None of this is to say trying CBD is off limits. “Cannabidiol is generally well-tolerated, which gives it a distinct advantage over other medications currently available for pain, including (and especially) opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant medications,” says Seth Waldman, MD, anesthesiologist and director of the pain management division at the Hospital for Special Surgery. “I have seen a number of patients with difficult neuropathic pain syndromes who found it helpful.” (There’s also a study on this neuropathic pain—that burning-like sensation that affects the nervous system as Craft mentioned earlier. Research showed, though weak, it had a positive effect.)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
Chronic pain can be a very devastating diagnosis. For those of us without this condition, it’s hard to imagine what someone with chronic pain is going through. Chronic pain is usually secondary to some form of trauma, making a bad situation far worse. Imagine the worst pain you have every experienced and then try to imagine having that pain day in and day out for months or worse, for years.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of over 80 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring and each one is uniquely different from the next. We are still just beginning to understand what cannabinoids do and how they interact with our bodies. CBD is non-psychoactive, unlike the more commonly known cannabinoid, THC. THC is known for the “high” feeling. You won’t feel any psychoactive, high effects when consuming CBD by itself. However, the “entourage effect” states that a combination of cannabinoids will work better together than a cannabinoid by itself. Essentially, when CBD is combined with low doses of THC and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN in a product, it will work better than if that product contained just CBD by itself. This is where the term “full-spectrum” comes from. CBD products with the full-spectrum label are stating that other cannabinoids present and are implying that product may be more effective.
Thapa, D., Toguri, J. T., Szczesniak, A. M., & Kelly, A. E. M. (2017, April 1). The non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), and the synthetic derivatives, HU308 and CBD-DMH, reduces hyperalgesia and inflammation in a mouse model of corneal injury [Abstract]. FASEB Journal. Retrieved from https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.811.7
If your state has legalized both compounds, look for a cream with 1:1 CBD to THC as well as another cannabinoid BCP (beta-caryophyllene) if possible, which manufacturers have seen better results with, Gerdeman suggests. Try Apothecanna's Extra Strength Relieving Creme ($20; apothecanna.com) or Whoopi & Maya's Medical Cannabis Rub (yes, that's Whoopi Goldberg's line), which was designed specifically for menstrual aches and pains (whoopiandmaya.com).
Brain receptors are not only sensitive to neurotransmitters produced naturally within the brain, like dopamine or serotonin, but also chemical messengers produced outside the body, such as plant cannabinoids like THC or CBD. So when you ingest an edible or inhale some vapor, you’re allowing compounds originally produced by a plant to enter your body, travel through your bloodstream, and enter your brain. Once they arrive, these plant-derived compounds can influence brain activity by interacting with receptors on neurons. But they don’t interact with all neurons, just the ones that have the appropriate receptors.
This oil is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant that can contain both CBD and THC in varying concentrations. The clear drawback of cannabis oil is that it cannot be purchased outside of a state that has not legalized the sale of cannabis. Cannabis oil can also contain higher amounts of THC, which could be problematic for those not looking for the psychoactive effects of cannabis oil.
What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.
I am 70 years old and have arthritic pain and stiffness in my hands. I work part-time for a delivery company and spend 4-5 hour shifts removing small and large packages from a belt think of Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory. I bought the 3000 MG tincture about two weeks. I started out with 6 drops @ 2X per day 30MG. It took the edge off of aches and pains from working and arthritic pain but increased the dose to 7 drops @ 3 times per day 52.5 MG. Although I still felt some aches and pains it decreased considerably. Today I have started 7 drops 4X per day 75 MG. I anticipate getting much better results. All-in-all I am quite pleased with the 3000 tincture oil. I feel that the oil has given me more energy to do things around the house probably because I am now experiencing much fewer aches and pains in my body and hands. By the way the reason I am taking the oil 4 times a day is because I read that the body will not absorb more than 15 MG at a time and discards any oil above that amount. It may not be true but thats my story and Im sticking to it.
The anti-inflammatory contributions of THC are also extensive, including inhibition of PGE-2 synthesis (Burstein et al 1973), decreased platelet aggregation (Schaefer et al 1979), and stimulation of lipooxygenase (Fimiani et al 1999). THC has twenty times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone (Evans 1991), but in contrast to all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), demonstrates no cyclo-oxygenase (COX) inhibition at physiological concentrations (Stott et al 2005a).
^ Jump up to: a b c d Campos AC, Moreira FA, Gomes FV, Del Bel EA, Guimarães FS (December 2012). "Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences (Review). 367 (1607): 3364–78. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0389. PMC 3481531. PMID 23108553.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.