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Hemp oil effectively treats chronic neuropathic pain

Source: Jacopin / BSIP / Science Photo Library
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University of New Mexico researchers show hemp oil reduces pain sensitivity by 10-fold

Researchers at the University of New Mexico demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain in mice from hemp oil extracted from the whole plant using an animal model of chronic neuropathic pain. CBD has been shown to reduce sensitivity to mechanical pain by a factor of 10 for several hours in mice with chronic post-operative neuropathic pain.

The UNM led a series of recent studies to test the efficacy and safety of using the cannabis plant, but this is the first study measuring the therapeutic potential of hemp oil with a low THC content.

"Low THC cannabis plants are barely psychoactive while providing deep and often immediate relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety and depression," says Dr. Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate researcher in the Department of UNM psychology.

Using a chronic neuropathic pain model that exposes mice to postoperative neuropathic pain equivalent to several years of chronic pain in human clinical patients, the researchers were able to examine how hemp oil influences the momentary pain sensitivity of affected region. For several hours after cannabis use, the mice demonstrated effective pain relief, approaching the mechanical pain sensitivity of naive control mice who did not undergo surgery.

"Our laboratory uses a unique model of nerve damage mimicking human neuropathic pain that has demonstrated the reversal of pain-related hemp behavior," said one of the principal investigators, Dr. Karin N. Westlund, of the department. of anesthesiology, in his article entitled "The therapeutic efficacy of full spectrum hemp oil using a chronic neuropathic pain model", published in the journal Life.

Animal studies can be superior to clinical trials because they work around prejudices and hopeful effects in humans, or perceptual and cognitive responses to enrolling in cannabis experiments. Several studies measuring the effects of cannabis in humans have observed patients reporting psychedelic experiences, whether or not they received the active ingredient in cannabis, otherwise known as " Placebo effect".

The study examined the effectiveness of hemp oil available for legal sale in New Mexico since 2019. "We grow hemp optimized to maximize the health and vitality of plants by hypermineralization techniques, rather than simple plants grown under stress illegally, which is unfortunately common in the cannabis industry. These techniques have allowed us to produce hemp products which patients claim to be effective in treating dozens of mental and physical health issues. The new changes to the hemp laws now allow us to test these claims, ”adds Anthony L. Ortiz, co-author and hemp farmer.

"Hemp plants contain many therapeutic components that likely contribute to analgesic responses, including terpenes and flavonoids, which in theory work together as a symphony orchestra, often described as the entourage effect," says a colleague. researcher, Jegason P. Diviant. Several clinical studies have shown that drugs based on analogs of synthetic cannabis and isolated compounds tend to offer less symptom relief and more negative side effects than the whole plant, or extracts of flowers and of "full spectrum" cannabis plants.

The authors caution that there are few studies on the long-term use of hemp oil, mainly due to historic federal prohibition laws in the United States. "However, this is an extremely exciting time for modern medical discovery, as the average citizen now has legal access to a completely natural and effective drug that can be produced easily and inexpensively, simply by planting a seed in the ground and taking care of it like you would any other important part of your life, ”says Vigil.

This survey was partially funded by private donations from individuals to University of New Mexico for medical research on cannabis.

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