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Woodbury Heights Office:  (856) 384-1333

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Florence Office: (609) 499-1181

Is a Topical CBD Product Safe and Does it Work?

Lately, CBD products have been extremely popular. Gels, lotions, oil are seen in every doctor’s office. In our practice, CBD products have been very popular. However, one question that is asked by every patient is whether or not it’s safe to use.

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a natural compound that comes from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is closely related to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound that causes the “high” feeling. But unlike the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD products will not give a “high” feeling due to having just 0.3 percent concentration of THC. Since CBD products are potent, non-addictive, can be easily applied in gel or oil form, it makes it interesting and appealing for patients.

How does CBD product work?

Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body. There are two cannabinoid receptorsCB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and therefore they work on mood, memory and thinking. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system and therefore they work for inflammation and pain. CBD contains CB2 receptors and works to decrease inflammation and pain.

What is CBD product used for?

The effect of CBD is different for every patient. Some think that its a placebo effect, but some claim that CBD products completely take away their pain.

The most common reason CBD product is used for is arthritis, pain and inflammation. Studies have shown that CBD helps by targeting endocannabinoid receptor activity, which reduces inflammation and pain. CBD products are also a good alternative for patients allergic to NSAIDs. (NSAIDs are used to reduce inflammation and pain). Conditions like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome are also known to improve through CBD products. Fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain is not completely cured by CBD but most patients say that it helps manage and sometimes eliminate the symptoms. Lifestyle remedies and prescription medications are also necessary along with the use of CBD.

CBD products have been used on patients with anxiety and depression. There are some studies that state that CBD products will reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Serotonin (chemical nerve cells produce) plays a big part in a patient’s mental health. Patients with mental health issues have low levels of serotonin. Normally patients with mental health issues need SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). However, some studies have shown that instead of SSRI, CBD products may be able to help with reducing the symptoms. There is still ongoing research on how well this product works with anxiety and depression.

CBD is also commonly used for nerve pain or neuropathy. We see a lot of diabetic neuropathy patients in our office. Usually these patients are put on medications such as gabapentin, lyrica etc. However all of these oral medications have major side effects. That is when CBD products are helpful. They are non-intoxicating and have no addictive tendencies. There is not enough research on CBD and neuropathy. But those who have used CBD oil for neuropathy claim that it helps them reduce the nerve pain.

CBD can reduce cancer related symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and ofcourse pain. There have been studies where cancer patients felt relief from pain after using CBD vs. narcotics. Cancer patients that go through chemotherapy experience nausea and vomiting. CBD may reduce those symptoms as well. However, more research still needs to be done on this topic.

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and there is a theory that it may help with acne. Acne is when hair follicles get clogged with oil due to overproduction of sebum from sebaceous glands. CBD due to its anti-inflammatory properties can control and reduce overproduction of sebum.

CBD can benefit in people with heart conditions. There has been recent research which show that CBD helps with hypertension. Hypertension can cause strokes, heart attack and CBD can help reduce blood pressure and heart damage. CBD may help with diabetes by reducing inflammation but more research needs to be conducted on this topic.

How to use CBD oil?

There are so many websites that offer insights on how to use CBD oil. However, it is always safe to follow instructions. When CBD oil is first prescribed, we always prescribe a low dose and observe the body’s reaction to the oil. If any side effects noted, CBD products are immediately stopped and alternatives are given.

Do CBD products have any side effects?

Some side effects reported with CBD products are anxiety, mood swings, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. It is also known to increase liver enzymes. CBD oil should be avoided in pregnant women. There are some drugs that will interact with CBD oil such as fentanyl, ketoconazole, carbamazepine, cyclosporine etc. Although interactions are mild, it should be used with caution.

Overall, CBD oil can be beneficial for several feet problems if applied under the guidance of a foot and ankle surgeon. Please call our office at 856-384-1333 for further information.

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