One of the most amazing things about the cannabis plant is the breadth of ailments it’s capable of alleviating. Patients who have used painkillers for years have started to take notice, and researchers were curious about the effectiveness of the switch. In an August study, market-research firm Brightfield Group surveyed 2,400 registered users of Hello MD and found that 42 percent of people who use CBD report that they’ve given up pharmaceutical drugs and replaced them with some form of cannabis.

We note that this figure includes all types of cannabis, ranging from high-THC medicinal marijuana with strong CBD content to CBD-only wellness products. Most importantly, 52 percent of respondents agreed that CBD is “more effective,” or “much more effective” than pharmaceutical drugs. The important thing to realize is that while THC is the compound that provides the psychoactive properties, all THC strains will contain CBD to some degree (it’s the 2nd most prevalent cannabinoid after THC). The results are clear, those 52% of respondents were blown away by CBD’s pain management properties.

Why is CBD More Effective

Instead of introducing a foreign substance to the body that may disrupt other functions and complicate things with side effects, try CBD. Why? Because the compounds in CBD are naturally occurring in your body already. Therefore, CBD works seamlessly with your body, it knows how to make you healthier in tandem with your immune system. Using CBD on a daily basis is no different than taking a daily vitamin with essentials compounds that your body needs.

How to Switch Effectively

Pace yourself, on both the decrease and the increase. The problem with switching from painkillers to from medical marijuana or high-CBD medicine is that it’s easy to swap “one addiction for another”. We’re not saying cannabis is addictive (it’s not) but we are suggesting that it can be difficult to switch from the numbness delivered by the painkillers to that peacefulness provided by cannabis.

The goal is to be able to get off the couch, and move beyond the non-functional opioid-induced state. It’s absolutely possible to operate normally on cannabis, and especially CBD-rich products because they do not get you ‘high’ in the traditional, psychoactive sense.

We always recommend starting slowly with the dosage (5-10mg to start), trying different ingestion methods and/or incorporating light exercise like walking, yoga, swimming or biking. Activity gets the blood pumping, which will help your body circulate the beneficial compounds more effectively than if you remained sedentary. CBD is phenomenal for recovery after exercise as well because it naturally works to ease pain and soothe sore muscles, ligaments and joints.

How to Use CBD Responsibly

If you manage your dosage at first and try different products to find the best one for you, there is no reason why you can’t live a normal life with a daily CBD regimen. Between smoking, vaping, topicals, tinctures, and salves, there is a great product out there for you.

While you won’t feel high like typical cannabis, you will certainly notice the “wave of relief” that most people describe in relation to the onset of CBD. You can also view our full CBD for pain management guide for more in-depth daily regimen advice.

A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing

If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn’t an unfounded concern — however, there isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.

Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception.  There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.

If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.

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