How To Talk To Your Doctor About Using CBD For Pain Management?
Due to the legalization and proliferation of cannabidiol(CBD), more and more people are considering cannabis products. The health benefits of CBD products have made this drug unique from others. Several studies have shown that using cannabidiol as a supplement can result in positive changes. CBD products are using an alternative to traditional medications to cure different ailments.
People may often confuse about the use of CBD products. They seek the help of doctors to inquire about the use, benefits, and side effects of cannabidiol. However, asking doubts regarding the use of CBD and pain management can be an overwhelming task for a variety of reasons. The article will guide you on how to talk to your doctor about medical cannabis.
Medical history and current medications
The medical use of cannabis plants starts from dates back to 2737 BC when the Chinese Emperor Sheng Neng used cannabis-infused tea to avoid certain ailments, including gout, malaria, rheumatism, memory, etc. Queen Victoria also used CBD to reduce menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with periods. Over the years, more and more studies are conducted based on the benefits of using CBD for different conditions. The studies accumulate national attention in recent years, and CBD products came under one of the most demanding products in the market.
CBD is a primary compound of the Cannabis sativa plant that is used to treat various ailments in the body. Medical cannabidiol is extracted from hemp and used for several medical conditions, such as nerve pain, Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, cancer, migraines, motion sickness, arthritis, and many more. There are a hundred cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main components emerging as pharmaceutical agents to treat both mental and physical illness. Compared to other drugs, CBD is non-addictive and have own set of painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects. The main difference between CBD and THC is its psychoactive elements. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have ‘high’ effects and negative consequences.
The potential benefits of using CBD
When it comes to the potential benefits of CBD, the main point is the ability to relieve all types of pain. The chemical may benefit a person’s health in various ways. Read on to find some of the potential benefits of using CBD and how it helps to reduce certain conditions.
- Decrease anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders that affect the neuro system. Every year, there is a mass hike in the number of people who are facing depression and anxiety. CBD can calm the mind and reduce depression and the symptoms associated with anxiety. CBD has the property to change serotonin levels in the brain. A study proved that people who took a one-month assessment of CBD products experienced a lower level of anxiety and depression.
- Improves sleeping
Early studies suggest that using high dosages of CBD products improves sleeping quality. It is used to treat several sleep disorders, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, etc. CBD does this function by interacting with a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system.
- Reduce pain and inflammation
Pain is an unpleasant signal that differs from person to person. It can be mild, severe, or unnoticeable. There are different types of pain, such as chronic pain, acute pain, Neuropathic pain, and radicular pain. CBD has a vital role in pain management, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and nociceptive pain. The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says that there is evidence suggesting that CBD may reduce chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, arthritis pain, multiple sclerosis, etc.
- Protect heart health
Studies suggest that anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties help to reduce the risk factors that lead to heart diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure is one of the risk factors that leads to several cardiovascular problems. It obstructs the smooth blood flow throughout the body. Research suggests that a single dose of CBD can reduce blood pressure and prevent congestive heart failure. Cholesterol can also damage your heart health. A high amount of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)can increase the risk factors for developing heart diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties in CBD supplements reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
- Substitute for opioid addiction
Some studies have shown that CBD could be used to help treat people who are addicted to opioids. A study found that CBD helps to reduce various psychiatric and medical symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. The effective use of CBD in reducing these symptoms indicates CBD may be an effective treatment to control opioid addiction.
- Reduce diabetic complications
There is a lot of debate happening around CBD and diabetes. Using CBD supplements doesn’t bring a noticeable effect on insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers conducted animal clinical trials to find the effects of CBD on diabetes, and the study theorized that cannabis has desirable effects on hyperglycemia. The visible reduction in high blood glucose happens through the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD.
- Reduce certain cancer-related symptoms
CBD plays an active role in cancer pain management. The antioxidant properties in CBD help to alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, and pain. An older study has shown that the effects of CBD and THC reduce cancer-related pain and symptoms. A review of five studies suggests that Sativex, which is a mouth spray derived from the cannabis plant can reduce cancer-related pain. However, there is little evidence available based on the effect of CBD on cancer-pain management.
What are the side effects and risks of using CBD?
Like other drugs, CBD use also carries some risks and mild side effects. The most common side effects of CBD include reduced appetite, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, etc. The interaction with other medications also leads to several side effects, such as drowsiness and sedation. Inaccurate dosage and unreliability of the purity are other concerns of CBD products. The product may contain less or more amount of CBD on the label or may infuse the THC compound in the product. It may affect variations in the dosage and cause several health risks.
When it comes to the risk factors, it is important to point out that CBD is not approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is difficult to know about the appropriate dosage of a new CBD product. Therefore, third-party tested CBD products are more reliable than others.
The appropriate dosage and method of administration
As aforementioned, it’s difficult to figure out how much CBD to take because of the lack of regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The amount of dosage may depend on several factors including, individual body chemistry, the condition you’re treating, body weight, and the concentration of CBD in each pill or capsule. Therefore, it’s better to talk with your doctor regarding the dosage of CBD. If you consider CBD without a recommendation from your doctor, start with a smaller dosage and slowly increase it. Starting with 20-40 mg a day is suitable for your body. Check whether you have any side effects after using the supplements. If you are ok with the product, then increase this amount by 5 mg after a week.
When it comes to the method of administration, it is difficult to say the best option because there are different CBD options available in the market. The products are ranging from pills to softgels. However, In general, inhalation provides better relief for symptoms. Most people use vape pens to get the fastest relief from the pain. Another excellent way to use CBD is to consume it in the form of edibles, such as gummies, mints, and softgels. It is often recommended for the long-term management of pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
The importance of purchasing high-quality CBD products
While purchasing CBD products, it’s important to note the quality of the product. The high-quality product can only provide better results for your ailment. Here are the things you should note while purchasing CBD products.
- Examine whether the product has a COA (Certificate of Analysis). It determines the quality of the product, which means the product has been third-party tested by an outside laboratory.
- Check out the brand’s information or ask the retail store’s staff about the products. They should be knowledgeable about the products they make or carry.
- CBD is grown through organic processes, and it determines the quality, taste, effectiveness, and safety of supplements. Go for organic products instead of chemically processed ones. The ingredients added to the product are a factor that helps to decide whether the product is organic or inorganic.
How to monitor and track your symptoms?
Ongoing research suggests that cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol can provide the human body with several health benefits. The purpose of CBD is pain management, especially chronic pain. In addition, CBD has a vital role in managing different symptoms related to certain diseases. Therefore, regular contact with your doctor is mandatory to identify the disease you diagnosed with. If you feel anything unpleasant, consult your doctor and seek medical support. If you feel constant pain in any part of your body, monitor the symptoms and talk to your doctor about what you feel. You can also inquire about the role of CBD in pain management and its efficacy to control pain.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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