Our understanding of the role of CBD continues to evolve, and more scientific research is needed to investigate and confirm its mechanism of action and effectiveness as a pharmaceutical for pain management. However, it is possible that CBD may help to unlock and expand treatment possibilities for patients in the field of chronic pain.
Hear from Mariana Coelho, Clinical Project Scientist at DSM, on the impact of pain, the potential benefits of CBD and how emerging science is creating new possibilities for innovation in the pharmaceutical space.
Chronic pain is challenging to treat due to the complexity of its multiple potential underlying causes. It is also individual to each person experiencing it, further complicating treatment. Opioids are commonly prescribed to manage pain. They are considered generally safe when used for a short period of time – to treat acute pain, for instance. However, individuals requiring long-term pain management can be at risk of developing a dependency on opioids.
The CBD (cannabidiol)-based drug market is growing rapidly, powered by increasing scientific research indicating the therapeutic potential of the ingredient. In fact, there are currently 160+ active clinical trials exploring the role of CBD in a wide variety of health areas, including CNS (central nervous system) diseases, pain disorders, cancer, and more. 2
The promising role of CBD for pain management
Chronic pain affects a large and growing number of patients worldwide and is a primary reason for seeking medical intervention. Globally, one in 10 people develop chronic pain every year, and its prevalence is as high as 20-25% in some countries and regions.1 Aside from experiencing the pain itself, patients with chronic pain often suffer severe negative effects on their mood, sleep and physical and mental function too. When managed inadequately, it can have a devastating impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Given the ongoing challenges of pain management, coupled with the potential negative consequences of long-term opioid use, doctors and their patients are increasingly searching for novel solutions that will effectively and safely alleviate the symptoms of pain.
CBD is a relatively safe ingredient, with non-psychoactive properties and low potential for abuse, making it an attractive candidate for pain relief and a potential alternative to opioid-based pharmaceuticals. The ingredient is already popular in the nutraceutical space, with 60% of CBD consumers using it to manage pain. 3 However, its relevance in the pharmaceutical market is growing too. There are a number of ongoing studies examining the effects of CBD on a variety of pain-related indications, such as cancer-related pain, musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia, which will further clarify the potential of CBD in managing these conditions.
Why is there an increasing focus on CBD in the pharma industry?
This new scientific interest in the medical use of CBD follows the recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans in the early 1990s. The endocannabinoid system is a widespread and complex cell-signaling system that is thought to regulate multiple physiological functions, including cognition, sleep, mood, inflammation and pain perception. It is theorized that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system via modulation of its CB1 and CB2 receptors, thereby exerting its (many) potential effects in the body. Thus, while the existence of CBD has been known for decades, these recent developments mean that CBD is now recognized as a promising new therapeutic ingredient across the pharmaceutical industry.
CBD is full of promise in the pharmaceutical market, and there are many opportunities for novel CBD-based developments. But to realize the full potential of CBD and enter the market with confidence, it’s important to collaborate with a trusted partner in the field.
Type of CBD: Full Spectrum
Potency: 300 mg of CBD in a 2 fl oz. jar
However, since most CBD oil products are not FDA-approved, you will still want to talk with your healthcare provider before starting CBD oil for pain. You should also never stop any prescribed method of treatment for pain management without first talking to your doctor.
Using CBD for Pain: What the Research Says
When looking for a CBD product, it’s important to choose a high-quality product you can trust. This is because some CBD products, since they are not regulated by the FDA, may not contain the potency the label states and/or they may contain other ingredients that could cause harmful side effects.
The type of CBD oil product you should choose will depend on the type of pain you experience. For example, if you have isolated muscle or joint pain, it may help to use a lotions or balms. On the other hand, if you have systemic pain, or chronic back pain, then a capsule or oil you ingest orally may be more effective as it allows the CBD to reach more areas of the body.
Best CBD Cream – Spruce Full Spectrum Topical Cream
What we like: We like that this full spectrum hemp extract is made with organic hemp processed using CO2 extraction that helps retain a complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and other beneficial phytonutrients.
CBD can also interact with certain prescription medicines like blood thinners and sedatives like benzodiazepines and opioids. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider and pharmacist before starting to take any CBD product.