When you think about cannabis, what comes to mind? You probably think of a leafy green plant that looks something like oregano. However, you may be surprised to learn that cannabis actually comes in other forms.
Cannabis use is on the rise, both medicinally and recreationally. Some users aren’t keen on the idea of smoking cannabis in the traditional way; many of these individuals are turning to CBD.
What is CBD?
Put simply, CBD is one of the compounds found in cannabis. Most people associate cannabis with THC; this is the compound that produces the mind-altering “high” that cannabis is so well-known for.
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t alter the user’s state of mind. Sometimes it is completely non-psychoactive; at the very least, it is less psychoactive than THC. Instead, the effects of CBD are largely medicinal.
Because CBD provides all of the medicinal benefits that cannabis is known for without making the use “high,” it has become popular among people who use cannabis as a treatment for their pain. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, often related to other underlying medical conditions. This has led to an unprecedented opioid crisis as more opioids are being prescribed for pain. CBD is a more natural option that is just as effective at pain management, making it a much safer choice.
How is CBD used?
Unlike traditional cannabis that is typically smoked, CBD often comes in other forms. For example, many people use CBD oil by “smoking” it from a vaporizer. You can also find CBD powder that can be mixed into various foods and drinks. CBD even comes in topical forms such as creams and lotions.
Because of its myriad nontraditional forms, CBD is a great option for those new to cannabis.
Who should use CBD?
While CBD has been shown to help with numerous medical conditions, one of its best-documented uses is pain-management. One study suggests that cannabis users are less likely to use prescription and over-the-counter pain medications.
One way that CBD helps manage pain is by reducing inflammation. One study examined how CBD affected users with a variety of medical conditions including arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension. The study concluded that CBD use reduced the painful inflammation that these conditions can cause.
One medical condition that is frequently associated with cannabis use is cancer. The ability of cannabis to manage pain and nausea has made it popular among those suffering from cancer. One study suggests that CBD can be highly effective at specifically treating the pain that results from chemotherapy. Some chemotherapy drugs can have harsh side effects such as nerve damage. Nerve damage, or neuropathy, can be a very painful condition. This study concluded that CBD use was effective in reducing the pain associated with cancer treatments.
One of the side effects of suffering from acute or chronic pain is difficulty sleeping. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep when your body is wracked with pain. However, one study concluded that CBD use was associated with better sleep for individuals suffering from pain related to conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
While more work still needs to be done to examine the benefits and risks of CBD for pain management, current research seems to suggest that CBD is a safe and effective option for treating pain