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Does CBD Work for Pain Relief?

Treating pain has become a divisive issue that has brought the natural healing properties of CBD into the mainstream. With opioid deaths doubling in the UK since 2012, many people suffering from pain are more cautious regarding prescription drugs and seeking alternative natural solutions. 

In this post, we cover everything you need to know about CBD for pain relief. After reading, you will better understand pain in general, CBD’s role in treating pain, and where to find the best CBD products for pain relief.  

Understanding Pain and CBD

Pain is experienced when nerves called nociceptors detect tissue damage and, as a result, transmit information about the threat through the spinal cord and into the brain. The unpleasant feeling of pain is the brain interpreting the signals to reduce harm. In some cases, the brain will release dopamine or serotonin to balance the perception of pain-reducing the realised adverse effects. 

Understanding how pain affects our everyday life is essential in implementing a treatment like CBD. The chemical reaction to pain can be altered by regular CBD use, making issues like migraines, chronic pain, and menopause more manageable.

Serotonin and Dopamine Receptors

We’ve mentioned that in some cases, the brain will release chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to combat pain, making the experience more comfortable. The brain also administers dopamine to support pain avoidance and pleasurable behavior

Unfortunately, many people’s brains produce insufficient chemicals to keep the complex interaction in balance. As a result, they may have a more extreme experience than people with more active serotonin and dopamine receptors. In addition, their brain may not be administering the chemicals as a reward to promote behavior (like exercise) that could lead to organic pain relief. 

While CBD may not directly release serotonin or dopamine in the brain, studies have shown that it increases levels of anandamide, a chemical capable of directly binding with the receptors and releasing serotonin and dopamine. 

Using CBD for Pain

While pain is a part of life and development, conditions like chronic pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, and menopausal pain can make everyday tasks unmanageable. Currently, CBD and pain relief research is far behind where it should be, but we do have an incredible number of anecdotal claims to support CBD as a pain reliever.

Studies may be limited, but the realisation that CBD can deliver results without addictive properties, intoxicating effects, and long-term consequences is growing. 

Below are the top conditions users have had success treating with CBD and the available scientific evidence to support the treatment. 

CBD for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects millions of adults worldwide, and we’ve yet to find a reliable treatment for the condition. One of the most recent attempts to validate CBD as a treatment for chronic pain was done in 2021 by researchers at Syracuse University. According to Science Daily, “their study yielded consistent and noteworthy results. Among other findings, the data showed that CBD and expectancies for receiving CBD do not appear to reduce experimental pain intensity, but do make the pain feel less unpleasant.”

These results align with the mechanisms that make the pain more manageable, as we discussed above, like an increase in serotonin or dopamine production. 

CBD for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is categorised as “long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis.” Millions of people suffer from the condition but treatment is difficult. Thankfully, CBD is showing promise as a solution that doesn’t lead to addiction or other long-term consequences.

A New Zealand study examined the cannabinoid’s potential to treat chronic pain in 400 patients. Researchers reported safety for prolonged use and the patients expressed improvements in quality of life and pain.

CBD for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that results in fatigue, sleep issues, and extreme mood changes. While we don’t have concrete evidence to suggest CBD could be a treatment for the condition, CBD is believed to relieve the side effects that make fibromyalgia so unpleasant. 

In 2019, a study was conducted to observe the effects of CBD use on sleep and anxiety. Participants were given a daily dose of CBD every day and reported positive results after only one month. Sleep scores improved in 66.7% of the participants, and anxiety scores dropped for 79.2% of the patients.  

CBD for Perimenopausal and Menopausal Pain

Similar to fibromyalgia, we don’t have sufficient scientific research to support the treatment of CBD for menopausal pain; however, the cannabinoid could dramatically reduce the side effects. According to Medical News Today, CBD and the endocannabinoid system play an essential role in bodily functions like mood regulation, immune functions, memory, fertility and reproduction, and temperature regulation. 

Regular CBD use is believed to activate chemical production in the ECS, allowing the body to handle pain caused by conditions like perimenopause and menopause.

CBD for Joint Pain

CBD is used commonly to combat muscle and joint pain. The most promising study we have to date was performed on an animal model that suggests CBD for joint pain could be a valid solution. 

Scientists administer CBD to the model for 4 days after arthritis induction. They witnessed the CBD “significantly reduced joint swelling and limb posture scores.”

The Best CBD for Pain

While we still have a long way to go in understanding pain and how CBD can affect the neurological balance in our brains, we are beginning to understand CBD’s potential and wide array of uses.  

If you are interested in trying CBD for pain relief, Mums Love CBD has a wide range of all-natural CBD oil and CBD gummies made exclusively for the UK. Visit the Mums Love CBD shop to try our lab-tested, premium CBD products or help further your understanding of the exciting hemp-derived cannabinoid.