CBD for Pain - Does It Compare to Painkillers? | cannabisMD

CBD for Pain: How Does It Compare to OTC Painkillers?

A comparison of CBD and OTC painkillers for pain

Image Credit: By altafulla on shutterstock.

Whether you’re someone who suffers from the chronic pain caused by a disease or condition, or you suffer from severe menstrual cramps every month, pain is a part of everyday life. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything we can do about it. Modern medicine and scientific discovery have led to the development of some highly effective pain medications. Over the counter, painkillers are more effective than ever. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for painkillers which all claim to act the fastest, hit pain the hardest, and have the least side effects. But which one is really best?

Unfortunately, most OTC painkillers do have side effects. This may not cause any real issues if you only take them once a month at the start of your period, but for someone who takes them every single day due to a chronic condition, it can be a very big deal. For this reason, more and more folks are now looking towards natural remedies for a safer alternative. CBD oil is one such option which seems to be gaining popularity very quickly. This is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. It has gained a lot of media and scientific attention in recent years.

Now commonly used in the treatment of chronic pain caused by road traffic accidents, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease, this natural remedy can cause a “high”, but doesn’t have to. Many CBD products cause no such effect, so they can be used safely and with maximum functionality in day to day life.

CBD oil is the nickname given to cannabidiol. This is because studies on the cannabis plant have shown that the compounds in the plant can be used for medicinal purposes. There are still unanswered questions regarding the plant. For example, “what are the long-term side effects?” and “how does the cannabis plant compare to over the counter (OTC) painkillers?”.

Different Types Of Pain

It’s important to know the types of pain that one may experience so that we can get a better comparison of both CBD and OTC painkillers. There are two forms of pain. These are:

Acute pain – This is typically a sudden pain that lasts for a short period of time. It is usually caused by damaged tissue i.e muscle, organs and bones. Acute pain is usually related to back pain, toothaches, and headaches.

Chronic pain – This typically lasts longer than acute pain. It most cases it needs medical treatment. It is associated with long-term illness such as osteoarthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Over The Counter Painkillers

Over the counter (OTC) painkiller drugs are available in all local drug stores. There are many different types of painkillers on the market that you can get over the counter. Ibuprofen is branded as Advil and/or Motrin. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that treats pain, fever, and swelling. Ibuprofen is available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. It is a combination of other painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

It contains ingredients such as cold and flu remedies. It is available in tablet, syrup, gel, mousse and spray form. Ibuprofen works to ease mild to moderate pain like toothaches, period pains, and migraine. It has the ability to reduce high temperatures that you associate with fevers and the flu. Tylenol, also known as Acetaminophen, is a pain reliever and fever reducer. It is used as a medication to treat many conditions such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Arthritis
  • Backache
  • Colds and flu

Tylenol can relieve both mild pain and moderate pain. Tylenol doesn’t work for reducing swelling or inflammation. Medical experts say that Tylenol blocks the release of certain chemicals in the brain that signal the sensation of pain.

Aspirin is a universal medicine that has many uses, including managing and relieving pain. It also reduces the risk of severe problems like heart disease. It is often used for short-term relief of pain associated with:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Period pain
  • Toothache
  • General aches and pains

Aspirin can be used as long-term medication. It can be given to children under a doctor’s supervision.

CBD Oil for Pain

Cannabis and synthetic painkillers work in different ways to prevent pain. Unlike OTC painkillers, the pain-mediating effects of cannabis are not as well understood. Researchers know that cannabis compounds like THC and CBD work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system which then manipulates pathways within the opioid system, nervous system, and immune system.

Cannabis regulates the function of opioids by blocking neurological and neuropathic pain levels and promotes homeostasis by reducing inflammation. While non-prescription/prescription painkillers only affect the pain-relieving receptors of the opioid system. They don’t play a role in holistic bodily homeostasis, unlike CBD.

Since CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, it’s considered to be a natural remedy. Studies conducted on the plant state that CBD or medicinal cannabis have little to no side effects. If you are planning to use CBD for pain management it’s best that you consult your doctor first. They can advise you on the best methods, dosage and even CBD products on the market, for you.

It’s important to remember that any misuse of medication may deteriorate your health and cause complications. If you are taking OTC painkillers, always check the recommended dosage and avoid exceeding the daily amount. If you take a high dosage by accident talk to a medical professional immediately.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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