Hemp extract is derived from cannabis, which is found in the marijuana plant. THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive component of marijuana, which gives the “high” sensation. But the hemp extract component is nonintoxicating, so it won’t get you “high.” It can be mixed into creams and gels, taken orally in a capsule, or rubbed on the skin.
The use of hemp extract is growing in popularity as a remedy for many ailments and even claims to treat serious diseases. Currently, there are studies that show hemp extract can reduce pain, anxiety, and provide many other benefits, but there is still much more research to be done.
Is hemp extract safe?
Evidence shows that cannabinoids are generally safe (1). Hemp extract is considered safer than THC and is not addictive. With that being said, there are some possible adverse side effects which include drowsiness, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and may negatively interact with other medications.
Does hemp extract work?
CBD has been known to have anticonvulsive and anti-inflammatory effects for quite some time, but more evidence is still needed to determine if hemp extract oil should be used as a medical treatment for many of its claims. Hemp extract is not legal in all states and in some states is only allowed for specific medical purposes. Since it is not regulated by the FDA at this time, the dosage and purity may be unreliable in certain hemp extract products found online or in stores. Please speak with your health care provider about hemp extract and see what the best treatment option for you would be.
Uses of CBD oil
Pain – Studies have shown that hemp extract may be effective at reducing chronic pain in those with arthritis and multiple sclerosis (1). Hemp extract may help to relieve muscle pain, injuries, and decrease inflammation by interacting with receptors in the brain and immune system.
Anxiety – Hemp extract can alter serotonin signals, which is the chemical that gives feelings of well-being and happiness. Studies have shown hemp extract to help with anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (2)(3).
Seizures – The FDA has only approved one drug so far containing hemp extract, called Epidolex. Clinical trials found that it reduced seizures in children with epilepsy (4).
Cancer – Hemp extract may help alleviate cancer symptoms and treatment side effects of chemotherapy, like nausea, vomiting, and pain (5). Research shows in a study with mice, hemp extract may also have anti-cancer properties by slowing the growth of cancer cells (6).
Acne – Since hemp extract helps to decrease overall inflammation in the body, it also may help to manage acne by reducing sebum (oil) production in the skin (7).
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- Darkovska-serafimovska M, Serafimovska T, Arsova-sarafinovska Z, Stefanoski S, Keskovski Z, Balkanov T. Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. J Pain Res. 2018;11:837-842.
- Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol (Oxford). 2011;25(1):121-30.
- Shannon S, Opila-lehman J. Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Perm J. 2016;20(4):16-005.
- FDA News Release. FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm611046.htm. Accessed April 8, 2019.
- Duran M, Pérez E, Abanades S, et al. Preliminary efficacy and safety of an oromucosal standardized cannabis extract in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2010;70(5):656-63.
- Mcallister SD, Christian RT, Horowitz MP, Garcia A, Desprez PY. Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007;6(11):2921-7.
- Oláh A, Markovics A, Szabó-papp J, et al. Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Exp Dermatol. 2016;25(9):701-7.