From hip discomfort to ankle sprains, many Canadians suffer from some sort of physical pain every day. Whether it was triggered by a sports injury or aging-related illness, untreated pain can significantly disrupt one’s quality of life. For those who are hesitant to take over-the-counter painkillers or harsh prescription meds, CBD is a safe and natural alternative. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant along with THC. But unlike THC, CBD does not contain psychoactive properties — meaning it does not cause any form of high. This is why cannabidiol is the preferred treatment for millions of Canadians suffering from pain.
Using CBD for Various Forms of Pain
CBD may reduce pain, inflammation and the overall discomfort associated with many conditions. Whether ingested or applied topically, cannabidiol is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of alternative therapies for pain management.
Chronic pain is typically defined by any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. It could be caused by an initial injury, such as a neck sprain or dislocated elbow. Or it could be from ongoing causes, like an autoimmune disorder or dysfunction of the nervous system. Many studies show cannabinoids have the ability to suppress pain and inflammation. Research also shows users are unlikely to build up a tolerance to its effects.
In places like Manitoba, there is an enormous market for CBD. However, the sale of CBD oil is illegal in the province — despite Canada’s new pot legislation. For those who would like to try cannabidiol for chronic pain management, you must receive a medical marijuana prescription first. An organization like Apollo Cannabis can help you obtain one, no matter where in Canada you may be.
According to the Arthritis Society, this disorder is Canada’s most prevalent chronic health condition. From osteoarthritis to gout, arthritis is a complex disease with more than 100 different types. There is currently no cure, meaning one in five Canadians lives with its painful effects every day. If you’re one of these sufferers, CBD can help you manage the pain associated with this condition. This compound affects the way pain receptors respond to stimuli, helping to control inflammation in the joints.
The effects of CBD are so promising that the Arthritis Society has become a major advocate of cannabis use. The organization has been funding research into the use of marijuana for symptoms and has been calling on the federal government to increase funds into medical cannabis research.
In 2017, an average of 565 Canadians was diagnosed with cancer each day. Most cancer patients undergo chemotherapy which can be a very challenging and exhausting process. CBD is often used to help manage the pain associated with this treatment. Cannabidiol can help with the following:
- Reduce nausea and vomiting
- Reduce swelling and neuropathic pain
- Control appetite to avoid weight loss
- Promote emotional health
Hemp is a natural cannabinoid derived from cannabis plants. It is one of the most commonly used substances to help cancer patients recover from the difficult side effects of chemotherapy.
Neuropathic pain is associated with damaged nerves. It is often caused by diseases like diabetes or spinal stenosis. Brain and spinal cord injuries can also lead to chronic neuropathic pain. For some sufferers, the pain can erupt suddenly like a stabbing sensation. For others, symptoms can include a burning or tingling that lingers throughout the day.
Various studies have shown that cannabinoids can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain. CBD works by reducing the metabolic breakdown of endocannabinoids, which our bodies produce naturally. By slowing down this process, CBD causes feelings of pain to alleviate — and in some cases, disappear altogether. Cannabidiol products can also help you remain calm and sleep better, which are essential to healing.
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. This autoimmune disease affects the central nervous system (brain, optic nerves, spinal cord) by attacking myelin. Myelin is the protective covering around our nerves, which is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibers. When this covering becomes damaged, it can cause MS. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, lack of coordination and vision problems. Many people with multiple sclerosis also report muscle spasms, which can be very disruptive to one’s quality of life. CBD can reduce the level of spasticity while managing the pain, anxiety, and inflammation that MS patients encounter.
How is CBD Oil Used?
Cannabidiol most commonly comes in oil form. But the way in which you ingest the oil is usually based on personal preference. Here are the following ways to consume CBD:
Orally: CBD can come in a dropper bottle as a tincture. You can place the drops of oil underneath your tongue. Hold the oil in place for a minimum of 60 seconds. This allows for complete absorption of the tincture through your blood vessels. Be sure to follow the doctor’s recommended dosage to ensure safe consumption.
Oil Capsules: Some licensed producers will put the oil in capsules, which are very convenient and easy to swallow. Capsules also make it much simpler to measure the right dosage.
Sprays: CBD oil can be sprayed into the mouth, allowing for absorption into the body. This is a flexible option for those who take cannabidiol multiple times a day. Some sprays even come in various flavors for users who do not enjoy CBD’s hempy taste.
How Long Does it Take for CBD to Kick In?
The effects of CBD may vary from person to person. The dosage amount and the user’s body weight will determine how long it takes for the cannabidiol to kick in. However, it can typically take anywhere from two minutes to two hours to notice results. The quickest way to feel CBD’s effects is to vape the compound or ingest it sublingually under the tongue. Consuming CBD in an edible form — like chocolate or muffins — will take much longer to kick in. If you take cannabidiol on a full stomach, expect to wait longer. But you will most likely be able to avoid any side effects like dysphoria or headaches.
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?
A user’s metabolism will usually dictate how long it takes for the body to process CBD. But the effects will usually last about three to four hours. Cannabidiol generally remains in your system in trace amounts for about three to five days. However, this can vary from person to person and is determined by the dosage amount, potency of the product and frequency of use.
In the coming years, expect to see more research on the effectiveness of CBD oil for pain management. Meanwhile, there is no doubt the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol — especially for those suffering from chronic pain. CBD still remains the preferred treatment method for millions of Canadians who are worried about intoxication and dependence. This natural healing compound is a much safer alternative to the heavy medications touted by pharmaceutical companies today.
About: Rebecca hill is a Community manager at Apollo Cannabis, who provides personalized medical cannabis prescriptions, education and treatment support, free of charge.