By Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio, OTR/L
How Does Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Help People with Chronic Illnesses?
Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of CBD hemp oil in people with chronic illnesses. For example:
- It's a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
- It's known to reduce feelings of anxiousness.
- It may defend against neurodegeneration, promote circulation in the brain, and has a neuroprotective effect.
- It may support immune health.
Read on to discover more...
What is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Nowadays, it seems everywhere you turn someone is singing the praises of full spectrum hemp oil. But what is this substance that's getting rave reviews? Let's take a closer look at some full spectrum CBD oil benefits and how it may help you manage a multitude of health issues.
Full spectrum hemp oil is one of many compounds that can be extracted from the non-psychoactive strains of the cannabis plant. Although both hemp and marijuana are derived from the cannabis plant, the hemp varieties like sativa and indica contain negligible amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the THC content is less than 1%. Additionally, hemp differs from marijuana in its chemical structure and the methods in which it's cultivated.
When hemp is grown, it can be used in a whole host of products, including food, clothing, skin and body care items, and supplements — each part of the hemp plant has unique properties. In fact, it's the hemp stalks and seeds that are essential for extracting the oil.
There are many ways to extract the oil. In some instances, the oil may be extracted using chemical solvents like butane or hexane. But these harsh chemicals are neurotoxic and can inhibit the function of your immune system.
Fortunately, there are safer ways, like CO2 extraction, to obtain the oil from the cannabis plant. "The supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil ... But, when done well the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll," explains one source.
Because the cannabis species involved in making full spectrum hemp oil are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC, it won't affect your mental processes, mood, or cognition. Therefore, it's generally safe for people of all ages, and it's legal to purchase in all 50 states.
Are All Delivery Methods Created Equal?
Full spectrum hemp oil comes in a variety of preparations, including tinctures, oral sprays, salves, balms, capsules, and gel caps. But the amount that's absorbed by your body can vary widely among products and the methods of delivery. If you're looking to boost the absorption of hemp oil, a liposomal form of the product makes the cannabinoids more bioavailable to your body.
Here's what we know about the exceptional, liposomal delivery method, according to a study in the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences:
- Liposomal technology isn't new; it was first reported in 1964.
- Liposomes are made from lipids (like phospholipids) and can encapsulate nutrients and medications, which creates a more targeted delivery system to your cells.
- Liposomes aren't just being studied for their use with supplements — the technology shows promising, scientific results for administering drug therapies as well.
- The liposomal delivery method enhances your body's ability to absorb a particular substance.
When you use other types of full spectrum hemp oil, you may require a higher dose of the product to experience its benefits. But a liposomal form allows your body to access more of the potent cannabinoids and deliver them into the cells for superior results.
Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Benefits for People with Chronic Illnesses
Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of people with chronic illnesses. If you're struggling with a chronic illness, here are some ways full spectrum hemp oil may be of use to you:
1. It's a Natural Anti-inflammatory and Pain Reliever.
If you have fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, or another illness where pain is a dominant symptom, you're probably on a never-ending quest to seek relief. As concerns over the use of prescription medications arise, perhaps you find you desire a more natural approach to pain relief.
In many chronic illness communities, full spectrum hemp oil is a trending topic — and, with good reason. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed these compounds could diminish both inflammation and nerve pain when it was given to rodents. Plus, the rodents didn't build up a tolerance to it.
This is good news for chronic pain sufferers! Full spectrum hemp oil for pain may be a groundbreaking way to reduce discomfort without the unwanted side effects that can be associated with pain medications. Furthermore, unlike drugs, you won't build up a tolerance to full spectrum hemp oil.
2. It's Known to Reduce Anxious Feelings.
For some people, nervousness or anxiousness can be crippling to deal with. Sometimes, traditional drug options just don't cut it. Medications may work for a time, then lose their effectiveness almost overnight, leaving you feeling discouraged and searching for answers.
Whether you're a healthy individual who occasionally battles a case of the nerves or are constantly anxious about the stresses of daily life, full spectrum hemp oil has demonstrated the ability to decrease these less than pleasant feelings, as reported in 2015 by a peer-reviewed medical journal called Neurotherapeutics.
CBD hemp oil works by interacting with receptors in the brain that can trigger the feelings of fear and nervousness. The research indicated that oral doses from 300 mg to 600 mg reduced levels of anxiousness in the study's control group of individuals who experienced "experimentally-induced anxiety."
Full spectrum hemp oil may one day emerge as a therapeutic tool for all sorts issues related to feelings of chronic stress or anxiousness.
3. It has Neuroprotective Properties.
A neuroprotective substance is one that protects the nerve cells from damage, degeneration, dysfunction, and toxicity. Some of the symptoms of neurotoxicity include:
- Brain fog
- Mood changes
- Dysregulation of hormones
- Autoimmune conditions
- Sleep problems
One condition, in particular, linked to neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration is Alzheimer's disease (AD). Preliminary research in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease demonstrated full spectrum hemp oil was able to reverse cognitive deficits and show neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties in the brain and combat oxidative stress. This study is the first of its kind to show that full spectrum hemp oil may be a preventive measure for AD symptoms, particularly in the areas of social withdrawal and facial recognition.
What Risks or Side Effects are Associated with Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?
For most people, full spectrum hemp oil is generally safe and easy to tolerate, but there's a need to study the impact it may have over the long-term. Additionally, full spectrum hemp oil may interfere with drugs like pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, or steroids, so talk with your doctor before trying it. Also, mild side effects like tiredness, dizziness, and low blood pressure have been reported. But those side effects may differ from person to person and the amount of full spectrum hemp oil consumed.
We've likely just scratched the surface of the ways full spectrum hemp oil can enhance our health and well-being. All in all, the research relative to full spectrum hemp oil's ability to alleviate many of the symptoms related to chronic illness looks encouraging. When purchasing a full spectrum hemp oil product, you have many options to choose from. But if you're looking to increase your body's ability to absorb the oil and experience the powerful benefits of cannabinoids, consider the liposomal delivery method for maximum results. If you have questions or concerns regarding the use of CBD, please consult with your healthcare provider.
This article was first published on ProHealth.com on May 8, 2018 and was updated on November 10, 2020.
- Blessing E, Steenkamp M, Manzanares J, Marmar C. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct; 12(4): 825–836. DOI: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- Cheng D, Spiro AS, Jenner AM, Garner B, Karl T. Long-Term Cannabidiol Treatment Prevents the Development of Social Recognition Memory Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2014 July. 42(4); 1383-96. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-140921
- Madni A, Sarfraz M, Rehman M, et al. Liposomal drug delivery: a versatile platform for challenging clinical applications. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014;17(3):401-26
- Massi P, Solinas M, Cinquina V, Parolaro D. Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2013 Feb; 75(2): 303–312. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04298.x
- Cannabis Oil Extraction. Project CBD website. https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cannabis-oil-extraction
- Xiong, W, Cui T, Cheng K, et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting a3 glycine receptors. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2012, June 4; 209 (6), 1121. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20120242
Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio, OTR/L, is a well-known freelance writer and occupational therapist whose life was transformed by Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. She is ProHealth's Content Manager and creator of the DVD, New Dawn Pilates: pilates-inspired exercises adapted for people with pelvic pain. Jenny writes about her healing journey on The Lyme Road as she continues to pursue better health with the support of her husband and two rescue pups. You can find her on Instagram: @jenny_buttaccio or Twitter: @jennybuttaccio.