Living with pain isn’t easy. Countless people around the world experience acute injuries that cause chronic pain. And even more people are dealing with long-term chronic pain on a daily basis. Can we use CBD for pain, or perhaps to complement traditional medications?
Traditional medicine typically treats pain with opioid-based pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter pain-relievers. However, after decades of overprescribing pain meds, the U.S. is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose. 
For decades, many pain sufferers have turned to over-the-counter pain-relievers such as Aleve to manage their pain. Now we know these types of drugs are correlated with heart failure, kidney damage, ulcers, and damage to the stomach and GI tract. [1,2,3]
And while opioids have been vital to modern medicine, we now know that they are highly addictive and deadly. 
What is CBD?
In recent years, many people suffering with chronic pain are turning to a potentially safer alternative. Cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, is quickly rising in popularity as an effective replacement for traditional pain-relievers.
CBD is a cannabinoid compound extracted from hemp. It can be administered in many ways, such as:
CBD is one of the two main cannabinoids found in cannabis, which humans have been using as a pain-reliever for thousands of years. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. Infuzion products contain zero THC).
A few of CBD’s potential therapeutic applications include:
- Pain relief
- Antioxidant Neuroprotectant
The number of people who suffer from debilitating chronic pain is astounding. Let’s take a quick look at some of the data. 
- 100 million Americans suffer daily from chronic pain.
- 1 in 10 Americans has experienced pain every day for three months or more.
- 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain.
- Chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability.
- 77% of people report feeling depressed due to their chronic pain.
- More than half of chronic pain sufferers feel that they have little or no control over their pain.
The most common type of chronic pain is low back pain, followed by migraines, neck pain, and facial pain.
Over 36 million Americans miss work due to pain in a single year and less than a third of chronic pain sufferers expect that they could become pain-free with traditional treatments. 
What Causes Chronic Pain
There are many reasons for experiencing chronic pain. Some of the most common causes of long-term chronic pain are:
- Chronic, low-grade inflammation
- Muscle tension, spasms, and contracture
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Injury and surgery
- Disease or illness
Chronic pain is often attributable to health conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or fibromyalgia. Patients afflicted with these diseases experience a form of chronic pain referred to as neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain – also known as neuropathy – refers to pain experienced as a result of nerve damage. These are just two examples of neuropathy, but there are other conditions that can cause nerve damage and neuropathic pain such as:
- Physical trauma
- Genetic disorders
- Toxins and poisons
- Drugs and medications
Treating Pain With Opioids
Basic research on how cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids intervene in pain mechanisms is progressing rapidly, but clinical progress is advancing slowly.
What we do know is that the pain medications we’ve been using, opioids and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), while effective, aren’t safe for long-term use. 
In fact, a recent report released by the CDC revealed that from July 2016 to September 2017, in the U.S., overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30%. 
The CDC’s figures from 2016 show some 42,000 opioid-related deaths, with 40% alone involving a prescription opioid. 
According to Dr. Erin Krebs, the lead author of a brand new JAMA study, opioids don’t even help patients with chronic pain in the long-term.  In fact, research indicates that opioids provide relief for only about 23% of patients with chronic pain. 
Using CBD for Pain
For some people suffering with neuropathic pain, CBD works more effectively than opioids and NSAIDS. 
One study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology focused on CBD and pain perception. Researchers concluded, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.” 
In other words, CBD is able to alter the physiological processes involved with pain perception and can possibly provide patients with a better quality of life.
Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of chronic pain and since CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory it can also relieve pain by reducing inflammation. The compound signals the immune system to minimize inflammatory response. 
CBD may offer a safer and more effective alternative to over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription opioids. However, each person responds to cannabinoid-based therapies uniquely depending on a variety of factors.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for pain, be sure to look for a potent, high-quality product from a reputable source.
Infuzion offers some of the most potent CBD formulations on earth. Our products are meticulously developed using science-backed methods. And they are rigorously tested to ensure they are free of contaminants and contain zero THC, to ensure they are effective and safe for your entire family.
Have you tried CBD for pain management? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment in the discussion section below and thanks for reading!
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of heart failure in four European countries: nested case-control study. Andrea Arfè. The BMJ 2016 http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4857
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: effects on kidney function. Whelton A. Hamilton CW. J Clin. Pharmacol. 1991 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1894754
- Peptic ulcer disease and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Musa Drini. Australian Prescriber. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478398/
- Opioid Overdose. CDC. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html
- Chronic Pain Statistics: Facts, Figures, and Research (infographic) The Good Body. Web. 2017 https://www.thegoodbody.com/chronic-pain-statistics/
- Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes. J Manzanares. Curr. Neuropharmacol. 2006 Jul; 4(3): 239-257 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/
- Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action. Maione S. Br. J. Pharmacol. 2011 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20942863
- Effect of Opioid vs. Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain. Erin E. Krebs. MD, MPH. Original Investigation JAMA. 2018. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2673971?redirect=true
- Vital Signs: Trends in Emergency Department Visits For Suspected Opioid Overdoses – United States, July 2016-September 2017. CDC. 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6709e1.htm