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PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide) – The Safe Alternative to CBD or NSAIDs?

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Inflammation is natures way of using our own immune system as a defence mechanism to fight infections attacking our bodies. The attacker could be a foreign body, an irritant or chemical, a pathogen such as bacteria or virus, it could even be the body perceiving its own cells as harmful.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are useful over-the-counter options for some ailments with Corticosteroids being useful for others. But these treatments can themselves cause underlying health issues and are hence mostly suitable as short term relief only.

Increasingly people are therefore seeking longer term relief through the options of alternative and herbal remedies, with natural choices being understandably sought after. But there are practical limits to how much ginger, turmeric, blue-berries and olive oil you can consume in a daily diet.

Despite the obvious negative associations with taking any product associated with drugs, Cannabidiol (CBD), discovered in 1940, is one plant with well-known potential. A downside of course is that cannabis extracts can be illegal or restricted substances in many markets, in addition CBD or hemp oil extract has a complex molecular nature which make it difficult to regulate strength and dose. This is where a new kid on the block, PEA, now enters the story as a potentially safer alternative.

Palmitoylethanolamide or PEA for short is a single molecule and therefore able to be dispensed much more accurately than CBD, giving real benefits for pain relief. It is a natural dietary supplement that allegedly can successfully tackle many of the disorders impacted by inflammation. It’s therefore increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional treatments and options such as CBD as it can aid with chronic pain and even help lessen the incidence and impact of common health risks such as influenza and even the common cold.

PEA has been proven to be effective and safe in the treatment of flu and colds in six double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in over 3,000 people with no negative side effects or adverse interactions with other drugs being reported. Since the 1970’s in excess of 500 scientific articles attribute to the therapeutic effects of PEA.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally occurring fatty acid amides found in plant and animal cells and is a bioactive functional lipid. It is produced in most cells in our bodies by on-demand synthesis when needed, adding to this process through taking supplements certainly seems to be a logical alternative treatment for those people that prefer to opt for this route, but as we have said, we firmly believe the views of your medical practitioner should be given precedence.

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Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) claimed Effectiveness

  • PEA is increasingly being recognised as a safe and effective chronic pain relief. In one significant clinical placebo-controlled study on chronic pain involving hernia patients, PEA significantly decreased the pain from 7 to 2 on a VAS Scale at a daily dose of 600mg, with many subsequent studies reporting similar beneficial results.
  • When measuring the effectiveness of analgesia using the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) scale, PEA was compared to Amitriptyline (an antidepressant widely prescribed for pain relief). Amitriptyline returned an NNT of 4.6, whereas PEA was far less invasive at an NNT of just 1.5.
  • In six clinical double-blind studies previously referred to, PEA was shown to reduce the chance of contracting the flu by 30% to 60%, and in instances where the flu was already present, the results showed a significant reduction in the severity of the symptoms. The duration of the flu was significantly less than observed against the placebo controls


PEA indirectly activates CB1 and CB2 (Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptors). CB1 receptors are found in the Central Nervous System and CB1 and CB2 are both found in certain peripheral tissues. Cannabinoids are also found in medical marijuana and are similar to the chemicals produced by the body naturally to control appetite, memory, movement and pain.

Research suggests that Cannabinoids may:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce inflammation and relieve pain
  • Control nausea and vomiting caused by Chemotherapy
  • Kills cancer cells and slows tumour growth
  • Relaxes muscles in MS sufferers
  • Stimulates appetite to improve weight gain.

(PEA) Palmitoylethanolamide dosages:

Initial dose of 1200mg per day for first 6 weeks, followed by a maintenance dose of 800mg per day thereafter.

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Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and impartial information about alternative health treatments. However, as drugs and supplements affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that our information includes all possible side effects or everything there is to learn. This information is also not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history and in the event of any serious problems, contact Emergency Services immediately.