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How CBD is taking on the opioid epidemic

March 29, 2022 | somebody

Pain free

There’s nothing worse than suffering through pain. Whether it’s acute pain from a recent injury, or long-term chronic pain from a condition, pain has the ability to derail our entire lives. According to a National Health Interview Survey, almost one-in-five, or 50 million Americans, suffers from chronic pain.

No wonder the opioid epidemic has hit us so hard. There are tens of millions of people who struggle with chronic pain. These people are often desperate to do anything to regain the sense of normalcy their body once had. That’s a situation rife for Big Pharma and the Sackler Family to take cruel advantage of.

We now know how aggressively the Sackler Family’s Purdue Pharma pushed opioid pain medications like Oxycontin on patients, knowing full well the risk of drug dependence. Yet they continued pushing these dangerous drugs on those suffering severe chronic pain.

We’ll get more into opioid addiction throughout this piece. But for now, let’s talk about the positives. For those who are suffering with pain, whether it’s acute or chronic, we have a solution that isn’t habit forming and doesn’t come with debilitating side effects. The solution is CBD.

As you’re about to learn, CBD works within your body to provide chronic pain management. So come along to learn more about how CBD can aid with pain while fighting opioid addiction.

 

Opioid crisis

Before we delve into how CBD helps fight the epidemic of opioid abuse, let’s first discuss what these medications and the danger they hold.

Opiates are drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. A few of the more common opiates are the prescription pain medications Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin as well as other substances such as heroin.

They help curtail the experience of pain while often providing the user with a euphoria or “high.” Opiates have been around for hundreds of years. But substance abuse, leading to heroin addiction, has been a problem since their inception.

The statistics behind the danger associated with opioid use are staggering. Between 1999 and 2020, over 500,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses. The opioid death rate from overdoses has increased five fold since 2000 [wikipedia graphic].

 

And according to the CDC, as many as one in four people taking opioids long term for pain have become addicted.

It’s particularly evil to consider that these drugs have been recklessly prescribed by greedy pharmaceutical companies. These companies, their owners and shareholders have literally profited off the suffering and misery of tens of millions of American families. We must end our dependence on these drugs.

 

How pain affects our lives

There are several different types of pain. Each has the potential to disrupt our lives. Let’s discuss some of the major types.

Acute pain is often associated with an injury from a broken leg or a wound. The pain intensity is quite high, but the duration is shorter than chronic pain. That is, once the injury heals, the pain dissipates.

Chronic pain is characterized by sustained, long term pain over months if not years. Chronic pain is usually associated with conditions such as arthritis or serious back injuries. Those treating chronic pain are most susceptible to opioid use disorder because they’re often desperate to do anything to relieve the pain they feel daily.

Chronic neuropathic pain is often the result of nerve damage. This pain is described as unrelenting and severe.

Withdrawal pain is the pain people feel when coming down, or withdrawing from, the intoxicating effects of opiates. Opiates can help diminish pain and create a sense of euphoria. But what’s often overlooked is that when they’re abused, they can also create pain. This pain can be quite acute and becomes a new reason for the patient to take more opiates, fulfilling a vicious cycle.

Pain isn’t just physical, it’s also mental. The psychological affect of pain can be just as debilitating. When someone’s reality becomes enduring pain for long periods of time, it can make that person feel angry, depressed and demoralized.

When to seek help for pain

It’s a fact of life that sometimes we must endure pain. But when pain is particularly sharp such that it’s distracting you from your normal life, it’s time to seek relief.

Same thing with chronic pain. Once it has begun to disrupt your ability to run errands, see friends or go to work, it’s time to experiment with the pain reliever that doesn’t come with any side effects, CBD!

How CBD helps with pain

Let’s explore how CBD use helps alleviate pain in the body. But before we get into the mechanics of it, let’s discuss the most important part of using CBD as a pain reliever.

CBD has no side effects

Unlike opiates which come with myriad side effects and the ever-present threat of addiction, CBD has literally no side effects. The reason is because CBD works naturally within our body.

It’s not synthesized or artificial, it works within our existing endocannabinoid system (ECS). We’ll discuss the ECS later in this article. But for now, just know that CBD doesn’t have any serious side effects and it is never habit forming.

CBD helps manage acute pain

Treating pain can be challenging, acute pain in particular. Its duration might be short but it can be sharp and debilitating. That’s where CBD comes into play.

As discussed in this study published by Front Pharmacol, CBD has the potential to disrupt the experience of acute pain in any number of situations, such as post-operative, spinal cord injury (aka neuropathic pain), organ transplantation, etc. In many of these settings, patients experienced more than a 30% reduction in pain symptoms.

Here’s another meta analysis that analyzed several different studies which sought to understand CBD’s effect on pain relief. And the analysis also found a statistically significant number of patients experienced significant improvement of acute pain symptoms.

These aren’t modest benefits, CBD offers a world of difference for pain sufferers.

CBD helps with chronic pain

Chronic pain is generally characterized by more than three months of regular discomfort. Thankfully, CBD works wonders on chronic pain. And the best proof of how well CBD works for chronic pain is by asking the people with chronic pain who use it.

That’s exactly what this study, published by the Journal of Pain Research, did. They asked 253 people, all of whom were patients at pain management clinics in Southern California. These are people who have struggled with pain over long periods of time, exactly the kinds of patients who are vulnerable to the promises of opioids.

The study results show that almost 70% of these patients think CBD is a good treatment option. Over sixty percent had a significant reduction in their pain symptoms.

What’s more, over half of CBD users were able to dial back their opiate consumption because of the support they were receiving from CBD. Definitive proof that CBD, a treatment that has no side effects, is helping fight the opioid epidemic.

CBD as an anti-inflammatory

CBD also helps relieve pain by reducing inflammation. Anyone who’s ever received an injury knows that swelling and inflammation can be very painful! Lots of chronic conditions like arthritis are the result of swelling in the joints.

Therefore, it might not come as a huge surprise that inflammation exacerbates pain management. If the body can successfully get the swelling to subside, usually the pain dissipates as well.

As nature’s preeminent anti-inflammatory, CBD reduces swelling. In case you’re looking for more medically reviewed proof, this article details CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Anti-inflammatory properties are just one way that CBD helps alleviate chronic and acute pain. But in order to understand exactly how CBD works its magic, let’s take a closer look at the endocannabinoid system.

Intro to the endocannabinoid system

First and foremost, CBD is derived from the cannabis plant but don’t confuse it with medical cannabis. CBD provides no psychoactive effects, unlike the effects of THC.

The endocannabinoid system is a biological system that exists in your body. While research on this critical system is fairly new, we know that the ECS is involved with the preservation of your body’s equilibrium, i.e., homeostasis. In other words, this means the ECS is responsible for regulating any number of critical physiological and cognitive functions, such as sleep, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, etc.

The endocannabinoid system is comprised of three parts: receptors, cannabinoids and enzymes. First, the cannabinoids are like fuel for the entire ECS. Cannabinoids float inside your bloodstream waiting to be utilized. Whenever they’re needed, they bind with the receptors thereby triggering a function to bring the body back into homeostasis.

The receptors exist all along our central and peripheral nervous system, so they reach every part of the body. Think of these as landing pads for cannabinoids.

Finally, the enzymes break down unnecessary and unused cannabinoids.

CBD can help with opioid withdrawal symptoms

People undergoing addiction treatment can experience some pretty severe symptoms when their supply runs out. This withdrawal can not only be uncomfortable, it’s one of the main reasons for opioid relapse. Thankfully, CBD can help with withdrawal symptoms as well!

This study, published by The American Journal of Psychiatry, details two different ways that CBD helps fight opiate withdrawal. First, researchers noted CBD reduces the drug craving associated with withdrawal. This is the biochemical dependence we develop over time.

Secondly, CBD reduces the anxiety that addicts feel when they can’t get their next fix. By combating these triggers for relapse, CBD helped alleviate the physical and mental discomfort of opiate withdrawal symptoms, thereby increasing someone’s chance of staying sober longer.

How to get CBD into your bloodstream

Finally, after all this discussion about how CBD helps alleviate pain, let’s discuss what CBD products work best for pain management!

Dosing depends on the person and the level of pain they’re experiencing. With that said, here are a few of Somebody’s most popular products that will replenish your system of CBD.

Full Spectrum Oil Drops – This rich sublingual tincture is an easy, efficient way to get CBD into your bloodstream, providing maximal relief. Squeezing some into your water imparts an earthy, citrusy flavor. The convenient tick marks on the dropper allow for higher doses.

Transdermal Patches – Perfect for mitigating intense, localized pain. Transdermal patches provide time-released CBD relief. Just slap a patch on your arm and let the CBD absorb into your skin for up to eight hours.

Bath Bombs – Rapid absorption is the name of the game. Drop a bomb into a warm bath, get in and relax as the CBD rapidly absorbs benefiting the skin, body and mind!

Conclusion

If you’re dealing with pain, don’t be tempted by the empty promises of opiates. We know how dangerous they are. We know that for a surprisingly large number, they lead to drug use. We’ve all seen first hand how destructive opioids can be. So it’s time to put an end to their stranglehold on our culture.

If you have pain, your best potential treatment is CBD. Research suggests CBD addresses chronic and acute pain. It reduces inflammation while working within your ECS to increase pain management. And best of all, there are literally no side effects from CBD. No risk of addiction.

Final thoughts

Don’t let pain sideline any of your plans. And most importantly, don’t treat pain with a prescription drug that’s chemically similar to heroin. It’s time to alleviate your pain and take back your life with CBD!

 

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