In a new study, researchers examine the effectiveness of consuming hemp oil extracted from the whole Cannabis plant.
They found legal Cannabis hemp oil reduced mechanical pain sensitivity 10-fold for several hours in chronic post-operative neuropathic pain.
The research was conducted by a team at The University of New Mexico (UNM)
Distinguished from its still largely criminally prohibited cousin, “hemp” refers to Cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per mass.
Hemp is now federally legal to produce and consume in most regions throughout the United States (U.S) as a result of the Hemp Farming Act, proposed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018.
This major breakthrough in cannabis prohibition now enables millions of Americans the ability to access a natural, effective, and relatively safe alternative option for treating chronic pain.
Conventional pharmacological drugs, namely opioids, are driving the leading form of preventable deaths and conventional medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
The team has conducted a series of studies testing the effectiveness and safety of consuming the Cannabis plant, but this is the first study measuring the therapeutic potential of legal hemp oil with low THC levels.
They say cannabis plants with low THC are still psychoactive but tend to result in fewer psychedelic experiences, while still offering profound and often immediate relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression.
Using a chronic neuropathic pain model that exposes mice to post-operative neuropathic pain equivalent to several years of chronic pain in human clinical patients, the researchers were able to examine how hemp oil influences momentary pain sensitivity to the affected region.
For several hours after Cannabis consumption the mice demonstrated effective pain relief, approaching the mechanical pain sensitivity of naïve control mice that did not undergo the surgical operation.
The team says studies in animals can be superior to clinical trials because they circumvent human biases and expectancy effects, or perceptual and cognitive reactions to enrollment in cannabis-themed experiments.
The study examined the effectiveness of “LyFeBaak” hemp oil, produced by Organic-Energetic Solutions, which has been available for legal purchase in New Mexico since 2019.
Hemp plants contain numerous therapeutic constituents that likely contribute to analgesic responses, including terpenes and flavonoids, which in theory, work together like members of a symphony, often described as the entourage effect.
Several clinical investigations have shown that medications based on synthetic cannabis analogs and isolated compounds tend to offer lower reported symptom relief and a greater number of negative side effects as compared to the whole plant, or “full-spectrum” Cannabis flower and plant-based extracts.
The authors do caution that few studies exist on the long-term use of hemp oil, due mostly to historical federal prohibition laws in the U.S.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Jacob Miguel Vigil, an associate professor in the UNM Psychology Department.
The study is published in Life.
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