The term ‘cannabis’ ignites a myriad of harmful stereotypes, given its association with ‘getting high’, the hippie culture, and criminal activity. Cannabis has consistently faced public scrutiny, and controversy from the legislative and public points of view over the decades, due to its recreational usage.
With its long history of prohibition, medical cannabis has become unchartered territory for scientific study. In recent endeavors exploring hemp textile application, alongside cannabis’ various health benefits, the dichotomy between its common stereotype and the reality has been uncovered. Among many benefits, recent scientific literature of cannabidiol has outlined promise in inflammatory treatment.
In 20 Years, The Number Of Adults With Arthritis Will Grow By 49%
Autoimmune and inflammatory illnesses are painful, debilitating, and affect millions of people around the globe. In the US alone, approximately 54 million adults and 300,000 children have been diagnosed with arthritis, which is expected to grow by 49% by 2040.
The symptoms from arthritis and many other inflammatory illnesses include pain, stiffness, restricted movement, which can be chronic and worsen over time. Psychological impairments often accommodate the physical restrictions, such as anxiety and depression, alongside inclination for further health problems.
There are myriad medications and treatments for attacking these illnesses, however, a more natural approach has been on the rise, in the form of cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids derived from marijuana plants. Its sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the infamous “high” sensation. Cannabis has had a history of medical usages, dating thousands of years ago, with first usages in ancient Chinese medicine for anesthesia purposes.
With a turbulent history with law, whether cannabis was deemed legal or not, pharmaceutical implementation of cannabis has been somewhat limited until recently.
Passing Of The “Farm Bill”
A progressive step in America was the passing of the ‘Farm Bill’ in 2018, which legalized hemp, a variety of cannabis plan considered less than 0.3% THC content. The interest in cannabis has been growing, and the CBD industry is currently booming, projected to overcome $16 Billion by 2025 in The United States.
CBD Oil And Its Effects On Inflammatory Illnesses
CBD oil has been suggested to treat inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis. Inflammation occurs as a natural response mechanism in the human body when the body is injured or harmed.
The immune system unleashes a cascade of immunity cells toward the affected area, inducing swelling and redness. Arthritis interferes with the processes of our innate immunity response, igniting the inflammation response when not necessary, thus attacking joints. CBD oil has shown to reduce the pain and the effects of inflammation.
First Scientific Trial
The first scientific trial for cannabis and inflammation was only in 2006, in which researchers concluded after 5 weeks of CBD ‘Sativex’ medication, reduced inflammation, significantly improved pain, with mild side effects being reported.
Mild side effects were of interest, considering the current market medications for combatting arthritis commonly cause nausea, headaches, fatigue, and allergic reactions. A 2008 study concluded similar results, outlining no negative side effects, and improved sleep.
The Results From Testing On Mice And Rats
Mice have been the common test subjects of CBD scientific trials. Using diabetic mice, a 2016 study showed that CBD oil-treated early pancreatic inflammation, after ten weeks of treatment.
Another study in 2017 used osteoarthritic male rats, and after two weeks, acute inflammation of the joints was reduced by local CBD oil gel applied to the area. It was also concluded to prevent nerve damage development and joint pain. Furthermore, it desensitizes pain receptors, mediates inflammation, and body temperature according to a 2018 study.
Many studies have used rats as test subjects, which has resulted in great promise, and testing is now becoming more human-based. Although there is large evidence in favor of CBD oil, skepticism still exists within the medical community. Jeremy Riggle, the chief scientist at Mary’s Medicinals, said “Inflammation is an extremely complex and varied process, and the effect of CBD and other cannabinoids is not completely understood at this time,”.
Testimonials From Users
Testimonials from various users enforce the literature. Amy Orr, author of “Taming Chronic Pain” has an autoimmune irritable bowel disease, and has using cannabidiol. She claims “I have had IBD for over 20 years, and had been on a range of medications, from steroids to opioids. I’d say switching to CBD oil was like a ‘eureka’ moment for me, and I couldn’t really believe that something this good and simple hadn’t been available to me from the get-go.”
Pharmacist Stacia Woodcock at Curaleaf, a pharmaceutical company selling CBD products, outlined the time it takes for CBD oil to exert its anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
She said, “Based on my experience, I think that CBD may offer some relief if dosed properly, such as a minimum of 50 milligrams a day to start, but it may take a few weeks to see a good result”.
She outlined the effectiveness of using CBD alongside THC, to see more immediate results. Due to the direct effect of THC on the receptors, it would allow the quick results of CBD. Furthermore, she said “CBD provides inflammation relief without the blood-thinning or stomach ulceration side effects that traditional over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can cause” when comparing to current market medications, therefore representing a safe alternative.
Overwhelming Anecdotal Evidence
There is overwhelming anecdotal evidence supporting CBD oil in treating inflammatory illnesses. Most of these are tests are derived conclusions from rat trials, and testing is now becoming extended to humans.
As countries are relaxing laws against cannabis usage, its ubiquity will accelerate the research and usage of cannabidiol. The miracle of medical cannabis has been sitting on our doorstep the entire time, locked behind the iron bars of legality.
Considering how embedded cannabis was in our ancestral medical practices, the miracle is more so that we are only shedding the limelight on its benefits after centuries of being kept in the dark.