Over seventy million Americans suffer from chronic pain. While pain is an unpleasant sensation felt in the body sent by signals in the brain, it is an important part of the healing process. Pain and inflammation are associated with damage that has occurred at the cellular level. It is the beacon for the immune system. The immune system is responsible for cleaning up the body by removing things not supposed to be there. Keeping the immune system strong is crucial for managing pain.
Many people suffering from pain take anti-inflammatory medications. These medications cause havoc on the body and stop the 7 stages of healing from taking place. This makes us susceptible for re-injury. It is essential to determine why cells are being damaged and causing inflammation so that we can address and correct the root cause of pain.
The 7 Stages of Healing
- Cellular Damage: what is causing damage?
- Sympathetic Nervous System Activation: initiates inflammation
- Inflammation and Fatigue: facilitates immune activity & immune migration
- Immune Activation: clears cells that are not viable
- Immune Completion & Cortisol: anti-inflammatory agent released
- Scar Tissue Formation: collagen fibers lead to maturation of scar tissue
- Final Healing: mitochondrial energy production is essential
Supporting the body’s immune system with nutrients can help alleviate and manage pain.
- Coconut contains lauric acid which helps make viruses vulnerable to the immune system
- Elderberry improves communication between immune system and activating B-Cells
- Cinnamon contains high ORAC (a food’s antioxidant potential to kill microorganisms)
- Water is essential for all cellular and enzymatic processes
- Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which activate beta carotene (enhances immune function)
- Garlic contains allicin which is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral
- Carrots contain vitamin A which is essential for boosting the immune system
- Black beans contain amino acids which are essential for immune function
- Camu camu contain the highest amount of vitamin C of known food sources
- Shitake mushrooms contain D-beta glucans which enhance immune function
- Avocado produces glutathione which is an antioxidant the boosts the immune system
- Cayenne pepper competes with the neurotransmitter Substance P by blocking pain signal
- therapeutic dose of cayenne pepper: 500-2000mg in divided doses every 4 hours
Essentials for Healing
- Vitamin C
- Mitochondrial Nutrients
Sleep is necessary for healing because this is when the immune system is most active. A minimum of 7 consecutive hours is advised. If you are unable to get the recommended amount of sleep, take 1 day per week that should be dedicated to sleeping as much as possible. If an individual can’t sleep due to insomnia, that needs to be addressed as well. Dietary factors such as nutritional and endocannabinoid deficiencies should be carefully inspected.
To Reduce Inflammation
- Avoid refined sugar: sugar turns off the immune system
- Consume Foods High in ORAC: blueberry, pomegranate, & green foods
- Vitamin C: oranges, camu camu
- Proline: soy protein, cabbage
- Glycerin: coconut oil, soy
- Silica: oats & oatmeal
- Enzymes: raw foods, papaya, pineapple
- High ORAC: herbs and spices
- Alkalizing foods: organic & plant-based
How CBD can help
Pain is the most common condition for which physicians recommend cannabis. Finding the optimal dose is the key to effectively using cannabis for pain relief. Research shows low doses of cannabis provide little relief while moderate doses provide better relief.
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years for pain relief. It’s use can be traced back to all major ancient civilizations dating as far back as 10,000 years ago. Scientific studies confirm cannabis to be a safe and effective analgesic for many types of pain.
Cannabinoids affect the transmission of pain signals from the affected area to the brain, and from the brain to the affected area. Researchers conclude the use of CBD significantly suppresses chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain without causing an analgesic tolerance in animal studies.
Pain can be differentiated between neuropathic which is usually chronic, and nociceptive pain which is typically time-limited. Studies show that the endocannabinoid system is both centrally and peripherally involved in the processing of pain signals.
Cannabinoids can be used in conjunction with opioid medications. Research demonstrates the amount of opioids can be reduced when adding cannabinoids, lessen the tolerance levels, and reduce the severity of withdrawal.
Finding the right dose can vary from individual to individual. Typically, CBD dosing of 25mg and up fair well in pain relief. Products containing additional cannabinoids, found in full-spectrum products, tend to work better than isolated CBD due to the entourage effect of all the medicaments working synergistically together. Sativa strains with higher concentrations of myrcene work well for day-time use. Indicas are well suited for evening use as they favor a more relaxing and sedative effect. A ratio of CBD:THC of 4:1 is the most effective for neuropathic and inflammatory pain but can vary between each individual. Other cannabinoids demonstrating positive pain-relieving effects include CBD, CBD, THCV, and THCA. Chemotypes high in myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and linalool provide additional relief and increase the effectiveness of the other cannabinoid compounds.
Vaporizing or smoking works well to relieve immediate symptoms of pain flare-ups. The medicament takes effect immediately and can last one to three hours. Ingested products can take thirty minutes to an hour before effects are noticed and can last six to eight hours. Effects can be felt faster when taken on an empty stomach. Sub-lingual sprays and tinctures take effect quickly and last longer than vaporizing or smoking.
Topical products can be applied to localized areas of the skin for relief as well. Topical applications stimulate the endocannabinoid’s CB2 receptors but do not cross the blood-brain barrier making this application non-psychoactive when higher levels of THC are present.
For more information on holistic nutrition, please visit our parent company SunCodes Nutrition®, LLC.
For more information on CBD and pain management, please visit us at 301 N. Salem Street in downtown Apex.
Your body is designed to heal. 🙂
R. Greco, V. Gasperi, M. Maccarrone, and C. Tassorelli, “The Endocannabinoid Syste and Migraine,” Experimental Neurology 224, no.1 (2010): 85-91. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2010.03.029.
Ethan Russo and Andrea Hohmann, “Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Management,” in Comprehensive Treatment of Chronic Pain by Medical, Interventional and Integrative Approaches, ed. Timothy R. Deer et al. (New York: Springer, 2013), 181-197.
W.Xiong, T. Cui, K. Cheng, F. Yang, S.R. Chen, D. Willenbring, Y. Guan, H.L. Pan, K. Ren, Y. Xu, and L. Zhang, “Cannabinoids Suppress Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain by Targeting a3 Glycine Receptors,” Journal of Experimental Medicine 209, no. 6 (2012): 1121-1134. doi:10.1084/jem.20120242