I’ve probably said it a thousand times, probably more. CBD has the potential to replace, or at the least enhance, many existing products on the market today. As the co-founder of CBD Hemp Experts, it is partially my job to get this cannabinoid out there to all the people who need it, and I can’t think of anyone who could benefit from CBD topicals more than those who live every day with pain.
The statistics relative to chronic pain in this country are astounding. The CDC released a report in 2018 that estimated there are at least 50 million people who have chronic pain. To put that big number into perspective, that’s about 20 percent of the adult population or one out of five adults you meet. For way too long, the go-to remedy for chronic pain sufferers has been prescribed pain medication. In 2016 alone, health care providers handed over 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications. Now take a look at this number: One in three people know someone addicted to opioids.
These numbers are just one of the many reasons why I am a huge supporter of CBD for pain sufferers. But the big question I hear the most is: Does CBD really work for pain? When I start quoting studies to provide proof that CBD could be an effective pain remedy, the next question is usually: What kind of CBD is best for pain? My answer sometimes surprises people. CBD edibles, CBD oils and tinctures, and even CBD capsules are probably the most popular products, but CBD topical products are hands-down the best for pain.
To understand how a CBD topicals product works well for pain, you have to understand a little about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is something that is part of all of us, but most people have no idea what it is or how it works. In general terms, this system is designed to both produce endocannabinoids and react to cannabinoids. Yes, you did read that correctly. Our bodies actually produce endocannabinoids, which are endogenous substances that are a lot like cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
You see, our bodies rely on the endocannabinoid system for all kinds of purposes. You’re hungry, your stomach growls to let you know. You’re hot, your body sweats to lower your body temperature. These things happen because the ECS is constantly adjusting things like hormone levels and releasing endocannabinoids to trigger certain bodily functions. There are receptors throughout your body that are meant to pick up on the endocannabinoids sent out by the neurotransmitters of the ECS so they know when and how to react. These receptors can be found in both the central and peripheral nervous system.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. CBD topicals’ agents work well for pain because they go straight to the source. Imagine this scenario. You have horrible inflammation in your knees due to arthritis, and the pain is really kicking your butt. You have a bottle of CBD oil and a jar of CBD-infused pain cream. You could take the oil, wait for it to break down in the digestive system, and then get some relief, or you could grab some of that cream, apply it directly to your aching knees, and get relief almost immediately. When applied topically, the CBD absorbs into the lipids in the skin and gets broken down, delivered to ECS receptors in that particular area, and your body responds.
We are just starting to learn all the ways CBD can benefit the human body, and there has been much interest in learning how CBD can be beneficial for the treatment of pain. Not only does CBD work with the ECS system to help alleviate pain signals it is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. One of the most cited studies of CBD for pain involved using transdermal CBD gels to treat animals with arthritic knee pain. The conclusion in that particular study says a lot:
“…topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
There have been studies published on the efficiency of CBD for pain associated with osteoarthritis, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and many others. The best part? These studies relative to CBD for pain are just getting started.
The potential pain-relieving properties of CBD make it a forerunner in my mind as a worthy candidate for chronic pain patients and people dealing with everyday pain that want something beyond the unsafe treatments that are available. About 72 percent of people who take prescription pain medications for pain say they would gladly give CBD a try. This shows just how ready the public is for a change. I really do think CBD topicals could be the best thing for these people to try first because topical CBD seems to generate a faster outcome.