Using A THC Topical To Alleviate Pain
The recent growth in popularity of CBD lotions points to the huge potential of cannabis derived products in treating medical complaints. However, much recent research indicates that THC topicals are markedly more successful in treating pain.
This article examines why THC is such an effective pain reliever and suggests how its power can be easily used to soothe persistent joint and muscle pain.
The Effects of THC
Cannabis users typically experience a number of widely-recognised sensations – sounds and colors may appear more vivid, time pass more slowly and as users begin to experience feelings of euphoria. This characteristic feeling of being ‘high’ is due to tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol or, as it is more commonly known, THC, is one of a number of compounds contained in the resin of cannabis plants. On average cannabis strains available today contain around twelve percent THC. However, THC is particularly important as it is the chemical responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive effects. These effects are felt as soon as THC enters the system and can last for up to three hours.
The Endocannabinoid System
In the 1990s researchers investigating the effects of cannabis discovered the operation of a cell-signaling system, which they termed the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is extremely complex and scientists are unsure exactly how it functions.
What they do know is that the ECS is closely connected to homeostasis and its primary role is to maintain the stability of your internal environment. External factors, such as stress, injury or infection can disrupt your body’s homeostasis. The function of the ECS is to regulate these factors and maintain stability. If does this by covering a wide-range of functions within the body, these include, but are not limited to creativity and memory, mood, appetite and digestion, metabolism, motor control and sleep. Importantly, the ECS also regulates stress, skin and nerve function, inflammation and other responses from the immune system and pain.
It has been discovered that three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes, work together to control the operation of the ECS.
When required, the body produces molecules known as endocannabinoids. These are responsible for maintaining the smooth operation of the ECS. internal functions running smoothly. Once they have completed their operation the endocannabinoids are broken down by enzymes.
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, these are identified as either CB1 or CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system, particularly the immune system. Endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, work by attaching to receptors. It is this attachment that gives a signal for an action. The particular action that results depends on where the receptor is located. And this is where it gets interesting those concerned with pain relief. For example, an endocannabinoid could attach itself to CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to alter the sensation felt in the nerve, or one could attach to CB2 receptors in the immune cells to signal inflammation.
How THC Alleviates Pain
One of the main endocannabinoids is known as anandamide. Research has shown that THC is chemically very similar to the anandamide your body naturally produces. Furthermore, it is believed that THC disrupts the ECS by effectively replicating the operation of anandamide.
What this means is that rather than an endocannabinoid being produced naturally by the body, one can be introduced into the system. Research now shows that, once ingested, THC is able to attach to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. The result is that it can powerfully interact with the ECS and therefore adjust the body’s internal environment.
And this does indeed happen. A great deal of anecdotal evidence from cannabis users demonstrates that cannabis strains with high concentrations of THC have the effect of relieving stress, suppressing pain and working as an anti-inflammatory. THC, ingested into the body, mimics the operation of an endocannabinoid and attaches to CB1 and CB2 receptors in, for example, the spinal nerve, and effectively ‘turns off’ the pain signal.
THC can, therefore, be used to help with a variety of conditions including, low appetite, insomnia, nausea, stress, glaucoma, inflammation, muscle spasticity and chronic pain.
Using THC To Manage Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from chronic pain the available options are not always attractive. Many conditions can leave sufferers confined to their beds, while the use of strong pain killing narcotics may be even less tempting. Common prescription medicines often have unpleasant side-effects, such as dizziness and feeling drowsy.
However, the legalisation of cannabis in many territories has opened up a variety of new methods to treat chronic pain. As outlined above, cannabis is clearly extremely effective at relieving pain, while users report very few side-effects. A common observation is that cannabis solves the problem of chronic pain and related issues far better than any pharmaceutical.
Another advantage is that cannabis is flexible and easy to manage. In terms of dosage, it can be ingested in very small quantities and easily measurable quantities. Secondly, a wide-range of different strains can be experimented with. For example, one particular strain of cannabis can help with insomnia, another strain can provide extra energy, while both provide relief from pain.
One disadvantage of using cannabis to treat pain is that not everyone is enthusiastic about smoking. Not only can smoking be difficult and inconvenient, but for many conditions and situations it may be unsuitable. Instead, many use edibles as a convenient way to ingest cannabis. Another option is to use a topical balm.
Using A Topical Balm
There are many different ways to use THC, but if you are looking for a way to treat aches and pains, particularly if they are related to specific muscle or ligament complaints, then a topical THC treatment may be ideal.
Topical THC treatments are lotions, creams or salves that have THC distillate as an active ingredient. Of course, THC is perfect for combating muscle and ligament problems as it effectively reduces inflammation as well as reducing pain. A topical enables you to apply the extracted THC directly to the problem area.
The effectiveness of THC topicals depends on a variety of factors, including the source and dosage and the efficacy of the other ingredients. One excellent example is Medicated Pain Relief Balm By Fire Essentials, this contains a high-quality blend of shea butter, extra virgin olive oil, sativa seed oil, carnauba wax, arrowroot powder and menthol. The 200 mg of THC works to soothe joint and muscle pain.