Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has skyrocketed in popularity. As a result, new federal and state regulations have loosened restrictions, and CBD is more accessible than ever.
Proponents of CBD have touted a huge range of health benefits. They say it can help with anxiety, neuroprotection, and chronic pain. And there’s growing evidence to support these claims. Now, CBD water (bottled water infused with CBD) has been receiving attention as a treatment for chronic back pain. But is that true, or just hype?
Let’s find out.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an organic compound from the cannabis plant. It’s naturally occurring and used in a variety of products including oil, tinctures, tablets, and more. It’s related to tetrahydrocannabinol, which is what gives users the “high” when smoking marijuana.
CBD, however, is not psychoactive and creates no high. For this reason, it is generally safe to take before performing everyday activities.
In fact, CBD is often made directly from hemp instead of THC containing plants. This ensures the maximum benefits of the compound without any unwanted effects.
Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, the Hemp Farming Act legalized hemp growing around the nation. Hemp products are those with a maximum of 0.3% percent THC content. Because of this new law, CBD oil is legal in most states when it is derived from hemp grown legally under the Hemp Farming Act.
It can get a little confusing, so be sure to check your local laws on CBD, recreational marijuana, and medical cannabis. Also, be sure to remember the different state laws on CBD when you’re traveling.
The Benefits of CBD
If you Google “CBD benefits,” you’ll be surprised at what it doesn’t cure. People claim it cures everything from insomnia to heart disease, blood pressure, and, on certain sites, even cancer. While a fair portion of this is exaggerated, there is real truth behind some of the claims.
For example, the FDA recently approved the first CBD medicine to treat epilepsy. This approval indicates that CBD proved clinically effective at treating the symptoms of epilepsy, so CBD certainly has beneficial properties that are worth studying.
When it comes to pain, CBD has shown positive results in reducing inflammation. This is because cannabinoids are effective anti-inflammatories.
Additional studies have shown promising results for chemotherapy pain management. And recently, both Canada and the UK have approved the drug Sativex, a CBD medication used to treat MS pain-related symptoms.
In short, we’re not entirely sure of CBD’s benefits. But tests are ongoing, and it seems clear that CBD has some medical value in certain situations.
How Does CBD Fight Pain?
Your body has cannabinoid receptors that interact with CBD. While they are found throughout your body, key locations include the organs, the immune system, the nervous system, and tissue.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. When CBD stimulates these receptors, it has a pain-relieving effect. Researchers have found other benefits in active response to CBD. It not only helps the pain, but also anxiety, nausea, and more.
Does CBD Have Drug Interactions?
CBD is often praised for its natural benefits. However, depending on the type and dosage of CBD, it can have adverse interactions with some drugs.
Research has shown CBD can increase the effects of blood thinners. Because CBD slows down the body’s metabolism of these drugs, blood thinners stay in your system longer. If you plan on using both CBD and blood thinners, it should be monitored by medical professionals.
This is also true for sedatives, antidepressants, and other medications. Consult with your doctor before incorporating CBD into your regimen.
CBD: Not Just Found in Water
Nowadays, you can find CBD in many forms. Depending on where you live, you can find it in oils, shampoo, cosmetics, and even food. As the market for CBD grows, you’ll be able to find it in more places. CBD water is one of the trendiest products.
CBD water manufacturers claim it provides all the pain-relieving benefits of CBD with the added benefit of hydration. But does CBD water help chronic back pain? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is CBD Water?
CBD is made through an infusion of water with CBD particles, and it’s one of the newest forms of CBD on the market.
Manufacturers claim it’s an easy way to get your dose of CBD and enjoy its health benefits. However, many brands don’t contain much CBD at all.
Each brand fluctuates in dosage, but most are between 2-5mg. However, studies have shown that people need a minimum of 15mg per day to receive any CBD benefits.
You’ll see a lot of different company claims out there. Some manufacturers say they use “nanotechnology” to increase your body’s ability to absorb CBD. However, in this context, “nanotechnology” is a buzzword that doesn’t amount to much, so take these claims with a grain (or maybe a tablespoon) of salt.
CBD is Fat-Soluble
That isn’t the only issue with CBD water: CBD is a fat-soluble compound. This means it dissolves in fats like oils. Conversely, this means that it will not break down in water, because water-soluble CBD does not naturally occur. So companies use a process called nano-emulsion to break down CBD in the water bottles that you purchase.
Using high-frequency ultrasound, they create small, water-soluble spheres. Companies call these “enhanced” particles. But no evidence supports the efficacy of these compounds, so they may be less effective than natural CBD.
In short, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any CBD water-soluble products that are as effective as fat-soluble ones.
Light and Air Can Degrade CBD
CBD is an unstable compound, so it needs to be prepared and stored carefully. Exposure to light and air can degrade it. This causes CBD to lose its beneficial effects.
CBD water is typically stored on grocery shelves in clear containers for days or weeks. Because light can degrade the quality of the CBD, whatever efficacy the CBD water once had is soon compromised as it sits on the shelf.
And as soon as you open the bottle, air will start causing the CBD to break down. Once again, more research is needed, but this initial evidence indicates that CBD water is largely ineffective. And that’s a problem, because it certainly isn’t cheap.
CBD Water is Pricy
If you want to try CBD, drinking CBD water can be an expensive option. A single bottle averages between $4-8, not including taxes or shipping.
You can save money by buying in bulk but it doesn’t reduce the price much. Overall, it is much more expensive than other forms of CBD.
For example, you can find CBD oil for between $30-50. This will provide you with over 30 servings for roughly $3 per serving. And these forms are fat-soluble, meaning, it’s more likely to be effective.
Does CBD Water Help Chronic Back Pain?
Chronic back pain is an extremely difficult condition. It can make everyday life a struggle. With the dangers of opioid pain medications, exploring your CBD options makes a lot of sense.
And CBD does offer many benefits. However, the same cannot be said for CBD water. Not only is it more expensive, but it’s also less effective.
Instead, try out other CBD products like oil, capsules, gummies, etc. These are all convenient and more affordable alternatives.
Before you do, however, be sure to consult with your doctor. They can advise you of any drug interactions and dosage recommendations. Your doctor may also have a preferred list of CBD products for chronic back pain patients.
CBD has a lot of potential as a pain treatment and can be a great tool to improve your quality of life. Ask your doctor if it’s a good choice for you.
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The Pain Resource team updated this article with new information and resources in November of 2019.