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cbd and pain management

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is undergoing a surge in popularity as the hot new supplement, with a promise to treat a variety of conditions including pain, anxiety, and insomnia, just to name a few. It’s also available in all manner of forms, from lotions and oils to CBD-infused food and drink. But does it work?

CBD is one of the compounds in the cannabis plant, better known as marijuana. Unlike the famous cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t cause the psychological effects typical of being “high”. Both CBD and THC act on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in many processes including appetite, pain and memory.

Want to learn more on this topic? Listen to this podcast from the Rogel Cancer Center on Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients.

Don’t smoke or vape. Bottom line is smoking anything harms the lungs. Vaping has been associated with a recent epidemic of lung disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Boehnke and Clauw recommend that people with chronic pain talk to their doctor about adding CBD to their treatment plan, and continue to use their prescribed medication. They offer the following advice for people wanting to try CBD:

Yet marijuana has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years, he notes. In fact, one of the first recorded uses of cannabis was for rheumatism, also known as arthritis. Cannabis products were widely used as medicines in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia before the onset of Federal restriction in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act.

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Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment: “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.”

Does It Help Blood Pressure?

Consumer Reports: “What Is CBD? What to Know Now About This Cannabis Product.”

You can take CBD oil by itself by mouth, or use one of many products that has it as an ingredient. These include pills, chewable gels, “tinctures” you drop under your tongue, vape cartridges you breathe in, creams on your skin, and foods like chocolate bars. The amount and quality of CBD in these products can be very different.

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The FDA has approved only one CBD-based drug, and it’s used to treat two rare types of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — as well as seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex. It’s called Epidiolex, and it’s approved for adults and kids over age 1.