What’s the Best CBD For Pain Relief?
Posted on March 26th, 2021
CBD or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that, according to both researchers and enthusiasts, has a variety of potentially therapeutic benefits. Out of all of those, one of the greatest of them would be its application for pain relief.
There are quite a number of different presentations of CBD products available on the market right now, with a new one seemingly appearing every once in a while. Each kind of presentation has different delivery methods, absorption rates, and dosages. Said characteristics affect how effective a product is in relieving pain, how fast it works, and how long the pain relief is going to last.
Out of all kinds of CBD available, the best CBD for pain relief is topical CBD. Here’s why.
Why Do You Feel Physical Pain?
Pain is the way your brain has for telling you that you just experienced injury, that you are ill or that there’s a problem that needs addressing. Nerves send signals to the brain to tell it that something is wrong in a certain area of your body. This process is also to prevent you from causing further strain or injury to that area. Feeling pain is, therefore, an extremely important function of the brain, the nervous system, and the body. Without it, it would be unlikely that we could take care of ourselves effectively, and our lives would be relatively short.
Pain may also happen as a result of a response from your immune system. The body sends chemicals and other substances to the site of an injury or illness to help defend against disease and promote healing. These chemicals may cause some other side-effects besides the aforementioned purposes. One of the most common side effects is inflammation or swelling. Swelling places pressure on nerves which subsequently send signals to the brain resulting in the sensation of pain.
What Are the Mechanisms Behind Pain Sensation?
A nerve or nociceptor fiber (part of the Peripheral nervous system) can receive stimulation due to an injury, illness, or other condition. It will then send signals to the spinal cord and the brain stem. The brain stem then delivers these sensory messages to the different parts of the brain.
These messages go en route to neurons in the brain via the actions of the neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, by the way, are chemicals that either stimulate or inhibit the brain from taking action. The two main neurotransmitters that are responsible for delivering pain messages are glutamate and substance P (SP).
When these neurotransmitters stimulate neurons, they send electrical signals through an axon terminal which travel through the brain’s stem. The signal travels along the spinal cord and back to the nerves, which initiated the entire process. When these electrical signals reach the nerves, we start to feel the pain sensation.
The mechanisms behind the pain sensation are more complex than that. It all depends on whether a stimulating or inhibiting neurotransmitter is acting on a stimulating or inhibiting neuron.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids so far found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds capable of interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Thus, they play a regulatory role in a variety of different functions in the human body.
The body produces small amounts of its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids that it uses for that very purpose. However, it can only produce so much of them. The cannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant are ‘phytocannabinoids’ or plant-based cannabinoids. CBD acts on the receptors that form part of the ECS in a similar way in which endocannabinoids do. Thus, you can supplement your body with phytocannabinoids like CBD and get more relief out of your ECS.
Manufacturers extract CBD from the Cannabis Sativa or hemp plant. The hemp plant contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, another cannabinoid that exists in the cannabis plant. While THC does indeed have some health benefits, it also has a psychoactive effect that results in the feeling of getting “high.” CBD products have a negligible amount of THC and, therefore, do not cause feelings of euphoria signature to marijuana use. Lack of focus slowed reflexes, and lethargy or tiredness are just some of the unwanted side-effects of THC, of which CBD has none.
How Does CBD Work to Relieve Pain?
Just like the body produces neurotransmitters to feel pain, it also produces chemicals to relieve pain. The main pain-relieving neurotransmitters are glutamate and serotonin. These neurotransmitters send messages between two neurons in the brain. A message sent through the brain stem and spinal cord to the affected area by those two will seek to relieve pain. Pain relief, therefore, works very much like pain sensation and is regulated by the Central Nervous System (CNS).
However, a relatively recent discovery of a second system in the body happened, and it also has a regulatory function in pain management. It is the endocannabinoid system, and it consists of CB-1 and CB-2. CB-1 receptors are primarily in the brain and throughout the body. CB-2 receptors are primarily in the gastrointestinal tract (gut) and the immune system.
When a cannabinoid, like CBD, binds or interacts with these receptors, it either stimulates or inhibits the production or release of certain neurotransmitters, hormones, or other chemicals. CBD interacts primarily with both receptors, but CB-2 are the ones that deal with pain sensation.
In the event of pain, the receptors will inhibit the immune response. Thereby reducing inflammation or swelling coming from our body’s own defense system. As mentioned above, swelling places pressure on nerves which stimulates them to start sending pain signals to the brain.
CBD, therefore, has dual-pain relieving properties and has been found to be effective at alleviating both acute and chronic pain.
What Is the Best Type of CBD For Pain Relief?
There are three main types of CBD that available on the market:
Edible CBD – Which can come in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, gummies, chewing gum, and incorporated in other foods and beverages.
Inhalants – Which include products for vaping or smoking purposes.
Topicals – Which include oils, creams, lotions, and so on.
Each has its own delivery method, which is simply the way in which CBD enters the bloodstream. The compound requires entering the bloodstream in order to interact with the ECS and deliver its effects.
The delivery method affects how quickly you can absorb CBD, how fast it acts up, and how long the pain relief lasts.
Have the poorest absorption rate and the slowest pain-relieving effects. This is because it must travel a long way before getting into the bloodstream via the gut. You also lose most of the CBD along the way. Stomach acid causes much of the CBD to break down before it ever enters the gut, where absorption happens.
It is an extremely successful delivery method and has high absorption rates and fast results. The CBD enters directly into the bloodstream via the lining of the lungs. However, these types of CBD products are better for treating health conditions other than pain as they do not provide targeted pain relief. It is also important to note that CBD is delicate, and too high temperatures might deteriorate it when smoking or vaping.
Application of CBD via a cream or oil is the best delivery method for pain relief. You can apply the cream or oil to the skin exactly on the site where the pain exists. The skin absorbs the CBD directly into the bloodstream, where it immediately goes to work to relieve pain. Thus, the topical application provides targeted pain relief at the site where applied.
Why Is Cream the Best CBD For Pain Relief?
There are a number of reasons why creams are the best CBD for pain relief:
- Creams are easy to use, and you can apply them directly to the pain site for targeted pain relief.
- Topical pain relief should occur within 10 to 15 minutes of application which is relatively fast when compared to other types of CBD.
- The pain-relieving effects should last anywhere between 2 and 6 hours. The duration of that pain relief depends on a number of factors. The severity of the pain, the location of the pain, the dosage of CBD in the cream, and the quality of the CBD product, to name a few.
- CBD is not addictive. CBD creams contain less than 0.3% THC, the compound of cannabis that makes you high. This 0.3% concentration is negligible and therefore does not stimulate the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. Thus, it will not result in habit-forming and addiction.
- You can apply CBD cream to the site as often as needed. Although there are some side-effects from using CBD cream in some cases, the symptoms are relatively mild and rarely life-threatening.
Research is, however, still ongoing into the ideal dosage of CBD to relieve specific types of pain for a specified period of time.
CBD is a safer alternative treatment for acute and chronic pain relief in comparison to prescription drugs due to few side effects. Creams are the best CBD for pain relief due to the ability to provide a targeted effect. Next time you are in pain, look for a CBD cream online; you can only feel better from it.