Top 10 Ways To Maximize CBD For Pain Relief
By Keith Alban
1. Cook Conscientiously & Choose Oils Wisely
Perhaps the most common reason people use CBD based products is to help quell chronic and acute pains. CBD appears to be a safe and effective tool for different types of pain that stems from nerves, muscle, joint, ligament, and more. Studies have shown good success at times with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties through receptors such as adenosine, glycine, TRPV1, PPAR, and others. CBD is active when used internally and topically. While it may not always erase pain, CBD is very helpful at times and gentle on the body.
Typical options for pain such as opioid medications, over the counter NSAIDS, and other types of pain relievers can have serious side effects and may cause harm over time. There are certain things we do in our everyday lives that can either help or hinder the benefits of CBD and the physiological processes it supports. Here are 10 tips that may help enhance and add benefits to your CBD regimen for pain.
Certain oils and fats in their natural, raw state can be very healing to the body and brain. Unfortunately, when they're heated to a high temperature they oxidize, change structures, and create toxic compounds that harm our health in many ways. Certain fatty acid structures are more fragile and volatile than others, but almost all types of fats become more harmful than beneficial when cooked on relatively high heat for 5-10 minutes or more. The oxidized, damaged fats form peroxides, aldehydes, free radicals, and many other byproducts that contribute to pain, inflammation, and can harden the cell membrane. After years of consuming a large quantity of heated oils on a regular basis, this causes stiffness and much harm to our bodies. (1)
Many diseases have the pathology of hardened cell membranes. Oils such as corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and many other vegetable oils are the worst when it comes to producing toxic byproducts. (2,4) Grassfed, cultured ghee, pasture-raised beef tallow, and organic coconut oil are your best bets. Olive oil is pretty good at resisting forming these toxic molecules, but try and use it towards the end of cooking to retain the benefits it naturally has. Testing has shown that many olive oils on the market are tainted and diluted, so choose a brand that’s reliable. Extra virgin organic olive oil has many health benefits in its raw state. Try and cook on the lowest heat possible and use the least amount of oil needed to cook. Adding fats like ghee, olive oil, and beef tallow at the end of cooking will be much more beneficial for your overall health.
2. Take CBD with Ghee
CBD is a powerful compound, even at the relatively poor bioavailability and overall cellular absorption it has. Research shows absorption rates are around 6-25% for oral delivery depending on the medium that CBD is consumed with. Ghee is a purified form of butter that is free of any lactose, casein, and other undesirable compounds. Studies show that ghee may have the most efficient and complete absorption of all plant and animal-based oils. It contains vitamins A, D, E, K, CLA, butyric acid, and a good ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids (with cultured, pastured ghee).
Ghee acts as a potent catalyst and carrier, which allows nutrients to penetrate multiple layers of our physiology more efficiently. Ghee is also said to help improve eyesight, reduce inflammation, strengthen weakness, improve memory, enhance digestion, lubricate joints,
and soften hardened, damaged tissues over time. It may also help to enhance our natural killer T cells and facilitate the excretion of fat-soluble toxins. Cultured, pasture-raised ghee is far superior with regards to nutrient content and healing potential. Most products in stores are not cultured (even ones that are pasture-raised) because mainstream production is all about efficiency and quick production. Look for a cultured, pasture-raised product online to unlock to full healing potential for ghee.
3. Utilize Natural Supplements for Synergy
Herbs and supplements can have a powerful effect on different types of pain and inflammation, especially when combined with other compounds such as CBD. The synergy of different nutrients helps boost the healing and inflammatory fighting benefits. Some of the top compounds for different types of pain include boswellia, turmeric, noni, solomon’s seal, devil’s claw, cat’s claw, chuchuhuasi, high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, holy basil extract, ginger, white willow bark, bromelain, and more. Incorporating some of these supplements along with CBD will add synergy to any protocol for pain and inflammation. For neuropathic or nerve based pain, benfotiamine, lipoic acid, and acetyl-L-carnitine may also be helpful. (5)
4. Increase Consumption of Omega 3 Fats
The types of fats we consume play a pivotal role in overall health and the inflammatory response in the body. Studies show that the majority of people consume a very poor ratio of omega fatty acids in their diet. The result of this imbalance is a perpetual cycle that causes the overproduction of pro-inflammatory compounds such as cytokines and interleukins. Consuming a high amount of foods such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, grass-fed beef (contains 3-4 times the amount of omega 3 fats than most grain-fed beef), sprouted walnuts, fresh basil (use at the end of cooking), and hemp seeds will help you maximize your pain relieving efforts. Supplementing with a tested, pure omega 3 DHA/EPA product can be helpful as well.
A plethora of research over the past 20 years has shown the incredible importance of the gut microbiome. The amount of healthy, beneficial bacteria we have plays an intimate role in the strength of our immune system and defending against toxins. Certain strains of healing bacteria help to engulf toxic compounds and destroy pathogens. Certain forms of arthritis and pain have been tied to bacteria balance in the gut. Strains such as bacillus coagulans, bifidobacterium longum, bifidobacterium infantis, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus reuteri, and lactobacillus rhamnosus have shown promise in research thus far. (6-8) Probiotic quality varies from company to company, so be wary when choosing a product.
6. Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fatty acids are a harmful class of hydrogenated fats that are known to trigger systemic inflammation and contribute to pain throughout the body. Trans fats also damage the lining of blood vessels and arteries. Foods such as chips, crackers, cakes, biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, popcorn, baked goods, frozen pizza, fried foods, and others may contain trans fats. Not all foods in these classes contain them though, it varies from company to company. (9)
7. Limit Consumption of Nightshades
Nightshades are a class of vegetables and fruits that contain certain alkaloids that can cause issues in many people. The most commonly consumed nightshades are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and a few others. A small amount of nightshade consumption is usually okay, but we often consume very large amounts which contributes to intestinal permeability, autoimmune conditions, and systemic, chronic inflammation. (10) Many people with pain-based conditions have seen some improvements when cutting out nightshades from their diet. Purple potatoes are preferable to white if you can find them, purple rice, black beans, artichokes, hearts of palm, and different vegetables are good options within moderation.
8. Minimize Grains, Gluten, Wheat, and Pasteurized A1 Dairy
Grains are still somewhat of a controversial topic in the health world, but most of them are very difficult to digest and have changed a lot over the years. Gluten has a plethora of negative research and gluten-free grains are still loaded with anti-nutrients like prolamins and agglutinins, as well as other compounds that are far from ideal for the body. A small amount of sprouted grains is okay if desired, but many people benefit from cutting grains out or minimizing them. Modern wheat should really be completely eliminated if possible. I know it’s difficult because of how many foods have it in them, but minimizing or eliminating is a great idea. Modern wheat is often drenched in roundup (glyphosate) and other toxic compounds in wheat fields before it hits the market.
When you combine modern wheat with several toxic chemicals, it creates a pro-inflammatory, toxic mixture that can take a toll on your health in a variety of ways.
Dairy is an interesting topic with much controversy and differing views. Raw, pasture-raised, non-A1 casein dairy is actually very healing to the body, but typical pasteurized A1 dairy in stores is quite toxic. Even pasture-raised dairy in stores is usually A1 protein from Holstein cows. All the negativity around dairy is because of how cows have been treated and bred to produce this A1 protein. On top of that, it’s pasteurized which destroys many compounds and actually makes it easier for pathogens to grow after the pasteurization. Normally, milk from a healthy cow has anti-microbial enzymes and immunoglobulins that protect it. Unless a cow is sick or feces drops in the milk, problems are rare and plenty of issues have happened with pasteurized milk. For thousands of years, dairy was considered a very
healthy, potent, healing substance. New jersey cows and certain other breeds, along with sheep, goat, and other types of milk are usually A2 protein, which is much healthier and more compatible with the human body. If you can get fresh, pure, non pasteurized, grass-fed raw A2 dairy from a local pasture farm, go for it. If not, I’d stay away from milk if possible.
9. Minimize Oxalate Consumption
Oxalates are compounds that are ubiquitous in the food supply and are fairly harmless in minuscule amounts. That harmlessness can quickly turn on you and cause harm to the body in several ways. Oxalates can form jagged, rough crystals under certain conditions which can lead to inflammation in the muscles, gut dysfunction, stiffness, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, joint problems, eye problems, arthritis, and even affect the heart. Steaming and draining the water helps lower oxalate levels within vegetables, as does sprouting and soaking beans, seeds, and nuts. Make sure to limit the levels of beans, seeds, nuts, and grains if on a pain-relieving diet. Spinach is possibly the most common food that is incredibly high in oxalates, but here are two reference guides for oxalate levels in foods.
10. Steer clear of artificial preservatives and additives
Learning to take a little time to read labels can be a valuable thing when it comes to your health. With thousands of toxins and compounds allowed on the market, it's no wonder disease has become so widespread. Doing your best to stay away from compounds such as MSG, sodium nitrite, artificial food colorings, high fructose corn syrup, glyphosate (roundup) corn starch, potassium bromate (found in breads and wheat products), sodium benzoate, propyl gallate, artificial sweeteners, and others will go a long way to lower the chances of disease.
Many modern vegetables and foods are genetically modified and have high levels of toxins and heavy metals. These compounds wreak absolute havoc in the body, burdening the liver and immune system, causing DNA mutations, decreasing levels of the body's production of anti-inflammatory compounds, disrupting hormonal balance, decreasing mitochondrial function, and lowering our innate healing capacities. Below is a link to many toxic compounds that are allowed on the market despite having proof of toxicity in the body. There are many more not on this list as well.