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Hemp Seed Benefits

Could Hemp Help to Fight the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?

By | Health effects of cannabinoids, Hemp Seed Benefits, Uncategorized | No Comments

It isn’t easy to write about the epidemic of opioid abuse in the USA when you have never seen it in person. The statistics1 are terrifying to look at: in 2014 alone, 19,000 Americans died from opioid overdose, and the number of opioid prescriptions has increased by four times since 1999. However, for so many people, including veteran Stephen Mandile, the word “opioid” represents decades of hell.

“I was getting about two hours of sleep every few days, not caring about anything except for my next dose,” Mandile said. He would count his pills all day to prepare for the withdrawal symptoms when he ran out of Fentanyl, and once wanted to die. Five years of Fentanyl left him “like a zombie”, with no desires of any type. Fortunately, he received a medical cannabis authorisation in Massachusetts in 2012, but he had to wait three years for the first dispensaries. “I was amazed at the pain relief I got from cannabis”, he said, with the wait being worthwhile in the end. “It helped with my migraines, my anger, my depression and my anxiousness. Within five months, I was finished with

Field of red poppies, where the original opioids were extracted from.

They may be a symbol of remembrance for fallen veterans, but the opioids based on chemicals in poppies are taking their toll on survivors. Source: John Beniston (Palmiped)

most of my VA meds.” He is not alone: US states with cannabis legal for at least medical use have, on average2, a 25% lower mortality rate from opioid use. On the other hand, some US states have more opioid prescriptions than people, with the greatest concentration of these in the conservative South. California has one of the lowest rates of opioid use, but it is still high.

 

So how could cannabis, or hemp – the very low-THC strains of the plant – have helped Stephen and many others? It may not be just the well-documented effects of the cannabinoids against pain, but cannabidiol (CBD) could also relieve the symptoms of addiction. Left alone, opioids produce euphoria and act on the brain’s reward pathways; over time, they desensitise these pathways and more is needed for the same effect. Sudden withdrawal leads to intense symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting and anxiety. Part of CBD’s effect on opioid addiction is to do with some ability to act on the opioid receptors, but that’s not all. Associations between the addictive substance and something otherwise innocent in a person’s life, such as a friend or street with a certain bar in it for alcoholics, are major contributors to addiction. This is known as “cue-induced cravings”. However, CBD can help to break these associations by acting on the serotonin system, as serotonin (the neurotransmitter considered to be deficient in depression) plays a role in addiction. In a study on people with heroin addictions (heroin is a type of opioid), CBD reduced anxiety and cravings compared to the placebo3. This was the case one hour, one day and one week after CBD administration. While the opioid epidemic is definitely a large-scale tragedy, there may be hope with hemp.

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References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/high-cbd-cannabis-pain-and-opioid-addiction

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25154332

3: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13311-015-0373-7

Hemp and Parkinson’s Disease: A New Hope?

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Hemp and Parkinson’s Disease a New Hope?

Larry Smith used to work as a police officer, but for the last 20 years he has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, which leads to symptoms such as uncontrollable movements, tremors and loss of his voice1. Recently, he had been producing a documentary, Ride with Larry, about his fight to both raise awareness and address his illness. But one clip from the documentary in particular has gone viral on social media for all the right reasons…can you guess why?

In this clip, Larry is shown taking cannabis for the first time, in the form of oil. He first answers the door to let in a friend who will introduce him to the oil – a more difficult task than usual, as his muscles tense up and spasm. His friend instructs him to only take one drop, and rub it against his cheek. “Don’t do too much, you’re gonna be asleep all night”, he says as Larry finds difficulty in this too. After four minutes, his movements are much steadier, and his hands stopped shaking. “My voice is coming back”, he says, and then demonstrates that he is able to sing a long note at one pitch.

Parkinson's disease gait, 1886

Parkinson’s Disease gait

 

While interviewees in the documentary state that Larry is not the only patient to find benefit in cannabis, is there any scientific evidence behind it? A study on mice found that use of cannabidiol (CBD), the main cannabinoid in hemp, had a protective effect on the neurons that are affected by Parkinson’s Disease2. Specifically, CBD protected neurons against the toxic effects of a byproduct of pharmaceutical treatments for PD. Therefore, using hemp extracts may at least allow conventional treatments to work without producing toxic effects.

Additionally, an open-label study on six PD patients with psychosis also found benefits. When they were administered doses of CBD from 150mg to 400mg, depending on their needs, there were significant improvements in both their psychosis and scores in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The UPDRS measures factors such as mental state, fine motor skills, speech and walking3. However, another trial of 21 patients without psychosis only found a benefit in improving PDQ-39 scores, which measure wellbeing and quality of life4. This may mean that patients with psychosis respond differently to CBD than those without, or that in order to achieve the same results as Larry, whole hemp extract is necessary.

A recent study, published in December 2015, may help explain the potential effects of CBD in Parkinson’s disease. CBD improved cell survival and the expression of proteins related to growth of neuronal cell parts. It also prevented toxin-induced decline of nerve growth factor, which may help in neuron regeneration5. Other research has found that CBD may protect neurons by an antioxidant effect, and it was mentioned that and older study showed it to be effective in reducing inappropriate muscle tension. Overall, while research is still in its earlier stages, the story of Larry Smith is nothing to sneeze at.

References

1: https://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/watch-man-with-parkinsons-uses-marijuana-for-the-first-time-and-the-results-are-amazing/

2: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/pot-parkinsons-scientific-evidence-compelling

3: https://neurosurgery.mgh.harvard.edu/Functional/pdstages.htm

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25237116

5: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887233315300047

6: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x/pdf

Hemp Oil May Be a Great Topical For Aging Skin!

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Aging is a universal complaint, and as a result, treatments intended to fight skin aging make up an industry worth millions of dollars. If you’re tired of face creams with unreadable lists of ingredients, and no guarantee that a therapeutic dose of the active compounds are used, it may be time for a more natural approach. Fortunately, hemp oil may be an effective alternative. Read More

Hemp Seed Nutrition

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Неmр sееd іs bу fаr thе most mоst nutrіtіоus sееd іn thе wоrld. Іt hаs thе hіghеst рrоtеіn соntеnt оf аnу рlаnt, аlthоugh tесhnісаllу sоу hаs а lіttlе bіt mоrе рrоtеіn (twо реrсеnt mоrе реr wеіght). Реорlе must еmbrасе hеmр sееds nutrition, аs іt hаs аbsоlutеlу nо known drаwbасks. Read More

Wеіght Lоss Bеnеfіts оf Hеmр Sееds

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Веnеfіts оf Неmр Ѕееd fоr Вurnіng Fаt Νаturаllу!  Dіsсоvеr thе іnсrеdіblе wеіght lоss bеnеfіts оf hеmр sееd, hоw tо bеst рrераrе іt аnd hоw muсh уоu shоuld еаt tо gеt mахіmum bеnеfіt frоm hеmр sееd – оnе оf nаturе’s аmаzіng fаt burnіng fооds. Неmр sееds, nuts, оіl Аnd роwdеr аrе vіtаl fоr а fаt-burnіng dіеt. Read More