Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease wherein a mutated hemoglobin known as hemoglobin S distorts the cells’ shape into a hollow crescent at low oxygen levels. Symptoms include anemia; pain brought about when the sickle cells block the blood flow in joints, chest and abdomen; hand-foot syndrome where swelling is present; frequent infections; and vision problems. Patients alleviate these symptoms through the use of morphine, ibuprofen, and antibiotics. Fortunately, research shows a possibility for sickle cell anemia patients to be alleviated of their ailments by the usage of cannabidiol found in CBD-rich hemp oil
Cannabidiol or CBD, one of the 85 phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, is being hailed for its medicinal properties, particularly its antiemetic, antipsychotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Phytocannabinoids are naturally occurring substances in plants, present in the resin of which that produces terpenes or the signature cannabis smell. Among the known phytocannabinoids are CBG, CBN, CBC, and CBD which react with the receptors of the endocannabinod system present in humans and animals.
The endocannabinod system is responsible for the regulation of bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, relaxation, and cognitive function as well as the maintenance of homeostasis in the body. It also has receptors that can only be activated by cannabinoids that are either produced naturally by the body or taken from an external source such as cannabis. CBD in cannabis is responsible for enhancing the endocannabinoid response. It also inhibits THC, thus countering the “high” feeling that cannabis brings and releasing 2-AG that activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the brain and immune system.
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CBD has been used in the production of CBD-rich hemp oil which boasts the ability to alleviate—if not cure—a wide array of conditions ranging from the relieving of anxiety to hindering the development of cancer cells. The oil comes from vaporized cannabis extracts abundand in CBD. Recently, studies testing CBD on mice manifesting human symptoms of sickle cell disease have proven that CBD is effective in treating such. Specifically, it is being considered as an option for treating sickle cell disease because of its ability to provide relief from pain and discomfort which are often felt by sufferers of the disease. Moreover, it does so without the side effects and addictive qualities commonly associated with commercially-available pain medications.
Since patients with sickle cell disease are more prone to infection with a weakened immune system, CBD-rich hemp oil becomes a great help as CBD helps strengthen the immune system to resist infection along with reducing inflammation. This gives thousands of patients hope for a remedy that is safe, non-addictive, and free from side effects that can further damage their health.
Cannabidiol Research: Sickle Cell Anemia
- Pain-related behaviors and neurochemical alterations in mice expressing sickle hemoglobin: Modulation by cannabinoids
- Cannabis use in sickle cell disease
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