Using CBD for pain has become an increasingly widespread practice. Consumer Reports estimates in their 2019 CBD survey, “CBD Goes Mainstream” that over 64 million Americans have used CBD in the past two years, with one out of seven people stating that they would consider themselves “everyday users” of CBD. Consumer Reports says that CBD users are of all ages, with 40% of people ages 18-29, 32% of people ages 30-44, 23% of people ages 45-59, and 15% of people age 60 and over, using CBD. In this post, we’ll dive into some of the specific facts and figures about using CBD for pain and what it can mean for you.
CBD Medical Efforts: A Deeper Dive
Harvard Medical School’s Health blog states that there is strong scientific evidence for using CBD to treat epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Patients suffering from these epilepsy syndromes have typically not responded well to antiseizure medications, but in various studies, CBD either significantly reduced their seizures or stopped them altogether. For patients who previously had no other alternatives to treat their seizures, CBD has positively impacted their lives. In the New York Times article, “Can CBD Really Do All That,” Catherine Jacobson discussed how CBD has changed the life of her 3-year-old son who suffers from epileptic seizures as a result of a condition called polymicrogyria, mentioning that CBD helped to reduce her son’s life-threatening episodes by 40%.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine have established in studies using animal models that CBD has the power to significantly enrich the lives of children and adults suffering from Angelman syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental syndrome. Patients suffering from Angelman syndrome experience extreme symptoms such as brain rhythm dysfunction and drug-resistant epilepsy. The Journal of Clinical Investigation published the UNC study on the benefits of CBD in treating Angelman syndrome, mentioning how CBD may reduce seizures and normalize brain rhythms in patients. Angelman syndrome and other rare epilepsy disorder patients have suffered immensely from the lack of effective treatment options. However, the UNC study indicates that the medical community may safely meet the need for better epilepsy treatments through the use of CBD.
Using CBD For Pain and Beyond
Medical professionals have also highlighted the potential benefits of using CBD for pain relief and integrating it into one’s everyday life in various medical studies. Other common uses for CBD include alleviating anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, such as inflammation resulting from arthritis. In a study from the European Journal of Pain, researchers demonstrated using an animal model that applying CBD to the skin can help to reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis patients. Researchers noted that CBD affects the “endocannabinoid system,” which contains receptors in the body that interact with CBD, relieving anxiety, and pain. CBD also impacts the central nervous system and the brain, creating an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. In a 2018 study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, researchers revealed that because CBD impacts the central nervous system and the brain, it may reduce depression, anxiety, seizures, and concussion symptoms.
CBD Common Uses
A cross-sectional study on CBD users published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s page states that 62% of users utilized CBD to treat medical conditions, such as chronic pain, depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety. Researchers conducted the study from October 25, 2017, to January 25, 2018. It consisted of an in-depth questionnaire that evaluated the common uses of CBD and the characteristics of CBD users. Out of a total of 2,409 responses, the top three conditions that people reported using CBD for are chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety.
Other conditions that people mentioned that they use CBD to treat include depression, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, allergies/asthma, nausea, migraines, and sleep disorders. A key outcome from the study was that respondents indicated that CBD treated their medical conditions effectively, without ever having to take conventional medicine. People might use CBD for a variety of reasons. In general, 37% of people use CBD to reduce stress and anxiety, 24% of people use it to relieve joint pain, 11% for recreational purposes, and 10% to induce better sleep (Consumer Reports).
Overall, CBD may profoundly change the lifestyles of people suffering from chronic pain and severe conditions like seizures and anxiety. CBD may allow them to regain autonomy over their bodies and to live richer lives