Alternative Pain Management
Chronic pain is a huge problem here in the US. In fact, more than 51 million people in the US alone struggle from chronic pain (1). The first thing we do is try to deal with the pain ourselves using over the counter (OTC) pain relievers like Tylenol or other similar non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The problem with this approach is that these OTC pain meds are toxic to our liver (2). There are established tolerable upper intake levels (UL) which means that there is a “standard” dose that if taken above a specific amount, will cause liver harm. There is a huge flaw to this approach and let me explain why.
The human body is so magnificent, and it is capable of handling so much stress before it gets pushed to the “breaking point”. Once the body gets pushed to that “breaking point” the body can no longer cope with the toxicity, in this case liver damage following NSAID administration. Then, a symptom appears hinting at liver damage, which may include fever, jaundice, or malaise, but just because the symptom hasn’t appeared yet, don’t think that the liver cells have not already taken a beating.
The truth is that NSAIDs cause liver toxicity and can negatively affect our liver cells (2). This toxicity is damaging the cells and altering their ability to function correctly. Just because the body hasn’t shown symptoms of liver damage, don’t think that the cells aren’t experiencing toxicity to some degree. The human body is so amazing at coping and breaking down and eliminating toxic compounds, but everything has a breaking point. Sometimes symptoms can sometimes be a late sign.
Once we realize that the OTC pain pills aren’t managing the pain effectively, we then seek out a doctor for something stronger to manage pain. This often leads us to taking addictive pain medications, which we quickly build a tolerance to, ultimately leading us to need something a little stronger and overdose related deaths.
The point I’m getting at is that reliance on medications for pain management is ruining our health, creating addiction, running lives and families, and contributing to overdose deaths. In 2021 alone, 98,268 people overdosed (3). I can’t help but think how many of those people started out with chronic pain that just got unbearable. Overdoses and pain medication is a huge problem within our community and we need to make a change!
This is where cannabinoids like CBD and THC come in. These two plant compounds act on our endocannabinoid system to offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties (4). This means that we have an alternative to address pain and inflammation while being at the total opposite end of the health spectrum. Let me explain.
NSAIDs/pain pills and CBD + THC both help manage pain. The huge difference is going from using a pill that causes liver damage to relying on plant compounds that have liver protective properties (5). This is literally the difference between sickness and health, which means this is huge!
Another great attribute of utilizing CBD and THC to manage pain and inflammation is the fact that it is almost impossible to overdose on cannabis because of the large quantities that would need to be ingested in order for it to be fatal.
Could you imagine eliminating 98,268 overdose deaths a year because doctors were recommending a plant instead of pills? Could you imagine that death toll being 0? What a God-send!
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are a great alternative to managing chronic pain and inflammation and the safety profile is unmatched.
One amazing plant that deserves a spot in the medical community, no doubt. This is exactly what I am aiming to do, I want to show others a safer option for managing chronic pain and inflammation. We need to help each other. We all deserve to live a life with quality!
Cheers to one amazing plant.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 13). Chronic pain among adults - United States, 2019–2021. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7215a1.htm
- Bessone F. (2010). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: What is the actual risk of liver damage?. World journal of gastroenterology, 16(45), 5651–5661.https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v16.i45.5651
- Drug overdoses - data details. Injury Facts. (2023, March 13). https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/drugoverdoses/data-details/#:~:text=In%202021%2C%2098%2C268%20people%20died,%2C%20homicide%2C%20and%20undetermined%20intents.
- Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 561. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00561
- Jiang, X., Gu, Y., Huang, Y., Zhou, Y., Pang, N., Luo, J., Tang, Z., Zhang, Z., & Yang, L. (2021, August 4). CBD alleviates liver injuries in alcoholics with high-fat high-cholesterol diet through regulating NLRP3 inflammasome–pyroptosis pathway. Frontiers.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.724747/full