does cbd oil really work for chronic pain

Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil for Your Chronic Pain

Chronic pain makes it difficult to fulfill your daily obligations, and even to enjoy activities you usually look forward to. It can impact your interpersonal relationships, and if it’s caused by a gynecological issue, it can disrupt healthy sexual functioning.

You may not think of your gynecologist when you think of pain management, but Dr. Kevin Jovanovic and Dr. Radoslav Jovanovic are committed to helping you have a full, healthy, and pain-free life, if that’s at all possible. CBD oil is often an effective solution or alternative treatment for chronic pain .

What CBD oil is — and is not

You probably already know that CBD oil is derived from cannabis. Cannabis has three main components: cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. Most people are familiar with two particular cannabinoids — there are hundreds — and those two are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Although they’re closely related, THC and CBD are different, and work in the human body in remarkably different ways. THC is the substance that results in people getting “high” when they smoke marijuana. CBD, conversely, is a non-psychoactive substance and has been shown to have medically useful properties.

Research into how CBD works and in what medical contexts it is most useful is ongoing. There may be some side effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and possibly changes in weight. Side effects dissipate when you stop using CBD. None of them are life-threatening and they usually aren’t severe.

Why you might consider CBD

There are compelling reasons to consider using CBD oil to combat chronic pain . Opioids come with grave risks, not the least of which is the risk of addiction. Other approaches to pain management may bring incomplete relief, requiring additional tools.

Your body produces cannabinoids, and one theory about why and how CBD oil works is that it interacts with those naturally-occurring cannabinoids, which are involved in metabolism, mood, anxiety, and perception of pain. Animal studies have also shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties.

A medically driven approach

If you’re curious about whether or not CBD oil might be a useful weapon in your pain-fighting arsenal, you should discuss your situation with Dr. Jovanovic. There are CBD products available over the counter, but you never know what they contain, their quality, whether they’re appropriate for your situation, or whether or not they might interact with other medications you take.

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When Dr. Jovanovic recommends CBD oil, he does so with full knowledge of your condition and a thorough understanding of your medical history. He provides advice regarding how much CBD to use, how often, and what to watch for. You’re getting advice from a qualified and skilled professional.

If you’d like to learn more about CBD oil for chronic pain, book an appointment with Dr. Jovanovic at our office on New York City’s Upper East Side. He’s happy to answer your questions and to make recommendations tailored to you. You can schedule your appointment by phone or by using our convenient online booking tool.

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Does CBD Really Help With Pain?

The frenzy over CBD (also known as cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component found in a cannabis plant) isn’t slowing down. Canada just legalized the use of recreational cannabis, including CBD, allowing residents to try CBD products to improve issues like anxiety, sexual performance and poor sleep. Many wellness centers are also jumping on board, using products like CBD oil ― arguably one of the most commonly used forms of CBD ― as a way to alleviate customers’ various ailments.

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One of those issues? Muscle pain. Studies suggest CBD works as a pain reliever and may even help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Anecdotally, people have credited CBD for helping them with their back pain. One of the main ways people do this is by using CBD oil in a massage.

I suffer from sciatica ― a type of pain that affects a large nerve that extends from the lower back down the back of each leg ― along with some other constant aches that just come from being a mom who also sits at a desk most of the day. I’ve been searching for natural relief for quite some time, so I decided to give a CBD massage a try.

I visited The Spa Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada (where I live) to get a massage using CBD oil. My therapist spoke in hushed tones as she explained the benefits of the treatment, which she said include muscle pain relief, increased relaxation and reduction in inflammation.

CBD oil is colorless and odorless, so I couldn’t detect it during the treatment, and it didn’t feel any different from any other product used during a massage. As soon as my massage therapist started working on my back, I was whisked away from my mental to-do list to a familiar state of relaxation that comes when someone gives your muscles a good rub.

“That night, I happily realized that the usual pain I feel when trying to get comfy in bed was missing and I fell into a deep sleep by 9 p.m.”

Overall, the experience wasn’t divergent from massages I’ve had before. While waiting for a taxi following my appointment, I did notice that my lower back didn’t ache as much as it usually does. My always-too-tight calf muscles felt loose and tingly. However, the biggest difference came hours later: That night, I happily realized that the usual pain I feel when trying to get comfy in bed was missing and I fell into a deep sleep by 9 p.m.

I’m not the only one who reaped benefits from the experience: Claudia Rivas, the general manager at The Spa Ottawa, told me that purchases of CBD products, which the spa sells, and appointments for CBD massages have risen dramatically since the change in Canadian law.

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“It’s a natural and organic painkiller,” Rivas said, adding that many of their clients have been using CBD massages to complement physical therapy.

(It’s important to note that the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario advises against registered massage therapists using cannabis products on a client during treatment until more research is conducted. Rules vary by country and state, so check your local regulations if you’re concerned.)

How CBD Massages Work And What The Science Says

A CBD massage treatment typically involves CBD oil that is mixed with another carrier oil or cream before a massage therapist applies it to the skin. The practice is said to help multiple pain-related conditions.

“Receiving a massage with CBD oil can potentially be very beneficial to patients who are suffering from symptoms such as localized pain, arthritis or inflammation, and skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis,” said Dr. Tanny Raz, the director of medical business development at Apollo Cannabis Clinics , a medical cannabis research organization and treatment center in Toronto.

The practice may also be an aid for those living with chronic pain who struggle with sleep. Individuals with a pain-related condition often complain that their discomfort wakes them or prevents them from getting deep, quality sleep. Meanwhile, research shows that being well-rested can help people better deal with pain. Studies have found that CBD may increase the amount of sleep people get (based on self-reporting), and research also suggests CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits .

That’s the good news. But here are the important caveats: Research shows there are many benefits to getting a massage, including reduced tension and pain relief, so there’s no definitive way to say it was the CBD component of my massage that alleviated my pain. Also, like all treatments and medicines, CBD oil and massages are not right for everybody. Some people report feeling nausea, irritability or fatigue when using these products (typically when they’re ingested). There’s always a chance you can have a skin reaction with topical treatments. It’s always a good idea to discuss any new health regimens with your health care provider.