Follow us
Ask A Doctor Featured Health Pain Softgels Vapes

CBD vs Opioids, What’s Better For Treating Chronic Pain?

Treating Chronic Pain
Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

Millions of people in the world are suffering from chronic pain which modern medicine cannot help to eliminate.  Can CBD or Opioids be the answer to this horrific and continuous pain?

Why does chronic pain persist, even when the cause has been treated?  Because chronic pain destroys the spinal nerve receptors and the resulting “misfiring” sends signals to the brain that there is pain, even when there is no longer a source for it.

Pain is a somatosensory discomfort.  Treatment of it must be individualized.  It is not perceived the same way in any two people.

The term “chronic” defines pain that has been present for three months or longer.  After three months, the pain can damage the spinal nerves, and is renamed “neuropathic pain”.  Neuropathic pain may be permanent, and thus may require life-long treatment.  Examples of chronic, neuropathic pain are herniated discs, diabetic neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis.

Opioids can help control pain by stimulating a receptor in the spine called the mu receptor. Unfortunately, with repeated stimulation of the mu receptor, the less effective the pain relief becomes. Thus, a person who takes (for example) 30 mg of oxycodone at the beginning of treatment, may find that he needs twice that amount a month later, and then three times that amount two months later.  Eventually, this leads to the downward spiral of opioid addiction and withdrawal.

CBD works in an entirely different way.  CBD works inside the cell.  It binds to the TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors and blocks the transmission of pain from travelling to the brain.  CBD also increases the person’s own pain relief hormones, otherwise known as “endocannabinoids” so that the person’s innate pain-control mechanism reduces the pain.  Because the location of CBD activity is inside the cell and not on the cell surface (as in opioids and THC), there is zero risk of addiction and withdrawal.

Best delivery system for chronic pain:

For “break-through” pain, regardless of the cause, you need the fastest form of pain relief which are CBD vapes.  When you vape, you begin to get a response within minutes and the effects last 4-6 hours.

For pain from herniated discs, chronic back pain, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, unhealed sports injuries, and even chronic cancer pain, all of which are present 24/7, so you need a CBD product that offers 24/7 control.  The answer is found in Softgels.

25mg / 50mg CBD Softgels, for treating chronic pain

25mg / 50mg CBD Softgels, for treating chronic pain

Sofgels are a one-piece gelatin capsule exclusively used for liquid or oil-based formulas.  Because of their smooth contour and shape, sofgels are very easy to swallow.  They also offer superior shelf-life compared to capsules, liquids, & powders because they are completely sealed and air-tight.  Added benefits are that softgels have no taste, are discreet, and easy to take “on-the-go”.

Once swallowed, the softgel dissolves in 20 minutes, has an onset of actively in 2-3 hours, and lasts 10-14 hours.  When softgels are taken daily, after about 5-7 days, the CBD, which is stored in the fatty tissue of the body, provides benefits 24 hours a day.

Summary:  Breakthrough pain -> vapes   Continuous pain -> softgels  
For chronic pain, I suggest having both on-hand.

Have anything to add? Your voice matters! Join the conversation and contribute your insights and ideas below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.