Amid the hue and cry as to the efficacy of CBD oil as a pain management medication, a highly respected member of the medical profession has stated that it is a far more advantageous form of treatment than opioids.
Dr Seth Waldman says CBD oil has effectively helped a number of his patients suffering from tough neuropathic pain syndromes.Dr Waldman is the anesthesiologist and director of pain management at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York’s top-ranked facility for orthopaedics and rheumatology.
His statement that the use of cannabidiol’s (CBD), which is non-addictive,is far more advantageous than opioid treatments, comes at a time when America is fighting an opioid epidemic with at least 50 million people being treated for chronic pain.
Dr Waldman says that is CBD better tolerated than opioid pain management treatments, including the use of steroids, anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants and anti-depressants. CBD oil can be applied topically, by ingesting in capsule-form, or by smoking it through a vape pen.However, he has found that while using CBD oil topically may be safer, more promising results have been obtained from oral ingestion.
Dr Waldman says CBD is well worth trying, especially for neurological pain, but does issue a word of caution because of the difficulty experienced with correct dosages. His advice is:
- Attempt only one treatment at a time to ascertain the efficacy of the dosage or any side-effects
- Go slow and start low as dosages can be increased if well tolerated
Dr Waldman adds that irregular use of CBD makes it difficult to gauge just how well the treatment is working and advises pain sufferers to first consult their doctors before plunging into a self-medicating regime.
CBD now recognized at federal government level
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest breakthroughs for CBD oil’s recognition as a major contributor to the medical arena came last month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it as a treatment for severe forms of epilepsy, particularly in children. This move heralds the first cannabis-based drug approved at federal levels.
The placebo effect
Somewhat less upbeat about CBD oil is Rebecca M. Craft, PhD, a professor of psychology and director of the experimental psychology doctoral program at Washington State University. She says researchers have been more focussed on discovering whether anecdotal proof of CBD as a pain reliever is due to the placebo effect.
A number of clinical trials involving cancer patients in the advanced stages of the illness demonstrated that cannabis treatment did not provide any more relief from pain than a placebo. At present, only 25 clinical studies involving CBD as a pain reliever are listed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Of those 25, only a few have been completed.
However, the problem with these clinical trials (to ascertain the efficacy of CBD oil as a pain treatment) is that patients are dosed with cannabis containing both CBD (non-psychoactive) and THC that makes people high.
Another drawback is that several CBD studies involve the use of rats as opposed to human subjects and concentrate on pain relief for arthritis sufferers.Also, when human subjects are used, these clinical trials are often reduced to small test groups.
Craft also points to the fact that very little research is being undertaken into the long-term effects of cannabis-based medications.
However, there is undisputed evidence that CBD oil reacts with the neurotransmitters in the brain, desensitizing a pain receptor known as TRPV1.
Questionable CBD content in shelf products
The problem facing the medical profession and pain sufferers is that CBD oil sold in the U.S. is not regulated and therefore the percentage of CBD contained in any product cannot be determined with any accuracy. This is a far cry from Canada and the Netherlands where products are federally-produced and the labeling is accurate.
Craft warns that no matter how well intended or informed budtenders at dispensaries may be, they cannot with any accuracy tell a customer exactly how much CBD is contained in a product on their shelves.
Finally, Craft says far more research is required before CBD can be identified as an effective medication. She describes CBD as a “trendy” medication but concedes that it may contain legitimate medicinal properties.
Apart from proven clinical studies and patient reports that CBD is a great pain reliever, the medical profession is calling for more research into its overall effectiveness before declaring CBD oil as a medical science breakthrough.
However, it is an undisputed fact the CBD is non-psychoactive and offers its users an effective way in which to not only relieve severe and chronic pain but also to melt away anxiety, improve sleep patterns and relieve depression.
Another one of CBDs main drawcards is the fact that there are no recorded adverse side-effects after ingesting.