When it comes to CBD and its therapeutic effects, most people automatically think of psychological benefits, and its use for relieving stress, easing insomnia, and so on. However, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that it can also be an effective analgesic, and while clinical research is still in its infancy, the results of preliminary studies are promising.
A relatively early study carried out by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in 2009 was the first to identify CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. The research suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to modulate the immune system and reduce the damaging effects of free radicals that cause inflammation.
In simple terms, this means it combats certain types of pain in much the same way as the over-the-counter pain medications that most of us have in our medicine cabinets at home.
Targeting chronic pain
The operative words, however, are “certain types” and while there is anecdotal evidence aplenty from individuals who say CBD has helped ease symptoms of conditions like fibromyalgia, clinical research data is still thin on the ground. One of the most important research papers was published by the NCBI in 2017. This pulled together the findings from dozens of clinical trials and scientific studies and collated the results.
The conclusions were unequivocal and showed substantial evidence that CBD can be highly effective in treating chronic pain. Importantly, they also suggested that the human body does not build up a tolerance to CBD, so there is no need to increase the dosage over time.
How to take CBD for chronic pain
There is no downside to taking CBD, which is why there is such a wealth of anecdotal evidence – people tend to think they might as well give it a try. If you decide to join them, one of the first decisions you need to make is how to take it. The most popular choices are either from a dropper under the tongue, in capsule form, by vaping, or as some other form of edible.
There are pros and cons to each. Buying CBD vape juice online has become quite a popular choice over the past year or two. The benefit of vaping over other methods is that the CBD does not have to pass through the digestive system and therefore it gets to work much faster.
That makes it a perfect choice if you are using it for sudden pain and need fast relief, but it is not necessarily the best option for chronic pain relief. The downside to vaping is that it does not remain in the system for so long, so when you are looking to maintain a constant level, there is a school of thought that taking it in topical or capsule form a couple of times a day is a better option.
Ultimately, however, we are all different. There are still as many questions as answers, so the best strategy is to try out a few different methods, giving each one a week or so, and to thereby establishing what works best for you.