Pain is an unpleasant sensation that most of us have encountered at one point or another. Whether the pain presents in the back, chest, abdomen, pelvis, or anywhere else, pain can severely inhibit your ability to live your life to its fullest.
Pain can impede your mobility and productivity, making day to day life a struggle. Searching for relief can quickly take over your life as you desperately search for a cure or method of lowering the amount of discomfort you are experiencing. However, since pain is such a broad topic and the exact source of the pain is many times hard to pinpoint, finding the correct form of pain relief can be difficult. Many people search for a diagnosis that seems to be elusive, and without a diagnosis, it is hard to find relief.
The Benefits of Pain
Pain actually has a very important function. Whether it is acute or chronic, pain sends a message about what is happening inside the body. If we never felt discomfort, we would never be alerted if something was out of balance in the body. There has been a lot of research done exploring the benefits of pain and the messages it sends us. A person who cannot feel pain is in great danger, as he may only realize that something is wrong in his body when it is already too late to do something about it.
So pain is not all bad news. The question is: how can we find pain relief that will target the underlying reason for the pain and lead to more effective pain management?
How does Hemp Oil Work?
Scientists from all over the United States and beyond are currently researching the pain management potential of the Cannabis Sativa plants, also known as industrial hemp plants. Hemp oil, which is extracted from the hemp plant, has recently come under the close attention of researchers because of its many health benefits.
Hemp oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a system that was recently discovered in 1992 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Israel. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining internal balance and homeostasis in the body. It is comprised of cannabinoids and CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located all over the human body. Hemp oil contains many beneficial plant-based cannabinoids which interact with the body’s receptors, bringing balance to any areas of the body that are out of alignment.
In this way, hemp oil boosts the effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system. It can therefore positively impact every part of the body which contains CB1 and CB2 receptors. Since these receptors are scattered all over the body, from the brain and spinal cord to the digestive, endocrine, and reproductive systems, hemp oil has an unusually broad range of healing and pain relieving properties.
Hemp Oil Vs. Pharmaceutical Medicine
Many pain medications produced by pharmaceuticals, even when approved by the Food and Drug Administration, target the symptoms a person is experiencing without targeting the underlying cause. Because hemp oil works at the system level to restore internal balance, it increases well-being while simultaneously mitigating symptoms. Hemp oil works to restore internal health instead of putting a “band-aid” on specific symptoms, which pharmaceutical drugs often do. Hemp oil acts as a safe and effective alternative to pain medicine, neutralizing discomfort while providing deep healing and rejuvenation throughout the entire body.
Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
However, not all hemp products are created equal when it comes to mitigating aches and pains. A hemp oil product labeled “full spectrum” is made by extracting the oil from the stems, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant. Extracting the oil from all parts of the plant allows the oil to retain a broad range of cannabinoids, the healing components of the hemp plant that interact with the endocannabinoid system. Typically, full-spectrum hemp oil can be taken in small amounts and still be effective. This benefit is attributed to the synergistic healing effect the cannabinoids have when they are all working in harmony with one another.
Inflammation is a major source of pain. Inflammation occurs when the body directs increased blood flow and white blood cells to the side of a disease or infection. Hemp oil is making a breakthrough in the field of inflammatory pain. By restoring balance and thereby calming down the body’s autoimmune response, hemp oil reduces the inflammatory response in the body. A 2010 study suggests that hemp oil can in some cases be used as a novel treatment for autoimmune inflammation.
Both clinical trials and animal studies point to hemp oil as an innovative treatment for chronic pain that was not alleviated with other methods. A 2008 review of the research indicates that hemp oil shows “great promise” as a method of lessening chronic pain. New discoveries are constantly being made as more research is continuously being done on the effect that hemp oil has on chronic pain.
Of specific interest to researchers is hemp oil’s potential for helping those with arthritis.
Evidence suggests that hemp extract can be very effective in treating arthritic pain. Most of this evidence has been done on animals, so there is a lack of scientific evidence to definitively prove that CBD is an effective arthritis treatment for humans.
However, the animal studies that have been conducted so far point to hemp extract’s positive effect on both Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). A Canadian study conducted on male rats showed significantly lower levels of discomfort after the administration of hemp oil. A 2014 review of current research done by a Spanish researcher indicated that hemp oil could be useful in helping diminish symptoms of Osteoarthritis because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors that protect joint and bone health.
Besides for being beneficial when ingested orally, evidence reveals that hemp oil can also be helpful when applied as an on-site application. A study published by the European Journal of Pain concluded that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential and can help relieve the discomfort associated with arthritis. The study also noted that when used for this purpose, hemp oil has no evident side effects.
There are approximately 2.3 million people worldwide who are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis typically experience both chronic and acute pain. A 2017 study of the relationship between hemp oil and multiple sclerosis indicated that 20% - 60% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis are already using hemp oil to help treat the symptoms associated with M.S. Another study published in Frontiers of Neurology indicated an inverse relationship between M.S. symptoms and hemp oil. As the dosage of hemp oil was increased, fatigue, mobility issues, inflammation, and spasticity decreased.
Hemp Oil and Pain Relief: A correlation with far-reaching implications
More and more research is being done all over the world to study the role hemp oil plays in pain management and healing. Scientists are continuously amazed at the potential hemp oil has to significantly diminish the sensation of pain, as well as to target the underlying ailment that is the causing the discomfort. With the recent dramatic increase of individuals suffering from chronic conditions, millions of people are on a search for assistance in combating the symptoms of their disease so that they can finally find some much-needed pain relief.
The research that has been done on hemp oil points to its very favorable potential as an alternative to pain medicine. The promising results highlight that the benefits of hemp oil stem from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, as well as its homeostasis effect and anti-inflammatory properties. As more studies continue to be done and more scientists research this crucial topic, we can expect to gain even more information about the critical interrelationship between hemp oil and pain relief.
- The Benefits of Pain.
- Cannabinoids in health and disease.
- An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System
- Pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors
- Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs
- Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
- Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis
- Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis—The Way Forward
- Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in osteoarthritis pain
- Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
- Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis
- The Growing Crisis of Chronic Disease in the United States