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CBD against chronic pain? How does CBD act against chronic pain? Cannabis plants and its cannabinoids, including Cannabidiol (CBD), are gaining popularity. They have become known as an effective, non-addictive, and natural treatment alternative against pain. Evidence from scientific research starts to show that it can help relieve pain symptoms in a variety of conditions. Pain can come in various forms, from trauma such as slamming a finger in a door, to more serious chronic pain conditions resulting from diseases causing inflammation.
Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. It is estimated that one in five Europeans suffer from chronic pain. Opiates are the most common treatment for chronic pain, even though substantial research shows that they are not effective, require ever-increasing dosages, and show a highly addictive profile.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain
Pain from cancer and cancer treatment
Pain from Multiple Sclerosis
Chronic Pain Syndrome
Chronic pain is generally grouped into two types: neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Neuropathic pain is caused largely by glutamate, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for turning neurons on in the glutaminergic system which is a major excitatory neuronal pathway. Inflammatory pain is related to neuropathic pain, but is not limited to neurons and is caused by responses in the immune system to environmental stressors, toxins, and infections. Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana as some prefer to call it), has started to show evidence as an effective way to treat pain and inflammation. Please note that none of the research is yet supported by clinical trials, whether in the United States or any other country.
Peripheral cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the body’s ability to inhibit and control pain. When there aren’t enough, or too much of certain endocannabinoids in the body, pain signals can increase. Cannabidiols’s powerful analgesic effects are due to its ability to suppress pain processing by activating the CB1 receptors which suppress pain signals and CB2 receptors which stimulate opioid receptors. Besides, CBD also restores the balance of endocannabinoids such as anandamide and FAAH which are thought to play a role in blocking pain signals.
Glycine receptors (GlyRs) play an important role in the sensory nervous system’s response to certain harmful or potentially harmful stimuli. When these receptors are activated, they cause sensations of pain. CBD has been shown to significantly reduce chronic pain by suppressing α3 GlyRs receptors.