Spinal cord injuries are not common, but the effects may be permanent and quite devastating to one’s daily life and well-being. There is still much to be done in terms of research on developing effective medications for spinal cord injury without addictive potential or side effects.
Studies on the ability of industrial hemp to combat spasticity and pain associated with spinal cord injury began in the early 1970s. Presently, industrial hemp offers patients an alternative regimen that treats these unpleasant and relentless symptoms that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury
Some of the symptoms experienced daily by spinal cord injury patients include blood clots, insomnia, stiffness, severe pain, sexual dysfunction, depression, and anxiety. Spinal cord injuries can be categorized into two kinds: the complete and the incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury is characterized by total loss of function below where the injury is located.
In an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is a partial loss of function, with the degrees of severity varying among patients.
Spinal cord injuries are caused when the spine undergoes a trauma, or when the spinal tissue is impacted by a fragment of dislodged bone, disc material, or ligaments.
Unlike back injuries, injuries to the spinal cord affect motor functions due to the destruction of axons by the compressed or fractured vertebrae.
Industrial Hemp’s Role in the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
A lot of people are becoming aware of the painkilling effects of cannabinoids. Research has helped piece together an understanding, but despite very crystal clear results, development of cannabis-based medications for spinal injuries is still on the slow path, mainly due to political reasons.
Studies have verified that industrial hemp has the ability to treat characteristic symptoms of spinal cell injuries such as spasticity, pain, insomnia, and depression. Improvement in bowel control and bladder control have also been observed.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has outstanding painkilling effects. It also has the ability to reduce spasticity and improve motor functions in patients with spinal cord injury.
On the other hand, another industrial hemp-derived cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has its own therapeutic effect on spinal cord injury. Studies have shown that THC improves symptoms of spinal cord injury such as spasticity, pain, control of the bladder and insomnia.
It is obvious that industrial hemp, even in its raw form provides safe relief to patients with spinal cord injury. Other research monitoring the restoration of nerve function and development of new cells by industrial hemp compounds points a ray of hope to the future for people living with chronic pain and other conditions.
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