Endometriosis is a debilitating chronic illness that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. With the internal nature of this illness, it’s no surprise that many sufferers find it hard to explain the amount of constant, chronic pain they are living with, let alone find treatment options that work for them. With the rising popularity of CBD treatments for all manner of chronic illnesses, it’s no surprise that CBD has been put forward as a new, natural endometriosis pain management solution. However, how well does this cannabinoid help with chronic pain, especially the chronic pain caused by this disease?
At a Glance
Studies have found that CBD may help reduce inflammation, which is a key factor when it comes to treating endometriosis flares. CBD can also reduce overall tension and anxiety in the body, which can make recovering from a flare easier, as it can help you get the sleep quality your body needs to properly recover. While the clinical studies for treating endometriosis with CBD are limited, some people suffering from endometriosis find that CBD can help lessen their symptoms. One recent survey noted that CBD allowed patients with chronic pain to cut back on the number of pain medications they used to manage their condition. While this study did include products containing THC, it does point to a potentially promising correlation between better quality of life and CBD for endometriosis.
However, as with any double-blinded study, there was some room for placebo pain relief, as some of the participants taking CBD reported a reduction in pain, as did those who only thought they were taking CBD and were instead taking the placebo. This shows that there is still more research to be done as to the effectiveness of CBD oil for endometriosis, however initial results are promising and may be beneficial on a case-by-case basis for patients looking to better manage their pain levels.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows in other locations of the body, including but not limited to the exterior of the uterus and around the abdominal cavity. Not only can this cause a fusing of the tissues together, but it can also lead to debilitating cramps as the body tries to fight against the foreign cells, or the cells themselves attempt to “shed” during the menstrual cycle. This leads to often debilitating pain flares. While there are some helpful therapies available for endometriosis, there is no known cure, and even a total hysterectomy does not always guarantee a cessation of the symptoms.
For those dealing with endometriosis, trying to avoid flares, pain management, and overall quality of life becomes the main way of handling their disease. A reliance on over-the-counter pain medication and a constant battle against inflammation can make dealing with endometriosis a struggle, which is why potential inflammation reducers like CBD may help make great strides toward improving the overall quality of life of endometriosis patients.
Choosing the Right Dose
CBD comes in a wide range of products and doses, so it can be incredibly difficult to know where to start when it comes to dosing. As with any product, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new therapy or supplement, and be sure there are no ingredients that you may be allergic to when choosing the best CBD product.
While CBD products can go up to strengths of 4,000 mg, it’s best to start out slow and work your way to higher dosages as needed. In most cases, starting with 20 mg a day is a safe bet, though this should be done at the recommendation of your medical professional and with research on the dosage instructions for the specific CBD product you have in mind. Thankfully, unlike other over-the-counter pain medications, CBD is unlikely to interact with pain medications, allowing you to better manage your endometriosis treatments.
Best Kinds of CBD Oil for Endometriosis
CBD oil comes in many different forms, from ingestible forms like gummies, oils, and inhalers, to topical applications like patches and creams. In all cases, be sure to follow the instructions to make sure you are getting the correct dose and be willing to try different products to find one that works best for you. While ingestible doses may be good for those who may be allergic to other skincare products, topical creams allow you to specifically target areas of inflammation, such as the midsection and may help reduce overall discomfort.
CBD vs. THC
Medical cannabis has also been researched for endometriosis treatment and has a comparative wealth of resources available when compared to the available literature on CBD oil. While medical cannabis can include CBD products, it can also include products that contain THC at higher levels than those approved for CBD products by the FDA.
While some studies have shown that a one-to-one ratio of CBD and THC may help with chronic pain, the confusing legal landscape surrounding THC in the United States makes studying its effectiveness difficult, meaning the official medical verdict on medical cannabis for endometriosis is still unsure. While it is possible to get CBD products that have CBD only, and do not use THC, they are not considered pharmaceutical products, and as such there are very few if any clinical studies to back them up.
While clinical studies are still underway on CBD oil and its effectiveness in treating endometriosis, for those looking to reduce the overall impact of inflammation on their life, and who are hoping to make a dent in their chronic pain struggles, CBD may help reduce their overfall symptoms and may lead to an improved quality of life over time. While CBD is unlikely to fully solve the complicated web of symptoms caused by endometriosis and other chronic diseases, the impact on overall pain levels and the reduction in swelling may provide some relief, which can make a world of difference to those who are fighting against their disease day in and day out.