How to Use CBD Oil for Pain: How Does It Work?Craig Swanson
Table of Contents
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical components of the marijuana or hemp plant responsible for a variety of medicinal properties. The hemp plant has been used by humans for centuries in order to treat pain, as well as many other of the body’s ailments. Cannabidiol is only one of around 120 chemical components residing in the hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the other and perhaps better-known chemical component, CBD is not psychotropic and does not cause the feeling of being high, even in very large doses. It does not cause euphoria, spaciness, or impaired motor function the way THC is known to do.
Though traditionally the medical properties of hemp could only be used by way of either smoking the plant or making a tea, CBD is now widely available in a pure state isolated away from THC and other plant matter in a variety of forms; capsules, lotions, edibles, oils, tinctures, vapors and more. Depending on your preference, level of pain, and lifestyle, you may choose to go with any one or several of these options to treat your pain. Perhaps the most widely used and available form of CBD is CBD oil. CBD oil can easily be used by adding to food, adding to vapor pens, or even taken orally on its own. See more at the KarmaCBDOils homepage.
How CBD alleviates pain
Cannabidiol triggers a response in the brain and central nervous system, activating the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The body makes its own cannabinoids, which when used by the cannabinoid receptors cause a plethora of responses in the body and mind. These cannabinoids are used to balance the body’s immune response and reduce swelling, in addition to many more beneficial responses.
One of the most important things that CBD specifically does is to send a message to the body to begin making and releasing more of its own cannabinoids. Regular use of CBD is shown to help balance many of the bodies functions, including but not limited to pain and inflammation. CBD eases tension and helps to relax muscles. It is also shown to reduce the stress that can come with chronic pain, helping a patient with chronic pain to begin to better cope with their daily functioning in peace again.
Is CBD safe?
CBD is an incredibly safe alternative to other forms of pain medication. There are very few reported side effects, and only in rare instances cause anything other than mild discomfort. For the most effective and instantaneous relief of pain, CBD is best used via vaporization. The effects on the lungs of inhaling CBD, while still not well researched, are assumed to be hard of the health of the lungs and immune system. If you are worried about any ill effects due to smoke or vapor inhalation, CBD can be ingested within food or capsules. The effects are less predictable when used this way, as it takes a long time, approximately an hour, for the chemical to make its way through the stomach lining into the bloodstream and into the central nervous system, but it is thought to be much easier on the body than smoke or vapor.
Tinctures are a good way of getting the CBD to your bloodstream quickly, roughly 30 minutes, without having to wait quite as long as with ingesting through the stomach. To use a tincture effectively, drops of the liquid are placed and held under the tongue for several seconds before swallowing, allowing the CBD to make its way to the bloodstream by way of the mouths highly permeable mucous membranes.
CBD can also come in the forms of lotions and massage oils that can be rubbed directly into the sight of pain. This is thought to be the least likely of any form to cause any form of side effects, though its effects are only localized and limited to pain and inflammation, whereas ingesting CBD has many more benefits to the balance and health of the body. The high levels of antioxidants in CBD are good for keeping the body in good overall health, and the stress relieving properties are good for blood pressure and heart health.
Whatever method you choose to use, CBD is far easier on the liver than any other form of pain medication.
How do I begin to use it?
To begin dosing CBD, it is important to first bring the subject up with your personal physician, who will know best if CBD is a good option for you. If you are currently using another form of medication, there is a chance of drug interaction with CBD that can inhibit the effectiveness of your current medication regimen. CBD may increase anxiety in certain patients, though this is not common.
Once you have clearance with your doctor, you can then visit your local medical marijuana dispensary to begin exploring and purchasing the products that will work best for you and your lifestyle. Most doctors and dispensaries will recommend that you start off with the lowest suggested dose, and increase slowly over time to find what works best for you.
They will not give a prescribed dose though, as CBD therapy is not taught in most medical schools and there is no universal dosage. The most common dose for a person starting to use a CBD oil is 25 mg taken twice daily. This, of course, is just a recommended starting dose, and many factors can affect a patient’s most effective CBD does. Your body weight, metabolism, and genetics can all be taken into account when finding your most effective dosage.
Though it is important to find your most effective dose in order to not waste product or cause slight side effects such as drowsiness, it is important to remember that you cannot overdose on CBD. Lab study results show that even excessive doses taken daily over weeks on test patients were well tolerated and did not cause any major side effects. Because of this, it is safe to try out any number of different products in order to find out what works best for you.