When it comes to inflammation pain relief, is hemp oil the answer? Discover what doctors and scientists are saying about this natural treatment of inflammation.
Before getting into a discussion on how hemp can help to alleviate inflammation we first need to distinguish the differences between hemp and marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana derive from the cannabis plant. The notable distinction is that the flowering marijuana plant has much higher levels of THC than the hemp plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC as it is commonly known, is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive characteristics such as the sense of relaxation and euphoric high. Marijuana contains anywhere from .5 to 30% THC.
CBD Web classifies a hemp plant as containing less than .3% of THC. There are species of hemp plants that are grown and cultivated specifically for industrial purposes, such as clothing and textiles, but there are also varieties that contain significant amounts of CBD – another potent cannabinoid without the psychoactive effects but impressive healing properties. In any cannabis plant, there are over 450 substances, and only three of the substances are responsible for the “stoned” feeling.
What is inflammation?
The word inflammation is derived from the Latin word inflammatio, which translates to, “setting on fire.” Inflammation in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is the body’s normal response in repairing cells damaged by injury, infection, or allergic reaction. This type of inflammation is referred to as acute inflammation. The four classic symptoms experienced are redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Acute inflammation is usually in a localized area of the body, and the symptoms can be relieved with a cold press and topical inflammation cream. The inflammation will reduce as the body heals.
Chronic inflammation is associated with inflammatory disorders. These disorders are a result of a compromised immune system. Some of the diseases and conditions in this category are:
- Acne Vulgaris
- IBS and Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoimmune disorders such as lupus and vasculitis
All of these chronic disorders can interfere with a person’s quality of life. Furthermore, complications from these diseases can be fatal. Unfortunately, these conditions can be complicated to treat. Cortisone and steroids are commonly prescribed, but come with many side-effects such as nausea, constipation, skin eruptions and rashes, weight gain, and sleep disorders, to name a few. Even OTC pain relievers such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen can cause an allergic reaction and with overuse eventual liver damage.
Natural Remedies for Inflammation
Diet and nutrition. Of course, what we put into our bodies on a daily basis significantly impacts our health. If laden with an inflammatory disorder or any health concern, our diet becomes even more important. Our dietary habits are the first thing we should consider when thinking about natural remedies for inflammation. According to nutritionists, an individual with an inflammatory disorder or autoimmune condition should consume a diet focusing on the following foods, with the foods at the top of the list eaten in the greatest quantities:
- Vegetables – in all colors
- Fruits – especially berries
- Whole and cracked grains
- Beans and legumes
- Healthy fats or EFAs- walnuts, avocados, hemp seeds
- Fish and seafood
- Healthy proteins – eggs, yogurt (unsweetened), high-quality cheese
- Herbs and spices
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
When planning your diet, of course, keep in mind any food allergies.
Herbs and supplements. Some of the most recommended herbs with properties that alleviate inflammation are:
- St. John’s Wort
Hemp root, specifically, carries a substance called “beta-caryophyllene.” Beta-caryophyllene attaches itself to the C2 receptors in our cells and in doing so helps to control inflammation.
Essential oils for inflammation. Essential oils that have been used to relieve inflammation include:
Essential oils are administered in the following forms:
- Topically – They can be added to creams, lotions, oils, serums, and salves. They are also added to bath salts and bath oils.
- Aromatherapy – You can use them with an infuser, soy-based essential oil candles, or scented cotton balls strategically placed.
- Orally – You can add them sparingly to water or tea.
*When using, essential oils remember that they are very potent. They should never be applied to the skin directly, burned without being diluted, or ingested directly. When ingesting, make sure you are using a high-grade organic oil. If you have any questions about safety concerns, check with a professional aromatherapist.
How Topicals Relieve Inflammation
Topical applications can be one of the safest and effective ways to relieve inflammation and the pain that comes along with it. Since nothing is entering the bloodstream, there is no worry of side effects like and upset stomach or euphoric highs. Topicals penetrate the skin and work on a cellular level. By penetrating the C2 receptor of the cell nucleus, they send a message to the DNA. This cellular process produces a protein which to turns off the production of arachidonic acid which in turn reduces inflammation.
Hemp Root Oil Topical Serum
The root of the hemp plant has been used since ancient Chinese times (2700 BCE) for traditional medicinal and healing purposes. Hemp has also been used medicinally in Ancient Rome, Native American societies, 18th century England, and is experiencing a new appreciation for its healing benefits in modern times.
For many of the inflammatory disorders, there is no actual cure. However, scientific research does support the claim that hemp products, and particularly hemp root, can alleviate pain and inflammation, thereby improving one’s quality of life.