Though there are currently approximately 54.4 million adult Americans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
This is condition now afflicting almost one in four individuals, or 22.7 percent of the population—that number is expected to increase to 78.4 million by the year 2040 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC also points out that two out of three future arthritis sufferers are expected to be women. Reasons for this appear to be somewhat unclear, but research published in BMC Medicine indicates that this is likely at least partially due to women’s unique genetic makeup and hormone composition, factors which lead them to be diagnosed with more autoimmune diseases than men.
While MedicineNet reports that some people afflicted with arthritis benefit from taking omega-3 supplements, adding more curcumin to their diet, and limiting their intake of red meat and gluten, thereby lowering their body’s levels of inflammation, research is also finding that hemp oil may ease their arthritis-related pain as well.
What hemp oil is
Hemp oil comes from seeds taken from the hemp plant which have been cold pressed. That makes this oil different than CBD (cannabidiol) oil as the latter is made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant according to Healthline.
Hempseed oil is actually used to make a variety of products many of us use every day. Medical News Today (MNT) shares that many of them are food-related and include hemp milk, cheese, and protein powder.
MNT adds that, in addition to supplying foods a nutty flavor, hemp seeds have other benefits as well. Among them are being high in protein and a good source of omega-3. They’re also fiber-rich and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Hemp seeds reduce inflammation and help protect the heart.
Hemp oil research related to arthritis
All of these can benefit individuals struggling with arthritis and research has started to confirm it. For example, one 2016 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shares that hempseed oil has an anti-rheumatoid effect on MH7A cells, one type of cell associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
A 2017 study in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found positive results as well. This one looked specifically at the brain effects of hemp oil and found that participants reported feeling “more energetic, relaxed, and calm” after simply inhaling hemp oil.
This is important since the Arthritis Foundation reports that stress can trigger an arthritis flare up. So, the more individuals with arthritis can begin to relax, the easier it is for them to maintain this inflammation-based condition.
Others are concerned that using hemp oil could get them high. However, the marijuana experts at Leafly indicate that this effect is unlikely because “most of the high-quality, reliable CBD-rich hemp oil products contain much less THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] than marijuana.” How can you tell whether a hemp oil is high in quality?
What to look for when purchasing hemp oil
One factor to consider, according to Ministry of Hemp, is the quality of the hemp the seeds are taken from. For this reason, the Ministry recommends choosing a company that sources its hemp from within the U.S. since it has more regulations than hemp sourced in other countries.
Another consideration is how the oil is extracted. Specifically, if the company uses gas stoves or ranges to extract their hemp oil, it is going to be lower quality than companies which use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction according to the Ministry.
And if there is concern about whether the hemp oil can potentially cause a “high” feeling, the Ministry suggests reading its label to see how much THC it contains. If it has more than 0.3 percent, it could potentially have a psychoactive effect.
Finally, look for third-party lab results to ensure the hemp oil’s label is accurate with regard to its ingredients. This reduces the likelihood of purchasing an oil which contains impurities that can potentially cause users harm.