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whole-plant hemp oil

Whole-plant Hemp Oil CBD vs Isolates and Nanotechnology

By | How CBD works | No Comments

You’ve heard about the ‘entourage effect,’ right?

This is the notion (more than a notion, a demonstrated truth, actually) that the various compounds and terpenes in cannabis work synergistically, amplifying each other’s power and positive benefits. Like a symphony orchestra, cannabinoids including CBD, CBN and others combine forces in ways that enable them to become greater than the sum of their parts. But the key, like that collection of orchestral instruments, is that they work together only when you are exposed to them at the same time. This orchestra of cannabinoid components is what whole-plant hemp oil provides.

That’s the genius of hemp

There is a school of thought however, that it’s better to find and isolate the key ingredient, mass produce it and then pump our bodies full of that specific molecule. Why send the infantry, artillery and the whole dang Army if you can parachute in a few specialists to who will get the job done?

Even better, by this way of thinking, we now have the technology to shrink the needed elements down to nano size. Thus, through delivery methods that bypass the stomach (sublingual tincture and vaping), you can get molecules of pure CBD isolate into your bloodstream so they can get to work. What could be better?              

Sometimes less is more

Well, as noted above, if you consume pure CBD isolate, you may well be cheating yourself out of the primary benefits whole-plant hemp oil has to offer. As explained in a post at Project CBD:

“But single-molecule CBD is less effective therapeutically than whole plant CBD-rich oil extract. Scientific studies have established that synthetic, single-molecule CBD has a very narrow therapeutic window and requires precise, high doses for efficacy, whereas lower dose, whole-plant, CBD-rich treatment regimens are already showing efficacy for many conditions among patients in medical marijuana States…

There are also many Internet storefronts touting the ‘nano technology’ they use to produce extremely small emulsified droplets that are more readily absorbed. But there are questions about this too.

From a story at TodaysDietitian.com:

“Increasing the bioavailability of nutrients and phytochemicals may be promising but is also potentially dangerous.” Mark Meskin, PhD, RD, FADA, professor emeritus of the Department of Human Nutrition & Food Science at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, says nanotechnology may solve absorption and solubility problems with many nutrients and phytochemicals.” But he notes that this is a clear example of technology getting well ahead of the science.”

Even though the use of nanotechnology in the dietary supplement industry may enhance supplement absorption, there is concern about the potential for toxicity. While upper limits are established for most vitamins and minerals, there are no upper limits set for non-nutrients such as phytochemicals.

“In the past, I was less concerned about phytochemical toxicity because the truth was that in many cases, very little was absorbed,” Meskin says. 

Nanotechnology raises important issues regarding safety. He explains “nanoceuticals can help bypass typical protective barriers in the body and deliver quantities of biochemicals that the body would not naturally encounter. This makes the introduction of nanoceuticals potentially dangerous, especially when the government does not regulate them effectively.”

So if nanoceuticals could be dangerous, should you be vaping tinctures and oils that include them? What’s the takeaway here for the consumer who wants to take advantage of the health benefits of CBD?

Educate yourself about whole-plant hemp oil and pay attention.

Despite 40,000 years of human experimentation with cannabis, only in the last 20 years have we learned about the existence of the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. Research about the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids is ongoing. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, remember this: Our bodies have a relationship with the whole plant. Therefore, stick to whole-plant hemp oil formulations like Elixinol until the research catches up with the nano trend. 

If you want to vape your CBD or ingest it sublingually, Respira from Elixinol is made from organically grown hemp plants, and cold-processed using co2 super-critical fluid extraction. It’s PG- and PEG-free, and a THC-free, whole-plant product.  Try it today!

 

Leonard Marshall

Elixinol Congratulates Leonard Marshall on His Commitment to CTE Research

By | How CBD works, Industry Events | No Comments

Research into the effects of cannabidiol and CBD hemp oil is something Elixinol has always supported and encouraged internationally. We believe in a science-based approach to wellness. It’s with this in mind that we congratulate Elixinol Brand Ambassador, Leonard Marshall on his decision to donate his brain to scientific research for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). According to protectthebrain.org, traumatic brain injuries cause more than 1.5 times more deaths than AIDS. However, research into the most serious effects of brain injuries is incomplete. This makes Marshall’s commitment to CTE research even more compelling. Read More

Leonard Marshall

NFL Legend Leonard Marshall Tackles Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) with Cannabidiol (CBD)

By | Health effects of cannabinoids, Industry Events | No Comments

NFL Legend Tackles Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) with help from Cannabidiol (CBD)

Leonard Marshall takes on head trauma and brain injury

Super Bowl champion Leonard Marshall has renewed vigor since he stopped taking synthetic prescription drugs for CTE and started taking organic cannabidiol (CBD). And he’s taking a message about brain injury and head-trauma prevention on the road to youth sports and health organizations. Read More

Can CBD counter too much THC or alcohol?

By | Endocannabinoid system | No Comments

Getting pleasantly couch-locked is one thing, right? But with THC — flower, concentrates or edibles — it’s easy to go too far, and suddenly get the feeling that things are definitely not OK.

When you’re in that state, you can tell yourself it’s only a matter of time till it wears off. But still, being more wrecked than you want can make you anxious, paranoid, and massively uncomfortable. And who needs that?

Likewise, overdo it with alcohol, and you’re going to pay an awful price. Maybe you get a little tipsy on a Friday night, then it seems like crazy fun to let it rip and pound a few more drinks and the next thing you know you have an excruciating Saturday-into-Sunday hangover. It’s usually more physical than psychological (unless you can’t remember the embarrassing things you did/said). But besides the throbbing headache, it hurts to lose hours of your day stranded in a place of general misery.

CBD  and alcohol

Fortunately, there is something you can do to help avoid the suck of both of these scenarios. Non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD) may help mitigate the state of being too high, and it may protect your brain from the toxic effects of too much alcohol.

Your endocannabinoid system

Let’s start with a little science: Everything with a backbone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS governs mood, memory, sleep and appetite, and helps us maintain homeostasis. While we naturally secrete our own cannabinoids, the semi-magical resinous cannabis plant produces an abundance of these compounds, for which we have receptors in our brains and bodies. Among the 113 known cannabinoids is CBD. In simple terms, CBD blocks THC from binding with the receptors in your brain, therefore putting a damper on the high you get from consuming cannabis.

Clinical trials involving cannabis are still hard to come by in the U.S., so ask your friends or your bud-tender about their experiences with THC and CBD. Odds are you’ll get some anecdotal evidence on how CBD seems to even out the effects of too much of a good thing.

Wait, they got rats drunk?

What about alcohol? We know that it’s quite literally a poison that can cause damage to your brain with chronic use over time. In a 2013 study, researchers at the University of Kentucky showed that giving rats CBD could reduce alcohol-induced neurodegeneration by almost 50 percent. From that study:

“Excessive alcohol consumption, characteristic of alcohol use disorders, results in neurodegeneration and behavioral and cognitive impairments that are hypothesized to contribute to the chronic and relapsing nature of alcoholism. Therefore, the current study aimed to advance the preclinical development of transdermal delivery of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.”

We’re not party rodents though. Many of us are social drinkers, more concerned about what happens when we consume too many beers or cocktails (jello shots, anyone?) in one night. So the crucial question we wish someone would research is: Can CBD actually help ward off a hangover?

Ask your friends about CBD

Again, because our government makes it nearly impossible to conduct research, no one can definitively claim (yet) that CBD prevents hangovers. And again, talk to your friends who use CBD and alcohol. If they are also social drinkers, they will likely have some experience in having one too many. Maybe they can tell you if taking some CBD before or after a night of drinking helped them avoid unnecessary suffering.

Because whether we’re talking about THC, alcohol or CBD, that’s what it’s all about, right? In an ideal world we would all realize that moderation in all things is the wisest course. But in reality, we all sometimes seek to change our state, de-stress and have some fun through mild intoxication. Occasionally it tips over into, not gonna lie, extreme intoxication. And that can hurt. A lot.

When you know of an organic, plant-based way to reduce needless suffering — and it happens to be backed by about 40,000 years of human experience and experimentation — how many clinical studies do you really need?

Should you want to try CBD for these purposes, as with anything you put into your body, choose the best​-quality CBD you can find. Elixinol has top-quality organic CBD in capsule form, as well as the X-Pen for sublingual delivery, both delivering 15 milligrams of CBD. Elixinol also has the new Respira tincture, which can be taken orally or by vaping. If you’ve already taken CBD for these purposes, please share your experience in the comments!

dogs and CBD oil

Dogs and CBD oil – Why Hemp oil might be good for your dog

By | Endocannabinoid system | 2 Comments

How careful are you about the nutrients and chemicals you put in your body? How about your dog’s?

You and your dog may have more in common that you realize. Like you, your dog has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Every mammal, in fact, has receptors in its body for cannabinoids —  chemical compounds that are found in hemp. When they interact with the ECS, these non-psychoactive compounds help govern the body’s  appetite, sleep, mood and memory. This is why dogs and CBD oil are a good match. 

More than that, the ECS and cannabinoids are involved in how we fight inflammation, the culprit in many diseases. Cannabidiol (CBD) has also shown anti-cancer properties that improve survivability for canines, as well as humans.

CBD also facilitates two-way communication among the systems in your body. Prior to the discovery of the ECS in the 1990s, scientists didn’t believe that this type of communication was even possible. Today they believe it may be the key that enables the ECS to keep the body in a balanced state of homeostasis.    

You can see why supplementation with CBD can be such a healthful advantage. It’s not about getting high, it’s about staying maintaining good health, for your dog as well as for you. That’s why Elixinol carries the complete line of Pet Releaf Edibites, powered by pure, organic, hemp-derived CBD from Elixinol.

Formulated by a veterinarian especially for dogs, each CBD Pet Releaf treat contains been 1 and 1.5 milligrams of CBD. These treats are available in flavors your dog will love, including:

  • Carob Coconut
  • Peanut Butter Banana
  • Kale and Carrot
  • Blueberry Cranberry

If you’re committed to taking great care of your dogs and CBD oil Pet Releaf Edibites are the ideal special treat or a daily supplement. Your dog will thank you!

 

How Could Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments
Diagram of the digestive system to show areas affected by IBD

The digestive system. While Crohn’s disease can affect any area, ulcerative colitis is confined to the colon and/or rectum (Tortora & Derrickson) Source: Leysi24

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 18, Dan McMahon has years of experience with gut issues and many of the ways to treat it. Even with 22 pills a day, including steroids, bi-monthly injections and dietary advice from his gastroenterologist, the pain and discomfort was always there. However, a few years ago, his father suggested that he try cannabis, but simply smoking “regular” cannabis had no positive effects. Then one day, a friend gave him a CBD oil-infused blueberry muffin, and after his initial disappointment over the lack of “buzz”, realised that he wasn’t really in any pain, for the first time in years.

Did Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

He states that CBD has given him back quality of life that he never thought he would see again and has enabled him to avoid prescription medications, and takes CBD products almost every day now. Another patient with Crohn’s disease has stated that cannabis use along with pharmaceutical medications has allowed him to have only one other flare-up of his symptoms in five years, and avoid surgery. Crohn’s disease, along with ulcerative colitis, is known as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), after the root cause of the disease.

Look at the evidence

But what evidence is there to back up these claims? In one study of 30 Crohn’s disease patients before and after cannabis use, 21 patients “improved significantly” and were able to reduce usage of pharmaceutical medications. At first, 15 of the 30 patients needed a collective total of 19 surgeries over an average period of 9 years before cannabis use.

Fewer surgeries

During an average period of 3 years of cannabis use, only 2 patients needed surgery. In comparison, the National Institute of Health estimates that 70-90% of patients with Crohn’s disease will need surgery. Almost two-fifths, 39%, will need repeat surgeries.

All 30 patients reported improvements in their symptoms, the number of patients requiring steroids fell from 26 to 4, and the mean number of bowel movements fell from 8 to 5 daily. This was thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids, which can regulate immune cells and the amount of inflammatory chemicals they produce. In another, placebo-controlled trial, 10 of the 11 patients who received cannabis cigarettes showed a clinical response, with 5 reaching “remission”.

So how could Cannabidiol benefit the gut? And what about CBD itself?

A study on both mice with intestinal inflammation and biopsies of patients with ulcerative colitis, the other IBD, found that CBD could ease inflammation in both by reducing the activation of glial cells. These are a type of nerve cell that communicate with the immune system. In the biopsies of human patients, CBD significantly reduced glial cell activation and inflammatory activity of other immune cells in a dose-dependent manner. That means a higher dose of CBD produced a stronger effect. This could be seen in both biopsies of patients who were in “remission”, and those having flare-ups. The strongest effects were seen on the glial cells.

Other components of hemp, including other cannabinoids and some of the many terpenes, have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. However, more research on low-THC, whole hemp extracts is required for the management of IBD.

If you suffer from IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease or any other inflammatory bowel problem, you might like to try a CBD supplement and see if it will reduce your symptoms. Research does show some impressive results so far. Find out more about our CBD products and how to order them.

References

http://www.honeycolony.com/article/cbd_crohns_disease/

http://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2015/01/13/a-cannabis-patients-guide-to-crohns-disease-by-crohns-patient-daniel-towns/

http://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/39/19985.pdf

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028159

bioavailability of cannabidiol

What Do Bioavailability and Sublingual Mean For Me?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Bioavailability explained

There are many reasons why we may want to take CBD-rich hemp extracts, whether it be to manage a chronic condition, prevent illness or just for general health maintenance and wellbeing. In all cases, we want to get as much out of every dose as possible. For this, the bioavailability of CBD and other cannabinoids must be maximised. Bioavailability means how much of a substance is able to enter the bloodstream unchanged.

Maximizing Bioavailability

So how can we maximise bioavailability1? When a drug is given intravenously, the bioavailability is 100%, because it gets past barriers such as the intestinal wall, as well as liver metabolism. When a medicine is taken orally, it may not be absorbed through the intestines because of insufficient time. Being highly water soluble or not dissolving enough are two reasons why a drug may take longer to be absorbed. Poor digestion, binding to other substances and use by the intestinal bacteria are other reasons why it may not be absorbed. After a nutrient, medicine or something else is absorbed into the bloodstream, it passes through the liver2. In the liver, a portion of an absorbed substance is changed, which makes the affected substance more water soluble. This is to prepare it for the next time it enters the liver, where it is readied for excretion.

\

All about sublingual administration

So what does sublingual mean, and what does it have to do with bioavailability? Sublingual administration of medicines is when it is designed for absorption under the tongue3, not in the stomach and intestines like food. “Sub” means “under”, and “lingual” means “relating to the tongue”. As this also means direct transfer into the blood, it avoids issues relating to the intestinal barrier. These include inability to be absorbed, interaction with other nutrients or drugs, or use by normal intestinal bacteria. It also avoids being directly shuttled to the liver and resulting changes to its structure.

Of course, CBD is also vulnerable to issues that can affect intestinal absorption, as well as being processed by the liver. Because of this, a small study4 in 2003 set out to find any differences in the bioavailability of CBD and THC when taken in different ways. The dosage methods tested were oral, oro-pharyngeal (throat), buccal (inside of the cheek) and sublingual. When CBD was taken sublingually, the half-life was 86 minutes, while oral use had a half-life of 65 minutes. The term “half-life” means the time taken for half of the tested substance to be removed from the body. Another measure of bioavailability, known as “area under the curve” (AUC), also showed a superior score for sublingual CBD. The two AUC scores for sublingual use were 408.53 and 427.33. However, the scores for oral use were 345.68 and 362.04. The AUC measurement shows the total exposure of the body to a medicine once it is given. Therefore, a higher AUC can mean a greater potential to be effective.

Liposomes offer increased bioavailability

Liposomal hemp extracts may be even more bioavailable, as the type of fat that the hemp extract would be surrounded by can enable easy, efficient absorption. While more human trials are needed, sublingual CBD and CBD-rich hemp extracts may be better than taking a regular capsule, as it could bypass many obstacles between the cannabinoids and their intended destination.

cannabidiol bioavailability

If you need bioavailable CBD as a sublingual dose, head on over to our CBD oil products page and see the great range of CBD oils we offer.


References

1: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/clinical-pharmacology/pharmacokinetics/drug-bioavailability

Preston, A, 2014, Nutritional Biochemistry Explained, Lulu Press.

3: http://www.pharmtech.com/considerations-developing-sublingual-tablets-overview

4: http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/2003-03-04-4_0.pdf

Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea is an interesting topic indeed. One of the most common reasons why medical cannabis is prescribed is to relieve nausea, and may be why you purchase Elixinol CBD oil. Nausea can be caused by many things: physical illness, pharmaceutical drugs, too much alcohol or psychological stimuli. But how can hemp and cannabinoids work to treat nausea and vomiting?

Some research figures relating to nausea control using Hemp

The psychoactive cannabinoid THC, which is drastically reduced in hemp plants, has been studied for years for its effects in relieving the nausea and vomiting that many cancer patients experience1. In an early trial from 19752, 14 out of 20 patients taking THC experienced reduced nausea and vomiting. Of those who finished the study, THC was effective in 12 of 15 cases. In another3 trial from the 1980s, THC reduced nausea and vomiting in 23 of the 36 patients assigned to receive it. Only one of the 36 patients taking the pharmaceutical control experienced relief. It works by stimulating our cannabinoid receptors, but not everyone can tolerate the “high”.

nausea and hemp

Cannabidiol is a promising anti-nausea agent

Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t cause a high, but research on shrews showed that it can also reduce nausea and vomiting1. Its non-heated form, CBDA, was able to produce this effect at a much lower dose, 0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg of body weight instead of 5 and 10mg/kg doses. This effect was partly explained by stimulation of receptors called 5-HT

CBDV, which may relieve nausea.

A CBDV molecule.

1A receptors

CBD also does not directly stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. However, it can increase the levels of our own, naturally occurring cannabinoids, by reducing their breakdown and uptake into cells. Additionally, beta-caryophyllene, one of the terpenes in hemp4, has also been found to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. While its anti-nausea abilities have not been specifically tested, this action may mean it has supporting effects.

CBDV

Another cannabinoid known as CBDV5 may also reduce nausea and vomiting. CBDV is the “raw” version of CBD, which turns into the more well-known cannabinoid after heating. Research on rats found that it was able to prevent nausea caused by a toxin, by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors. This was unlike the drug Rimonabant, which works against cannabinoid receptors and increased nausea.

CBD and CBDA

CBD and CBDA can both relieve nausea caused by toxins and prevent anticipatory nausea, which is caused by psychological conditioning1. Other terpenes4 present in hemp besides beta-caryophyllene may also be able to play a role in reducing anticipatory nausea. This is typically treated by prescription of benzodiazepines, which increase a neurotransmitter called GABA, but may be too sedating and addictive. Linalool, a terpene present in both hemp and lavender, has been found to reduce anxiety and promote mild sedation by increasing GABA. It also reduces glutamate, a neurotransmitter which can be overstimulating in excess. Myrcene is another terpene which has shown sedative effects; it is also found in hops, a plant often used to aid sleep in Germany.

Unfortunately, while there is abundant research on THC and relief of nausea and vomiting, CBD and other non-psychoactive components of hemp have largely been neglected. However, the currently available research and reported experiences suggest that CBD-rich hemp oil could be a promising preventative for vomiting.

control nausea with CBD oil


References

1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1099449/

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2847994/

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3792004/

Could Vaping Cannabinoids Help Me Quit Smoking?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Vaping Cannabinoids Could Help You Quit Smoking

Vaping, with the use of e-cigarettes, is a popular alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes because of the belief that it is non-toxic. However, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine as well as other potentially harmful chemicals1. Researchers have found that e-cig vapour can contain formaldehyde, the “probable carcinogen” glycidiol, and the irritant acrolein. Increasing voltage, heat and usage of the device may also worsen the levels of these toxins. Fortunately, vaping hemp oil rich in cannabinoids could help kick nicotine addiction, while still providing something to “smoke”.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the primary cannabinoid in hemp oil, may be useful in fighting nicotine dependence2. This is because the CB1 cannabinoid receptors may control how “rewarding” nicotine and other drugs feel to the user. These findings have led to trials testing the effects of Rimonabant, a drug which acts against the CB1 receptors. Rimonabant has since been withdrawn from the market and clinical trials after it was discovered that the medication increased the risk of depression and suicide. CBD, however, has a much better safety profile.

Research into CBD assisting in addiction recovery

Pre-clinical research has suggested that CBD may assist in recovery from addiction. In rats, CBD was able to reduce cue-induced drug seeking, even 14 days after administration. But what about us humans? Studies have shown that smoking cannabis high in CBD significantly reduced the reinforcing effect of stimuli related to THC-containing cannabis in those who were addicted. Because of this research, another trial was published in 2013 testing the effect of CBD inhalers on cigarette use for one week. Twenty-four smokers received either an inhaler containing CBD, or a placebo inhaler, which they were instructed to use whenever they were craving a cigarette. Among volunteers inhaling CBD, there was a significant drop in the number of cigarettes smoked during the week; the much smaller drop seen in the placebo group was insignificant2.

can CBD help you quit smoking?

Reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms

CBD and other cannabinoids may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking, such as anxiety or a depressed mood3. A study on 24 patients with social anxiety found that a dose of CBD before a public speaking test significantly reduced anxiety during the speech4. When compared to 12 other people without social anxiety, there were no differences in anxiety, cognitive impairment or discomfort.

Other components of hemp, such as the terpenes5, may also help relieve the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and help you quit smoking. Limonene, a terpene also found in citrus oils, was able to dramatically reduce depression in hospitalised patients in one trial. Even though researchers just diffused the oil into the air, some patients experienced a normalisation of depression scores and could even discontinue antidepressants. Beta-myrcene, another terpene, has been recognised as a sedative as part of hops, which is often used to aid sleep. Also found in lavender, linalool may contribute to the sedative and anxiolytic abilities of the hemp plant.

Overall, CBD-rich hemp oil could be a helpful tool in kicking a nicotine addiction, although more clinical trials are needed to reach a definitive conclusion. It is important to always consult a qualified professional when looking at treatment options to quit smoking cigarettes.


References

1: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727090350.htm

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

3: http://www.quit.org.au/about/frequently-asked-questions/faq-smoking-withdrawal/faq-withdrawal-symptoms.html

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21749363

Could Inhaled Cannabinoids Help Neuropathic Pain?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Neuropathic pain is a complex and chronic set of pain conditions caused by damage to the nerves, which penetrate all areas of our bodies. The worst part? Chronic neuropathic pain, or neuropathy, often responds poorly to the standard, well-known ways to treat pain. It can get worse over time, and even lead to serious disability. But if you do suffer from neuropathy, there may be some good news. A new clinical trial has recently been published, which suggests that cannabinoids could be an effective alternative way to manage neuropathy1.

Clinical trial results for cannabis and neuropathic pain

In this trial, 16 participants were administered cannabis at one of three different potencies (1%, 4% or 7% THC) or a placebo, which they took by aerosol inhaler. Use of an inhaler may mean that consuming cannabinoids or hemp extract by the increasingly popular method of vaping could be effective. All of the participants had diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. Currently, diabetes affects around 387 million people around the world1. At each increasing dose, there was a greater reduction in spontaneous pain – pain without anything even touching them. At the highest dose, there was even a reduction in induced pain. Unfortunately, it also caused a drop in mental performance.

neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Statistics on neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Negative effects on mental performance is one of several reasons why many choose CBD-rich hemp extracts, such as Elixinol, over THC-containing products. But can CBD, and other components of hemp extracts, also help relieve the pain seen in neuropathy? Another trial, this time on 177 patients2 with advanced cancer pain, tested the effects of THC and CBD together versus THC alone and a placebo. Only those taking the THC and CBD together saw a significant reduction in pain. The THC alone did not show a significant difference from the placebo. In the THC and CBD group, 43% showed at least a 30% improvement in pain scores. Both the THC only and placebo group had 12% of patients experiencing an at least 30% reduction in pain. This may mean that not only does CBD have its own pain relieving abilities, but also that THC requires its presence in order to have any effect on many people.

Vanilloid receptors and CBD

CBD may fight neuropathic pain in a different way to just acting on our cannabinoid receptors. A study on rats with neuropathy showed that CBD was working on a type of receptor called the vanilloid receptors, but did not need the cannabinoid receptors3. The vanilloid receptors control pain sensation, and if you’ve ever heard of chilli being able to reduce pain, they are why it works. CBD also reduced activity of the inflammatory PGE-2 substances. Inflammation contributes to pain and sometimes even long-term tissue damage.

Other cannabinoids and neuropathy

Other cannabinoids may also help to relieve neuropathic pain.4 CBC and CBG are both anti-inflammatory and analgesic, but have not been studied as much as THC or CBD. CBC is weaker in these respects than THC, but CBG has stronger analgesic ability, and a stronger ability to block an inflammatory enzyme called lipoxygenase. Even flavonoids found in hemp could assist in relieving neuropathy. Cannflavin A, which is unique to hemp and cannabis, can inhibit PGE-2 30 times more potently than aspirin in the laboratory, but has not been thoroughly studied. Some terpenes, such as myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, are also anti-inflammatory. Overall, CBD-rich hemp may be an effective way to relieve neuropathic pain, but clinical trials are needed specifically on high-CBD, no-THC hemp oil.
neuropathic pain and CBD cannabidiol


References

1: https://www.medicaljane.com/2015/07/07/study-supports-efficacy-of-inhaled-cannabis-for-neuropathic-pain-caused-by-diabetes/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17157290

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18728714