CBD for Pain
The clinical practice of the use of cannabinoids for a large variety of chronic pain syndromes is effective and safe.
Chronic pain has a variety of causes, ranging from an initial injury or an ongoing illness, but there may also be no clear cause. Because of this, chronic pain can be very hard to treat and can have negative impacts on the patient’s lifestyle.
Studies indicate that cannabidiol (CBD) effectively reduces the cravings and withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opioids, a new research review concludes. Yasmin L. Hurd, PhD, the Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders for the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System, examined the findings of animal studies and a small human pilot and published her findings in the journal Trends in Neuroscience.
Joint diseases, inflammatory and degenerative, all share the feature which is the loss of cartilage. In osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there is an increased cartilage breakdown. It is induced by an increased production of inflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The overall result is an increase in protein enzymes which are responsible for cartilage destruction.
Cannabinoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce joint damage in animal models of arthritis. According to some studies, cannabinoids reduce cytokine production and protein enzymes. Cannabinoids also downregulate the gene expression that is responsible for making these protein enzymes.
The data suggests that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties and could be considered as a treatment for inflammatory arthritis. Other studies have shown that cannabinoid not only slow or prevent the course of arthritis, but are also efficient in the treatment of pain associated with RA.
Treatment options for neuropathic pain have limited efficacy and use is fraught with dose-limiting adverse effects. The endocannabinoid system has been elucidated over the last several years, demonstrating a significant interface with pain homeostasis. Exogenous cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.
The discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their putative endogenous ligands raises questions as to the nature of the effects produced by cannabinoids on neural circuits that mediate pain and whether endogenous cannabinoids produced by the brain or in the periphery serve naturally to modulate pain. A sizable body of previous work showed that cannabinoid agonists suppress pain behavior in a variety of models of acute and chronic pain.
The number of people in the United States affected by chronic pain is staggering. Chronic pain is often hard to quantify because it is so subjective, but the numbers below prove this is a national epidemic. Chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States.
1) 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. This is according to a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies.
2) Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
3) Three out of four Americans have either personally experienced chronic pain or have a close family member or friend who has, according to a survey conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates.
4) The most likely people to report pain lasting more than 24 hours are adults aged 45-64 years, while adults 65 and over were the least likely.
5) A study by the National Institutes of Health found one in 10 Americans experienced pain every day for three months.
6) Chronic pain isn’t just an American epidemic; over 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain.