Marijuana and Chronic Pelvic Pain

Before you jump to conclusions… No,  I am not insisting you get “high”, but you have to admit that the title sounds way catchier than “CBD oil for chronic pelvic pain”. Many people still are unaware of CBD oil, its origins and benefits. Many are still cautious with regards to the use of marijuana products or by-products medicinally. So first let’s take a look at what CBD oil is.

CBD also known as Cannabidiol a substance that is extracted from cannabis/ marijuana plants. It is non-psychoactive and so does not give the infamous “high” unlike its well known counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). According to an article in the Canadian Urological Association Journal, “…THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) stimulates appetite, reduces post-traumatic stress disease (PTSD) symptoms, and can be used as a sleep aid. CBD (the non-psychoactive cannabinoid) reduces inflammation, relieves anxiety, and reduces seizures. The combination of CBD and THC may act as a muscle relaxant, relieve spasms, reduce nausea, and relieve pain.”  Another article suggests that cannabinoids can suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. One of the important benefits is that while it offers relief, it does not have the addictive properties of opioids and therefore may be a better option in the “fight” against the opioid epidemic.

So how does it work? First we need to know that the human body produces its own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and therefore has receptors specific to these compounds in the body. These naturally occurring cannabinoids are expressed in the nervous system and play a role in the function of the brain, immune system and nervous system including modulating pain and inflammation. Currently it is thought that CBD may attach to these receptors and/ or stimulate more of the body’s cannabinoids to attach. As such, there is research that supports its use in chronic pain conditions including migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS and more specifically chronic pelvic health conditions.

CBD comes in the form of an oil and can be ingested via dropper or mixed with beverages. It also comes in capsule form or can be administered topically (on the skin).  CBD is purported to reduce pain by at least 30-40% and since most individuals with chronic pain issues are looking to manage symptoms, anything that takes “the edge” off I’m sure is appreciated. As far as dosage goes, you want to speak with your medical provider and definitely make sure that you acquire organic and appropriately harvested and extracted.

 

References:
1. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736

2. Medical marijuana for chronic urologic pelvic pain
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6040614/

3. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/

4. https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/patient/treatments/marijuana-cannabis/navigating-cannabis-options-chronic-pain

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