Chronic pain is a common condition that affects approximately 25 million people in the USA. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chronic pain is defined as any pain that last for 3 to 6 months. It should be noted that pain is the body’s own way of reacting to an injury or an illness and when the body is healed, the pain usually subsides and the individual stops hurting. Well, for some people, this pain may continue even after they heal and this sort of pain is what is medically termed as chronic pain. This condition could be so intense that it starts taking a toll on the sufferer’s physical and mental health.
It has been reported that about 25% of people suffering from chronic pain will develop a condition known as Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS). This occurs when people start having other symptoms beyond pain alone, like depression and anxiety which goes a long way to interfere in their daily lives. The truth is that chronic pain syndrome can affect an individual’s physical health, emotions and social life, thereby resulting in other symptoms like anxiety, poor sleep, depression, irritability, guilt, loss of interest in sex, alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Doctors are yet to know what causes chronic pain syndrome, but it has been noted to always start with an injury or other health challenges, including arthritis, back pain, headaches, muscle strains/sprains, nerve damage, Lyme disease, broken bones, cancer, acid reflux/ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), surgery, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Chronic pain can be treated through physical and occupational therapies, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulations, surgery and even with the use of medications including pain relievers, anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs and muscle relaxants.
CBD has however been reported to be one of the new treatments for chronic pain. CBD is known to affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by influencing the body to use its own cannabinoids more effectively. As a matter of fact, CBD prevents the total breakdown of all the cannabinoids in the body, allows them to help manage the imbalance of the immune system and equally keeps the homeostasis of the body.
A few studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of CBD in treating chronic pain. According to a review of studies in 2008, CBD was reported to be very effective in pain management without side effects. Moreover, detailed findings from this study also revealed that CBD was effective against insomnia and many other sleeping disorders that result from chronic pain.
In 2015, a review of research on the use of CBD in treating different chronic pain conditions was done and many of the trials had positive results. According to the authors of this study, CBD could be effective in alleviating some types of chronic pain, including nerve pain which is medically known as neuropathy.
The findings from a 2016 study also buttressed the claim that CBD was effective in the treatment of chronic pain. The results from this 2016 study indicated that the use of CBD in treating cancer related pain led to a 64 percent reduction in the use of opioid which is known to have many adverse side effects. It is worthy to recall that doctors have been prescribing opioids and other drugs to patients suffering from chronic pain and most of them have become addicted. This therefore explains why 28,000 people died from opioid use in 2014, whereas 2016 registered an estimated 42,000 deaths related to opioid overdoses.
Well, even though there is a need for more research to be conducted on this topic, many people are increasingly turning to CBD products in a bid to find relief for chronic pain since CBD is associated with little or no side effects. Besides, CBD is not as addictive as opioids, heroin and other medications for the treatment of pain.
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