If you’re over “a certain age” and are alive, you probably have some aches and pains. Even the most inactive among us walk (and your hip/knee/ankle hurts) and sleep (and your back hurts. Or your arm where you slept on it funny. Or your shoulder after you shook your arm out. Or your neck after you tried to relieve the pain in your shoulder. … You get the idea).
If I’m not doing ANYTHING and still have aches and pains, you can only imagine what my husband, the habitual exerciser, feels on a daily basis (he’s in constant pain – he just doesn’t complain!).
So when a reader wrote in asking about treating aches and pains with CBD, I thought, “this is a great time to talk to a real expert, someone who can give us FACTS about CBD, and really educate us before we use it.”
Unfortunately, the guy at the gas station convenience store wasn’t really sure about the efficacy, molecular formula, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy trials, indications and usage, contraindications, drug interactions or warnings of the “Phoenix Tears” gummies at the counter.
Clearly, I needed a REAL expert. And I found just the right one!
Founder and president of Integrative Pain Specialists in Richmond, VA, Dr. Ben Seeman is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a concentration in pain management. Dr. Seeman completed a three-year residency at the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University/ Medical College of Virginia’s (VCU/MCV) Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In 2006, Dr. Seeman was awarded a select fellowship at VCU/MCV in interventional pain management.
Dr. Seeman’s practice mixes conventional medicine with non-conventional medicine to provide pain relief without narcotics. CBD is among many treatment modalities Dr. Seeman uses in his practice, and he is an expert on CBD. So, I started firing off questions:
NYD (Not Yet Dead): First, what is CBD?
Dr. Seeman: CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that comes from industrial hemp. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body. Those receptors are part of the endocannabinoid systems, which plays a role in regulating appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. When CBD binds to a receptor, it triggers various activities that help regulate your immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.
(NYD thinking to herself: Oooooooh, so THAT”s why you get the munchies!!)
NYD: What have you experienced in your practice treating patients with CBD products?
Dr. Seeman: I’ve seen CBD successfully impact patient lives, relieving joint and muscle pain, headache pain, neuropathic pain, and relieving inflammation. Since every person is different, the dose or method of delivery that helps one person may not be effective with another.
NYD: What are the different types of CBD delivery systems?
Dr. Seeman: the top three products that we use in our practice are
- Salve sticks or creams
Depending on the pain you’re targeting you might choose one option over another. If you’re having an ache in your calf, you may try a lotion or salve. If you’re having all-over pain, you may do better with tincture drops under the tongue or capsules.
NYD (timidly and cautiously): So, um … can you get high (at all) from using CBD oils?
Dr. Seeman: If the CBD is pure, it does not contain THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes you “high.” Pure CBD may help you feel less pain, less anxiety, or more relaxed, but you don’t have to worry about any psychotropic reactions.
(NYD thinking to herself: Whew! I really don’t want to see another 257-lb walking carrot with a top hat and cane cruising through my den!)
In addition, many people need to ensure that the CBD they are taking for pain, stress, anxiety, etc. does not contain any THC because of their employer drug testing programs. Without ever meaning to, someone might use a CBD product containing THC and lose their job as a result.
NYD: How can you ensure the product you are using does not contain THC?
Dr. Seeman: To really ensure quality, I would recommend speaking with a healthcare professional who can best guide your decision about using clinical strength hemp-based products.
In my practice, we use VERSÉA products which are medical grade, cultivated and manufactured in the United States, and formulated to promote maximum absorption of CBD. The plants used to make the products are the highest purity organic, naturally grown, non-GMO hemp. The products offer higher clinical strength than most other hemp oils on the market.
NYD: Is an office visit necessary?
Dr. Seeman: We see our clients twice annually if only for CBDs (For these patients, we do not manage the other aspects of their pain) – The first time to discuss the patient’s medical history and discuss treatment options, and the next, six-months later, to ensure that the patient is getting the relief they expect.
NYD: Is a prescription necessary?
Dr. Seeman: No, there is no prescription for the product which is available in our office.
NYD: Are there any contraindications or drug interactions that people should be aware of?
Dr. Seeman: The CBD tinctures, capsules, and sticks recommended by our office carry minimal contraindications or drug interactions. Our initial office visit includes a thorough discussion on these matters.
Of course, while CBD in general does not cause problems in terms of drug interactions and side effects, I would caution patients who are looking for the true benefits of CBD to consider the importance of purity when choosing their products.
If you’re interested in learning more about CBD products, specifically VERSÉA, please contact Dr. Seeman at Integrative Pain Specialists (804) 249-8888