CBD topicals for chronic pain management
What is CBD Oil?
I am no doctor, nor scientist, nor CBD oil expert, I am just a chronic pain patient sharing what helps me. That being said, here is what Medical News Today says about what CBD oil is, and is not:
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 60 compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found in many plants but are most commonly linked to cannabis.
Unlike other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a euphoric "high" or psychoactive effect. This is because CBD does not affect the same receptors as THC.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals it receives from cannabinoids in the body. The body produces some cannabinoids on its own, which are called endocannabinoids. The ECS helps regulate functions such as sleep, immune-system responses, and pain.
In summation: CBD oil does not get you high if you ingest it. It just doesn't. It can't.
Does CBD Oil work well for chronic pain management?
In my experience, absolutely fucking yes. It does.
I started out with trying CBD oil through ingestion. I wrote previously about this experience, and about how it helped take the edge off of nerve pain. I would ingest 1-2 droppers of Charlotte's Web each day, either in my morning coffee or by itself, and it would help with some of the super intense nerve pain I was getting from the herniated discs and piriformis syndrome.
Unfortunately, the cost became prohibitive for me, in relation to the benefits I was receiving. In other words, I wasn't getting enough pain relief to justify spending $80-$100 per month on CBD oil, after so many months of being unemployed from regular, full-time work, mounting medical bills, etc.
A couple of months ago, however, I discovered CBD topical salve!
What's the difference between ingesting CBD oil and applying it topically?
I don't know the scientific differences, I'll be perfectly honest, but I will tell you what I've experienced personally.
CBD topical salve is not all I am doing, in the interest of full disclosure. Health and wellness take hard work, especially as a spine rehab patient. On Monday and Friday each week, I do one hour of water aerobics in the heated therapy pool at the local rec center. Usually, I will sit in the hot tub for 5-10 minutes after class to help soothe my muscles from the workout.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I spend 50 minutes training with a personal trainer at the same rec center. We work carefully and gently on rebuilding the muscles in my core system, as well as my stabilizer muscles, and most notably my glutes and hip flexors.
When I say carefully and gently, I mean it. I don't use weight machines or do any crazy cardio. For the first 3.5 weeks, I spent all of my workout on a mat, doing Supermans and glute squeezes and things. After nine months laying on the couch, we are literally rebuilding me from scratch. It's worth noting, however, that I have lost 30+lbs since Christmas, all through watching what I eat, drinking more water, water aerobics, and muscle training. Which is great, because I gained about 60 lbs. last year.
One Wednesdays and Saturdays, I rest, and probably take at least one nap. Sleep is important for rehabilitation, too!
I have a neuromuscular condition called piriformis syndrome that causes my glutes to spasm and compress my sciatic nerve. My sciatica pain can go from the top of my left hip, alllll the way down to my toes, and I spend usually 3-4 days per week with pain at a 5/10 on the pain scale and the other days in the 6-9/10 pain range. It is rare for me to hit 10/10 these days.
Additionally, I have osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine, in the spinal column. Finally, I have bulging discs. I had four discs that were bulging/herniated all at once in my lumbar spine last year, but I have made pretty significant improvement in that area through anti-inflammatory diet, physical therapy and current exercise, and, probably, lying around for several months.
How does CBD Oil help?
Applying CBC topical salve onto my high pain areas has helped immensely, and different pains are impacted differently. I've also found an AMAZING source, Wilde Rose Topicals. Jack Wilde is a fellow Spoonie who I met on Instagram through a mutual connection.
On February 18, 2018, she made a post introducing herself and telling her story. In that post, Jack explains that she used to work in the medical field and has lived with chronic pain and chronic health issues since she was an infant. At the age of 12, her doctor determined that cannabis was her best bet for treating her chronic pain and ailments. She found that it helped her pain, fatigue, nausea, etc. more effectively than any modern or traditional medical treatments had.
It wasn't until Jack suffered a traumatic brain injury and became medically disabled that she tried CBD oil herself, for the first time (she'd always used cannabis, with THC) and her life was instantly changed, according to her testimony.
Jack decided that she wanted to help other people find relief from chronic pain and illness through the use of CBD oil and topicals, and above all, she wanted to make sure it was affordable.
This is where meeting her became so significant for me -- I could afford her products more easily than I could afford the products being sold in health food stores and on sites like cwhemp.com.
My personal use of CBD topicals.
I started out purchasing the Original Blend.
This has 200mg of pure CBD oil mixed as well as other oils such as lavender and rose. You'll have to ask Jack about the science of all the blends and what different oils do different things beyond pain relief, etc.
What I noticed immediately is that it works within minutes to start lowering pain levels. I can come home from working out for two days, with muscles spasming all over the place, and rub this on to my glutes and low back, and the spasms calm right down and the pain eases.
Now, it won't take my pain away entirely, but it might bring it down from a 7/10 to a 3 or 4/10. That's livable! It also helps ease some of the muscle soreness that comes with working out no matter what your situation might be.
Next, I tried her Nervana. This comes in like a deodorant stick type applicator, and is infused with 500mg of pure CBD oil. This works especially for nerve pain, such as sciatica. Again, I'll apply it onto my left buttcheek (sorry, but it's true) as well as down my left leg, on the front and back of my knee and calf, and even on to my left foot.
As I told Nathan on Friday night, "This salve takes me from wanting to cry and beg you to cut my leg off, to being bearabley uncomfortable in just minutes."
It's Spring and I live in the south, which means the pollen is trying to kill me. (Seriously, allergies here in Tennessee are the worst in the country.) This means I've also had a barrage of sinus-based headaches, as well as tension headaches because my cervical spine isn't in the best shape either.
Today, my special 100mg pure CBD oil crystal-infused roll-on arrived, and I can't wait to try it out. Yes, she actually puts little tiny crystals in the bottom of the roll-on! She will customize the stones to your specific needs and preferences.
The CBD oil in these crystal roll-ons is mixed with grape seed oil, in case you're wondering. Did I mention that all of her products are vegan?!
Jack is a dream to work with, and I literally just told her, "Don't give me these oils because they'll give me migraines, and I like these, and here's why I keep getting headaches... make it however you see fit."
I was even able to bundle a crystal roll-on with a tin of the Original Blend for $45, shipping included. Jack does flash sales and bundle sales pretty regularly.
Y'all, my mom called me from her local health food store and their 100mg topical salve was $80!!! Jack is making this natural medicine so much more affordable!
So, in conclusion, it's worth a freaking shot, I think.
I know CBD oil benefits a lot of folks with anxiety and depression as well, but I can't speak to that as much. It's hard to tell if ingesting oil helped with my anxiety and depression because I've got so much else going on in that arena. I told you recently about my full relapse of General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Post traumatic Stress Disorder. I don't think it'd be fair of me to try to evaluate one way or another whether CBD oil would help with those things.
I hope that you'll reach out to Jack and give her products a try. We Spoonies need to stick together and help one another out whenever we can. For the record, Jack has no idea that I'm writing this blog, and she won't know untill/unless she reads it. I'm not getting anything from writing this. I just want to help others find as much relief as they can. Life is hard enough, right?
Be well everyone. Thanks for indulging me.