By Terry Lemerond
Some of the most exciting, recent developments in natural health involve hemp oil, making it one of the most intensively sought-after natural medicines on the market. Like anything with a lot of new news around it, there is also a lot of confusion surrounding hemp oil, its compounds, and its benefits. While much of the current focus centers on cannabidiol (CBD), one of the compounds from Cannabis sativa, I recommend a hemp oil with the complete entourage of phytocannabinoids from the plant, of which CBD is only one. The endocannabinoid system – our own set of receptors and cannabinoids – needs a full range of nutrients.
Virtually free of psychoactive THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – legally, THC content must be 0.3 percent or less) the oil from Cannabis sativa stalks provides a full range of other compounds called cannabinoids (including cannabidiol – popularly known as CBD – as well as cannabichromene and cannabigerol), that affect the brain and body in very positive ways without impairing the focus of the person using it.
These compounds are also known as phytocannabinoids to distinguish them from naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the body called endocannabinoids. I think that the growing interest and research surrounding hemp oil is an exciting development in natural medicine, and one that is long overdue.
For fighting pain, I’ve often recommended curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil for better absorption, blood retention, and effectiveness. But hemp oil cannabinoids appear to be natural pain fighters too, due to their ability to reduce inflammation and modulate the brain’s response to pain. In fact, it is one of the major reasons that people become interested in hemp oil to begin with. Of course, the full mechanism of how the compounds from hemp oil fight pain is still under investigation.
Since hemp oil cannabinoids help preserve our own natural endocannabinoids, British research may provide a partial answer. They found that patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis had elevated levels of endocannabinoids in their synovial tissue – the tissue located between joints – compared to those without those conditions. It’s as though the body was flooding those particular regions with endocannabinoids in order to relieve the pain.
Further research showed that changes in the endocannabinoid levels might also have something to do with the way we perceive pain including feelings of anxiety and depression that often accompany joint conditions.
Phytocannabinoids may help people dealing with neuropathic (nerve) pain from chemotherapy, which doesn’t always respond easily to conventional medications. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial showed that an oral spray decreased pain by an average of 2.6 (compared to 0.6 for the placebo) on an 11-point pain intensity scale.
Other clinical work with oral sprays for neuropathic pain (which include THC and CBD) have found similar positive results.
Muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis can also be difficult to treat with conventional drugs. A combination THC/CBD oral spray improved conditions for some patients in as little as one month.
Hemp oil phytocannabinoids are amazing compounds. So are curcuminoids from turmeric. Pairing them up makes a lot of sense, as these two botanicals fight pain and help support mood. Your best option is a curcumin combined with turmeric essential oil for enhanced absorption, blood retention, and the added benefit of turmerones – compounds that have strong anti-inflammatory power of their own.
If you are looking to stop joint and muscle pain, I recommend taking a combination of European Hemp (Cannabis sativa) stalk and seed oil AND Curcumin (Curcuma longa) Rhizome Extract enhanced with turmeric essential oil and standardized for curcuminoid complex (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin).
Reprinted with kind permission of Terry Talks Nutrition