Be sure to talk with your doctor about the right dose and route of administration before taking any prescribed of dispensed medical cannabis product for pain relief or related symptoms. Note that Medicare does not cover the product; check with your insurer for other program coverage.
A growing body of clinical research and a history of anecdotal evidence support the use of cannabis for the relief of some types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, and spasticity (ie, stiffness or tightness) associated with multiple sclerosis. 1 In a recent comprehensive review of existing data on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, the National Academies of Science concluded that adult patients with chronic pain who were treated with cannabis/cannabinoids were more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms. 2 They rated these effects as “modest.”
Dr. Bearman said he also prescribes dronabinol, the man-made or synthetic THC, for some patients. “It doesn’t work as well as cannabis, it’s more expensive than cannabis, and it has more side effects than cannabis. Nevertheless, there are some good reasons for prescribing it,” he noted. Specifically, because dronabinol is regulated by the FDA and must meet purity and manufacturing standards, he knows exactly how much THC a patient is getting.
For those with concerns about the psychogenic effects, he recommends starting with a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD for chronic pain. “I usually suggest that people start with 7.5 mg [which, using a standard unit converter amounts to 0.003 oz.] of THC and 7.5 mg of CBD, three or four times a day,” he told Practical Pain Management. “I tell them that the most likely effect is that (a) it’s not going to make their pain go away, and (b) they’re not going to get high.”
A Word About Hemp
The chemical complexity of cannabis itself has made it difficult for researchers to untangle its effects on pain and, at the same time, difficult for clinicians and patients to find the most effective species and route of administration. Cannabis is the genus name for a disputed number of plant species. The two most widely accepted species are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, though hybrid species are also common.
Dr. Bearman is also the co-founder of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, and a board member of Americans for Safe Access – a national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research,and of Patients Out of Time – a Virginia-based nonprofit that works to educate all disciplines of healthcare professionals, the legal profession, and the public about medical cannabis. It’s also important to know that dispensary cannabis is not regulated by the FDA so what you get in one state, or at one time, may be different from another.
Let’s start with the general definition of CBD capsules and pills. Naturally, the name is pretty self-explanatory – CBD capsules are just like any other capsules or pills, only they have an accurate CBD dose in its content. In other words, it is CBD in the form of a pill. These products are used as a supplement and most users find them very convenient and practical. Depending on its content, CBD capsules can be full-spectrum or THC-free. The main difference between the two is the combination of CBD with other cannabinoids. Simply put, THC-free or pure CBD capsules contain only CBD in its content without any additional cannabinoids. On the other hand, full-spectrum is the combination of CBD and THC which is also known as the “entourage effect”. Many research shows that this is the winning combination because it is more effective in treating pain or chronic illnesses.
Charlotte’s Web is a brand that is based in Colorado and uses only domestically-grown organic hemp to extract CBD and combines it with terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids to produce its high-quality liquid capsules. These CBD capsules are 100% vegan, kosher and allergen-free, and contain approximately 15mg CBD per 1mL serving. Charlotte’s Web’s CBD liquid capsules are available in 30ct, 60ct, and 90ct bottles and are made from full-spectrum hemp extract. They test all their products through an independent lab and the lab results are available for download.
Reasons Why CBD Capsules are Preferred by Users
At Green Roads, you can choose one of the three types of CBD capsules based on their function. Meaning that you can get capsules for everyday support, sleep, and to relax. Green Roads capsules are sold in 750mg of CBD bottles and made from broad-spectrum and THC-free CBD extract. Each capsule contains 25mg of CBD which is ideal for maintaining your daily dose. All products by Green Roads are tested by a third-party lab and are made from American-farmed hemp.
Probably the first question that pops to your mind after reading this is are CBD capsules and pills safe to use. Well, you can rest assured that all CBD products, in general, are safe. You do have to pay attention to their content, as we have already pointed this out in the descriptions for each brand listed above. It’s of prime importance that you choose products that contain natural ingredients. Read the labels carefully and choose only trusted CBD brands – any of these seven are a good choice for you. In addition, there is no room for concerns about CBD capsules getting you high because as we already mentioned these products contain only traces of THC in their content.
In fact, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies and individuals that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain CBD. The FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD the manufacturers had claimed they contain.
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Cannabis (most commonly obtained from the Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa plants) has three major components: cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. While there are over a hundred different cannabinoids, the two major components are tetrahydrocannabional (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Historically more attention has been paid to the psychoactive (euphoric “getting high”) component of the cannabis plant, THC; there have been fewer scientific studies on the medical use of CBD, a non-psychoactive component of the plant.
Beware of powerful testimonials
CBD is emerging as a promising pharmaceutical agent to treat pain, inflammation, seizures, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. Our understanding of the role of CBD in pain management continues to evolve, and evidence from animal studies has shown that CBD exerts its pain-relieving effects through its various interactions and modulation of the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive (pain sensing) systems. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors that interact with our own naturally occurring cannabinoids. This system is involved in regulating many functions in the body, including metabolism and appetite, mood and anxiety, and pain perception.
So far, pharmaceutical CBD is only approved by the FDA as adjunct therapy for the treatment of a special and rare form of epilepsy. Currently, CBD alone is not approved for treatment of pain in the United States. But a combination medication (that contains both THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio) was approved by Health Canada for prescription for certain types of pain, specifically central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and the treatment of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid therapy. There is currently no high-quality research study that supports the use of CBD alone for the treatment of pain.
If you ask health care providers about the most challenging condition to treat, chronic pain is mentioned frequently. By its nature, chronic pain is a complex and multidimensional experience. Pain perception is affected by our unique biology, our mood, our social environment, and past experiences. If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, you already know the heavy burden.
Most importantly, CBD can interact with other important medications like blood thinners, heart medications, and immunosuppressants (medications given after organ transplantation), potentially changing the levels of these important medications in the blood and leading to catastrophic results, including death. Also, more information needs to be gathered about its safety in special populations such as the elderly, children, those who are immunocompromised, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.