Medical professionals and researchers throughout the U.S. are seeking to steer patients away from opioids and other severely addictive medications. The University of New Mexico released a study in May, published in the scientific journal Life, with positive long-term results in the expanded use of hemp oil to treat chronic neuropathic pain.
Researchers seek to rely on increasingly natural and organic ways to treat chronic pain. The biggest takeaway from this UNM study is the increased efficacy of hemp oil, which means an opportunity to move away from dependence on the pharmacological use of opioids and opioid-derivatives.
Conventional pharmacological drugs are ranking high as one of the leading forms of causing preventable deaths, and conventional medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S..
“Cannabis plants with low THC are still psychoactive, but tend to result in less psychedelic experiences, while still offering profound and often immediate relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression,” says co-researcher Dr. Jacob Miguel Vigil, an associate professor in the UNM Psychology Department.
The UNM researchers used mice as a study subject to examine both the efficacy and the safety of cannabis products. For several hours after being dosed with hemp oil, the mice demonstrated reduced pain. Cannabis oils have been used to relieve aches and pains, anxiety, sleep disturbances and other maladies. They’re also widely available in your local drug store, big box retailer and Amazon. (Just make sure your product is legit before purchasing.)
Cannabis plants can also produce cannabinoid (CBD). If your CBD oil is purified from hemp plants (hemp CBD), it’s federally legal. If not, it’s still illegal on a federal level, classified as a Schedule 1 drug.
Farmers harvest the plant and collect CBD. But caution is strongly advised because the extraction process for THC is essentially the same as CBD, which means the CBD you just bought likely contains a bit of THC.
“There are many intriguing findings in pre-clinical studies that suggest CBD and hemp oil have anti-inflammatory effects and may be helpful with improving sleep and anxiety,” says Dr. Brent Bauer, an internist and director of research for the Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine program. Dr. Bauer cautioned in 2019 that the studies on humans are still relatively limited.
There is still the need for additional information and continued study in the use of cannabis oils to alleviate pain. In addition to medical professionals, this is still an evolving area to keep up on the latest information for patients, medical professionals, retailers, law enforcement professionals, city and state officials, among others.