CBD, or cannabidiol. It’s believed to cure everything from insomnia and epilepsy to pain and stress — but is it all hype? The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant. Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG
Understanding CBD: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, What We SHOULD Know
At Pelvic Pain Doc , we strive to stay on the cutting edge of current health trends. We want the best for our patients so we believe it’s our duty to offer the very best pain management techniques. The latest player in the fight against chronic pain? CBD, or cannabidiol. It’s believed to cure everything from insomnia and epilepsy to pain and stress — but is it all hype?
When new health trends emerge, it’s a constant challenge to know for sure whether they’re safe and effective or not. As New York’s pelvic pain specialist , Dr. Sonia Bahlani always has her patients’ well-being at heart, so she’s done the research to help you make the best decision for your health. Is CBD safe ? Does CBD treat chronic pain? Can CBD cure pelvic pain? There’s a lot we still don’t know about CBD, but there’s increasing evidence that it could be an effective complement to a holistic pain treatment plan.
If you’re curious about whether CBD is right for you, here’s everything we know so far about CBD and how it works.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana and hemp. In other words, it’s the part of marijuana that doesn’t get you high but is believed to provide a host of health-promoting benefits. CBD has rapidly become everyone’s go-to solution for health problems of all kinds, but research is still in its infancy. We have a long way to go before we can truly say that CBD has a positive effect on pain or any other condition.
At the same time, CBD is highly unregulated. The FDA treats it as a dietary supplement — not a medication — so there’s nothing to guarantee that what you see is what you get. This means that a CBD product may contain much lower or higher doses than listed on the label. Since the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for various conditions is unknown, this lack of regulation could potentially be dangerous to your health.
Hard Facts About CBD
CBD has been getting a whole lot of media buzz in recent years, with new CBD manufacturers and cannabis stores cropping up on every corner. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and believe that CBD is the magical cure-all we’ve all been waiting for, but how much of it is actually true?
To break down the myth about CBD and its mystical healing properties, let’s start with what we know for sure about this elusive compound.
- CBD can treat epilepsy. CBD is a proven treatment for severe childhood epilepsy syndromes that typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. Many studies have shown that CBD can reduce, or even eliminate, seizures in patients with these conditions. In fact, CBD is so effective against severe forms of epilepsy that the FDA recently approved the first cannabis-derived epilepsy medication .
- CBD can prevent insomnia. Believe it or not, the connection between CBD and sleep dates back to around 1200 A.D., when it was mentioned in an ancient Chinese medical text. Modern studies also show that CBD may help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- CBD may help alleviate anxiety. A number of studies have shown that there is a link between CBD and anxiety, but many researchers attribute this to the placebo effect. Basically, if we believe CBD will reduce anxiety, it will, regardless of any real scientific effect.
- CBD may help treat chronic pain. Various studies have explored the relationship between CBD and chronic pain conditions, including arthritis, and inflammatory and neuropathic pain. These studies suggest that CBD may help lower or inhibit pain and inflammation, but further research is needed.
- CBD is unregulated. Since CBD is considered a supplement and not a drug, it isn’t subject to the same federal regulations as traditional medications. Doses vary from product to product, which can make it confusing (and potentially harmful) for people to treat their own conditions. It’s important to speak with a medical professional like Dr. Bahlani before you start to use an CBD product.
Time Will Tell if CBD Can Help with Pain
When it comes to CBD and pelvic pain , there are a lot of unknowns. But even though the research isn’t definitive, there’s also increasing evidence that CBD can treat conditions of all kinds, including chronic pain and inflammation.
For now, we know that an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain , and approximately 15% of women (and 3-6% of men) will experience chronic pelvic pain at some point in their lives. It’s clear that pain has become an epidemic and traditional medicine isn’t giving people the relief they deserve.
That’s why many people with chronic pain are turning to CBD, desperate to try anything to find relief. Will it help to alleviate your pelvic pain? Maybe. Will it prevent your pelvic pain from ever coming back? Probably not. We still need to see a lot more research to fully understand CBD’s role in pain management. If you’re suffering from pelvic pain, the best thing you can do is visit a pelvic pain specialist to create a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. Call Pelvic Pain Doc today to book a consultation.
Can CBD Prevent Pelvic Pain?
The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant.
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I suffer from pelvic pain, specifically vaginismus. I’ve been reading about the benefits of CBD with pain. I was wondering if CBD salves or lubricants were safe to use internally? And if CBD will actually reduce the pain one experiences with vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a medical condition where the muscles of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support the bladder, vagina and rectum) have excessive tension. This can lead to both pelvic pain and pain with sex. There is no data to support using CBD vaginally (or by any other route) for this pain condition. There is some evidence linking cannabis use in the previous four months with increased vaginal yeast colonization, but CBD has not been studied independently.
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CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD is “in” right now for many medical conditions, not just ones that are painful. The data supporting CBD use for most conditions is generally low quality or completely absent, so it is important to separate the fad from the facts so you can make an informed choice about your body.
CBD may play a role in reducing pain and muscle spasm for some conditions, but there are still a lot of unknowns. An oral spray with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis) and CBD is approved for use in other countries for muscle spasm caused by multiple sclerosis as well as for some kinds of chronic pain. However, it is not possible to directly translate this data to vaginal use or to apply it to a different medical condition.
We do not know how CBD would act vaginally since cannabinoid receptors in the vagina have not yet been studied. We also don’t know how much CBD would be absorbed into the bloodstream or if absorption is needed to produce an effect. (In this case, if the drug has to enter the bloodstream to work, there is probably no benefit to vaginal use).
We also don’t know what effect CBD could have on the pelvic floor muscles. There is one study that tells us natural endocannabinoids actually reduce during sexual excitement, so it is biologically plausible that CBD could increase pelvic floor muscle tone (meaning it would be very unhelpful for spasm). There is also some data that suggests cannabis use is associated with a higher rate of vaginal yeast colonization. We don’t know if this is from the THC, CBD or other cannabinoids.
Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know about CBD and the vagina. I recommend that any woman (or man) with pelvic floor muscle spasm skip CBD and instead see an Ob/Gyn or urologist with expertise in that area, as well as a specialized pelvic floor physical therapist.
Dr. Jen Gunter, Twitter’s resident gynecologist, is teaming up with our editors to answer your questions about all things women’s health. From what’s normal for your anatomy, to healthy sex, to clearing up the truth behind strange wellness claims, Dr. Gunter, who also writes a column called, The Cycle, promises to handle your questions with respect, forthrightness and honesty.
CBD For Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain — it’s a common condition among women, but men can suffer from it, too. Whether the pain is due to issues in your digestive, reproductive, or urinary system, it can be debilitating.
What’s worse is when you’re told that the pain’s all in your head, or that you just have to deal with it. But what if there was a natural way to ease the pain?
Many people suffering with chronic pelvic pain are taking their health into their own hands. And some are turning to CBD for relief.
Some swear by its ability to ease their pain. And it seems like science is catching up, too. Let’s take a look at how CBD may be able to help with pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment
Pelvic pain is a broad term that is used to describe any pain that occurs in the pelvic region. A wide range of possible causes means that pelvic pain can be due to things like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, or interstitial cystitis. The pain could also be constant or intermittent, slow developing or sudden.
Causes Of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can happen due to a number of reasons. Some pelvic pain is caused by problems with the reproductive organs, such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts. Other reasons for pelvic pain could be an infection, such as a UTI.
Some common conditions that cause pelvic pain:(1)
- Menstrual cramps
- Reproductive tract cancers
- Uterine fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Urinary tract infection
- Ulcerative colitis
Diagnosis & Treatment Of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain-related conditions are diagnosed by a healthcare provider based on a person’s medical history and a physical examination. Sometimes tests like blood tests, diagnostic imaging, urinalysis, or pregnancy tests may be needed to pinpoint the cause of the pelvic pain.
Treatment will also vary depending on the cause of the pelvic pain. Some common treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medications, antibiotics, contraceptives, physical therapy, or surgery.
It often takes a combined approach of different treatments to find physical and emotional relief from pelvic pain.
CBD For Pelvic Pain: Does It Work?
The surveys are in — people are definitely using CBD to manage their pelvic pain symptoms.(2)
How does CBD fare? To see how CBD might help in the treatment of pelvic pain, we have to look at the different triggers of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain can be from vulvar/vaginal pain disorders, uterine diseases, urologic pain disorders, or other inflammatory conditions.
Let’s see how CBD might help with all of these different types of pelvic pain.
CBD For Vulvar & Sexual Pain Disorders
Sexual pain disorders are more common than you think. Many women struggle with pain during sex due to:
- Vaginismus: A tightening of the muscles around the vagina
- Vulvodynia: Chronic pain of the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening
- Dyspareunia: Genital pain during intercourse
- Pelvic floor tightness: Pelvic muscles tighten and are unable to relax
Often, sexual pain is unexplained pain — meaning no one knows why it’s happening. Thus, it frequently goes undiagnosed. But, if you’re experiencing pain during sex be sure to find a doctor who won’t dismiss your concerns.
In addition to being medical issues, these conditions could be triggered by stress. Stress can cause the pelvic floor muscles to tighten and could contribute to sexual pain.
Some studies suggest that CBD might reduce muscle spasms.(3) This might help relax the pelvic floor muscles.
For more on CBD and sex, read: Does CBD Help. Sexually?.
CBD For Uterine Conditions
Endometriosis is a uterine tissue disorder that can cause a lot of pain. Patients with endometriosis report taking cannabis to self-treat their symptoms. The most common reasons reported include pain reduction, addressing gastrointestinal issues, and improving mood.(4)
There’s some good news too. There’s a clinical trial in the works to evaluate CBD for the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain.(5) Keep tabs on this one!
CBD For Urinary Tract Pelvic Pain
Urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) is a syndrome that includes several conditions that lead to pain and frequent urination. For those who aren’t responding well to standard therapies, doctors are starting to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment for the management of UCPPS.(6)
CBD For Other Pelvic & Inflammatory Conditions
In pelvic floor dysfunction, the muscles and tissues that support the pelvic organs are constantly tightened. Your body is unable to relax those muscles, which can lead to painful and frequent urination, as well as constipation.
CBD might help to relax the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to less pain and fewer bathroom trips.(7)
CBD Products For Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a complex condition that often requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment. If CBD oil sounds like a part of that approach for you, here are a few product types to consider:
Tips On Choosing CBD For Your Pelvic Pain
Too many options? Not sure where to start? Here are a few pointers:
- Topical CBD is made for localized pain relief. It could be used on top of the skin around the pelvic area.
- CBD oil, tinctures, softgels, and gummies can be taken orally and provide more systemic relief.
- CBD oil, which is taken sublingually, skips the digestive tract. This means it may get to work more quickly than an edible CBD product.
- CBD suppositories are a newer product that may also help to provide cannabidiol near the pelvic floor muscles.
- No matter which CBD product you choose, opt for one formulated to have high bioavailability.
- Consider layering different types of CBD products for maximum relief from pelvic pain. Read our blog Layering CBD: How To Do It Safely & Effectively for tips.
Final note for those seeking pelvic pain relief: CBD is not an FDA-approved product for treating pelvic conditions. Research suggests that it might help ease pain, though it’s not approved to treat or prevent any pelvic infections, diseases, or conditions. Talk to your doc for more guidance on whether CBD is a good fit for your needs.
Can CBD Help With Pelvic Pain? Maybe!
There are many different types of pelvic pain — indeed dozens of conditions could lead to this type of discomfort. But whatever the source of your symptoms, CBD oil might be able to offer some relief.
If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain, chat with your doctor about whether CBD has a place in your pain management plan!