Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) have been conducting a series of studies testing the effectiveness and safety of consuming cannabis. Their most recent study, which focused on full-spectrum hemp oil, has shown promising results regarding pain management.
UNM recently found hemp oil “reduced mechanical pain sensitivity tenfold for several hours in mice with chronic postoperative neuropathic pain,” the university says in a news release.
The university says this was its first cannabis study on legal hemp oil with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels.
Researchers used a “chronic neuropathic pain model” to expose mice to pain levels that were equivalent to several years of chronic pain in human patients. (Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the nervous system.) By doing so, the researchers were able to examine how hemp oil influences “momentary pain sensitivity to the affected region,” the university says.
After consuming the hemp oil, the mice showed pain relief for several hours, nearly reaching pain levels of mice who did not undergo the surgical operation, UNM says.
“Our lab utilizes a unique nerve injury model mimicking human neuropathic pain that has allowed demonstration of hemp’s reversal of the pain-related behavior,” says one of the lead investigators, Dr. Karin N. Westlund, who works in the university’s Department of Anesthesiology.
UNM says animal studies can provide benefits over human clinical studies because they eliminate any chance of bias or the "placebo effect" from patients who know they're participating in a cannabis study.
The researchers used “LyFeBaak” full-spectrum hemp oil produced by Organic-Energetic Solutions for the study. Anthony Ortiz, co-owner of the three-acre Atrisco Valley Farm, which grows hemp for Organic-Energetic Solutions products, is listed as a co-author of the study.
“Hemp plants contain numerous therapeutic constituents that likely contribute to analgesic responses, including terpenes and flavonoids, which in theory, work together like members of a symphony, often described as the entourage effect,” says researcher Jegason P. Diviant.
University researchers say several clinical investigations have shown that full-spectrum oils tend to show greater symptom relief and fewer negative side effects than isolated compounds. They caution, however, that few studies exist on the long-term effects of hemp oil and more research needs to be conducted.The researchers published their findings in an article titled “The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model” in the journal Life.