The opioid crisis has played a huge roll in the use of cannabis to treat pain.
The goal of this blog is to discuss how I utilized CBD oil to treat pain in my muscles after a hike I recently went on.
What is pain?
Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something is wrong.
How is my muscle pain managed?
I can manage pain by taking over the counter medications (OTCs). There are two types: Acetamiophen (Tylenol) or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs((NSAIDs) Asprin, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil)).
If my muscle pain is intense enough and OTCs are not working I seek alternative treatments instead of opioids .
What are opioids?
Opioids are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. They are derived from opium from the poppy plant. Examples include codeine, morphine, heroin and fentanyl. They dull the body’s pain receptors while the user experiences a euphoric feeling.
Opioids are good for managing bad short term pain from surgery or a bone fracture. These medications do help patients function better but the pain doesn’t always go away entirely.
Opioids can be prescribed for the wrong reasons whether they’re being treated for chronic pain caused by arthritis or for frequent headaches or muscle aches. These patients can develop tolerance for opioids when their body’s get use to them and become less effective and you need to take more to get the same relief as before.
According to www.choosingwiselycanada.org there are some serious side effects that occur as the dose gets higher.
Side effects include:
- Slowed Breathing
- Confusion and mental distress
Overtime opioids become addictive resulting in physical dependence if you stop using them. These are withdrawal symptoms that include cravings, sweating and muscle cramps. The long term effect of opioid addiction can be death.
According to an article I found on http://www.hhs.gov/opioids there were 11million people that mis used opioids and its costing $500 billion dollars a year and 130 users die a day. Opioid addiction is a huge problem our society is facing. If you’re prescribed opioids talk to a medical professional first if you’re concerned about the risk of becoming addicted.
If you are dealing with muscle pain like myself and you’re curious about alternative options. There are many holistic ways to deal with pain.
- Biofeedback: Treatment or exercise that allows a patient to learn to consciously control his or her heart rate and response to stimuli.
- Chiropractic care: Consists of the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system including the spine
- Eastern medicine: Consists of both herbal treatments as well as accupressure and acupuncture.
- Cold and Heat: Cold helps reduce inflammation and heat can alleviate spasms in muscles.
- Meditation: A technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is different from our normal waking state.
How does CBD oil treat pain?
CBD oil consists primarily of a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from cannabis sativa along with THC. Both serve a purpose for managing pain.
The endocannabinoid system regulates a variety of functions through the body by bringing homeostasis. It has two types of cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are described as locks and cannabis CBD and THC act as keys that activate different functions.
CB1 is expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems. CB2 is found in the immune system, digestive system and many of the body’s major organs.
The use of cannabis to treat muscle pain is not one size fits all. Chronic nerve pain can be treated with THC because it binds to CB1 receptors. However it has psychoactive effects that make you high or anxious.
Since CBD binds to CB2 it is good for treating pain associated with inflammation such as muscle pain.
There was a study done on patients dealing with severe pain caused by a major illness and it determined that THC alone did not treat their pain. Since the pain was systemic it helped that when cannabis was combined with both THC and CBD it became a potent pain killer. The CBD activated CB2 receptors that targeted pain caused by inflammation and pain in body’s major organs.
Through personal experience I’ve used CBD oil to manage pain. After hiking up a 4,500 foot mountain in New Hampshire I ate a CBD oil edible that doubled as a sleep aid and a pain reliever. The effect of it lasted a good 20 hours before I started feeling sore again. I took another edible and it dulled my sore muscles and helped me sleep.
CBD oil is an amazing and versatile medicine that serves so many purposes include pain management, anxiety relief and sleep management.
How do you manage your pain?
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