that contribute to inflammation in the body, and as we have seen in integrative cancer care, taking a holistic approach improves quality of life.
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- Noyes R Jr, Brunk SF, Baram DA, Canter A (1975a) “Analgesic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol” J Clin Pharmacol 15(2-3):139–43.
- Portenoy RK, Ganae-Motan ED, Allende S, et al. (2012) “Nabiximols for opioid-treated cancer patients with poorly controlled chronic pain: a randomized, placebo-controlled, graded-dose trial” J Pain 13(5):438–49.
- Wade DT, Makela PM, House H, et al. (2006) “Long-term use of a cannabis-based medicine in the treatment of spasticity and other symptoms in multiple sclerosis” Mult Scler 12(5):639–45.
- Podda G1, Constantinescu CS. Nabiximols in the treatment of spasticity, pain and urinary symptoms due to multiple sclerosis. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2012 Nov;12(11):1517-31.
- Ware MA, Wang T, Shapiro S, et al. (2015) “Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS)” J Pain 16(12):1233–42.
- Naftali, T el al. Cannabis Induces a Clinical Response in Patients with Crohn’s Disease: A Prospective Placebo-Controlled Study. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Volume 11, Issue 10, October 2013: 1276-1280.
- Abrams, D. et al. Cannabinoid–Opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Volume 90, Issue 6, Comparative Effectiveness. December 2011: 844-851
- Russo, Ethan. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal Pharmacol 2011 Aug; 163(7): 1344–1364.
- Philpott HT, O’Brien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451.
About the author:
Dr Tiffanie Jones is a medically trained Naturopathic doctor, graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Her mission is to educate about science-based, holistic approaches to improve quality of life. She trains the CBD staff and other practitioners about researched benefits of cannabinoids.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information provided or use of these products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.