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Education2019-02-20T14:27:38-07:00

Hemp Education

Welcome to Holistic BioSciences guide to the potential benefits of full spectrum hemp oil, including a review of clinical results and the opinions of the some of the industry’s most respected experts.

With full spectrum hemp oil being of interest to a vast cross section of consumers, we want to share some of the most commonly purported benefits of full spectrum hemp oil so you can draw your own conclusions about the potential benefits and, most importantly, increase your interest in our products so you can do additional research.

How Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Works within the Human Body

To understand the benefits of full spectrum hemp oil, it’s important to first understand the endocannabinoid system, a relatively newly discovered part of the human body that naturally produces certain cannabinoids, similar to those found in hemp oil (cannabidiol).

“Endo stands for endogenous, originating within the body,” explains Stormy Simon, former president of Overstock.com and champion of the cannabis industry. Simon points out that the endocannabinoid system has two types of receptors—CB1, which are mostly located in the brain as well as in the nerve endings, and CB2, which are found in the immune system and in tissues of the spleen and tonsils.

“CB1 receptors in the brain are associated with emotions, moods, appetite, coordination, movement, and pain,” she says. “Think of [the endocannabinoid system] as a bridge between body and mind with its interactions throughout our internal systems.” Research purports that while the human body does produce cannabinoids on its own, adding new cannabinoids from an external source, like full spectrum hemp oil, can help promote a healthy endocannabinoid system.

What the Latest Research Says about Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

The endocannabinoid system is a relatively recent discovery. Researchers are still exploring the effects of full spectrum hemp oil and other cannabinoids on this system, and there is very little conclusive evidence regarding the health benefits of the substance.

According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report on the effects of full spectrum hemp oil, the product has a low human bioavailability (about 6 percent from oral delivery, according to a 2004 study in Pharmaceutical Press), while aerosolized full spectrum hemp oil “has been reported to yield rapid peak plasma concentrations.”

The report also notes that while the effects of full spectrum hemp oil have yet to be conclusively proven, what has been observed is that the effects of this cannabinoid are quite different from those of psychoactive THC, notably with regard to behavioral characteristics and stress reactions in mice.

It is important to note that much of the research conducted thus far on full spectrum hemp oil was done with far higher dosages than what is available over the counter: hundreds of milligrams per day, as opposed to the standard serving of 25 milligrams recommended by most full spectrum hemp oil producers.

“Most research is done on pharmaceutical levels,” explains holistic physician Dr. Gabrielle Francis. “That is the nature of research and it is useful when looking for medical effects.”

However, Consumer Labs reports, “It is not known if these low doses are as effective as higher doses.” While this is certainly a very important disclaimer to keep in mind, here are the seven health benefits of full spectrum hemp oil to watch.

Anxiety is one of the most-cited benefits touted by those who have begun taking full spectrum hemp oil on a regular basis. Presently, evidence in favor of these therapeutic effects seems uncertain at best.

However, a 2016 case study of the use of full spectrum hemp oil in the treatment of anxiety in a 10-year-old girl proved promising. In addition, a 2017 research piece in Current Neuropharmacology examining both animal and human studies pointed to some evidence that full spectrum hemp oil could be used to treat panic disorder (PD). Researchers working on this review concluded, however, that novel clinical trials involving patients with the PD diagnosis are needed to clarify the specific mechanism of action of full spectrum hemp oil and the safe and ideal therapeutic doses of it. A 2015 study found that “existing preclinical evidence strongly supports full spectrum hemp oil as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely” but also noted that the studies looked at full spectrum hemp oil administered acutely in healthy adults, and that thus far, few studies had investigated full spectrum hemp oil as a regular treatment for anxiety over the long term.

“Overall,” Emily Monaco, the author of this recent article writes, “current evidence indicates full spectrum hemp oil has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.”

Cancer is yet another widely touted benefit of full spectrum hemp oil, but the sheer variety of types of cancers makes it difficult to determine the oil’s benefits, if any, in treating or preventing cancer.

However, in a 2012 review partially funded by GW Pharmaceutical, full spectrum hemp oil was found to exhibit “pro‐apoptotic and anti‐proliferative actions” in different types of tumors, thus leading researchers to conclude that “evidence is emerging to suggest that full spectrum hemp oil is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread.”

Additionally, a number of studies have shown positive in vitro effects of full spectrum hemp oil on cancer cells, including a 2014 study on prostate cancer cells, a 2004 study on glioma cells, a 2013 study on melanoma cells, and a 2010 study in bladder cancer cells. A 2006 in vitro study on the effects of full spectrum hemp oil on breast cancer cells has been followed up by several studies in mice, including one promising 2007 study showing that full spectrum hemp oil could reduce the expression of the ld-1 gene in aggressive human breast cancer cells, thus providing a possible therapeutic option for aggressive and metastatic breast cancer. However, human clinical trials are necessary to confirm these possible benefits.

A human-based study published in 2006 did link THC (present in cannabis but negligible in the industrial hemp used to manufacture full spectrum hemp oil) to inhibiting tumor growth in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. In 2017, an exploratory Phase 2 clinical study of a GW Pharmaceuticals proprietary CBD/THC drug in 21 patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme was deemed “promising.”

“The findings from this well-designed controlled study suggest that the addition of a combination of THC and full spectrum hemp oil to patients on dose-intensive temozolomide produced relevant improvements in survival compared with placebo and this is a good signal of potential efficacy,” said Professor Susan Short, PhD, Professor of Clinical Oncology and Neuro-Oncology at Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology at St James’s University Hospital and principal investigator of the study. “Moreover, the cannabinoid medicine was generally well tolerated. These promising results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of the THC:CBD product appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.”

While Holistic BioSciences does not offer a THC based product, it is noteworthy that full spectrum hemp oil is a part of the treatment regimen of these very aggressive forms of cancer.

Epilepsy is perhaps the best-tested benefit of full spectrum hemp oil thus far, with growing evidence in favor of its therapeutic application.

The use of full spectrum hemp oil for this purpose has been well established, with studies in animals dating back to the 1970s. A small double-blind placebo-controlled trial showed a significant reduction in seizures in two of four patients who were treated with 200 mg of full spectrum hemp oil daily, with partial improvement in one patient and no improvement in the fourth patient. Another 15-patient double-blind study found that of the eight participants being treated with 200-300 mg of full spectrum hemp oil daily, four were almost seizure-free and three others showed partial improvement. One showed no improvement.

“The clinical use of full spectrum hemp oil is most advanced in the treatment of epilepsy,” writes the World Health Organization in its report on the uses of full spectrum hemp oil, noting that one full spectrum hemp oil-based drug, Epidiolex from GW Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the FDA. A double blind, placebo-controlled trial of the drug found that it decreased the median frequency of convulsive seizures per month from 12.4 to 5.9. The trial did, however, find some adverse side effects of full spectrum hemp oil, which researchers believe were linked to interaction with the anti-epileptic medication that participants were already taking.

There has been some research on full spectrum hemp oil as a treatment for dementia, but for now, the evidence just doesn’t seem to corroborate the claims. While one 2004 in vitro study seemed to indicate that full spectrum hemp oil could be useful in counteracting neuronal cell death occurring in Alzheimer’s disease, a 2009 research review examining evidence in favor of these claims found that while there is “increasing evidence that the cannabinoid system may regulate neurodegenerative processes” linked to dementia, the only study in favor of these claims was found to have “insufficient quantitative data to validate the results.”

The authors nevertheless called for more randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials to further explore these claims. It is possible that future studies will show beneficial effects of full spectrum hemp oil in treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Evidence pointing to the benefits of full spectrum hemp oil in cases of pain and inflammation “goes back to the first masses of pain studies conducted with cannabis in the 1800s,” explains Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter, and at least anecdotal evidence seems to corroborate this. “We know that cannabis has long been used for pain,” says Kilham. “We know that it ameliorates pain.” When it comes to clinical evidence backing up these claims, however, the data isn’t there yet.

There are, however, two specific types of pain that seem to be improved by full spectrum hemp oil. The first is neuropathic pain linked to multiple sclerosis (MS). A 2006 research review found that cannabinoids, including GW Pharmaceuticals proprietary CBD/THC buccal spray Sativex, could be effective in treating neuropathic pain in MS, with the caveat that the review was based on a small number of trials and patients. A further 2017 evaluation of Sativex found that it was a “useful option” for the treatment of MS-related spasticity.

Specific studies have also been conducted with regard to full spectrum hemp oil’s effects on pain and inflammation as connected with intestinal or bowel disease, including a 2011 study in PLOS ONE that found that CBD could be a “promising therapeutic agent” in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders. In both cases, more research is needed to confirm these beneficial effects.

There has been some research on using full spectrum hemp oil for improved cardiovascular health, although evidence of benefits is limited at this time.

Holistic BioSciences’ water-soluble full spectrum hemp oil tincture products are similar to those studied in a comprehensive blood work testing for 16 individuals before and after beginning to take these proprietary supplements which showed that “marked improvements” of between 12 to 15 percent were shown across three distinct inflammatory markers for heart disease:

  1. homocysteine,
  2. c-reactive protein, and
  3. EST

This could point to reduced risk of heart disease, though more research is needed.

A 2017 research review also found that while “it is possible that beneficial effects of full spectrum hemp oil on haemodynamics occurs when the cardiovascular system is abnormally altered, suggesting that full spectrum hemp oil may be used as a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke,” significant effects have only been observed in animals at this time. The researchers suggest that further research is needed before more accurate conclusions can be drawn.

A 2015 systematic review in Schizophrenia Research indicated that full spectrum hemp oil could be helpful in managing psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. According to researchers, the first small-scale clinical studies were promising—in both the effectiveness and the safety of the practice—but larger randomized clinical trials are necessary to confirm these benefits.

Holistic BioSciences Reliance Upon Third-Party Research

Research is still ongoing when it comes to supplements like full spectrum hemp oil. We encourage our customers to do their own research and share it with the Holistic BioSciences team by sending us an email at admin@holisticbiosciences.com.

For our part, we seek out strong or promising research studies, preferably peer-reviewed, large-scale clinical trials, which show that a supplement or product has effects when used therapeutically in humans. Where studies have only been conducted in vitro or on animals, we make sure to highlight that for you, and we strive to update our guides as new research is conducted and published.

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