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The intervertebral discs are between each vertebra (bone segments of the spine) and fibrous cartilage composes them. They act to stabilize and mobilize the spine, and to absorb the shocks. That result from movement, in order to prevent damage to the body. When intervertebral discs are damaged and degenerated (most commonly in the neck and lower back regions), the spine loses stability and mobility, and various complications may arise, including osteoarthritis, hernias, and spinal stenosis. Symptoms experienced with these complications can include pain, numbness, tingling and disordered movement and can be very debilitating.
Degenerative disc disease can occur because of several processes, including inflammation and decreased oxygen, water and sugar chains available. Degenerative disc disease occurs more frequently as people get older, and is more likely to develop in obese people who smoke cigarettes, who often perform heavy manual labour or who suffer traumas from a fall.
The results of a controlled animal study published in PLOS One in December 2014 suggest that the administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a “non-psychoactive” cannabinoid (known for its numerous potential health benefits, including inflammation and reduction of pain), can be useful to reduce the damage caused by degenerative disc disease.
How can CBD help?
The researchers studied 19 rats and created a model of human disc degenerative disease. By using needle punctures to injure the intervertebral discs in the coccyx area of the spines of rats. We can divide the subjects into three groups and each treated immediately with a different concentration of CBD (30, 60 or 120 nmol). The discs were then examined using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and histologically (under a microscope, to see the lesions in detail).
The magnetic resonance analysis showed that the treatment with 30 and 60 nmol of CBD didn´t produce improvements in the lesion. However, the group that received 120 nmol of CBD experienced reduced damage. The MRI showed improvements within 2 days after injury / treatment. Lasted until at least 15 days after injury / treatment (the last day of the experiment). When examined by MRI and histologically.
Although the sample size of this study was very small, the researchers note that. “Given that cannabidiol has an extremely safe profile and is currently used clinically, these results suggest that this compound could be useful in the treatment of degenerative disc disease… Although we need even more research to clarify the mechanisms involved in the effects of CBD. The current results suggest the possibility of its use for the treatment of disc degeneration.” So now, you know how CBD can help for intervertebral disc degeneration.
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