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The Healing Tree Blog

Read our feature article in the Alexandria Gazette featuring Dr. Durakis: Healing From the Inside Out

CBD – A Possible Alternative to NSAIDS

Why CBD might be an excellent alternative to NSAIDs.

By Dr. Cynthia Durakis, Chiropractor

One of my primary roles as a doctor and healer is to help my patients stay healthy, avoid prescription medications and avoid OTC meds whenever possible. There is a time and a place for symptom management. Pain can interfere with sleep and increase stress; both of which will suppress heal-ing. So by all means, if you are sick or injured, taking medication short term makes sense. But make no mistake, anti-inflammatories like ibu-profen, naproxen and celebrex (also known as NSAIDS) do NOT support the healing process; in fact, the opposite is true. These drugs work by suppressing hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, but this in-flammatory process is designed to stimulate production of cells that are necessary for healing. While no one enjoys being in pain, the PAIN itself is also a brilliant signal created by your body to remind you to PAY ATTEN-TION!

So what about my patients who have chronic pain and inflammation? We start with the obvious: chiropractic care, appropriate exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet and supplements/herbs that are known to be helpful (i.e. fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, turmeric, boswellia and others). Sometimes that is simply not enough and drugs are necessary. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a pain management option that was supportive of the healing pro-cess and offered beneficial nutritional compounds as well? Is it too good to be true?

CBD oil (cannebidiol) is in the news and refers to a group of plant com-pounds known as phytocannabinoids. These compounds work with re-ceptors throughout the body to stimulate reactions that can reduce pain, inflammation, nausea and anxiety.1,2 A cannabinoid is a molecule that activates these molecular-messengers, regardless of whether the canna-binoid came from our bodies (an endocannabinoid), or if it came from a plant (a phytocannabinoid). Endocannabinoids activate the same recep-tors as phytocannabinoids, which are found in hemp and marijuana.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the use of CBD and THC based products to treat a variety of medical conditions including seizures disorders, chronic pain and nausea. For those who are concerned about the “high” associated with marijuana, there are hemp based CBD products that are proving effective without the psychotropic effects ob-tained from smoking or ingesting pot.

The ibuprofen that you ingest without thinking much about it can erode the lining of the small intestine and cause ulcers.2 It is likely that consistent usage will affect gut function and absorption of nutrients triggering irritable bowel and/or leaky-gut syndrome. Taken long-term NSAIDS will have an adverse effect on digestion, bone density and immune function. There is also significant evidence indicating those taking NSAIDS have an in-creased risk of heart failure and kidney problems.3 (Acetaminophen, ty-lenol, is not a friend either. While not in the same class of medications it is highly toxic to the liver.)

For those of you interested in supporting your system without pharmaceu-ticals I have begun stocking a reputable hemp-based CBD product, ask me about it the next time you’re in for an adjustment.

  1. Biorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation Sumner Burstein; Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation St., Worcester, MA 01605, United States
  2. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Feb; 4(1): 245; 259 PMID: 18728714; Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain; Ethan B Russo
  3. Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb 15, 1991; Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Peptic Ulcer Disease; Andrew H. Soll, MD; Wilfred M. Weinstein, MD; John Kurata, PhD; Denis McCarthy, MD
  4. Drugs March 2003, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 525–534 | Cite as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Heart Failure; Gysèle S. BleuminkJohannes FeenstraMiriam C. J. M. SturkenboomBruno H. Ch. Stricker

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"The custom orthotics along with chiropractic care have literally changed my life. After dealing with chronic hip and low back pain due to a structural injury where I was in pain almost on a daily basis. Recently, I took a trip to Germany and did a ton of walking. I noticed that my low back was not hurting and instead I felt like I could walk another 10 miles! Now, three months after getting them, I don’t leave the house without them! Dr. Cindy has made me a true believer in the custom orthotics!”

– Deana Dennis

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