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Why Do Cannabinoids Help With Pain?

November 16, 2020 | sheabrand

Here’s a quick  summary from Sheabrand President Austin Katz

Advil (NSAIDs) and Tylenol (paracetamol) are great for addressing inflammation and chronic pain, but are blockers essentially tricking your brain into feeling less pain, almost like a band-aid (not to mention most pain killers can be dangerous if overused or over dosed).

Cannabinoids like CBD, on the other hand, are not drugs at all and are completely safe. They can address all types of pain at the source, both locally via fats and oils (often lotions and balms), and by interacting with and strengthening your endocannabinoid system (the ECS, the biological system responsible for controlling pain).


Locally, CBD addresses pain because your body is wired with what’s called “endocannabinoid receptors” that live on the inside of all types of cell walls within your skin, hair follicles, soft tissue, nervous system, brain and up and down your spinal column – amongst other areas. These receptors, along with cannabinoids, are part of what’s called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short, which is a major biological system responsible for modulating all of your regulatory functions and achieving balance (not too hot, not too cold) or what’s called “homeostasis.”

When applied locally via a fat or oil, cannabinoids like CBD bind to and/or interact with these receptors that will then trigger all sorts of functions designed to achieve “homeostasis.” In the case of pain it triggers functions designed to encourage healing and reduce inflammation in your skin, muscles, tendons and nerves. Topical application of CBD includes balms and lotions but also transdermal patches (Cannabinoids can trigger over 130 functions in the skin alone)

Furthermore, if you do not have a strong ECS enriched with cannabinoids, then you might struggle to regulate pain in general – especially if you are someone who experiences daily or chronic pain. This is because cannabinoids, again, are responsible for strengthening the ECS, the system responsible for controlling pain. So if you do not have a healthy amount of cannabinoids in your system than your body will struggle to regulate.

It is theorized that as we age our bodies struggle to produce naturally occurring cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, so it helps to supplement your diet with cannabinoids that come from plants – called phytocannabinoids (like CBD). It’s not un-similar to how we supplement our diet with vitamins and minerals that come from plants in order to maintain optimal health. For this look for soft gels, gummies, suppositories, full spectrum cbd oil drops and also transdermal patches can be used.

When it comes to pain, more specifically, a healthy ECS will lead to a stronger immune system, faster healing for people who are injured, body-wide anti anti-inflammation and improved neuropathic function and connectivity.

In this sense, don’t think about CBD as a pain killer, but rather a dietary health supplement that strengthens a system responsible for controlling pain.

Other ways to strengthen your ECS include eating healthy, whole, fresh foods, exercising regularly, and finding other ways to manage stress such as yoga and meditation.


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