A 2011 study evaluated the effects of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), on pain management. The study concluded that, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.”
A 2008 study found, “that a controlled cannabis extract, containing multiple cannabinoids, in a defined ratio, and other non-cannabinoid fractions (terpenes and flavonoids) provided better antinociceptive efficacy than the single cannabinoid given alone…” This is why the use of full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective in treating pain than taking CBD isolate alone – you want the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids contained in the plant.
Understanding CBD’s analgesic, or pain-relieving, interactions with the ECS can shed light on CBD’s other interactions and effects. Importantly, the ECS participates in our bodies’ pain processing, but when CBD is introduced to our ECS, it stops the body from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide — one of our body’s’ own natural cannabinoid molecules. Inhibiting the absorption of this compound shunts excess quantities into the bloodstream that in turn reduces pain. One study has revealed that CBD targets alpha-3 (α3) glycine receptors to suppress chronic pain and inflammation associated with dysfunctional glycine receptors, which are an important target for pain processing in the spine. In both humans and animal models, CBD has been shown to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties.
As noted in the previous section, CBD oil prices vary significantly by brand. The best practice for most is to determine a per-milligram budget for CBD oil, as well as a maximum price for the entire bottle. For example, you might decide that 10 cents per milligram or less is a reasonable budget; and that $45 (for a 450-mg concentration, based on the budget) is a maximum bottle price. Also, if ordering online, be sure to include potential shipping costs.
In addition to the daily pain management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare ups. Whether it’s caused by a recent injury, cold weather, or general aggravation – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute pain flare ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
There’s no definite amount that’s appropriate for everyone, but the ratio of CBD to THC will indicate how psychoactive the product is and if it’s legal in your state. The more CBD compared with THC, the less of a high, and vice versa. “Managing psychoactivity is key to successful cannabis therapy,” says Lee. “Amounts should be made clear on the label and lab-certified so people know what’s helping them and what’s not.”
The glutamatergic system is integral to development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, and is responsible for generating secondary and tertiary hyperalgesia in migraine and fibromyalgia via NMDA mechanisms (Nicolodi et al 1998). Thus, it is important to note that cannabinoids presynaptically inhibit glutamate release (Shen et al 1996), THC produces 30%–40% reduction in NMDA responses, and THC is a neuroprotective antioxidant (Hampson et al 1998). Additionally, cannabinoids reduce hyperalgesia via inhibition of calcitonin gene-related peptide (Richardson et al 1998a). As for Substance P mechanisms, cannabinoids block capsaicin-induced hyperalgesia (Li et al 1999), and THC will do so at sub-psychoactive doses in experimental animals (Ko and Woods 1999). Among the noteworthy interactions with opiates and the endorphin/enkephalin system, THC has been shown to stimulate beta-endorphin production (Manzanares et al 1998), may allow opiate sparing in clinical application (Cichewicz et al 1999), prevents development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates (Cichewicz and Welch 2003), and rekindles opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has worn off (Cichewicz and McCarthy 2003). These are all promising attributes for an adjunctive agent in treatment of clinical chronic pain states.