There is no question about it: America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Around 80% of the world’s supply of opioids is consumed in the United States! An estimated 300 million pain prescriptions were written in the U.S. in 2015 in a market worth $24 billion per year. While painkillers are necessary in some instances, physicians are far too quick to write a prescription when better options such as CBD for pain are available.
What Are the Existing Painkilling Medication Options & What Are Their Side Effects?
If you don’t use CBD to help relieve your pain, it’s likely that you are taking one of the dozens of prescription painkillers available. In most other countries around the world, opioid prescriptions are only issued in serious cases. In America, practically anyone can pick up a prescription for almost any reason. Headache? Backache? Sore Tummy? Here’s some opioids!
The most common painkillers include Vicodin, Narco, and Xodol, and they are available for as little as $14 a month. Other common drugs include Methadone and OxyContin.
An increasing number of medical experts are growing critical of painkillers as they seem to do little more than ‘mask’ the problem without ever getting to the root of it. The list of possible side effects is long and varied, and you even suffer from them when taking over the counter medication such as Advil. Potential side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased risk of infection
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
The above is just the tip of the iceberg, however. One of the features of the opioid epidemic is the sheer number of deaths involved. According to the CDC, approximately 15,000 people die from an opioid overdose annually; almost half of these deaths involve a prescription drug. Here are some other frightening facts:
- In 2014, approximately 2 million Americans were either dependant on or abused, prescription opioids.
- Almost 1,000 people are hospitalized every day and treated in emergency departments because they misuse prescription opioids.
- Up to 25% of Americans who receive a long-term prescription opioid in a primary care setting for noncancer pain struggle with addiction.
How Can CBD Help?
The popularity of CBD oil for pain is increasing as patients realize that this all-natural painkiller is every bit as effective as opioids and doesn’t carry the same health or addiction issues. It is extracted directly from the cannabis plant (preferably via CO2 extraction), and cannabidiol (CBD) does not carry the psychoactive high associated with THC.
The number of benefits associated with CBD for pain will probably shock you, and best of all, there is plenty of scientific research to support these assertions.
Did you know that CBD oil is an effective way to fight inflammation which causes pain and ultimately damages tissue? It directly affects the body’s adenosine receptors along with a variety of other biological mechanisms. CBD lowers the production of cykotine (the signaling proteins responsible for balancing the beginning and resolution of inflammation) by the Th1 and Th2 T-helper cells and prevents the production of cykotine by the immune cells.
A 2012 study by Marc Feldman at Imperial College, London, conducted an experiment involving mice, inflammation, and CBD. The mice had a form of rheumatoid arthritis, but when they received the ‘right’ dosage of CBD, their inflammation was reduced by almost 50%!
Regarding relieving chronic pain, CBD possibly interacts with the receptors in your immune system and brain. These tiny proteins, which are attached to your cells, receive chemical signals from various stimuli and your cells respond. The result is the aforementioned anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects which make CBD the ideal replacement for dangerous opioids.
A 2008 review by Ethan Russo, which was published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, assessed the efficacy of CBD when it came to relieving chronic pain. Russo looked at a variety of studies conducted over the previous 20 years and made some interesting discoveries. The conclusion was that CBD is an effective means of pain management without the adverse side effects associated with prescription medication.
There are even studies that show the ability of CBD to act as an effective pain reliever for people suffering from arthritis. A 2016 study by Hammell et al., published in the European Journal of Pain, involved the application of CBD gels to rats with arthritis for four consecutive days. They upped the dosage each day and soon noticed reduced inflammation in the joints of the rats without any side effects.
To date, CBD has been used as a method of managing pain in people living with cancer. Even the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has included CBD as a possible pain management option. There have also been a few studies on mice which showed that CBD oil reduced their cancerous tumors. However, research relating to cancer and CBD is still in its infancy, and for now, people simply use it to relieve pain.
What CBD Oils Should You Choose For Pain?
According to a report by the Brightfield Group, published in Forbes in August 2017, the hemp-derived CBD market could be worth $1 billion by 2020. While sales were ‘only’ $170 million in 2015, the market is expected to grow by at least 55% per annum in the next few years.
There are around 200 marijuana extracts on the market according to the DEA, and at present, the market is not particularly well policed. However, we have decided to do the hard work of finding reputable CBD oil sellers for you. Check out which CBD oils work on our CBD Oils for Pain Relief Comparison Chart
Final Thoughts on CBD for Pain
There is no doubt that the opioid epidemic has reached full-blown crisis mode as millions of people get hooked on these dangerous drugs. Hopefully, CBD as a pain reliever will catch on because not only does it rival, and some would say better, prescription drugs in terms of performance, it doesn’t have the same level of nasty side effects.
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