One of the best things about receiving a gift is the anticipation of learning what’s inside the box. So, in the true spirit of the 8 days of Hanukkah we’re giving you 8 gifts of CBD and cannabis knowledge.
Day 1 – CBD and Cannabis May Help Alleviate Lower Back Pain and Pain Caused by Muscle Spasms, Ulcers and GERD
Cannabis is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-reliever) with chemicals that interact with the endocannabinoid system to influence how the body interprets pain. THC, CBD, and terpenes are three prominent elements in cannabis which play a synergistic, integral role in fighting pain.
- THC produces the euphoric effects or “high” in cannabis which many people find helpful in alleviating pain.
- CBD appears to balance THC’s euphoric effects, reduces anxiety, and studies show it is helpful for reducing pain and inflammation.
- Terpenes are what gives all plants their flavors, aromas, and potential medicinal benefits. In cannabis, the presence of certain terpenes helps determine how it affects your body. Terpenes may induce relaxation, sedation, and stimulation in complimenting the effects of THC and CBD.
Lower Back Pain
Pain relief is one of the main reasons mature adults are using medical cannabis. And lower back pain is very common – and particularly problematic – for those of us over 40, as it affects our mobility, mood, and lifestyle.
There are a variety of cannabis products for adults seeking relief from lower back pain. Your preferred way to use cannabis also plays a large part in how it may affect your body. Topicals like salves, lotions, and balms may provide relief in a specific area of your body. If you have time for a relaxing soak in the tub, bath soaks take it a step further with full body relief. For immediate relief after waking up with lower back pain, smoking and vaping tend to provide fast-acting whole-body results followed by tinctures and edibles. Many older adults suffering from back pain use microdosing to medicate throughout their day. This generally means limiting a dose of THC to between 2.5 and 10 milligrams. Edibles and tinctures are a consistent, convenient, and discreet way to microdose, and many edibles like mints, chocolates, gummies, cookies, and beverages are delicious as well.
If you’ve ever “over done it” while exercising or working in the yard and felt a sudden muscle contraction and sharp pain, you may have experienced a muscle spasm. Muscle spasms can be quite painful, and now doctors are recommending cannabis more than ever – CBD and THC – to help deal with the pain. This gives us all an alternative to prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone, which can be addictive and are often misused.
“Muscle spasms are actually one of the major categories that cannabis is used for,” says Three Wells Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Deborah Malka. “They’re very effective. As a matter of fact, if you’ve had something like a motor vehicle accident and your muscles are all tight from whiplash, you can use pain medication such as opioids or anti-inflammatories, and they don’t touch the muscle spasm. So the muscle spasm component of an injury is really best treated by cannabis.”
There are a variety of ways people attempt to find relief from ulcers, including diet changes, over-the-counter pills or pharmaceutical medications, but many people are turning to more natural methods. This is now leading to many asking how CBD (Cannabidiol) or a combination of CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) can help treat ulcers.
According to the Harvard Medical School, ulcers affect more than 4 million people in the United States each year; 1 in 10 individuals develop an ulcer at some time.
Our stomachs contain cannabinoid receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors bind with the cannabinoids in cannabis. When this happens, the CB1 receptor tells the stomach to stop producing stomach acid, thus helping relieve acid reflux.
In addition to affecting stomach acid, the muscle relaxant properties of cannabis make it useful for treating acid reflux. The stomach sphincters become more relaxed thereby reducing reflux.
When the CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid system, it reduces the secretion of acids that would otherwise cause actual burn when dealing with the symptoms of acid reflux. There are also anti-inflammatory properties in CBD which make it a useful treatment in individuals with acid reflux.
Cannabis can also reduce stress and help patients relax, which is also beneficial in the treatment of ulcers.
“THC, in particular, is really useful for ulcers because there are some theories that ulcers show an altered activity of endocannabinoid receptors,” says Dr. Malka. “THC, in particular, is stimulating and it actually can help normalize the activity of the endocannabinoid receptors in the gut, and for ulcers that’s really important.”
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
There are a variety of ways people attempt to find relief from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including diet changes, over-the-counter pills or pharmaceutical medications, but many people are turning to more natural methods. This is now leading to many asking how CBD (Cannabidiol) or a combination of CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) can help treat acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus. As many as 10% of adults have acid reflux episodes once a day and 44% at least once a month.
Acid reflux is a chronic problem that involves “tightening of the sphincters in your throat and a little bit lower in your esophagus, says Dr. Malka. “You can definitely benefit from the muscle relaxant activities of CBD.”
A tincture is a good method of delivery to treat upper digestive disorders because it is absorbed directly into submucosal tissues upon swallowing. Tinctures can also be delivered as a mouth spray for immediate relief. THC serves to activate CB1 receptors, although the CBD rich products can contribute to muscle relaxation.Learn more about how CBD and Cannabis can help treat acid reflux.