CBD oil is not something new. Cannabis, in general, has been used as a medicine for as long as humans have been around whilst CBD was first ‘discovered’ in 1940.
Unfortunately, the famous ‘Reefer Madness’ campaign of the 1930s and the follow-up campaigns and prohibition leading up to Ronald Reagan’s ‘War on Drugs’ paved the way for pharmaceutical giants to begin getting the world addicted to their chemical pain killers and left CBD, for the most part, buried underground like some kind of unused treasure. So like the annoying child in the back seat of the car, when it comes to CBD oil and pain, why are we still asking, ‘Are we there yet?’
- Unlike many prescription drugs for pain, CBD oil is non-addictive and safe.
- CBD is used for treating different types of chronic pain
- The topical application of CBD may relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- CBD may prevent inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Complexities of Regulation
Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.1 The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Nobody can deny that the painkiller crisis is a tremendous problem in the United States and around the world. Yet, the companies go on making these dangerous drugs and regular, normal people end up addicted and going off the rails. Yet, still, CBD oil is a product that is, as yet, still unapproved by the FDA. From the FDA website:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. However, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD. The Agency is working on answering these questions through ongoing efforts including feedback from a recent FDA hearing and information and data gathering through a public docket.
Well, I think we all know that the first step to solving quality issues is to approve and regulate. As for the safety issue, the Harvard University Center for Ethics says:
Few know that systematic reviews of hospital charts found that even properly prescribed drugs (aside from misprescribing, overdosing, or self-prescribing) cause about 1.9 million hospitalizations a year. Another 840,000 hospitalized patients are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions for a total of 2.74 million serious adverse drug reactions. About 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death. The European Commission estimates that adverse reactions from prescription drugs cause 200,000 deaths; so together, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year. The FDA does not acknowledge these facts and instead gathers a small fraction of the cases.
I think these statistics speak for themselves.
One of the incredible things to consider is that there have been no known deaths or illness from the ingestion of pure CBD, yet the FDA question it’s safety whilst drugs they have approved kill hundreds of thousands of people and hospitalize many more. Go figure.
In addition to this, the ‘drug’ Epidiolex is approved as a treatment for epilepsy by the FDA.
There is only one active ingredient in Epidiolex: CBD
So the system is corrupt, what’s new? The FDA’s approach to CBD oil is surely a good sign. If it was merely another health supplement fad, I feel like there wouldn’t be so much red tape. But all of this resistance is because CBD oil is not just another health supplement fad. The treasure has been unearthed and its properties are being discovered to be a revelation. So the FDA approach might have begun as an attempt to suppress knowledge of CBD oil and it’s benefits. But, the world is quickly becoming awake to this incredible compound, so it feels like the FDA strategy might have shifted to stalling the regulation and growth of CBD until the powers that be find a way to corner this market.
Anyway, politics aside, what about my chronic pain?
Ah yes, so can CBD oil help your pain? Of course, we cannot say a definitive yes for all of the above reasons but let us just say that the signs are very promising. The World Health Organisation has stated that:
In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential; CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.
Essentially, it seems like they are saying that CBD oil is non-addictive and safe. But how effective is it for chronic pain? Harvard Medical:
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
In these days of ‘unapproval’, it is often difficult to get a straight answer to such things. But, if you see the ‘can’s and ‘mays’ these often indicate that something is happening. Whilst there are so many different types of pain from neuropathic, to arthritis pain, it seems people are using CBD oil to treat most of these.
So, whilst you will struggle to find someone who says ‘yes, it works’ unless you know them personally, there is a huge amount of publicity right now about CBD for a reason. One thing we do know is that CBD oil is considered a strong anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant. In some of my other articles, I have written about how pain can often be a signal to let you know something is wrong in the body. It is the kind of signal that stops us from chopping our arms off for fun. Its the ghostly figure in the middle of the road that says:
So, unlike conventional pain killers which call the Ghostbusters on this Guy, CBD might listen to him and start to help the underlying causes by relaxing the muscles and reducing inflammation. This is turn might help the transportation of oxygen, blood and other compounds and hence aid in repairing the underlying problem. To take this approach you must believe that the body is a master of repairing itself and often it is this ability that is impaired.
Regardless, there is enough anecdotal evidence and research out there to suggest that CBD oil may be able to manage pain and, given that it is considered safe, non-toxic and non-psychoactive, you really could give it it a go. It might just change your life.
This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.
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