CBD is talked about everywhere. It is legal in all 50 states. It is even available on Amazon! It is sold through a private label and in many different wellness and medical facilities. Until recently, most people had no idea what CBD is and what its benefits are.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, one third of the U.S. population suffers from some type of pain. This is a staggeringly high number. It is greater than those suffering from diabetes, heart conditions, and cancer combined. Alternative and natural pain relief is high on most people’s agenda, even more so when there are no negative side effects and no addictive traits.
CBD is Cannabidiol. It is a natural derivative of hemp from the marijuana plant. But CBD contains no THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the part of the marijuana plant that provides a neurological and psychoactive brain altering change. CBD is often prescribed for people undergoing aggressive cancer treatment to help mitigate the side effects of the treatment. There are certain cancers for which CBD is beneficial, but THC is contraindicated. A licensed professional doctor should always be consulted.
In my clinic, I do not offer ingredients containing THC. I prefer to alleviate the pain naturally, utilizing acupuncture and other modalities, without brain altering methods. By getting to the root of the issue, we can resolve the symptoms or illness entirely, as opposed to just masking the symptoms like a band aid.
Topical CBD in addition to hemp, also contain a combination of terpene analgesic ingredients such as lidocaine, camphor, arnica, and menthol. The science behind it is in the aromatic organic hydrocarbons found in the terpene molecules. They are derived from the essential oils of plants. The various combinations are what make the analgesic benefits so great. In addition to the acute analgesic action, they reduce neuron excitability by providing a reduction in chronic pain originating in the neuropathic pathways. The endocannabinoid modulators create neuromodulating lipids, inhibiting the pain receptors. This literally provides pain relief from the brain pathways by slowing down the neurotransmitter pain signals.
The analgesic ingredients often give a temperature variant on application for instant relief. I recommend topical CBD products for joint, muscle, and nerve pain. By simply massaging the cream or liniment into the localized area, it can help relieve muscle and joint pain, especially for those suffering from arthritis, sprains and bruises.
My favorite is CBD Clinic Level 5. CBD Clinic is the first of its class to be FDA approved. It is an incredible natural cream that reduces localized pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It can be used on the back, the knee, the shoulder, etc. Level 5 is the strongest level for optimal pain relief, and the one I sell most frequently. Most people want optimal pain relief and are prepared to purchase the strongest level offered in order to achieve it. It contains menthol and camphor for instant relief. It is best used twice daily, especially before and after strenuous activity and exercise. I always recommend applying immediately after the shower when the pores are open, allowing for better absorption. With continued use, the hemp CBD base ingredients offer relief that gets better and better with use. In conjunction with acupuncture it often resolves the pain entirely.
I also recommend CBD tinctures. A tincture is a solution taken orally or sublingually, which means under the tongue. CBD tinctures are wonderful for addressing overall stress and anxiety. It can help resolve insomnia. It also helps resolve pain all over the body. I recommend CBD tinctures when a patient has numerous health concerns simultaneously. In such a situation, I recommend a systemic approach. This means we are treating the whole body together. I often find that a patient’s baseline has improved significantly after only two weeks consistently taking CBD daily. CBD tinctures can be used together with CBD liniments for optimal pain relief both systemically and locally.
Please note that all CBD products are not created equal. It is important to understand the ratio and other ingredients. The ones I have recommended here are what I have personally tested, researched, and tried with many patients.
The CBD Clinic I recommend is Charlotte’s Web. Grown in Colorado, it is considered the cream of the crop in terms of CBD quality. They adhere to strict quality control and purity for optimal effectiveness. I have tried and tested many products, and done a fair share of research, before recognizing these products as the best.
Another delivery method of CBD is vape pens. This is a super-fast method of delivery. You simply inhale and can feel the stress relief within minutes. I personally tried this method of delivery myself, along with a sampling of my own patients. I do not offer this form in my clinic as I feel that not enough is understood in terms of the mechanism of action, the chemicals needed for the delivery method and their side effects. Additionally, I feel that this type of method may rekindle a former smoker to want to take up smoking again. This is definitely not something I advocate, and I offer stop smoking acupuncture protocols to help people completely stop smoking.
CBD in its various formats can offer natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and help with anxiety and insomnia along with a slew of other conditions. It is certainly worth trying it yourself consistently for a few months and seeing if it has worked for you. A best approach is when it is used in conjunction with acupuncture.
Deborah Rothman is a licensed acupuncturist and a Diplomate of Acupuncture with a private practice in Woodmere. Comments and questions are welcome. She can be reached at 516-203-4500 or Deborah@AcuZen.com. Please visit AcuZen.com and follow Acu‑Zen on Facebook.