Cannabis has been used as a natural remedy for centuries before becoming a class 1 drug and illegal. Medical use of cannabis is legal in 37 states, with many other states having it on the books to be discussed. Many people are becoming more curious about the options available as the legal use of hemp and other cannabis products grows. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two natural compounds found in the Cannabis genus (Holland, 2020). Both CBD and TCH interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system but have different effects. CDB does not produce a high associated with THC and is shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures (Holland, 2020).
On the other hand, THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and produces a high or sense of euphoria. CBD is tolerated well in large doses and is not fatal. TCH has some temporary side effects, such as increased heart rate, red eyes, coordination, memory loss, and slower reaction times, but it is also not fatal. Both CBD and THC have medical benefits of pain relief, reducing nausea, decreasing anxiety, easing depression, and decreasing seizures (Holland, 2020).
Chronic pain affects between 50 and 116 million American adults (Argueta et al., 2020). This is higher than the number of Americans with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. Chronic pain is one illness in that cannabis is currently widely used. CBD was found to significantly reduce pain on a visual analog scale in a mixed group of patients suffering from intractable pain (Argueta et al., 2020). This group included patients with chronic pain from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, limb amputation, and brachial plexus injury. CBD was also effective in treating fibromyalgia and used topically in peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities (Argueta et al., 2020). The conventional treatments for pain, i.e., prescription pain medications, have many risk factors and are addictive. Cannabis can be used for long periods with no side effects if used in the CBD form and minimal side effects if it contains THC. There are concerns for growing access to unregulated CBD, which may be mixed with toxic compounds and cause harm to patients. Studies need to continue to gauge the long-term effects of CBD on pain and regulations put into effect for purity and safety. CBD seems to be a relatively low-risk , effective answer for patients suffering from chronic pain.
Argueta, D., Ventura, C., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., Gupta, K., 2020. A balanced approach for cannabidiol use in chronic pain. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.0056
Holland, K., 2020. CBD vs. THC: Whatâ€™s the difference? www.healthline.com