With so many cases of sickle cell anemia and so few treatment options available, sufferers are desperate for a way to manage the symptoms that come with this disease. Sickle cell anemia can be quite crippling, making it more crucial that the medical industry find an effective way to help patients deal with the debilitating pain and anemia symptoms that occur. Fascinatingly, a few studies have been performed that show that CBD, the compound that comes from the hemp plant, might be able to help.
We’ll be explaining the unique attributes of the disease before getting into the unique ways in which CBD might be able to provide incredible relief. And, we’ll walk you through a guide relating to how you can take it for the very best results possible.
What Exactly is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is a condition that is a form of anemia, meaning that it affects the red blood cells. The red blood cells are responsible for moving oxygen throughout the body. People who don’t have the disease produce red blood cells that are round, soft, flexible and easily mobile. This allows the red blood cells to move freely throughout the body so that the entire body is properly oxygenated.
However, those who have sickle cell anemia overproduce hemoglobin, a sticky, dense substance that makes red blood cells the color that they are. This causes the red blood cells to become rigid and shaped like a crescent. It also makes them firmer and sticky. These traits make it difficult for the red blood cells to move around properly. Therefore, the body does not have enough oxygen being carried throughout, leading to a host of symptoms and complications.
Who Has Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease. In order for a person to be born with the condition, both parents must have the sickle cell trait. It’s caused by a genetic mutation that is believed to be native to a region in Africa. For this reason, sickle cell anemia largely affects African-Americans.
About 100,000 United States residents have sickle cell anemia. One in every 365 African-American babies are born with the disease. Additionally, one in every 16,300 Hispanic babies is born with sickle cell anemia.
How Does a Person Develop Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is present at birth. As we said earlier, a person develops it if both parents carry the gene mutation. While a person can carry the gene mutation, they won’t have the actual disease unless they were born to two parents who have the gene mutation.
What’re the Symptoms and Complications Associated with Sickle Cell Anemia?
Because sickle cell anemia is a form of anemia, those who suffer from the condition will have many symptoms that are associated with iron-deficiency anemia. Because the red blood cells struggle to move freely through the body, they can essentially become stuck in certain areas of the circulatory system. This means that many parts of the body aren’t getting enough oxygen. This can lead to chronic fatigue and widespread, severe pain. Episodes of pain tend to be intermittent and are referred to as “crises.”
Other symptoms can include problems with vision, swelling of the hands and feet and frequent infections caused by a weakened immune system. If sickle cell anemia is left untreated, it can lead to a wide range of serious conditions like blindness, organ failure and stroke.
Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treatable?
For a doctor to help a patient come up with a treatment plan for sickle cell anemia, they must first perform a blood test. A blood test will clearly show the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. Once the diagnosis has been made, the doctor can help treat the patient according to their unique symptoms in addition to the severity of the disease.
The problem is that sickle cell anemia is notoriously difficult to treat. Because two prominent symptoms are frequent bodily infections and extreme pain, a doctor may prescribe heavy painkillers and antibiotics to be taken as needed.
There is one potential cure for sickle cell anemia, and that is a bone marrow transplant which is also known as a stem cell transplant. While the results are fairly consistent, the procedure can only be performed on children under the age of 16. This is because of the fact that patients 16 or older are at a fairly high risk of experiencing complications due to the intensiveness of this type of procedure.
Can CBD Provide Relief to Sickle Cell Anemia Sufferers?
Anyone who has been reading up on CBD for a while shouldn’t be surprised to learn that new research has found a link between taking this compound daily and experiencing relief from the symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Because of the unique way in which CBD works with the body, it just may be capable of helping with several of the symptoms associated with the disease.
We have to stress that CBD is widely considered relatively safe to take daily and in fairly large doses. That’s because CBD is stored in the body, and whatever isn’t needed is stored for a later time. This is why it seems to be impossible to overdose on the compound. And, this is why users feel safe taking it over a long period of time. Additionally, it’s currently not believed that a person can develop a tolerance to CBD.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD’s unique effects on the body have to do with the endocannabinoid system that exists in every mammal. This system makes cannabinoids that work to regulate various systems throughout the body such as tolerance to pain, mood and function of the immune system. When a person doesn’t make enough cannabinoids on their own, these systems can suffer.
New Studies About CBD’s Effects on Sickle Cell Anemia
A recent study found that mice with sickle cell anemia experienced fewer instances of pain when given CBD. Additionally, they experienced less severe pain overall.
Another study found that many patients with sickle cell anemia experience relief from their symptoms when taking cannabis daily. It seems that cannabis may help with pain levels as well as anxiety and depression that result from living with the disease.
Taking CBD as a Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia: What You Need to Know
To treat sickle cell anemia with CBD, speak to your doctor first. Your doctor may be able to help you figure out how to take it best for your unique circumstances. Then, purchase a high-quality CBD product that has a concentration above 1000mg. We recommend going with an oral tincture as this type of product stays in the system for a long period of time. Take CBD daily for a few weeks before reevaluating your dosage.
Could CBD Really Work?
CBD just may have the ability to help sickle cell anemia sufferers experience tremendous relief. If you wish to try out this compound, choose a potent, high-quality product that would meet your needs.