What is pain? A Look At Its Types And Causes

CBD info

CBD oil has numerous applications. A very common use is as a supplement to combat disorders that cause chronic pain. Although it is not considered a treatment in itself – because much more research is needed – many people find relief from it.


So we thought it appropriate to take a more in-depth look at the symptom that CBD seems to alleviate – pain.


It is a difficult question to answer, since pain is an individual experience. We can get very philosophical looking at mental anguish and emotional pain, so we’ll stick to purely physical pain for our explanation.

However, even this is far from simple. Science does not fully understand pain, and because each person perceives it differently, only the individual experiencing it can describe what it is like for them. Pain cannot be directly measured and therefore scientists and medical professionals often rely on individual perception to estimate pain severity.

In essence, pain is a message from the brain that something is wrong or damaged. It can be of external or internal origin.


Pain is usually classified into one of two types: acute or chronic. Sharp pain is short-term and is often a sign of danger (such as when touching something sharp) or injury. Once the risk is gone, or the wound heals, the pain usually stops.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months. And, as such, it can massively affect a person’s quality of life. It affects everything from the ability to work and move to emotional stresses that result in interpersonal problems. Chronic pain is often a symptom of an underlying problem, and it can be very difficult to manage.


In addition to these two types of pain, there are also different classifications. Nociceptive and non-nociceptive pain. Nociceptive includes somatic and visceral pain, and non-nociceptive neuropathic and sympathetic pain.

Nociceptive pain occurs when certain pain receptors are stimulated by a stimulus classified as very intense. These receptors control the temperature, vibration, stretch, and chemical release of damaged cells.

somatic pain
Somatic pain is the most common form of pain, covering pain felt by activation of receptors in the skin, muscles, joints, bones, and ligaments. They also alert the brain to inflammation.

visceral pain
Visceral pain also involves the activation of certain pain receptors, but this time in the internal organs. They perceive stretching, inflammation and lack of oxygen.

Non-nociceptive pain encompasses pain that does not come from a specific receptor, but rather from the central nervous system. This is usually due to damage to the nervous system that causes the nerves to fail and send false signals to the brain.

Neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain usually occurs when nerves become trapped or pinched in the spinal cord, or when they degenerate due to disease or other unfavorable conditions.

sympathetic pain
Sympathetic pain is usually caused by a fracture or injury to the soft tissues of the extremities. The nerves are damaged and once again send signals to the brain, which are processed as pain. It is not specific receptors that cause it, but the damage to the nerve itself.

As you can see, there are several types of pain, and all of them can have a negative effect on the life of the sufferer. The reason why CBD helps manage pain is still being researched, and is likely to be specific to certain conditions. But one thing is certain: more and more people are trying CBD – we urgently need more research to shed light on what exactly is going on!

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