Chronic Pain: Can CBD Help?

Chronic Pain: Can CBD Help?

Chronic pain, or pain that lingers for at least three months after an injury or illness has healed, is a major public health problem. In 2019, 50.2 million Americans suffered from some form of chronic pain, or about 20% of the population.

What’s more, about 25% of those with chronic pain develop chronic pain syndrome, where symptoms extend beyond just pain. They include depression and anxiety stemming from the pain, which themselves interfere with your daily life.

At Pinnacle Pain and Spine, our team understands the toll chronic pain — in all its many forms — can take on you physically and emotionally. 

That’s why our pain management specialists, Dr. Matthew Crooks and Dr. Stuart Rammell, offer the latest in science- and medicine-based treatments, including the use of hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD), to help their patients regain their quality of life.

The problems with pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals help pain in the short-term, but prolonged use can be problematic. Not only are there side effects and drug interactions to consider, but for some medications, there’s the added burden of building up tolerance or developing a dependence.

Now, though, there’s another option — cannabidiol. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD is one of more than 80 cannabinoid chemicals found in hemp, which is a close cousin of marijuana but not psychoactive, so you don’t get high.

How CBD acts in the body

Your body has its own endocannabinoid system, with two receptors that respond to cannabinoid substances. 

The first type of receptor is found in your brain. It creates the high you might experience when exposed to delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the active ingredients in marijuana. 

But CBD reacts with the second type of receptor, located in your immune system. It handles your body’s response to inflammation and pain.

The exact mechanism of CBD’s action isn’t yet fully understood, but researchers suspect that CBD has an indirect rather than a direct effect on the second type of receptor. 

That means instead of attaching directly to the receptor, it stimulates the body to manufacture its natural cannabinoids. These cannabinoids have no adverse cognitive effect on the brain. Instead, they simply direct your body to reduce pain and inflammation naturally.

CBD oil’s benefits

Since the hemp plant is closely related to the marijuana plant, research into CBD’s effects have been restricted. Compared with other drugs and medications, we don’t yet have volumes of clinical data to inform treatments. 

But we do know that CBD has no known major safety issues, and that’s part of its appeal, particularly with patients who no longer find traditional analgesics and anti-inflammatories effective.

Of the studies that have been done, some suggest CBD may reduce inflammation and pain in patients with arthritis, a chronic pain condition. Treatments start with a small dose, which we gradually raise to achieve maximum effect. The CBD is available in oral capsules, nasal sprays, creams, or gels.

At Pinnacle Pain and Spine, we offer Real Scientific Hemp Oil™/Pinnacle for our patients. It contains hemp oil sourced from non-GMO plants grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. 

In addition, the CBD oil is extracted using a clean CO2 process instead of damaging solvents. All forms of our CBD products are subject to our Triple Lab Testing® process, which examines the safety and quality three separate times. You know you’re getting a safe and effective product.

We should mention that there are known interactions between CBD and some other medications, so it’s not always appropriate to add it to your pain management plan. This is something you can discuss with Dr. Crooks or Dr. Rammell when you come in for a consultation.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain and haven’t seen relief with traditional therapies, CBD might prove an effective option. To learn more and to schedule your consultation, call any of our locations or contact us online today to request a visit. We have offices in Scottsdale, Chandler, and Fountain Hills, Arizona.

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