Cannabis, CBD & Pain Management

Cannabis, CBD, and Managing Pain

Cannabis and CBD are increasingly popular alternatives to over-the-counter pain-relieving medications. There are many reasons why people use cannabis. Pain management is one of them. Can cannabis or CBD help manage your pain?

What is pain management?

Pain management is the process of treating chronic or long-lasting pain, which can be simple or complex to treat depending on the underlying condition. Chronic pain affects more people than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. There are a variety of treatment options that should be discussed with your doctor or medical professional caring for your condition.

What is known about cannabis, CBD and pain management?

According to a 2015 study, the use of cannabis may be effective for treating some types of chronic pain including nerve pain.

Another study from the Journal of Pain in 2016 found that cannabis use for cancer pain led to a 64% reduction in opioid use, improved quality of life, and caused fewer side effects (due to prescribed medications). It also led to participants using fewer medications overall.

A recent study from the University of New Mexico found that hemp oil reduced mechanical pain sensitivity 10-fold, for several hours, in mice with chronic postoperative neuropathic pain. 

The body is built with a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which helps monitor and regulates everyday functions like sleep, appetite, immune response, and pain. This system produces neurotransmitters that bind to receptors found in the nervous system. CBD has been linked to positively impacting these receptors and reducing long-term pain symptoms. Limited study evidence has shown that CBD use may be a good option for pain reduction in patients with arthritis and multiple sclerosis. 

While a number of studies on cannabis/CBD and pain management have been performed over the last few years, they are not yet sufficient in breadth or depth to draw any real conclusions.

And, because of the federal prohibition on the use of cannabis, the scientific community lacks rigorous, experimentally controlled studies examining the effects of cannabis on many conditions, including pain management.

What is suspected to be true?

Cannabis contains two primary compounds – or cannabinoids – THC and CBD. THC more closely resembles the cannabinoid chemicals existing naturally in the body. When THC is ingested, it stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, activating the brain’s reward system and potentially reducing pain levels. THC is a psychoactive compound causing users to feel “high” whereas CBD is non-psychoactive, doesn’t cause a “high” feeling and has long been thought to contain wellness and healing compounds. In addition, CBD is known to interact with pain receptors in the brain to exert pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. The specifics, however, are unconfirmed.

Some argue that certain strains of cannabis are more effective for pain management, but strain-specific recommendations are not medically proven. The results of a survey of medical cannabis users found that participants preferred indica strains for pain management.

How do you find out if cannabis or CBD will help with your pain? How do you get the answers you need?

Getting Answers With Jointly

Jointly is Your Cannabis Companion – a smartphone app that answers your important questions by aggregating experiences from a community of users just like you. Jointly is safe, secure, private, unbiased, and easy to use. Jointly only includes legal and licensed products from legal and licensed brands.

Jointly can help you identify the best products for managing your pain, based on real experiences of other people, like you, with the same goals.

Then, Jointly helps you learn how to use those products to their full potential. You can determine your optimal dose, minimize any side effects, and learn how the quality of your cannabis experience can be impacted by sleep, hydration, exercise, diet, and more.

We hope you get the results you deserve. And, be sure to learn about the steps you can take to increase your odds of success.

And, if you have any feedback or ideas for improving Jointly, please let us know. We’re here to help, but also to learn.

Notes

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In no way is any of the information contained on this site or in the Jointly app intended to be a medical or prescriptive guide or a substitute for informed medical advice or care. If you believe or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your doctor or health care provider. You should never delay seeking or disregard advice from a medical professional based on something you have read here.

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