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CBD and pain

Pain is the most common reason for a visit to the doctor – not surprising, considering that an estimated one-third to one-half of people live with some kind of daily ache.What is pain? How does it affect us? Pain is an individual thing, and people experience it and respond to it in different ways. There are many pain related questions, but the most important one is: PAIN and CBD – would it work? In this article we will answer most of the common questions about pain.

What is pain?

What is pain? It may seem like an obvious question. However, the answer depends on who you ask.

Some would say pain is a warning signal that something is damaged, but what about emotional severe trauma? Some say pain is the body’s way of telling us something is seriously wrong, but what about phantom pain, where the body part that hurts isn’t even there?

Pain researchers agree that pain is an uncomfortable feeling in our bodies that should make us stop what we’re doing and change our behaviour. We no longer think of pain as a measure of tissue damage – it doesn’t even work that way in highly controlled experiments. We now think of pain as a complex and highly evolved protective mechanism.

Different kinds of pain!

There are different types of pain and most of us have experienced many of them:

Acute pain starts suddenly and is short term (like hitting a door on your finger).
Chronic pain lasts for a long period of time (arthritis, tendonitis, etc.) Read our blog on arthritis and CBD
Soft tissue pain occurs when organs, muscles, or tissues are damaged or inflamed (sports injury or fall)
Nerve pain occurs when a nerve is damaged
Overall pain includes the emotional, social, and spiritual factors that affect a person’s experience of pain.
Bone pain occurs when cancer attacks a bone
Breakthrough pain often occurs between regular, scheduled pain medications
Reference pain is when pain is felt from one part of the body in another
Phantom pain occurs when pain is felt in a body part that has been removed.

How does the pain work?

Pain doesn’t really come from the finger you hurt on the door or the ankle you twisted. Pain is the result of the brain’s evaluation of information. The cognitive data such as expectations, past experiences, social norms and beliefs and other sensory data such as what you see, hear and otherwise perceive.

The brain produces the pain. Where in the body the brain produces the pain is a “let’s guess” scenario based on all the incoming data and stored information. Usually the brain is right about this, but sometimes it is not. An example is pain in the leg when the back is damaged.

It is pain that tells us not to do something – for example, not to lift with an injured shoulder or not to walk with an injured foot. It is a consequence of pain that tells us to do something – see a physical therapist, see a doctor, or sit still and rest.

We know that pain can be “turned on” or “turned up” by anything, which tells the brain that the body is in danger and needs to be protected.

Is pain really just in your head?
Pain is not just in your head (brain), but part of it is. With advances in science, we are beginning to understand that the experience of pain is a complex process. Unfortunately, many people think that “everything in my head” is a sign of being a wimp. There are psychological factors involved, but that’s not the only aspect.

Brain imaging shows differences between the effects of acute and chronic pain on the brain. Chronic pain stimulates changes in the central nervous system. Your brain and spinal cord serve as the main “processing center” for the entire nervous system, controlling how your body functions, including how you feel pain. Chronic pain also causes changes in areas of the brain involved in feelings and emotions. This increases the potential for changes in feelings of anxiety, anger, and/or depression.

How does pain affect brain work.  So, what does this all mean? It means that pain has the ability to change the way the brain processes it and change the emotional response of the brain, which increases the intensity of our experience of pain.

Pain, whether new or chronic, can make life difficult and unbearable. Pain is an invisible and subjective experience. There are no objective tests to measure pain, and not all pain is the same. This makes it difficult for doctors, family and friends to understand what we are experiencing. But that doesn’t mean our pain isn’t real.

CBD and pain – does it really work?

People have used CBD, or cannabis, for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but the medical community has only recently begun to study it again. Every human has a cell signalling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Researchers believe that CBD interacts with a core component of the ECS – the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain and immune system.

Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells. They receive signals, mostly chemical, from various stimuli and help your cells respond.

This response creates anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil and other CBD products can help people with chronic pain.

A 2018 study looked at how well CBD helps with chronic pain. The review looked at studies conducted between 1975 and March 2018. These studies observed different types of pain, including:

  • Cancer pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Fibromyalgia

Based on these studies, researchers concluded that CBD was effective in general pain management and did not cause any negative side effects.

At this point, there aren’t too many studies to back up the anecdotal evidence. A few test tube and animal studies have suggested that CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties, and pain is often associated with inflammation. And according to a few small, preliminary human studies, there is a possibility that CBD may also relieve pain caused by nerve damage. In combination with THC, it may also help treat cancer pain.

So why do so many people claim that CBD helps them with their pain? It’s hard to say for sure, but studies suggest that CBD may have an effect on mood, which can improve pain perception. It can’t hurt to give it a try. CBD is safe and well-tolerated, and unlike regular painkillers and opioids, there is no risk of addiction or harmfulness.

However, if you are taking blood thinners, always talk to your doctor before trying CBD.

Emotional pain!

If you are overwhelmed by feelings such as sadness, depression, guilt, shame or anxiety over a long period of time, these emotions become so constant that you feel like it is a part of life.

When you are exposed to persistent emotional pain, physical changes occur in the brain that create an addiction to these feelings You could say that your brain is “rewired.” And while this emotional pain can be significant and debilitating, if it continues for an extended period of time, it can end up affecting your physical health as well. In some cases, emotional pain can cause physical pain.

While emotional pain is often dismissed as less serious than physical pain, it is important that persistent emotional pain is taken seriously. In some cases, you may need to seek help to avoid lasting consequences.

 

CBG/CBD and emotional pain

Like other cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, CBG interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system.

Researchers are still working to understand exactly how cannabinoids in general affect the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. It seems that CBG primarily binds to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. The science can get really complicated here, but the important thing is that the way CBG interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system helps explain why it can have several therapeutic effects for humans.

CBG is not psychoactive – meaning it does not produce a “high.” This means that CBG has therapeutic benefits without mind-altering effects.

CBG may have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. CBG/CBD oil may offer relief from depressive symptoms and anxiety. There is also some evidence that CBG may increase the brain’s natural levels of anandamide (also known as the “happiness molecule”), thereby relieving anxiety.

CBG/CBD can rewire the brain back to “normal” after prolonged periods of emotional pain.