To answer this question with a simple yes or no would be to do the subject (and this article) a great disservice. First of all, what kind of pain are we talking about here? Heartache? Hangover? Hemorrhoids? Or something more serious? Secondly, what on earth is CBD? Is it just another TLA (three-letter acronym) for hipsters to throw around, or is it something genuinely special?
What is CBD?
For those who haven’t heard of CBD (where have you been?), it’s time you got up to speed. CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the thousands of cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state or country where cannabis is legal, you’ll have seen CBD products everywhere. It’s in shampoos, lattes, lotions… everything from toothpicks to toilet paper. There are people right now jogging around Los Angeles (the more elevated areas, one assumes) wearing expensive, CBD-infused workout gear… but this unusual fashion statement might not be as crazy as it sounds.
CBD is said to interact with our natural endocannabinoid system, influencing receptors in our brain and immune system. These receptors (proteins attached to cells) inform cell behaviour, depending on the different chemicals the receptors interact with. CBD can influence these receptors to produce anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, making it an ideal compound for pain management and healing. It works without thinning the blood or causing ulceration, a genuinely low-risk option with the potential for massive rewards. This explains its growing popularity among professional athletes… and those joggers in CBD-infused hot-pants don’t seem so silly now, do they?
Sounds amazing! What type of pain is it good for?
If you have just been dumped by your partner or fired from your job, you might be tempted to hit the high-THC shelf and smoke out your sorrows. But before you pack a bowl with the Gelato you were curing for just this occasion (Gelato is ideal during the sweatpants phase) please consider the following: there is a tonne of anecdotal evidence suggesting CBD is both calming AND relaxing. It might not cure your heartache or depression, but it could put you in a much better frame of mind to deal with it.
CBD for chronic pain
CBD is the perfect way to deal with chronic pain, especially when mixed with a little THC. When we talk about pain being chronic, we mean long-term, persistent pain (Chronos is Greek for time, not just a misspelling of the Klingon home-world). Pain that you have to live with on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. If you need to take medication for this pain you’re going to want something with minimal side-effects, no danger of addiction and zero chance of overdose. This is where CBD-rich strains really shine.
CBD isn’t psychotropic (it won’t get you high) and poses the same danger of addiction as a simple sugar pill or placebo. The side-effects of taking CBD are, for the majority of us, non-existent, but it can affect the impact of other drugs.
Always talk to your doctor before taking any course of supplements or medicine, if only to make sure CBD won’t affect any other medications you are taking. For example, if you’re taking CBD for chronic back pain, it would be wise tell the doctor so he or she can assess what impact this would have on your normal anti-inflammatories or analgesics. As for overdosing, cannabis is well-known for being very safe in this regard. The only deaths linked to cannabis (at the time of writing) involved pre-existing health conditions, and even these instances are extremely rare.
If you live in the US and you suffer from chronic pain, it is almost certain you will have been prescribed a form of opiate or powerful painkiller. Unlike CBD, opiates are extremely addictive, they have an epic rap-sheet of nasty side-effects and deaths from overdose are all too common. If your state still practices cannabis prohibition, your choice with chronic pain is stark: destroy yourself with opiates or risk jail using cannabis. Awesome, thanks.
CBD and arthritic pain
Arthritis is debilitating, painful and complicated. It can strike at any age and it doesn’t care how healthy or hedonistic your lifestyle is. That said, arthritis is one of those conditions that can at least feel cured once the symptoms have been managed, which is why CBD strains for inflammation can be of so much value. Studies performed on arthritic rats showed reduced pain and inflammation in the rats’ affected joints. While there is no evidence nor claim that suggests CBD can cure arthritis, the reduction in pain and discomfort is potentially life-changing. Especially when one considers how this can be achieved with minimal side-effects and zero danger of addiction.
CBD pain relief
Pain comes in all shapes and sizes, far more than covered in this article, but medical CBD strains can be a useful solution. Not a straightforward solution, but a solution nonetheless. In many cases, it does help to have a blend of CBD and THC, especially for more intense physical pain, something you should always consider when choosing the right medicine.
You can purchase CBD for migraine pain relief, CBD for spasms, CBD for cramps, CBD for general and particular pain. The important thing to consider is that there is no cure-all, no magic pill, no one-hit panacea. Our endocannabinoid system is unique and what works for Tracy in accounts might not work for Dave in the warehouse. You need to do your own research, your own trials. Talk to your doctor, chat with your dispensary staff (if they are unable or unwilling to help, find a better, more responsible dispensary) and pretty soon you will find the right product for you.
The best CBD for pain
Okay, so is there an answer to the question, what is the best CBD for pain? The BEST? Very tricky. How does one define ‘best’ here? Purity? Cleanliness? Clarity? Cost? Effectiveness? If you want to know exactly what has gone into your medicine you need to make it yourself. There are forty-four CBD-rich strains available at the Homegrown Cannabis Co. because we know that creating CBD from seed is hugely rewarding… you control what goes in and you control what comes out. Sure, it’s not as easy as buying an oil over the counter, but it’s much cheaper and far more enjoyable. Homemade CBD oils and tinctures are a fantastic addition to any medicine cabinet and they make extremely thoughtful gifts. With CBD, sharing really is caring.
Experts from the field of medical marijuana, have published information on their experience with medical marijuana and CBD at MMJ Doctor, which is worth checking out.