Can Hemp Extracts Aid in Chronic Pain Management?

Can Hemp Extracts Aid in Chronic Pain Management?

Nowadays, you wouldn’t have to look very far to find advertisements for products containing hemp seed extract, or CBD oil. But how is this popular new solution made, and does it deliver on its promises to ease pain? Let’s explore what the compound consists of and how it may aid in pain management, below.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, better known by the acronym “CBD,” is one of 104 chemical compounds derived from the hemp or cannabis plants. Typically, CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, then added to a carrier oil to form “CBD oil.” Because there are a number of different processes used to produce CBD oil, it can be found in varying strengths. As such, it’s advisable to consult with your physician before use.

Does It Help with Pain?

According to research published in 2017, adults suffering from chronic pain experienced “a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms” when treated with CBD. In a separate study, CBD was proven to reduce pain and inflammation. Although the findings are fairly recent, experts believe cannabis has been used as a pain reliever for thousands of years.

The pain-relieving effect is believed to work as follows: The body has a system referred to the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which regulates functions such as pain and immune system responses. It produces endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters which bind to the nervous system’s cannabinoid receptors. Research demonstrates that CBD may influence endocannabinoid receptor activity, thereby alleviating inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.

For example, CBD has been shown to minimize pain from surgical incisions, alleviate sciatic nerve pain, and reduce inflammation. It has also been used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

What Are Its Additional Benefits?

Despite having been used for millennia, the research surrounding the potential benefits of the powerful plant derivative is ongoing. Possible applications may include treatment for anxiety, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and seizures, and smoking cessation. Additionally, it is suspected CBD oil may hold promise for treating drug withdrawal, and in the future, conditions such as acne, diabetes, and cancer.

Currently, the legality of CBD oil varies by state, but the FDA has already approved CBD as a treatment for certain types of epilepsy. Thus, it’s possible that the compound could have a significant impact on treatment plans for chronic conditions in the future.

 

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Can Cannabis Help Manage Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

Can Cannabis Help Manage Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

Recently a video went viral in which a man with Parkinson’s disease (PD) tries cannabis for the first time, placing a drop of cannabinoid oil (CBD oil) under his tongue. Within minutes, his symptoms improve significantly: the dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements) disappears almost entirely, and his voice returns. The significant reaction to the drug begs the question: can cannabis be used to help manage PD?

Clinical Studies on Medical Marijuana for PD

Unfortunately, as the Parkinson’s Foundation points out, the clinical trials on using marijuana for PD have been incredibly varied. Some studies use as few as five participants, and as a result, fail to meet the minimum research standards needed to garner support among the medical community. That hasn’t stopped patients from seeking the treatment themselves, however: 95% of neurologists say their patients have asked for a medical marijuana prescription.

Moreover, groups like The Michael J. Fox Foundation, among others, have called for the reclassification of marijuana, which could make it easier to conduct research. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government. Drugs within this category are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no known acceptable medical applications. To complicate matters further, there is currently a lack of standardized or known doses for CBD, as well as variable concentrations of the active ingredient. Nonetheless, in low doses, CBD appears to be well tolerated, though it poses side effects such as cognitive changes, nausea, and dizziness.

How Does CBD Work?

We know that the chemicals in marijuana react with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. What researchers are still working to figure out is precisely how CBD effects these receptors. Trials show mixed results: while some patients have experienced improved motor and non-motor symptoms, others did not experience improvement. Limited studies show decreases in psychosis and tremors, as well as improvements in quality of life.

Could Cannabis Be Right for You?

While incorporating any form of cannabis will likely not replace PD medications, it’s possible that patients may experience a reduction in symptoms with CBD use. If you’re considering this treatment, talk to your doctor, who can recommend a treatment regimen based on your needs.

 

Visit our website for available hemp extract products. Click here

 

Cannabinoids (CBD) Help Patients with Hard to Treat Muscle Spasticity From Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabinoids (CBD) Help Patients with Hard to Treat Muscle Spasticity From Multiple Sclerosis

Four out of five people with multiple sclerosis experience muscle spasticity. Muscle spasticity causes increased muscle tone, uncontrollable muscle contractions, and spasms. Like severe muscle cramps, muscle spasticity can be quite painful and is one of the most troubling symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Despite being so common and so troublesome, multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity have few effective treatments options. In many cases, the muscle spasticity continues even after treatment with drugs such as baclofen or tizanidine. Not only are these drugs largely ineffective, in many cases they cause substantial side effects.

Marijuana has long been known to exert a muscle relaxing (anti-spasmodic) effect. As medical marijuana is becoming legal in more jurisdictions, researchers are now carefully studying the effects of the substances within marijuana. One important example is a study conducted by Spanish researchers. In 2010, Spanish drug authorities approved the use of an oral spray that contains a combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), two active substances found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa). Spanish authorities approved the use of this drug for multiple sclerosis patients with moderate to severe muscle spasticity who did not benefit from other antispasmodic drugs.

Dr. Lorente Fernández and other Spanish researchers were interested in learning whether this combination of THC and CBD was able to help multiple sclerosis patients with severe muscle spasticity. The scientists found that the combination of substances found in medical marijuana was effective in 80% of patients they examined. What is striking about this finding is that every patient included in this study had failed to find relief from other medical treatments of spasticity. In other words, they had difficulty in treating muscle spasticity. When viewed in those terms, an 80% effectiveness rate is extremely impressive.

Some patients withdrew from treatment because they felt that THC/CBD did not help them within the first 30 days of starting treatment or some experienced dizziness or weakness.

Muscle spasticity is one of the most common, most troubling, and most difficult to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. While traditional medical treatments often fail, the substances in medical marijuana may offer hope. This study illustrates that 4 out of 5 multiple sclerosis patients with difficult to treat muscle spasticity achieved relief from a combination of THC and CBD, substances found in medical marijuana.

Visit our website for available hemp extract products. Click here

 

Reference: Lorente Fernández et al. (2014). Clinical experiences with cannabinoids in spasticity management in multiple sclerosis. Neurologia. 2014 Jun;29(5):257-60.

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