Clearing's Chronic Pain Blog
7 Myths and Facts About CBD You Didn’t Know
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Although it’s a chemical cousin to marijuana that shares its pain-relieving properties, cannabidiol (or CBD) is legal on a federal level, and certain states are gradually lifting restrictions on CBD. From the grocery store to the gas station to specialty shops and websites, you can buy a dizzying variety of CBD products that promise to address a litany of issues.
For those seeking pain relief, CBD is available in topical forms, such as lotions and creams, for the skin to absorb. New legislation and scientific breakthroughs have paved the way for innovations that blend the botanical elements of cannabis with other proven pain relievers, and more products join the market every day.
But not all CBD creams are created equal. They vary dramatically in quality, price, formula and claims. As the industry’s popularity explodes and consumers navigate offerings, it’s critical to separate the myths from the facts when considering whether to start using CBD cream for chronic pain.
7 common CBD myths
Below are the 7 most common myths about CBD and what the actual facts are.
1. Myth: CBD will get you high
Fact: CBD may reduce anxiety, but it won’t cloud your judgment
Unlike the chemical THC, which produces the sensation of being buzzed or high, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound, meaning CBD does not interfere with performance or cognition.
Both CBD and THC appear to bind to receptors in the body’s central nervous system, which regulate sensory cells that play a role in pain relief. Both compounds are thought to have therapeutic benefits for many of the same symptoms or conditions, including joint pain, muscle aches, and relief from anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.
2. Myth: All CBD cream will show up on a drug test
Fact: CBD products are unlikely to impact a drug screen
Ingestible CBD, while derived from hemp or cannabis, does not normally register on a drug test like other cannabis byproducts do. The substance in marijuana that may show up on a drug test is a different cannabinoid called THC. However, be aware that CBD creams and oils sometimes contain traces of THC (usually less than 0.3%) so there is always a very small chance of getting a surprise positive result.
So while CBD oils or ingestibles may cause someone to fail a drug test due to cross-contamination with THC, CBD isolate products designed for therapeutic benefits carry far lower risk.
3. Myth: All CBD creams are the same
Fact: The quality of CBD cream varies widely
As a relatively new industry, CBD is not yet familiar to consumers, which can open the way to confusion about products and what they claim to do. In a marketplace with few established standards of source, quality and dosage, it’s important to seek reputable products from companies that adhere to best practices in medicine, science and therapeutics.
- Research the reputation of the company or product line. Look for companies and brands that: provide proof of third-party testing, pass tests against pesticides, heavy metals and molds, have positive user reviews and feedback and don’t make claims or promises they can’t support.
- Make sure the cream is made with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD, as opposed to full-spectrum CBD. The first two have little to no cross-contamination with THC or other chemical compounds. Broad-spectrum CBD may contain terpenes, aromatic compounds found naturally in cannabis that may reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety.
- Verify the potency of the CBD cream. Look for at least 300 mg per 50-mL container, two mg CBD per pump.
- Look for naturally occurring ingredients that enhance the benefits of CBD. Arnica, menthol, aloe vera and eucalyptus are examples of oils, extracts and supplements that help target discomfort at its source to provide safe, topical relief. Read ingredients and labels carefully and remember that cold-pressed products such as hemp oil, although related, may not necessarily contain CBD.
4. Myth: CBD cream is snake oil
Fact: CBD cream may relieve nerve pain and improve quality of life
CBD cream is rich in therapeutic potential for chronic pain relief and certain disorders. A growing body of studies reports the calming effect of CBD in the central nervous system, offering promise for treating disorders such as anxiety, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
CBD has been shown to be effective at treating neuropathic pain (pain from nerve irritation or damage). A recent small, randomized placebo-controlled trial reported significant reductions in pain with CBD topical oil, relative to a placebo group, in patients with peripheral neuropathy.
5. Myth: CBD cream is addictive
Fact: CBD cream may reduce your reliance on opioids
For years, doctors have prescribed opioid drugs to provide short-term relief for acute pain. Opioids aren’t designed for long-term use to address chronic pain, but they’re extremely difficult to stop using. Use of opioids can have severe adverse effects, fueling addiction for those desperate for pain relief. In the United States, about 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids in 2019.
Government agencies are now focusing their attention on curbing this crisis, encouraging doctors to seek alternatives to opioids as treatment for pain management. The FDA recently listed “cutting the rate of new opioid addictions” as one of its highest priorities, and guidelines for prescribing opioid medications are tightening.
CBD shows promise in helping those with chronic pain avoid succumbing to the opioid crisis. In one study, CBD as a treatment for chronic pain, offered as an alternative to opioids, resulted in improved quality of life for 94 percent of participants, with over half reducing or eliminating their dependence on opioids.
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6. Myth: Ingestible CBD is always better than creams
Fact: Topical treatments can be a better choice than oral medications
In general, topical treatments hold certain advantages over oral medications. For the most part, they trigger far fewer side systemic side effects and offer the benefit of delivering treatment directly to the area of pain.
7. Myth: I’ll never find the right CBD cream for my chronic pain
Fact: Clearing offers CBD cream as part of a customized plan to target specific areas of discomfort
If you’re ready to discover a safe, natural source of soothing relief, you’ll want to try a CBD cream with pure formulation, soothing properties and exceptional value.
At Clearing, we offer a high-quality, hemp-derived CBD-containing botanical cream as part of a holistic approach to comfort. We also work closely with you to customize a treatment plan to help you find relief.
Our personalized treatment plans combine non-opioid options like CBD cream, personalized exercises and stretches, and personalized prescription-strength compound creams specifically designed to treat your type of pain, health coaching and more. This high-touch care from a team of specialized providers is available in your home via our telehealth platform.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your individual needs and medical conditions.