When we talk about hemp, we’re describing one specific variety of Cannabis sativa L plant. This makes hemp distinct from the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant contains a substance called THC that typically causes a high. Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, not enough to have an effect.
This easily obtained substance has gained popularity in recent years due to numerous reports that individuals have made about the health benefits hemp oil provides. Many people have associated hemp oil with ability to ease pain and inflammation. For arthritis suffers or people with chronic joint pain, hemp oil can be a more natural approach that many may find worthwhile.
Beneficial Nutrients in Hemp Oil
Hemp oil contains several nutrients that are known to have a role in the body’s handling of pain and inflammation:
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-6 fatty acids
Together, these nutrients affect certain proteins associated with human discomfort. People who are sufficient amounts of these nutrients have an advantage when it comes to health.
Hemp and the Immune System
How exactly is immune response connected to arthritis and joint pain? Well, an immune system response is the main reason why rheumatoid arthritis can feel so unpleasant.
Your immune system is supposed to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. In people with arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, too. Many of the other common types of joint pain, such as osteoarthritis, are also experiencing an overactive immune system response.
Hemp Oil vs. Arthritis
In addition, research has explored the idea of hemp oil as a helpful influence on a type of cell known as MH7A. Left to their own devices, the MH7A cells increase in number in response to arthritic inflammation and release even more inflammatory substances.
Interestingly, this study saw the fatty acids in hemp oil disrupt the cells’ production and cause some of these cells to die. This is useful information for furthering the treatment of arthritic pain, inflammation and discomfort.
Vitamins and Nutrients in Hemp Oil
Hemp oil contains vitamin A, which is an antioxidant with many benefits.
Zinc is another anti-inflammatory found in hemp oil. Zinc is an essential mineral and it’s involved in the body’s ability to naturally heal inflamed joint tissue. Its virtues help the human body heal from other damage, too.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in hemp oil, also fight inflammation. They contain plant-based cannabinoids that are similar to a chemical that the brain generates on its own. The cannabinoids produced by the human body play a role in pain response, regular sleep patterns, and a strong immune system.
Certain cannabinoids help the brain regulate pain, mood, and even mental performance. Therefore, people take hemp oil not just with a goal of targeting pain, but also with a hope of enhanced mood and increased relaxation.
Hemp Oil and Relaxation
It’s common for people who suffer from arthritis and joint pain to have trouble relaxing. Stiffness, discomfort, and chronic inflammation can lead to increased feelings of anxiety or stress, and may even lead to depression.
Chronic stress due to pain over stimulates the body’s natural cannabinoid system. This has been linked to stress-related psychiatric issues. More specifically, increased stress causes the body to break down naturally occurring chemicals that would otherwise help with feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
Fortunately, clinical research shows that suitable levels of omega-3 fatty acids can help restore balance in this arena. Correcting poor omega-3 fatty acid levels can lead to calmness and stronger resistance to stress. Most importantly, may reduce the negative effects of chronic stress. Some people report that benefits have helped them rely less on over-the-counter or prescription pain killers.
Hemp oil is an interesting area for ongoing and future research on optimal brain function and pain management. Some of this research focuses on its ability to reduce reliance on prescription drugs.
Different Ways To Use Hemp Oil
Hemp oil comes in a variety of forms to suit a variety of personal needs and preferences. Lotions may be placed topically on areas of pain or a liquid may be swallowed for a more generalized approach.
The body absorbs hemp oil differently depending on the method.
Applying Hemp Oil to The Skin
For instance, if hemp oil pain management is topical, this means that a product infused with hemp is applied directly onto the skin. Hemp oil-infused products that can be used topically with the goal of arthritic pain management include lotions, oils, salves, and balms.
The skin’s surface can absorb the active compounds of oils, from fatty acids to vitamins and minerals. Once it is absorbed, cannabinoids from the hemp oil can make their way below the skin to nearby nerve fibers and tissue. They bind to the same cannabinoid receptors used by your body’s naturally produced cannabinoids.
In general, health products with topical application have a faster and more focused effect than individuals would achieve by taking similar products by mouth. This is because the product is placed directly onto the affected area.
Due to its growing popularity in recent years, hemp bath and body products are increasingly available. They range from hair care products to hand soaps and body washes. These types of products are convenient for including in your daily routine.
Hemp Oil Placed Under the Tongue
Another popular form of hemp oil use is oral supplements. This includes any consumption of hemp oil by mouth, similar to a food or drink.
When taking hemp oil orally, it is often recommended to place it under the tongue. Tiny blood vessels called capillary glands sit there, and they’re very adept at absorbption.
Hemp oil should not be swallowed like a pill. Instead, hold the oil in the mouth for 30-90 seconds before swallowing. People who find that length of time challenging may benefit from drinking a sip of juice right before swallowing the oil.
While lotions are often suggested for targeting a painful area, hemp oil placed under the tongue is more commonly associated with the enhancement of overall health.
Swallowing Hemp Oil
Of course, hemp oil can also be ingested by simply swallowing it as you would a sip of water. When it is swallowed, the hemp oil passes through the digestion process. Then, the liver breaks components down further and extracts the nutrients for your body to use.
This method takes a little longer, but it is still an option. Hemp oil products designed to be consumed in this manner include tinctures, liquids, capsules, and edibles.
Overall, both of the primary methods of taking hemp oil by mouth are simple, convenient, and beneficial.
Hemp Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain
In summary, hemp oil is a low-risk substance that includes a number of nutrients. There is an ever-growing body of research that demonstrates the associations between hemp oil and the body’s processing of pain and discomfort.
As research continues to explore hemp oil, its use may become more standard or even recommended by more health care professionals.
Dr. Karen Vieira has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University Of Florida College Of Medicine. She has worked in hospitals and clinics conducting clinical research with patients, as well as in biotechnology laboratories, researching the biochemistry and molecular biology of the body at a cellular level. Additionally, she worked in the food industry with the largest food company in America. Her passion is discovering existing research on dietary and lifestyle changes that prevent, cure or improve various health conditions.