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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Hemp Extract Reduces Muscle Spasticity in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Hemp Extract Reduces Muscle Spasticity in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological condition. MS causes nerve cells to become dysfunctional. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person and over time; however, one of the most common symptoms of MS is muscle spasticity. More than 80% of patients with MS have some degree of muscle spasticity.

Muscle spasticity causes increased muscle tone. Affected muscles contract even though the person is not trying to contract them. Patients may also experience uncontrollable muscle jerking and spasms. These muscle contractions can be quite painful and interfere with daily activities. In fact, about one in 20 multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity are completely disabled because of it.

It can be difficult to treat muscle spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. Physicians may prescribe baclofen, tizanidine, or dantrolene for muscle spasticity; however, these treatments are only mildly effective and may cause troubling or serious side effects. Baclofen may cause muscle weakness, tizanidine may cause severe dry mouth, and dantrolene is toxic to the liver, for example. Researchers are continuously looking for ways to help multiple sclerosis patients to reduce muscle spasticity.

Cannabinoids are the biologically active chemicals found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids have been used successfully for various medical purposes. For example, these agents have been used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and to stimulate appetite in patients with cancer. Patients with multiple sclerosis have reported that hemp extract helps relieve symptoms. Moreover, research studies have shown cannabinoids can protect nerve cells against damage. Based on these findings, researchers conducted a clinical trial to study the effect of cannabinoids on muscle spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

A total of 630 patients with multiple sclerosis and muscle spasticity received the hemp extract or placebo for 15 weeks. The researchers then performed a number of objective tests to assess muscle spasticity. Patients who received the cannabinoids had fewer symptoms and less muscle spasticity at the end of the clinical trial compared to patients taking the placebo. The greatest benefit appeared after 40 weeks of treatment. Indeed, patients felt that cannabinoids helped manage their condition. Importantly, no major safety concerns were reported.

These clinical trial results suggest long term cannabinoids treatment is safe and may help people with Multiple Sclerosis control symptoms of muscle spasticity.

Visit our website for available hemp extract products. Click here

 

Reference: Zajicek et al. (2005). Cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis (CAMS) study: safety and efficacy data for 12 months follow up.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;76(12):1664-9.

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