Cannabis or CBD Topicals
People tired of big pharma prices and the overuse of opiates are looking for safe and effective alternatives. Cannabis and CBD creams and oils are becoming more and more popular every day.
Rather than taking medication, topicals allow the patient to apply creams or oils directly to the area affected. Localized pain management doesn’t come with the side effects of opiates and other pain treatments.
CBD vs THC
CBD and THC activate different cannabinoid receptors in the body that can stimulate or inhibit brain chemicals and cause certain effects. The THC in cannabis is what gives people the high.
THC binds with receptors in the brain that controls pain, mood, and other feelings we have. CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effect that THC does. Both THC and CBD are naturally present in the cannabis plant.
In topicals, the patient won’t get the high feeling as they would by using cannabis in other ways, like smoking or ingesting it. But both can be effective in treating localized pain.
Using a topical that contains both may be the best option. The CBD treats the pain where you put it and the THC components affect the brain and that alters how we perceive pain.
Cannabidiol oil is made from hemp plants, mainly the stalks and seeds. CBD is a compound found in plentiful abundance in these plants and extracted for many uses in beauty and health. Continued research and awareness of such products have led to unique new products with amazing new benefits.
Studies continue to find the medical advantages of using CBD for treatment. The CBD works with the body’s own similar natural functions, rather than masking them. Pain relief, anxiety, stress, inflammation, memory, concentration, and loss of appetite due to cancer treatments.
CBD For Pain Management
The natural ingredients in CBD oils and other products work as an anti-inflammatory. Reducing the inflammation in muscles will reduce the pain. This is particularly helpful for those who have chronic pain, so they don’t have to rely on other pain medication.
More and more it is being used by patients needing pain management to help cope with cancer pain and its treatments. It’s also used for arthritis pain, which is often chronic.
People living with other diseases like MS have also found that using CBD topicals can help reduce the muscle spasms that are a major part of the autoimmune disease. These spasms can be very painful, and CBD or THC as an anti-inflammatory and relaxant can help reduce the severity of these spasms.
THC for Pain Management
Topicals containing THC are used for a wide variety of pain relief. They shouldn’t cause any intoxication, as the amount used is very small. They are available in creams, oils, sprays, soaps, and many other forms.
Using cannabis for smoking, vaping, or as an edible, the THC enters the bloodstream and the user experiences a high. Used as a cream or oil applied directly to the skin, there isn’t enough THC present to have the intoxicating effect.
How CBD and THC Topicals Work
Our body already produces certain cannabinoids naturally and these are located throughout the body. CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain. These are two of the most difficult types of chronic pain and the most difficult to treat.
Inflammation is what our bodies do to protect against an injury. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are like a recruitment team, helping our immune system fight off diseases and infections.
Treatment with CBD or THC topicals stimulates anti-inflammatory cells to reduce the number of cytokines. It can also stimulate the immune system. CBD is a potent antioxidant. This helps with inflammation and pain.
THC attaches to these receptors. THC binds directly with a specific type of receptor. In the case of THC, CB1 receptors are affected. CBD does not bind directly with either CB1 or CB2 receptors. Researchers once believed that CBD is attached to these CB2 receptors. Instead, it stimulates both types of receptors.
CBD and THC have been shown to reduce inflammatory pain. It works by blocking inflammatory pain when it interacts with another protein, the glycine receptor. This transmits pain signals from the body, through the spinal cord, and into the brain, where the pain is actually perceived.
CBD has antioxidant properties and has been shown to markedly reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. In particular, after massive chemotherapy treatments.
CBD and THC Topical Legal Issues
As states are decriminalizing cannabis and the growing interest from the medical field, there are still a few legal hurdles. While the FDA recognizes the potential of using cannabis, there are problems.
Some companies make products that are not federally approved, but with so many new companies starting up, it is difficult to monitor. Protecting the consumers is its main concern.
Medical marijuana is available in many states and CBD products derived from hemp are not a problem. THC products are a bit different. A product containing more than 0.3% THC is not considered hemp and is illegal in many states.
Some states do not even allow CBD products to be sold, even though they have zero potential of allowing the user to get intoxicated. However, people can buy any type of product online without much risk.
But even in the states that have legalized the use of cannabis, the federal government still considers marijuana and products made from it illegal. As it stands, there have been no major legal issues with topicals.
Laws are slowly changing and will continue to do so, largely thanks to the medical area embracing CBD and THC products for pain and other alternatives to big pharma.
Cannabis and CBD Topicals
Ideally, lawmakers should embrace the use of THC and CBD products for pain management. With opiate use and abuse at such a high rate, these products are a safe and effective alternative.
With the number of overdose deaths each year, CBD and THC products for managing pain and other medical issues are a serious alternative.