Pain is one of the most common reasons why people turn to CBD. Chronic or acute discomfort isn’t just physical, it can also cause psychological stress. Luckily, many people have found relief through the use of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.
CBD and the ECS
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a physiological network that may help the body stay in balance by regulating key functions such as sleep, appetite, stress, and yes—even physical discomfort. The ECS accomplishes this task with the help of endogenous cannabinoids (neurotransmitters) such as anandamide and 2AG, and phytocannabinoids (external cannabinoids) such as THC and CBD.
CBD For Pain: How Might it Work?
Unlike THC, which simply binds to CB1 and CB2 cell receptors across the ECS, CBD has little binding affinity for these receptors. Instead, it works by stimulating various other receptors.
For example, CBD is believed to activate and then desensitize TRPV1 receptors that are known to mediate inflammation and modulate feelings of discomfort. CBD’s interaction with these receptors may prevent them from being triggered by stimuli, resulting in fewer negative sensations relaid to you by the body.
Additionally, CBD is also believed to have anti-inflammatory potential. If inflammation is what is causing your aches, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effect may be able to minimize it and provide relief.
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Finding the Right Type of CBD Product for You
Choosing the right CBD product for your needs is key to using CBD for pain as effectively as possible. CBD products can be formulated in various ways to work effectively, and the way it’s delivered to your ECS can alter how you experience its effects. Here are some product options to consider when selecting CBD for pain relief.
CBD oils and tinctures are great because they’re easy to use and because they kick in pretty quickly. When taken sublingually, oils can take as little as 30 minutes to produce effects and tend to work for roughly 3–4 hours. If you’re looking for something with a fairly rapid onset of effects for quicker relief, CBD oil may be the way to go.
CBD topicals are CBD-infused balms, lotions, creams, and salves that can be applied directly to the skin in order to provide localized relief in trouble spots. Topicals sink deep into the skin’s layers to work locally through your pores, without ever reaching the bloodstream—and thereby producing no systemic effects.
Many people use CBD topicals to alleviate sore muscles and joint problems. Just tuck a tub away in your gym bag or work bag and have an easy-to-use CBD topical on hand whenever aches or soreness may strike.
CBD Edibles and Capsules
CBD edibles and capsules take quite a bit longer to work when compared to oils. Because they need to go through the digestive process before they take effect, edible CBD products can take as long as 2 hours to kick in, with relieving effects sometimes reaching their peak around 3–4 hours after ingestion.
The advantage to edibles is that, due to this slower digestive process, their effects can also last quite a bit longer. It’s not uncommon for people to report feeling the effects of an edible for as long as 6–8 hours. If you’re looking for longer lasting relief, CBD edibles and capsules may be a great choice.