CBD offers a truly unique wholeapproach to pain management. By attacking chronic pain from various angles, CBD is able to gently reduce symptoms with a minimum of side effects.
Remember that there are two simple aspects to chronic pain: chronic inflammation and nociception, or nerve pain. CBD seems to address both of them amazingly well — and we’ll break down these concepts one at a time here.
CBD vs. Chronic Inflammation
This is how most chronic pain begins. The body has an immune response, whether to outside stress or — in the case of autoimmune disease — against itself. This results in inflammation in the affected areas. And while a little inflammation isn’t a bad thing (it actually helps with recovery), chronic inflammation is.
In an ideal world, the immune system would be strong enough to adapt and overcome almost anything. But our current modern environment dictates otherwise, so factors like inflammation persist as the body tries to figure out how to solve the problem.
What could be the cause of this? It’s not always easy to say; there could be several overlapping causes. For example, a diet high in omega 6 fats (like canola oil) could be creating more prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are inflammatory molecules that would otherwise assist the healing process but in excess become detrimental to it.
Other dietary factors lead to obesity, which is inflammatory in and of itself. And still other food factors can cause genetic changes that shift the way genes are expressed. If somebody has a gene for arthritis, for example, then eating the conventional SAD diet might cause those genes to express themselves for the worst.
Another potential cause: bad posture could be leading to collagen and fascia imbalances. That’s one more thing the body might inflame in an effort to heal itself. Or maybe your body is deficient in endocannabinoids. If you’re being subjected to multiple stressors like this, it probably already is!
In one sense, our modern world is at odds with the evolution of our biology. There are many things our bodies simply can’t adapt to fast enough. Optimizing your environment isn’t easy — and that makes using adaptogens like CBD even more important.
CBD & Nociception: Can It Reduce Long-term Pain?
For those who’ve already spent years suffering from chronic pain, things may be a little more complicated. Nerves might already be damaged. The myelin sheath might have been worn down enough that the nervous system loses some of its conductivity. That’s something often seen in MS patients, and it can lead to serious side effects, like numbness, paralysis, epilepsy, and mental and emotional changes.
This level of neuropathic damage is thought to be one of the most painful things out there.
Thankfully, though, CBD can help. At this point, the TRPV1 system we talked about earlier also helps reduce neuropathic pain when it’s aided by compounds like CBD.
And even when myelin is damaged, it may not stay that way for long. CBD might even be able to help the body regenerate this protective covering! While more in-depth research is needed on this particular topic, the anecdotal evidence seen so far is very promising.
Summing Things Up
All in all, CBD could provide millions of Americans with the type of gentle, risk-free pain relief they need. Pretty amazing, right? The implications are endless — CBD could even provide America with a realistic way out of the opioid crisis — but more on that in our next post.