CBD oil and sickle cell disease, what does the research say? Cannabidiol or CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant. With the legalisation of medical cannabis (which includes CBD and THC) in several countries worldwide in recent years, the number of people using it has risen exponentially.
Medical professionals around the world have recognised the beneficial effects of the compound and have started recommending it to their patients. As a result, people suffering from various health conditions like depression, anxiety, pain, insomnia, have turned to CBD oil to reduce their symptoms.
At present, CBD has become a prevalent mode of treatment for managing pain. But can it help individuals who have sickle cell disease? Let’s take a look at what the current research says!
What Is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease is an inherited health disorder that leads to the deformation of the red blood cells. These cells assume a sickle shape and die prematurely, leading to a deficit in the number of healthy blood cells to cause sickle cell anemia.
These sickle cells often get stuck in smaller blood vessels, leading to a blockage or slowdown in blood flow. This slowdown affects oxygen flow to different body parts and may be painful for the individual suffering from the disease.
Other symptoms of the disease include fatigue, infection, breathlessness. While there is no known cure for the sickle cell disease, treatment can help manage the symptoms associated with it.
Is CBD Oil Effective In Treating Sickle Cell?
CBD is well-known for its relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, making it a valuable alternative for people suffering from sickle cell anemia.
Recent research has shown that cannabis can be a safe and effective alternative for treating acute pain associated with sickle cell disease. Usually, the doctors prescribe opioids for managing the painful symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, although effective to a certain extent, these drugs can cause several notable side effects that can even prove to be fatal.
The researchers conducted a clinical trial on 23 participants with sickle cell disease using vaporized cannabis and a placebo. While there was no indication of a significant decrease in pain among the participants who inhaled cannabis, it was observed that the pain interfered less with their mood. Additionally, there were no significant adverse side effects observed in the patients during the entirety of the trial.
The study, which was conducted using medical cannabis containing equal proportions of CBD and THC, may be the starting point for similar studies exploring the role of cannabinoids in pain management.
A 2016 study on mice showed that cannabinoids mitigate mast cell activation (mast cell activation syndrome is a condition that causes mast cells to release an inappropriate amount of chemicals into your body). This causes allergy symptoms and a wide range of other symptoms., inflammation and neurogenic inflammation in sickle mice via both cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2. Morphine to date has been the drug of choice for the management of sickle crisis pain, however the side effects of morphine can be moderate to severe including itching, nausea, confusion and slowing down of the lungs. The study provided proof of principle for the potential of cannabinoid/cannabinoid receptor-based therapeutics to treat several manifestations of sickle cell anemia including inflammation.
Can you use CBD for Sickle Cell?
Doctors are increasingly using CBD to treat chronic pain associated with several diseases, often with positive results.
While the current research leans towards the safe and effective use of CBD for treating sickle cell disease-related symptoms, including chronic pain, the evidence is still lacking. Therefore, further research is required for determining how cannabinoids like CBD can affect patients suffering from chronic pain. If you suffer from sickle cell disease, you should always speak with your doctor before including CBD oil in your treatment plan or when using in conjunction with other prescription medication.
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Disclaimer: Despite the general safety of CBD products, minimal side effects can occur, especially at the first use. Contact your medical professional for advice.