Know Everything About the Effectiveness of CBD Topical Pain Cream Here
When you have suffered a sprain or your neck is achy and stiff after a night spent staring at your laptop and working away, chances are, the first thing you do is reach out for a pain relief cream that will let you get back to work in the morning. For most of us, pain relief creams and pain relief sprays are the first go-to measure and only if these prove ineffective do we consider popping pills. That’s a healthy strategy to follow, but it also means that it is best for you to have a really effective pain cream right at hand so that you can avoid the popping- pills phase entirely. At the same time, the pain cream also needs to be quick-acting because often, you cannot take an hour off and rest until the effects of the pain relief cream kick in.
If you have paid a visit recently to the pain management section of your pharmacy, you will know that there are several products that have come up in recent years that all use CBD. You may have friends who have recommended a CBD based product to get rid of that achy knee or that niggling pain in your shoulder or the low back pain that just won’t let you sleep. But do you know what CBD is and why it is so popular now?
A quick intro to CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound that is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, also known as hemp or marijuana. More than 80 cannabinoids are derived from this plant, but not all of them give the ‘high’ that marijuana does. For example, cannabidiol (or CBD) does not give you a high. The reason for this is that while marijuana has delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as its major active ingredient, THC is present in very small amounts in cannabidiol.
In short, CBD is found in nature, and today, it is commonly used in many products that are aimed at offering relaxation and pain relief. Keep in mind that this does NOT mean you feel sedated or doped at all because CBD is not psychoactive. Thanks to its efficacy in aiding relaxation and pain relief as well as several other benefits, CBD is now a common name you will find on labels of not just pain relief creams but also in face cream, anti-aging facial serum, body oil and the like.
How does CBD work?
Now how is CBD effective for pain relief? How does it work?
Both THC and cannabidiol work in the same way- by acting on the body’s receptors that are categorized as cannabinoid receptors. The CB1 receptors can be found in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are present in the immune system. These receptors receive signals from the cannabinoids, and a response is triggered accordingly in your body. Studies show that CBD blocks CB1 and CB2 receptors in some way, thus resulting in pain relief. These receptors, CB1 and CB2 impact our body’s pain response mechanisms, including the inflammation that occurs in those areas that are painful.
Research about the efficacy of CBD for pain relief
Before you start using a new pain relief cream or spray, it is a good idea to learn more about it, do your groundwork about its effectiveness, and determine if it is safe for you. The simplest and most effective way to do this is to look for research that has done about the product itself. Here is what research says about CBD as a pain relief remedy.
- According to a study conducted in 2016 that was also published in the European Journal of Pain, a topical formulation of CBD was effective in reducing pain and inflammation in rats. The rats had received an injection to the knee joint that would mirror the pain felt by arthritis patients. A gel with CBD was then massaged into the rat’s shaved backs. The researchers found that the rats that had been given the highest doses of CBD had less inflammation and also exhibited fewer behavioral signs that indicated pain. The use of CBD in arthritic pain is quite common today, and the various pain relief creams and pain relief sprays containing this chemical compound have been found very effective in combating this kind of pain.
- Another study that aimed to determine if CBD has a positive impact on pain as well as nausea arising from chemotherapy treatments showed that CBD was effective with pain. However, the chemical compound did not have much impact on reducing nausea/ vomiting. This study involved over 6700 participants, and hence the outcomes are based on substantial data.
- A report published in frontiersin.org talks about how cannabis has been in use for thousands of years as a medicinal product. According to this study, CBD does not just act on CB1 And CB2 receptors but on multiple pain targets. This means that it is not just via acting on the receptors that CBD may reduce pain but that it may offer pain relief benefits in many other ways as well. At the end of this study, the researchers concluded that CBD could be very effective in the management of pain arising from cancer and fibromyalgia as well as neuropathic pain.
- Studies specifically researching the efficacy of CBD in cancer treatment for pain relief showed that this compound prompts keratinocytes to improve the release of analgesic opioids. The effect of CBD has been compared to that of morphine in this study. In cancer treatment, CBD pain relief medications are frequently used, and with good results. Another study showed that with respect to cancer-related pain, those who had received pain relief sprays with extracts of THC-CBD along with opioids had greater relief than those who had been treated only with opioids.
Different kinds of pain
Before we get on any further, it helps if you know what kinds of pain CBD seems to work well with. Pain can be categorized into three different kinds: neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain, and nociplastic pain.
Neuropathic pain arises when there is damage to nerves or inflammation. We already know that studies have proven CBD’s effectiveness in reducing the pain and the inflammation in such cases.
Nociceptive pain is what you would experience if you broke your wrist or foot. This is also the kind of pain you have in arthritis, with bones rubbing against each other. CBD works well for arthritic pain, although it has not been proven effective so far for fracture-related pains.
Nociplastic pain is the centralized kind of pain you experience in say, fibromyalgia, or migraines. Studies have shown that CBD is effective in both these cases. With respect to migraines, studies show that there are indications CBD may be effective but more research is needed to prove this conclusively. However, for now, CBD, in conjunction with THC, is often used and the combination does seem to give marked relief to those suffering from migraines.
Keep in mind that until December 2018, CBD was a Schedule I substance but that’s no longer the case. With it getting legal sanction in many ways, more research and more conclusive proof of its efficacy in pain relief are sure to come in the following years. However, cannabis was in use widely across the world in the bygone days. Especially over the 19th and early 20th centuries, there are many records of cannabis being used for medicinal purposes, and it is even listed in the U.S pharmacopeia. In 2018, the first CBD based drug for childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA as a Schedule V drug. This has opened up a great opportunity for CBD based treatment options.
Why should you use CBD pain relief creams or CBD pain relief sprays?
There are many reasons for opting for CBD based pain relief products, but the most major ones are:
- The ease of use- a topical cream or spray is the easiest pain relief strategy you can go for. It requires a couple of minutes of your time to apply, and then you can forget about it while it does its work. Topical creams and sprays are the perfect choices when you are at work, for example, and need an instant fix to your achy neck or back so that you can get on with your work without interruption.
- Completely non- intrusive- You don’t have to worry about whether the cream or spray will be compatible with your other medications or whether you are supposed to use it before or after a meal. No matter which time of the day you find the pain acting up, you can simply use the cream or spray without a second thought.
- No question of growing dependent- Unlike with pain relief pills, there is no risk of you becoming dependent on a cream or spray. If you do use it often, you are not likely to face any side effects. Also, there is no need to keep track of how many times you are applying it like you would have to do with pain relief pills to avoid overdosing.
- Targeted treatment- with a pain relief cream or spray, you target the EXACT spot where you have the sprain or ache, and that ensures the medication’s effects kick in quickly, giving you relief almost instantly. If you are at work or you need to travel, or you are in a lot of pain, this really makes a big difference by ensuring you are back on your feet and able to carry on in the shortest time possible.
It is expected that much more research will be carried out now in CBD and CBD products, and that means, in the coming years, we will have a much clearer picture of exactly how many ways these products can prove to be beneficial to us. In the meantime, experts do agree that CBD shows promise as a pain relief method. They are being used very commonly and with good effect. So if you are looking for a pain relief cream or spray, opting for a CBD product might be a smart thing to do. Here is what to take care of when you are shopping for one.
- The brand. Go for a product that is made by a brand with a reputation for making effective, high-quality CBD products. The label should tell you if the product has been quality tested, thus showing that the brand takes this process seriously.
- The amount of CBD in the cream or spray is another thing to look for. Many of these products may have a combination of chemical compounds, so if you are looking for one with a high CBD dosage, check this aspect before you buy.
- The transparency in detailing the ingredients is also important because it tells you that the brand uses safe compounds, which it is willing to list out on the label clearly. Mention of whether the CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana is also of great importance because of the different regulations in place depending on the source of the compound. CBD from hemp is not categorized as a Schedule I substance anymore under the Controlled Substances Act.
Like with any other medical product, if you have never used it before, start small and try out the pain relief spray or cream in smaller amounts to ensure your body does not react adversely to it. Keep in mind that CBD pain creams may contain other ingredients like camphor or capsaicin as well.
In conclusion, CBD is fast becoming a good option when pain relief topical applications are the need of the day. There are quite a number of products to choose from, but taking care to choose a well-known, reputed brand with a range of CBD products to its name is the best way to ensure you get good outcomes in the shortest possible times with a safe product.
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