When the pain and aches of everyday life keep us down, we are often quick to turn to pain medications for fast relief. But, did you know there is a natural alternative that works similarly to meds like Tylenol?
How Does Tylenol Work?
Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is a drug used to treat mild to moderate pain and fever. While it is mostly associated with headaches, Tylenol can also help relieve pain related to menstrual periods, toothaches, flu/cold symptoms, backaches, and osteoarthritis.
Although Tylenol has been around for over 60 years (the FDA approved acetaminophen in 1951), researchers are still not exactly sure how it works in our systems. This may come as a surprise to many since Tylenol can probably be found in every medicine cabinet in America.
There are many theories as to how Tylenol interacts with our bodies; however, there is not enough evidence supporting any of these theories to reach a solid conclusion. One of the most widely accepted theories is that acetaminophen works by modulating the endocannabinoid system in the brain.
Despite the uncertainty regarding its exact mechanism of action, it is believed Tylenol relieves pain by increasing the pain threshold, or the amount of pain that must be developed before a person feels it.
How Long Does Tylenol Take to Work?
When medicine such as Tylenol is swallowed, it travels through the body and is absorbed into our bloodstream. The blood then carries the solution to different parts of our body to relieve pain. Once in the bloodstream, acetaminophen usually takes 30-60 minutes to take effect.
What Is a Prodrug?
A prodrug refers to a medication or compound that, when ingested, is metabolized into a pharmacologically active drug. After administration, acetaminophen acts a prodrug by undergoing metabolic transformations to form the analgesic compound AM404.
What is AM404?
As a metabolite of acetaminophen, AM404 inhibits neuronal reuptake of the endocannabinoid anandamide. Anandamide is an agonist at cannabinoid CB1 receptors involved in the transmission and regulation of pain.
How Are Tylenol and CBD Similar?
If you are familiar with CBD oil, you might have already noticed how Tylenol and CBD are similar. Both CBD and Tylenol are used to relieve pain, and both do so by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. Research suggests that CBD may, like acetaminophen, inhibit the reuptake of anandamide helping to promote feelings of well-being.
Is CBD Better Than Tylenol?
While both may work in similar ways, CBD and acetaminophen are far from being identical. Tylenol carries serious health risks if taken too often or in moderate dosages. Most notably, acetaminophen can result in severe liver damage especially if combined with alcohol. In contrast, CBD produces no harmful side effects or health risks.
Despite its close relation with cannabis, CBD has no psychoactive properties, so it won’t get users high. Moreover, there is no risk of overdosing or addiction linked to CBD usage.
Can You Take Tylenol with CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol may inhibit the cytochrome P450 system which is involved in the metabolism of certain drugs, including Tylenol. If you are considering taking Tylenol and CBD simultaneously, it is recommended you consult with a doctor first.