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CBD and Chronic Pain

Can CBD help chronic pain?

This is one of the questions we are asked repeatedly and one of the many things we are most passionate about. The short answer is that the use based evidence says yes, however, the science behind it is still catching up, so let’s break it down.

Our Endocannabinoid System

The truth is, it’s only been in the last couple of decades that scientists have even begun to understand the ways cannabis works within our bodies. Hemp from which CBD is derived from, is Cannabis Sativa L, a cousin to the Cannabis plant that contains THC. It all started with a scientific breakthrough in 1964, when a scientist from Israel named Raphael Mechoulam was able to identify and isolate THC for the first time, prior to which they were able to identify CBD.

“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance,” says Raphael Mechoulam, the dean of the transnational cannabinoid research community. “We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”

It wasn’t until 1992, while in the pursuit of unearthing the metabolic pathways of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids, scientists discovered a previously unknown molecular signaling system within the body. What they found was that it regulated a broad range of biological functions. This system was named the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS performs multiple tasks, but the goal is always to maintain a stable environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. One of the homeostatic and physiologic functions includes the modulation of pain and inflammation.

 Where CBD Comes In

Studies indicate that CBD influences the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively. According to a study posted to Neurotherapeutics, this is because CBD itself does very little to the ECS. Instead, it activates or inhibits other compounds in the endocannabinoid system. For example, CBD stops the body from absorbing anandamide, a compound associated with regulating pain. So, increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream may reduce the amount of pain a person feels. Cannabidiol may also limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system, which may benefit people experiencing pain, insomnia, and certain immune-system responses.

The Many Ways to Use CBD

This is where it gets the most complicated for people, with so many products on the market and numerous ways to take or use CBD, how the heck do you know where to even start?!

Our experience is that all of our bodies are different as are our needs when it comes to CBD, so here’s the low down…

Vaping – Vaping CBD is the fastest acting as it enters your lungs and diffuses into your bloodstream, for anxiety this can be a game-changer, and using CBD that is infused with other essential oils can even go further in alleviating symptoms.

Sublingual – Using a tincture that you hold under your tongue is absorbed by the mucous membranes in your mouth and quickly enters your bloodstream.

Capsules and Edibles – Although a very popular way of taking CBD, due to the fact that it is processed through the digestive system, and metabolized by the liver before it enters the bloodstream, the onset can take as little 30 minutes and sometimes up to two hours before you feel the effects.

Topicals – Using CBD topically does not enter the bloodstream, but interacts with receptors near the surface, absorption can take up to 30 minutes and is targeted to the area of discomfort.

Transdermal Patches – Placed on a venous area, absorption is relatively quick and long-lasting; it also bypasses your lungs and the digestive system where your body filters or breaks down the CBD.

Distillate – YES, distillate! This is CBD in one of it’s purest forms, CBD distillate is approximately 80% CBD and 20% other cannabinoids and terpenes. Distillate is extremely potent and can be dabbed or vaped, due to its potency a tiny bit goes a long way and is best used for chronic pain and other health issues.

What’s right for you?

This is the million-dollar question, we recommend experimenting and being consistent. Many people use multiple forms such as daily tincture, vape products for immediate results when needed, and topical products for targeted areas. We love working with people to find the right combination of products, and we are always available to answer any questions that you have.

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