BY MARIE LODI
Since cannabidiol, or CBD, is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits, many people have been using it as a more natural alternative to traditional chronic pain relief. Studies have shown that using CBD for chronic pain can be safer than opioids, especially for people who suffer from arthritis, back pain, sciatica, post-injury pain, and more.
“CBD can help with pain in a variety of different ways, due to the large number of organ systems with receptors for CBD,” explains Dr. Sherry Yafai, MD, a physician focused on cannabis-based medicine at The Releaf Institute; she’s also director of research and development at High Sobriety, as well as co-vice president for the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. Adds Boris Shcharansky, COO of Papa & Barkley: “Used repeatedly, cannabidiol has been shown to reduce inflammation, providing pain relief.” Shcharansky personally swears by a daily regimen of high-CBD for his psoriatic arthritis. “Repetition is important when using CBD for pain management,” he says. “Cannabidiol will store in your body's fat cells, providing an accumulative effect on inflammation.”
Those who have never used cannabis recreationally or otherwise might at first feel intimidated by the prospect of incorporating it into a pain management regimen—Dr. Yafai suggests beginning with ointments. “A very easy way to use CBD for cannabis-naïve individuals is to start with CBD topicals for muscle strains or muscle cramps,” she says. “This is a very effective modality, and does not penetrate into the bloodstream, thus avoiding any fear of getting ‘high,’ which can be a concern for most first-time cannabis users.” Shcharansky also recommends starting with a conservative amount. “We recommend a low and slow dosing method. Start small with 5 mg, see how you feel, and build over the next week taking note of the effects.”
Eager to try CBD for that nagging sciatica pain? Try: Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm and Papa & Barkley Releaf Tincture - 1:30 THC/CBD.