Home » Is CBD Better Than Advil for Pain?

 

Are you in pain?

Here. Grab an Advil. Take it! Take it! Your pain will go away soon. And then thank you, Advil!

But really?

Is Advil or other ibuprofen drugs really worthy of your praise and thanks?

What You Should Know About Advil But Ignore Anyway

Advil, generic name ibuprofen, is one of our favorite painkillers.  They’re easily accessible, affordable, and effective in controlling pain.

But what if I tell you that Advil has side effects that you should be wary of?

I won’t list them all, but here are a few that I have personally experienced when I use Advil – sour stomach, bloating, gassiness, constipation, indigestion, palpitations, hypertension, loss of appetite, thirst, sweating, and lightheadedness.

But I needed my Advil. I needed it to control my dysmenorrhea, so I ignored all the side effects I’ve read about long-term Advil use.

Unfortunately, the side effects of Advil[i] are real.

The longer you use ibuprofen painkillers and the higher their dosage, the higher your risk for developing hearing loss[ii], kidney disease[iii], heart problems[iv], and gastrointestinal bleeding[v] will be.

So there really is something in ibuprofen medications that we should worry about.

What You Should Know About CBD and How It Can Help Improve Pain

Before I tell you how CBD can help you, let me first tell you a little bit about pain[vi].

Our cells have receptors for pain. When a painful stimulus is present, it will activate the cells to release pain-producing chemicals.  These chemicals will travel from one cell to another till they reach the spinal cord and then the part of the brain responsible for pain perception.  The brain, once it receives the signal, will tell the body how to react.  For example, we draw our hand away from the painful stimulus; we cringe in pain; we clutch the painful area protectively. Once the stimulus has passed, the chemicals will be reabsorbed by the body and the pain is gone.

But pain is worsened and prolonged by so many factors[vii] like stress, underlying medical conditions, depression, and abnormal feedback loops for pain.  All these contribute to pain that is chronic and persistent.

And all these conditions, too, are exacerbated by inflammation[viii] because the cytokines immune cells produce also stimulate the pain receptors.  Inflammation is a good thing, but sometimes, it does more harm than good!

Now, let me tell you why so many experts believe that CBD has the ability to improve your pain[ix].

So What Will Work Best? CBD or Advil?

Ah, the important question!

Let’s compare the two, shall we?

Composition: 

Advil contains ibuprofen as its main ingredient.  Then you also have to consider the ingredients making up its coating. Any of these could cause itching, hives, shortness of breath, runny nose, swelling of the face and extremities, rashes, anaphylaxis – all symptoms of an allergic reaction[xiv].

CBD oils and other products, on the other hand, are made from natural, organic, and non-genetically modified cannabidiol extract found in cannabis.  But before you get excited though and purchase just about any CBD product you see online, it’s best that you always go with a reputable CBD brand you trust. There are unscrupulous providers out there, so it pays to be aware.

Just like any other plant, cannabis can also produce an allergic reaction[xv] like hay fever. So before trying CBD products, consult with your primary care provider first.

But here’s an interesting fact.  CBD, because it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, has the potential to help patients suffering from allergic airway diseases[xvi] and even obstructive airway disorders[xvii] induced by antigens.

Side Effects and Safety Profile:

I have already mentioned the side effects of Advil and other ibuprofen containing products.  Let’s now see the side effects of CBD.

This study tells you that the side effects of CBD are more tolerable[xviii] and that they are short-lived.  It’s nontoxic, so it’s safer for the liver and kidneys.  It won’t affect your heart rate, your blood pressure, and even your body temperature, so no problems there compared to ibuprofen use.  It also won’t drastically affect your appetite, nor would it negatively affect your digestion.  In fact, CBD can even reduce the pain, inflammation, and intestinal damage associated with inflammatory bowel disease[xix].

More importantly, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects and won’t produce hallucinations, mood changes, mental changes, drowsiness, etc. because it is a non-psychoactive compound[xx].

Uses:

Both Advil and CBD are used for pain and inflammation.

But CBD has the ability to help more than just these symptoms though.

CBD is also a very powerful antioxidant[xxi], so while it’s reducing pain and inflammation, it’s also protecting the healthy cells against the destructive byproducts of metabolism like free radicals.

I’d say that with CBD’s antioxidant property, it makes CBD better than Advil, right?

Dosage:

Take 200 mg to 400 mg of Advil for pain, every four to six hours as needed. Mind the risks though! You don’t want to be on ibuprofen for so long.

But with CBD, you have more control with your dosage[xxii] since you can start with a very low dose till you find a dosage that can control your pain. You can start with 2.5 mg of CBD per day then slowly increase to 20 mg. Although it’s not mandatory, many people choose to use CBD daily to treat chronic pain.

Could CBD be better than Advil?

It’s your choice, really, to use Advil and other ibuprofen products or to use CBD for your pain.

But reading through all the research studies saying that CBD can benefit even persistent, chronic, and intractable pain[xxiii] and knowing it has an excellent safety profile[xxiv], what do you honestly think?

I’ll leave you with one more thought to ponder:

According to a Professor at the University of Oxford’s Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Leslie Iversen, in a book he published in 2000 entitled “The Science of Marijuana,” cannabis is safer than aspirin[xxv].

References

[i] Drugs, Advil Side Effects.

https://www.drugs.com/sfx/advil-side-effects.html

[ii] Sharon G. Curhan, et al. August 29, 2012.

American Journal of Epidemiology, Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Women.

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/176/6/544/118010/Analgesic-Use-and-the-Risk-of-Hearing-Loss-in

[iii] National Kidney Foundation, Pain Medicines (Analgesics).

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/painmeds_analgesics

[iv] Andrea Arfè, et al. September 28, 2016.

The British Medical Journal, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of heart failure in four European countries: nested case-control study.

http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4857

[v] American Gastroenterological Association. November 1, 2005.

Science Daily, High Doses Of Ibuprofen Cause Significant GI Bleeding, Despite Safety Profile.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051101075630.htm

[vi] M Osterweis, et a.l. 1987.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Pain and Disability: Clinical, Behavioral, and Public Policy Perspectives.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219252/

[vii] Lawrence Kruger and Alan R. Light. 2010.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Translational Pain Research: From Mouse to Man.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219252/

[viii] Jun-Ming Zhang, MSc, MD and Jianxiong An, MSc, MD.  November 30, 2009.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cytokines, Inflammation and Pain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2785020/

[ix] Ethan B Russo, February 2008.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

[x] Prakash Nagarkatti, et al. August 1, 2010.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

[xi] Martin A. Lee, Autumn 2011.

AlchimiaWeb, CBD: How It Works.

https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogfr/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CBDiary21-CBD-How-It-Works.pdf

[xii] J Manzanares, et al. July 2004.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/

[xiii] Matthew W. Elmes, et al. April 3, 2015.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Fatty Acid-binding Proteins (FABPs) Are Intracellular Carriers for Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4423662/

[xiv] Drugs, Advil Side Effects.

https://www.drugs.com/sfx/advil-side-effects.html

[xv] Ajay P. Nayak, et al.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Characterization of Cannabis sativa allergens.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726218/

[xvi] Prakash Nagarkatti, et al. August 1, 2010.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

[xvii] A Dudasova, et al. February 18, 2013.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, The effects of cannabidiol on the antigen-induced contraction of airways smooth muscle in the guinea-pig.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23428645

[xviii] Mateus Machado Bergamaschi, et al.  September 1, 2011

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129319

[xix] Project CBD, Gastrointestinal Disorders.

https://www.projectcbd.org/gastrointestinal-disorders

[xx] Nora D. Volkow, MD. June 24, 2015.

US Department of Health and Human Services, Testimony from Nora D. Volkow, M.D. on Cannabidiol: Barriers to Research and Potential Medical Benefits  before Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

[xxi] AJ Hampson, et al. July 7, 1998.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC20965/

[xxii] Delilah Butterfield. December 5, 2016.

Herb, 3 Tips To Getting The Correct CBD Dosage.

http://herb.co/2016/12/05/correct-cbd-dosage/

[xxiii] Ethan B Russo.  February 2008.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

[xxiv] Mateus Machado Bergamaschi, et al.  September 1, 2011

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129319

[xxv] leslie L. Iversen, MD. 2000.

Compassionate Health Options, The Science of Marijuana.

http://www.green215.com/sites/all/files/education_articles/Science%20Cannabis.pdf

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