Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is helping thousands of patients manage their pain every day.
For chiropractors, this moment is simply too intriguing to pass unnoticed.
CBD offers the promise of real, long-lasting and comprehensive relief. And it is remarkably safe. It has no side effects, is non-habit-forming, has no known drug interactions, is extremely well tolerated, and is non-invasive.
In addition, not only is CBD legal in all 50 states but it can be sold without prescription and falls under the same general rules and guidelines as nutritional supplements (provided the product is derived from hemp). CBD products can help your practice by helping your patients manage their pain, while increasing your retail sales at the same time.
Working with the endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of medicine’s newest, most exciting and far-reaching discoveries. The ECS is the most prolific and ubiquitous cell-signaling system in vertebrates and is involved in all aspects of mammalian physiology and pathology. It is composed of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the endocannabinoids (such as anandamide and 2-AG), and the enzymes that build up and break down these biochemicals.
CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system. CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid that has the remarkable ability to bind (indirectly) to these receptor sites resulting in therapeutic outcomes. Significantly, CBD has an affinity for binding to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it a logical and holistic choice to improve both body and mind.
How CBD can help your patients
CBD can help with a wide range of afflictions, and can be used as a therapeutic adjunct or stand-alone therapy. The key to CBD’s effectiveness is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Put simply, whenever and wherever inflammation is a contributor to pain and disease, CBD may offer effective relief.
For common ailments that result in somatic pain like arthritis, tissue trauma and muscular distress (back pain), CBD is often effective. It can also address neuropathic pain, and it has been linked with neuro-protectant properties. In addition, visceral pain and digestive conditions can improve with CBD treatment, such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Likewise, CBD can alleviate many central nervous system conditions. Like any other organ, brain tissue can experience inflammation. Conditions such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, and even Parkinson’s can improve with CBD therapy. In fact, CBD has been shown to be promising in the treatment of autism. Even chronic diseases like fibromyalgia and auto-immune dysfunction, where pharmaceuticals have a disappointing track record, have responded positively to CBD therapy. Epilepsy in general and Dravet syndrome specifically are prominent on the list of promising therapeutic applications of CBD.
CBD derived from hemp is legal without exception. And because the industry is young and evolving, there is no existing overseer or governing board. There are, however, a few standard practices that the industry has more or less agreed upon. To be a legal product, THC content must be below 0.3 percent.
It is generally accepted that CBD distilled from CO2 extraction methods is superior to CBD extracted by solvents. Full-spectrum hemp extract, which is high in CBD but also contains other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as CBN, CBD, CBDv, and THCv) is generally regarded as superior to isolated CBD. This is because of the “entourage effect”—the synergetic action of the complete cannabinoid profile that enhances the efficacy of CBD. Lately, the industry has been moving away from ingestible products such as gummy bears and gel capsules and toward sublingual CBD drops because the drops seem to perform better.
The three main ways that CBD products can be used are topically, orally, and inhaled as a vapor. All three have advantages and disadvantages. Topical CBD products are ideal for local application. Applied on the skin, they can be absorbed and carried into deeper tissue effectively. Oral application offers more of a systemic effect, and can also target the central nervous system.
Daily oral maintenance doses can confer long-term health benefits. The main advantage to inhaling CBD vapor is the rapid onset and near-instant relief. This can be important to a certain class of patients, such as MS sufferers, in whom pain can arise unpredictably.
Choosing the right CBD products
CBD products are available in all kinds of mediums, strengths, and sizes for different kinds of use. A good place to start may be with topical products. Topicals are the most benign, are the easiest for your patients to accept, and they show results quickly. In this way you can easily monitor the value that CBD products confer on your patients. As the topical products gain popularity, you can move up to oral products with confidence; likewise, if you are disappointed with the results, you will know sooner rather than later.
Vetting potential CBD brands can be a seemingly daunting task. One of the most important qualities of a CBD brand is transparency. Look for products that list on the label the amount of CBD contained in the product, in milligrams per unit or milligrams per dose.
Moreover, look for companies that third-party test their products. Look for products that contain full-spectrum hemp oil, CO2 extracted. And finally, look for a company with a good reputation that you enjoy working with and that has the expertise to answer your questions. Adding a reputable line of CBD products to your practice will surely help your patients and add to your bottom line.
Joe DaCrema is president and founder of DaCrema Botanicals, a manufacturer of CBD wellness products since 2014, and based in Philadelphia. He can be contacted through dacremabotanicals.com.