Pain is a highly subjective sensation, and this is because every person feels pain differently. On top of that, everyone has a different threshold of resistance to pain and, therefore, what is a minor pain for one person will be unbearable suffering for another. Pain is diverse and so are its causes. Therefore, it is important to classify pain so that correct, adequate and, above all, effective pain treatment can be implemented.
Types of pain
The role of pain is primarily to alert and protect. That is why it appears when a tissue is damaged or when a person is ill. And it is pain that initiates the processes aimed at keeping the various activities taking place in the body in balance. An organism that has suffered some sort of trauma reacts with pain, and this triggers reactions, especially in the respiratory and circulatory systems. For example, there is an increase in the frequency of breathing, the heart rate accelerates, blood flow in the muscles and brain increases and many other pain reflexes take place. This is a protective reaction of the body, but keeping it in such a state in the long run starts to do more harm than good. Therefore, after the alarm that is pain, it is important to respond immediately with pain treatment adapted to its mechanism of origin and the intensity of the sensation.
And the pain can be:
- Sharp - This is the most common type of pain. It is a reaction to an electrical impulse caused by tissue damage and is conducted by nerve fibres. The nerve impulse reaches the brain, where it is processed. This pain can be caused by an injury, a disease that causes tissue damage or a pathological process.
- Chronic - Chronic pain can be referred to when a painful condition persists for more than three months. It is often a disease in itself, as it reduces quality of life and causes a whole series of physical, psychological and social disorders. And the longer it lasts, the more severe the effects on the body. Successful treatment of chronic pain is usually multidirectional.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is divided into chronic receptor pain, the source of which is, for example, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal pain syndromes or fibromyalgia. This type of pain also affects oncology patients, those suffering from headaches or those with peripheral vascular conditions. Pain relief in such cases occurs, for example, following surgery or the setting of a nerve block.
The second type of chronic pain is chronic neuropathic pain, which is caused by primary damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. The inflammatory factor in this case can be infection, trauma metabolic disturbance, ischaemia and many others. The most common neuropathic pain syndromes are diabetic neuropathy, hemiplegia, peripheral neuropathies, phantom pain, spinal pain and others.
All types of pain, both chronic and acute, must be correctly diagnosed in order for appropriate measures to be implemented to alleviate the undesirable condition. Prolonged pain leads to degeneration of the organism both physically and mentally. For this reason, in the case of chronic pain, therapy takes a multi-faceted but integrated form, often involving not only multiple specialists, but also several types of pharmacological and natural remedies. And only this type of therapy can be successful in the future, i.e. offer a life without pain. One of these natural remedies that can be used supportively in chronic pain therapy is CBD oil.
What is CBD oil
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, belongs to a large group of organic chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa) called cannabinoids. However, already CBD oil is a combination of cannabidiol, which is obtained, for example, during supercritical CO2 extraction, and a carrier - usually hemp seed oil or oil. In contrast to THC, which is extracted from cannabis (marijuana), CBD oil does not have psychoactive properties, although it does have trace amounts of THC in its composition. In Poland, 0.2% of THC in CBD oil is permitted.
CBD oils and chronic pain
Chronic pain is pain that is experienced for more than three months. It causes basically every aspect of life to suffer. The quality of sleep, daily existence and relationships with the environment deteriorate. The symptoms of chronic pain are initially treated with commonly available medicines, and when these do not work, prescription drugs are resorted to. All of these, in the short or long term, risk adverse reactions. To protect themselves from these side effects, many patients turn to alternative medicine and natural preparations.
One of these preparations is CBD oil, which, in terms of its analgesic effect, has already been quite well researched by scientists, and the results of these studies are very positive for people suffering from chronic pain. On the web, it is easy to find the results of studies using cannabidiol when there is chronic pain accompanying specific conditions.
A study in rats, conducted in 2016, says that oral administration of CBD did not produce significant improvement and inflammation relief in rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast, application of cannabidiol in the form of an ointment showed potential. At the same time, CBD ointment was not found to have side effects.
Any major surgical procedure involves experiencing a great deal of pain, often chronic pain. It is no different, for example, in the case of a kidney transplant. Painkillers and anti-inflammatories are therefore a necessity. However, this is often associated with the appearance of adverse reactions. In Uruguay, a study was carried out using CBD in several patients (who volunteered to do so) after a kidney transplant. It was found that two patients improved significantly with a reduction in pain, four improved significantly and in one case there was no change. On the other hand, there were also side effects, but these were not harmful to the organism, rather they caused discomfort. These included dry mouth, nausea and drowsiness.
Research into the effects of CBD on patients suffering from ulcerative colitis was conducted at the Oxford Academy. They used a double-blind control study method testing the efficacy of cannabidiol. Some patients received CBD, some received a placebo. And neither the patients nor the researchers administering the therapy were aware of who was receiving the product and who was receiving the placebo.
The researchers felt that although the results of the study did not produce the results they had expected, they were promising enough that they considered it worthy of further work on the use of CBD in ulcerative colitis.
In 2017, a publication entitled: "The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: current, state of the evidence and recommendations for research was published." Among the very many studies and their results cited were those on the treatment of chronic pain.
And one thing is certain. Cannabinoids are showing tremendous positive effects on the body and have not yet said their last word. This is why scientists are intensively studying their effects on the human body, and chronic pain is one of the many ailments being studied that CBD oils properly configured and administered in adequate doses can effectively support. However, before a patient turns to CBD oils for the treatment of chronic pain, this intention should be consulted with a healthcare practitioner.
- "Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis"; authors: D.C. Hammell, L.P. Zhang, F. Ma et al; 2016; Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis - PMC (nih.gov)
- "Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs"; authors: P. Nagarkatti, R. Pandey, S. Amcaoglu Rieder et al; 2009; Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs - PMC (nih.gov)
- "Chronic Pain Treatment With Cannabidiol in Kidney Transplant Patients in Uruguay"; authors: L. Cuñetti, L. Manzo, R. Peyraube, J. Arnaiz, L. Curi, S. Orihuela; 2018; Chronic Pain Treatment With Cannabidiol in Kidney Transplant Patients in Uruguay - PubMed (nih.gov).
- "A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel-group, Pilot Study of Cannabidiol-rich Botanical Extract in the Symptomatic Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis"; authors: P. M. Irving, T. Iqbal, Ch. Nwokolo et al; 2018; A Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel-group, Pilot Study of Cannabidiol-rich Botanical Extract in the Symptomatic Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis - PubMed (nih.gov)
- "The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research."; Chapter IV: "Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids"; 2017; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: "An Evidence Review and Research Agenda."; The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids - NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov).