Despite its current federal illegality, cannabis continues to demonstrate enormous promise as a treatment option for a variety of illnesses and ailments. While much of the research into cannabis has focused on one specific cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the only psychoactive cannabinoid present in cannabis – more recently researchers have begun experiments looking into the potential medical benefits on the second-most common cannabinoid present in cannabis: cannabidiol (CBD).
To help those curious learn more about cannabis and its potential benefits to health and wellness, we are publishing a series of brief blog posts detailing specific areas in which CBD has been shown to provide benefits to patients.
First up in this series: how CBD can potentially help alleviate chronic pain.*
As CBD increasingly becomes the focus of research, one of the clearest and most robust findings with regard to how CBD can influence health and wellness is in the treatment of chronic pain. In fact, “chronic pain” is included among the qualifying conditions in many of the states that have decided to allow for medical cannabis use, including here in Colorado. Marijuana has long been used by people throughout history for its pain relieving qualities, but as more science is aimed at cannabis it is clear that CBD is one of – if not the – most significant cannabinoids responsible for this effect.
For example, a 2008 study published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management titled, “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain,” attempted to assess how CBD works to alleviate pain. The study concluded that CBD was effective in overall pain management and, importantly, presented no adverse side effects. In addition, CBD proved beneficial in treating insomnia associated with chronic pain.
According to the website, Healthline.com, CBD could be a better alternative for those people who suffer from chronic pain and are currently relying upon more dangerous, habit-forming medications such as opioids. Indeed, recent research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that opiate-related deaths decreased by approximately 33 percent in 13 states in the six years following the legalization of medical marijuana in those areas.
Other studies have similarly pointed to how CBD can help patients suffering pain due to specific conditions. For instance, a 2011 study found promising results in the use of CBD to treat fibromyalgia. Patients who participated in the study and were given the CBD treatment experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, including reduced pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well-being. Similarly, CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of illnesses including multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
When it comes to the potential health benefits of CBD, it’s clear that pain relief is arguably the chief example for both researchers and patients. Be sure to ask your doctor if CBD products may be helpful in the treatment of your specific conditions, and ask your budtender about the wide variety of CBD products we carry at every LivWell location.
*LivWell makes no claims regarding the health or medical benefits of cannabis.