PainRelief.com Interview with:
Karin Westlund High, PhD
Professor and Vice-Chair for Research
Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Albuquerque, NM 87106
PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans recently reported that their level of pain interferes with their daily lives. Treatment options for persons with chronic pain are not optimal, particularly opioid therapies found to exacerbate pain or become ineffective over time in patients and in animal studies. While some have turned to marijuana to relieve pain where it has been legalized, benefits of the pain relieving cannabinols are not suitable for many given the psychotropic effects of its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
The Hemp Farming Act in 2019 effectively began legal cultivation in some states of a variety of the Cannabis plant—conventionally referred to as ‘hemp’. The primary components of hemp are the pain relieving cannabidiol (CBD) chemicals, differing from the content in their federally illegal counterparts which contain levels over 0.3% of the psychoactive THC. In fact, it is reported that the content of CBD was bred down while THC bred up in marijuana seized in California between 2001-2008.
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: While the THC content is minimal, hemp plants in cultivation still contain hundreds of additional phytochemicals including terpenes whose effects are not known. We recently reported the content of the pain relief CBD components and the terpenes in a variety of hemp plant grown in New Mexico which we tested in an animal model of chronic nerve injury pain.
PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: While some reports suggest combined CBD and THC content is best for pain relief, the hemp oil given to the mice in our independent study contained only 0.3%THC content. Our preliminary test found effective pain relief after ingestion of the cannabidiol rich hemp oil in the animal model. The active 15% cannabidiol components provided significant reversal of hypersensitivity for almost 6 hours with a standard pain related measure utilized in animal models.
PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future studies will provide additional information about hemp as a potential aid for pain relief with less psychoactive effect.
Jacob M. Vigil, Marena A. Montera, Nathan S. Pentkowski, Jegason P. Diviant, Joaquin Orozco, Anthony L. Ortiz, Lawrence J. Rael, Karin N. Westlund. The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model. Life, 2020; 10 (5): 69 DOI: 10.3390/life10050069
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