There has been growing reports of the medical benefits of Hemp Oil (cannabidiol). Because of this, many patients have begun seeking out Hemp varieties for treating conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, certain cancers, pain and anxiety among others. Hemp Oil or cannabidiol is derived from the whole plant extracts of the cannabis plant or industrial hemp which is basically the same plant. For years Hemp has been overshadowed by tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the most popular compound in certain strains of cannabis. This is because unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, Hemp doesn’t produce a psychoactive high. Nonetheless, Hemp has been known to have anti-epileptic, anti-spasmodic, antipsychotic and anti-anxiety, properties.
There are countless other benefits of Hemp apart from those above. However, we would just take one of them which is the effects of Hemp on pain and inflammation based on scientific studies.
The Effects Of Hemp On Pain and Inflammation
Of the top ten causes of death in the USA, chronic, low-level inflammation and pain contribute to at least seven, particularly heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and nephritis. Hemp has been reported to modulate chronic inflammatory issues using several mechanisms and from the research cited below. These acute inflammatory issues range from joint pain to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and diabetic retinopathy.
Take, for example, one of the effects of Hemp in inflammation is cutting off cytokine production by the immune cells and reducing cytokine production by T-helper cells (which are the same cells if overactive can promote autoimmune conditions and food intolerances). Cytokine is a signaling protein secreted and synthesized by the immune cells upon stimulation. They are the factors that help to balance resolution and initiation of inflammation. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) an inflammatory compound can also be reduced in the presence of cannabidiol.
Studies On the effects of Hemp in Pain and Inflammation
In one scientific study, researchers decided to determine the effects of Hemp on four mediating molecules that are associated with oxidative damage to the gut and intestinal inflammation. See their findings below:
- Inducible nitric oxide synthase– They discovered that Hemp significantly reduced the overexpression of Inducible nitric oxide synthase (INOS) in response to colitis. Inducible nitric oxide synthase overexpression is well linked with disease activity associated with colitis. And also, the inhibitors of INOS resulted in an improvement in the experimental models of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Inducible nitric oxide synthase results in a high-output in the production of nitric oxide, resulting in oxidative damage to the intestine using reactive oxygen species (ROS).
- Interleukin-1β– levels increased greatly with experimental colitis. Hemp was reported to decrease these levels. Interleukin-1β is shown to have very strong pro-inflammatory activity and thus increasing the inflammatory response which in turn leads to intestinal injury. Interleukin-1β stimulates the development of the immune system cells (inflammatory leukocytes), thus resulting in a rise in inflammation.
- Interleukin-10– levels significantly declined with experimental colitis. They discovered that Hemp was able to restore these levels. Interleukin-10 performs the anti-inflammatory activity by cutting off the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. They came to a conclusion that the restoration of Interleukin-10 activity is crucial to intestinal health.
The reduction of Inducible nitric oxide synthase and the reactive oxygen species by cannabidiol (Hemp), as well as the decline of lipid peroxidation, is proof of the important therapeutic action of cannabidiol (Hemp) when it comes to the reduction of colonic inflammation via indirect reduction of oxidative damage. Additionally, the regulation of the interleukins IL-10 and IL-1B is a known disruption caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The restoration of the interleukins above to normal behavior by cannabidiol (Hemp), is another proof of the important therapeutic action cannabidiol has on disruption of colonic inflammation.
It is interesting to note that, the connection between inflammation and Hemp can be highlighted by using professional sports. From NBA basketball players to MMA fighters, Hemp Oil use is widespread among a growing number of recreational and hard professional athletes, specifically for reducing the extreme amounts of pain and joint inflammation that come as a result of constantly pounding the court. Also Hemp, oil has been used to help the body relax and sleep very well at night after a stress filled day combined with heavy training (for athletes). Many NFL athletes today have begun experimenting with cannabis extracts particularly Hemp Oil (cannabidiol) to reduce the acute mid and post-career pains and to manage or stabilize post-head injury symptoms.