Chronic pain is one of the most of commonly diagnosed conditions in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 20 percent of Americans experience some level of chronic pain on a daily basis, over eight percent of whom suffer from the high-impact form of the condition. Each and every person who suffers from chronic pain faces decreased mobility and some level of decline in their overall health and quality of life. It can also significantly impact sufferers’ livelihoods and economic health. Approximately half of all prime-age working men report taking pain medication on daily basis and that 40 percent stops them from accepting a job.
At the same time Americans are suffering from chronic pain in record numbers, the nation faces an increasingly urgent and pervasive prescription painkiller addiction epidemic; an epidemic that, in 2017, claimed the lives of approximately 47,600 Americans, according to figures from the CDC. The agency also reports that that same year, there were nearly 58 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans. As the population of chronic pain sufferers and those who have become ensnared in prescription painkiller addiction, the clinical community and other invested stakeholders continue to search for alternative measures to viably treat moderate to severe pain-related conditions; one of the most promising of these options has proven to be the use of products containing cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and accounts for nearly half of the plant’s extract and oils. CBD’s association with cannabis has often politicized it, overshadowing its immense clinical and lifestyle utility. The reality is that, it’s a specific of cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that accounts for cannabis’ potentially hallucinogenic properties. When isolated distilled and responsibly utilized, CBD represents a viable resource in the management of a variety of conditions, including but not limited to pain. One recent study clearly illustrates the increasingly common use of CBD in a clinical and therapeutic context, revealing that 62% of CBD users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition. The top three medical conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression. Almost 36% of respondents reported that CBD treats their medical conditions “very well by itself.” Analysts predict that the CBD industry will exceed $22 billion dollars by 2022.
What Kind of Conditions Can CBD Help Treat or Manage?
Perhaps the most commonly cited research on the clinical application of CBD relates to its efficacy in the treatment of juvenile epilepsy in a comprehensive join study from the University of Freiburg and others. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD. Another study from the University of Colorado, among many others indicates the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders. One more comprehensive international study revealed that CBD rendered and anti-depressant-like effect one respondents. Research also suggests that CBD can be effective in the treatment of sleep deprivation and disorder.
Use of CBD has also yielded positive results in the treatment of:
As is the case with chronic pain conditions, many experts assert that CBD products may, in certain contexts, supplant powerful and potentially addictive prescription drugs.
Growing Clinical Evidence of CBD’s Effectiveness in Chronic Pain Treatment
When it comes to the treatment of chronic pain, the application of CBD is gaining more and more scientific ground. Among the growing body of research that supports the clinical efficacy of CBD for pain treatment is a study from the European Journal Pain that indicates promising potential of the chemical to treat arthritis. Other significant research includes a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that revealed CBD’s power to suppress persistent inflammatory pain. While more evidence is needed, experts also believe that CBD can help with severe cancer and end-of-life or palliative types of pain.
Can CBD Supplant Prescription Opioids to Treat Pain Conditions?
For the first time, the question is being posed of whether CBD can be used to treat opioid addiction, as well as help patients forego powerful prescription abuse that so often leads to dependency. The stakes surrounding the need for an alternative to powerful opioid painkillers is higher than ever, particularly with escalating rates of abuse of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Very often, individuals who are addicted to opioids begin the path to chemical dependency by abusing a legitimate prescription because they can’t deal with their pain or other withdrawal symptoms. Having a safe, effective and generally non-addictive alternative to these risks may be a game-changing resource in those who live their lives in pain, but are worried about being addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers.
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