CBD Oil for Pain
Although the “green” legalization momentum has obviously emboldened recreational marijuana users, the biggest impact comes from medical cannabis. Yes, the recreational realm levers the sex appeal that brings eyeballs to the industry. However, cannabis’ therapeutic versatility lays the foundation for sustained integration.
While the U.S. and Canada have progressed the botanical narrative, these countries are politically shifting towards the left. Other countries, particularly in Asia, are much more conservative. Yet even in that region, we’re seeing radical paradigm shifts. For example, South Korea recently legalized medical marijuana.
Unlike recreational weed, therapeutic uses of the plant opens doors to previously unimaginable markets. Few forecasted that Asian countries, which have some of the most restrictive narcotics laws, to provide leniency on any level. In turn, this dynamic has also aided domestic distribution, particularly for cannabidiol, or CBD oil.
Many, if not most marijuana retailers market CBD oil products as recreational devices. Due to their distinctive chemistry, CBD oil is especially popular with vaporizer enthusiasts. But an emerging use and reports have both advocates and medical professionals intrigued, and somewhat conflicted on the topic of CBD oil for pain.
What is CBD Oil?
Before we dive into the granularity of the debate, we should first define the term CBD oil. As previously mentioned, CBD is the popular catch-all phrase for cannabidiol: a cannabis compound that many proponents assert has substantial therapeutic and medicinal benefits, but without the psychoactive properties most commonly associated with marijuana.
Specifically, cannabidiol is what is technically known as a cannabinoid. All cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found within the resin of the cannabis sativa plant; this is what regular folks refer to as marijuana, Mary Jane, 420 and the like.
Typically, cannabinoids produce mind-altering impacts on the central nervous system, and the immune system. This leads to experiences that many marijuana users report, such as the euphoric high, or in other cases, a pronounced mental or emotional acuity.
At the same time, prolonged use or exposure to powerful cannabinoids can result in mood swings, unpredictable behaviors, and general impairment to perform motor-sensory dependent tasks.
As such, an obvious incentive exists to extract the benefits of cannabinoids without the risky or questionable elements. This is where cannabidiol, or CBD oil, comes in: because it has no psychoactive “catalysts,” medical professionals can prescribe CBD to virtually anyone.
Moreover, CBD prescriptions have no moral “boundaries.” Since cannabidiol therapies impart no psychological effect, medical doctors don’t need to worry about ethical considerations.
Why is CBD Oil Supposedly So Effective?
Like any medical advancement, absolute consensus is rarely, if ever achieved. CBD oil is no exception. We’ll get into the nuances of the discussion later so that you may make an informed decision. For now, let’s consider the basis science behind the platform’s efficacy.
To recap, CBD oil is a type of cannabinoid. Undoubtedly, the most popular cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC attaches to receptors in the brain that specifically address functionalities involving cognition, memory, and psychomotor skills. Biologically speaking, this is one of the reasons why people refer to marijuana smokers as “stoners.”
But cannabinoids like THC also attach to receptors that spark feelings of reward, as well as pain perception. This cellular attachment produces the signature “high” that users of all walks of life crave.
Invariably, this euphoric sensation attracts many would-be botanical enthusiasts to the marijuana plant. As a result, early critics of medical cannabis suggested that legalization proponents were merely using therapeutic benefits as a front for recreational mandates.
But what if scientific innovations could extract specific receptor-responses without the psychoactive impact? With CBD oil, this compound links with receptors associated only with pain perception.
Everything else — euphoria, cognition, memory, and neurological acuity — remain undisturbed.
Are We Designed for CBD?
If you noticed while reading the above, cannabinoids’ effectiveness lies not necessarily with the “ingredients,” but with the connection. If THC, for instance, doesn’t bind with our brain receptors, it doesn’t matter how dank the weed is; you’re simply not going to get the high.
Similarly, CBD oil products cannot impart their benefits without connecting to our receptors. While the cannabis biotechnology subsegment is a booming business, their efforts don’t mean much without that initial transmission.
In many ways, the human body is a natural partner to medical marijuana. After all, our brain already houses the receptors to which the cannabis plant fits so well!
The obvious joke here is that God made the marijuana plant for the enjoyment and betterment of humanity. But irrespective of your particular beliefs, one thing is certain: by design or by evolution, our physical bodies have an uncanny appetite for cannabidiol.
Interestingly, cannabis has a long and rich history. Going back over 10,000 years, researchers discovered hemp cords utilized in pottery located in what is now modern-day Taiwan. Fast forward a few thousand years, and ancient tribes in mainland China are growing cannabis seeds and oil for consumption.
Later, historians claim that 2,737 BCE represents the first time that humans used cannabis for medicine. The first patient? None other than Emperor Shen Neng of China!
Expanding Potential for CBD Pain Relief
One of the more compelling arguments favoring CBD oil for pain relief is the platform’s widespread potential. This sentiment isn’t just limited to retail expansion but includes the biotechnological component.
As mentioned near the top, our bodies have cannabinoid receptors, which has led many botanical proponents to wonder if we’re naturally dispositioned towards cannabis-based therapies or even consumption. Specifically, our bodies feature two types of cannabinoid receptors: type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2).
Type 1, or CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain. This is where THC does most of its work, triggering the receptors that control perceptions of reward, among other functionalities. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are situated all throughout the body.
More importantly, CB2 levers a significant role in our immune systems, probably due to their physical dispersement or distribution. Also, these receptors help regulate pain and inflammation. The latter is especially intriguing for the medical community as inflammation often sparks harsh symptoms and conditions.
Advanced scientific research indicates that CBD oil features the ability to bind to some CB2 receptors. However, it’s very like that most CBD-related benefits occur due to triggering non-cannabinoid receptors.
One such category is glycine receptors. They are inhibitory receptors situated within the central nervous system. According to the latest medical data, this receptor category plays a significant role in pain perception.
Surprisingly, biotech researchers discovered that CBD can potentially modulate and increase the glycine receptor’s magnitude of benefits as it relates to pain management. The medical community requires further research to validate this claim. But based on the current trajectory, CBD offers a promising road to neuropathic-pain treatment.
Many Non-CBD Therapies are Ineffective or Damaging
A key component for advocacy towards CBD oil for pain is that the platform can stand on its own feet. Several societies and communities have utilized cannabinoids throughout the course of human history. It’s only in modern times due to political pressures and distortion that cannabis received a black eye from the public.
Obviously, this efficacy represents the core reason why patients continue to strive for cannabis-related solutions: they know the platform works because of modern scientific discoveries and its unrivaled track record. As far we know, the major pharmaceuticals didn’t enjoy a seat at Emperor Shen Neng’s table!
But we’d be remiss not to point out the obvious: other therapies (including many which “Big Pharma” has forwarded) are simply not effective.
This is not a phenomenon unique to CBD oil for pain. Rather, we experience this in our mundane routines. How many times have we caught a cold or the flu and rushed to the local pharmacy for over-the-counter meds? We stuff ourselves with store-bought therapies to limited results. Even more perplexing, a good night’s rest seemingly has better potency.
That’s a rather innocuous comparison. But in other non-CBD treatments, the end result is much more damaging and severe. For instance, the medical community has often prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. This is a broad category that includes aspirin and ibuprofen.
Under normal situations, patients take these drugs to relieve their symptoms. With the underlying casual factor(s) addressed, these patients resume their normal daily activities and consumption patterns.
However, some conditions require prolonged treatments and exposure to NSAIDs. As these prescriptions are based on artificial compounds and concoctions, extensive exposure has created substantial health risks.
A particular threat exists towards elderly patients. In many cases, advanced age and a compromised immune system exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Medical research indicates that NSAID exposure in the elderly increase the risk of peptic ulcers, acute renal failure, and stroke or myocardial infarction.
What the medical establishment requires is a natural, non-addictive solution. Cannabis is right here. The crazy and somewhat sad part is that it has never left.
CBD Oil for Pain is the Ethical Choice
Ethics in medicine has always been a hot-button issue. But as new evidence comes to light regarding long-term tests for common pharmaceutical concoctions, medical professionals have no recourse: they must admit that CBD oil for pain is the ethical, and only reasonable choice.
Case in point is what the U.S. Surgeon General termed the “opioid crisis.” Over the last several years, the mainstream media has distributed a litany of stories covering the ongoing human tragedy.
In these desperate narratives, it’s not uncommon to see entire families gutted through one member’s seemingly incurable addiction to painkillers. Worse yet, the opioid crisis is a national one, costing taxpayers nearly $79 billion annually.
As a result, rundown cities throughout the U.S. that never quite recovered from the last recession have suffered disproportionately from the opioid dilemma. Many young workers are intractably addicted and are therefore functionally useless to the greater economic machinery.
And what exactly caused this crisis? Big Pharma, or the very institutions that campaigned against medical marijuana. The irony is caustic and distressing.
In the mid to late 1990s, healthcare facilities experienced an increase in patients requiring painkilling medication. To address this demand, medical professionals began prescribing opioids — a broad category that includes prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
At the time, the major pharmaceuticals reassured the public that the opioids the industry was prescribing were not addictive. Given their expertise on the matter, most people believed the narrative. Subsequently, healthcare providers began ramping up their prescription allowance.
Adding to the problem was that more than a few patients used the meds well after their rehabilitation period. Opioids often provide a euphoric feeling, which is useful in terms of pain management. But overexposure causes addition. Overexposure on a mass scale causes a pandemic.
Later, the pharmaceutical experts realized that prescription painkillers were not nearly as side-effect free as previously advertised. Unfortunately, in this business, you cannot simply apologize for your oversights. When analysts confirmed the correlation between prescription painkillers and the opioid crisis, the damage was done.
CBD Oil Remains Uncontested in Overall Efficacy
An unspoken reason why Big Pharma has stuck its nose up against medical marijuana is the lack of a sustained revenue stream. As anyone in the industry knows, pharmaceuticals live or die by the patent.
If a biotech firm introduces a unique breakthrough, the federal government (all things considered) awards a patent. This allows the company a certain period of time to market and distribute the target therapy under exclusionary protection.
Cannabis, though, is not a “patent-able” therapy in the same way that I can’t patent a tomato. Both represent naturally-occurring plant-life; thus, the platform is open for anyone to grow and distribute.
This presents a major problem for Big Pharma should the research community prove that cannabis features multiple medicinal/therapeutic properties. Biotechs spend billions in research and development costs to develop the next big thing. If they fail — and failure is quite common in this sector — they could take down their entire organization.
Therefore, cannabis represents an asymmetric threat. With a relatively small investment, marijuana-related businesses can develop specific strains for pain relief and other functions. Further, any competitor can replicate the process without restriction.
Naturally, the Schedule I classification that makes cannabis as “dangerous” as cocaine has clearly benefited pharmaceuticals. But with the opioid crisis, the cat is out of the bag.
Now, unless you insist on denying intellectual honesty, CBD oil for pain and other conditions obviously represent a superior alternative. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped pharmaceuticals and other mainstream institutions from distorting the framework.
You’ll often hear from cannabinoid critics that CBD’s role in curing diseases like cancer remain unproven. This is true. This is also a deliberate distraction.
Most CBD oil manufacturers market their product for pain and stress relief, functions that mounting medical evidence support and affirm. In addition, the concept that CBD can one day lead to a cure for cancer is not unfounded. Yes, continued research must be done, but this is not a speculative journey.
Perhaps most importantly, CBD oil has no established side-effects and does not catalyze addictive behaviors. This fact can be affirmed not only through science, but also through the centuries of human cannabis use with no consensus on chronic, adverse effects.