What is cannabidiol? Cannabidiol is the main chemical found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, and CBD is one of the 104 compounds found in this cannabidiol, which when distilled in the form of oil and applied to our body, lessens our sensation of acute pain but does not create the euphoric sensation like the other constituent of marijuana, THC.
CBD Is Also Industrially Extracted From Hemp
CBD oil is increasingly used for pain management. Pain management is now a separate branch of medical science, which is getting increasing focus. Regulation of pain which becomes unbearable in cases of cancer, multiple sclerosis (burning sensation) etc. has become extremely necessary.
CBD oil, extracted from marijuana and hemp, has same effects at blocking the pain sensation as THC (that is the main component of marijuana and responsible for the euphoric after effects once consumed by a human). But it does not produce the after effects of THC nor is it habit forming.
However, the cons of CBD oil is that its hydrophobic (i.e. it does not mix with water )and suffers from poor bioavailability (means a very small quantity relative to the total quantity ingested, is actually absorbed in the system).
Has CBD Been Tested For Pain Regulation?
In experiments on rats, reduced swelling in joints, reduction in inflammation (by histological examination of inflamed cells from the rats given CBD), and reduction in accumulated synovial fluids, post the application of CBD, have been noticed.
Note Of Caution On Using The CBD For Pain Management
- CBD has shown good results in its anti-inflammatory properties, but until now the studies have been done mostly on animals like rats, so wait for the full experiments and corresponding results of tests on human beings, if you want to be sure of the effects of CBD on your joint swelling.
- Secondly, remember whatever may be written on the bottle or lotion about CBD dosage for pain or CBD dosage for inflammation, ultimately it’s unregulated. FDA does not explicitly approve CBD oil, but a very watered down (a small percentage) version is approved as hemp oil for particular purposes. Ultimately most CBD oil you get in the market from self-regulated companies. They certify their components from private labs, and these products fall under the unregulated OTC category.
Check Out FDA Release For Diseases (Like Specific Epilepsy) For Which CBD Oil Has Been Approved.
- Studies by government agencies have also found that actual percentage of CBD to be much lower (sometimes much higher) than what has been described on the bottle. This happens because there is no regulation by FDA regarding the constituent of CBD oil. So take that percentage written on the bottle of CBD oil, with a bit of pinch of salt. Remember, while a very low percentage of CBD may not produce the required pain management, too high a dose may cause unknown side effects.
Mechanism Of CBD Oil For Pain Management
Inflammatory pain is common. Let’s delve a bit on what inflammation is because inflammation ultimately results in pain.
When a tissue is damaged, immune cells engulf the damaged cell. These immune cells secrete histamine which is supposed to engulf and destroy the infected cells but also has nasty side effects. This histamine causes allergy, serotonin and higher levels of tumor necrosis.
On inflammation, synovial fluids around the joint become thicker, causing movements difficult and painful.
Apart from inflammation, pain is also caused by damage to sensory, spinal and peripheral nerves. This is known as Neuropathic pain.
Another pain, which is categorized as Centralized Nervous System pain is caused by the magnification of peripheral pain signals which occurs due to CNS malfunction.
What Is The Mechanism By Which CBD Oil Regulates Pain?
For understanding the working of CBD in pain management, lets first understand how one of the most active components of pain management, i.e., THC from the marijuana plant, work.
THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the main constituents of Marijuana. It attaches itself to “CB-1” receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla of the brain. This part of the brain regulates the sensitivity to the pain in our brain. The act of attaching itself to CB-1 receptor cells by THC and henceforth blocking the path of other pain neurotransmitters reduces the pain sensation. The pain neurotransmitters can no longer bind themselves to the CB-1 receptors.
But Then Why Is CBD Oil And Not THC Needed For Pain Management?
The problem with THC (from marijuana plant) is that it attaches itself to many other receptors which are different from the CB-1 and CB-2 receptor. CB-1 and CB-2 receptors are responsible for pain related changes while other receptors are related to other bodily functions.
TCH binds to the receptors in the areas of memory and hippocampus, altering your senses, perception, and nerve control and sending you to a euphoric high. THC reduces the pain, but with that, you also lose your normal self. You become a person possessed under the effect of marijuana.
How Mechanism Of CBD Differs From THC In Pain Reduction
Now let’s see how the working of CBD is different from THC, although they both can alleviate pain. When the body senses pain, it NATURALLY (not derived from Marijuana plant) releases endocannabinoid namely Anandamide. This particular neurotransmitter binds itself to the receptor CB-1 and blocks the pain neurotransmitters from attaching themselves to CB-1 and CB-2. When the pain transmitters cannot bind themselves to these receptors, they cannot produce the necessary reaction to carry on the pain signal to the next nerve. This causes the painful feelings to subside until the body continues releasing the compound Anandamide.
The advantage of Anandamide is that unlike THC from Marijuana plan, it does not bind itself to other receptors in memory and other cognitive function areas of the brain. So those functions continue normally
What Is The Role Of CBD Oil In The Production Of Anandamide?
Unfortunately, unlike THC, the endocannabinoid Anandamide does not last long in our body after production. If it had done so, the body wouldn’t have felt pain for hours on end alike the high effect of THC from marijuana. The marijuana high continues to haunt the person for hours.
Anandamide differs from THC on two counts. Firstly, Anandamide is produced by the body only on need basis while THC is found in marijuana plants aplenty. Secondly, the molecule of Anandamide is quickly dissolved FAAAH (Fatty acid amidohydrolase).
This is where CBD oil steps in. The oil inhibits the production of FAAH, which in turn leads to longer retention of Anandamide in our bloodstream. More retention of the compound, Anandamide, means lowering of pain neurotransmitters and consequent lower feelings of pain.
Thus CBD oil helps in lowering the feelings of pain in our body.
CBD oil works by lowering FAAH, and this action is neither habit forming nor does it alters our senses. Read the user reviews of oil available in different companies, study the spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes available in that pack, and only then apply it.