Research in CBD for Pain Management
Research into the medicinal and restorative effects of cannabidiol (CBD) is accelerating. The National Institute of Health recently approved nine research grants to study the effects of CBD on inflammation and pain management. While anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of CBD is abundant, many researchers believe that more scientific testing and research is required, especially on human subjects, before the full scope of CBD’s potential can be verified. The good news is that CBD success stories are entering the mainstream from a variety of sources.
Athletes from various professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association, are beginning to endorse CBD as an effective treatment for the types of chronic pain and inflammation associated with sports. One reason both athletes and doctors are starting to explore CBD as a treatment for sports-related injuries and pain is that CBD is non-addictive and has no psychoactive side effects. This could be a benefit for athletes recuperating from injury, especially as an alternative to opiods, which have proven highly-addictive and destructive in some patients in recent years, especially those using opioid-derived drugs for chronic pain.
CBD products may relieve inflammation because they work with the human body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoid system (ECS). Researchers Allyn Howlett and William Devane at St. Louis University’s School of Medicine discovered that endocannabinoid receptors may be the most abundant type of neurotransmitters found in the brain. The ECS works to help the body achieve homeostasis, the natural healthy balance of all bodily systems. One reason CBD could be a benefit for patients with chronic inflammation is that the endocannabinoid system is able to correct specific deficiencies within the body without affecting other systems. Studies are currently investigating CBD’s effect on reducing acne. Acne is caused by a variety of factors, including skin inflammation, and excess production of sebum, an oil secreted by sebaceous glands in the skin. CBD has been found to reduce the output of sebum, thereby preventing the harmful effects of acne-causing bodily oils.
While many researchers agree that more research is needed on the effects of CBD, early indications show that cannabis-based medicines may be particularly effective in reducing a variety of different types of inflammation.