Is cbd oil good for sickle cell anemia

Cannabis shows potential for mitigating sickle cell disease pain

Clinical trial co-led by UCI professor is first of its kind to use gold-standard methods

“This trial opens the door for testing different forms of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain,” says UCI’s Kalpna Gupta. UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis

Irvine, Calif., July 17, 2020 – Cannabis appears to be a safe and potentially effective treatment for the chronic pain that afflicts people with sickle cell disease, according to a new clinical trial co-led by University of California, Irvine researcher Kalpna Gupta and Dr. Donald Abrams of UC San Francisco. The findings appear in JAMA Network Open.

“These trial results show that vaporized cannabis appears to be generally safe,” said Gupta, a professor of medicine on the faculty of UCI’s Center for the Study of Cannabis. “They also suggest that sickle cell patients may be able to mitigate their pain with cannabis – and that cannabis might help society address the public health crisis related to opioids. Of course, we still need larger studies with more participants to give us a better picture of how cannabis could benefit people with chronic pain.”

Opioids are currently the primary treatment for the chronic and acute pain caused by sickle cell disease. But the rise in opioid-associated deaths has prompted physicians to prescribe them less frequently, leaving sickle cell patients with fewer options.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was the first to employ such gold-standard methods to assess cannabis’s potential for pain alleviation in people with sickle cell disease. The cannabis used in the trial was obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse – part of the National Institutes of Health – and contained equal parts of THC and CBD.

“Pain causes many people to turn to cannabis and is, in fact, the top reason that people cite for seeking cannabis from dispensaries,” Gupta said. “We don’t know if all forms of cannabis products will have a similar effect on chronic pain. Vaporized cannabis, which we employed, may be safer than other forms because lower amounts reach the body’s circulation. This trial opens the door for testing different forms of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain.”

Twenty-three patients with sickle cell disease-related pain completed the trial, inhaling vaporized cannabis or a vaporized placebo during two five-day inpatient sessions that were separated by at least 30 days. This allowed them to act as their own control group.

Researchers assessed participants’ pain levels throughout the treatment period and found that the effectiveness of cannabis appeared to increase over time. As the five-day study period progressed, subjects reported that pain interfered less and less with activities, including walking and sleeping, and there was a statistically significant drop in how much pain affected their mood. Although pain levels were generally lower in patients given cannabis than in those given the placebo, the difference was not statistically significant.

The study was funded by an Excellence in Hemoglobinopathies Research Award from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grant UO1HL117664).

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at

Does CBD Hemp Oil help with Sickle Cell Anemia?

Cannabis is a drug that seems to improve, cure, and even cure many ailments and improve a patient’s overall health. It may also play a role in sickle cell anemia treatment.

But does CBD, the non-psychoactive component of hemp help with this condition?

We’ll discuss this more below, but first, let’s take a look at cannabis as a whole.

Cannabis is a good pain reliever that can help you with some painful sickle cell symptoms. The herb is available by prescription to patients from certain parts of the world.

Sickle cell anemia is a disease characterized by deformed red blood cells, which causes pain and serious complications, such as inflammation and stroke.

The analgesic properties of cannabis may alleviate some of the symptoms of this disease that affects the quality of life.

We’ll look into everything “sickle cell” in this article.

One study focused on identifying the potential health benefits of CBD for neurochemical changes and pain-related behavior in mice with sickle cell hemoglobin. The results of this study revealed that CBD shows the potential for pain reduction in mice.

Another study focused on determining the extent of cannabis use in sickle cell patients for pain and symptom relief. The results of the study led researchers to conclude that CBD has health benefits for sickle cell disease, including pain relief.

To continue, let’s look into what is Sickle Cell Anemia and how CBD can treat Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms.

What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary form of anemia, characterized by not enough healthy red blood cells to be able to carry enough oxygen to the body.

Your red blood cells are usually soft and round and move quickly through the blood vessels. In sickle cell anemia, red blood cells become stiff and sticky and have the shape of sickles or growing months.

These irregularly shaped cells lodge themselves in small blood vessels, which may slow or block blood flow and oxygen to certain parts of the body.

NOTE: There is no cure for most people who have sickle cell anemia, but treatments may relieve pain and help prevent pain from disturbing your quality of life.

There are many forms of sickle cells. The type you or your child inherits depends on a few factors, including the specific type of abnormal hemoglobin you have.

Hemoglobin SS, also known as sickle cell disease, is usually the most severe type of this disorder.

Other common forms include:

  • Hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia
  • Hemoglobin SC

There are rare types as well:

  • Hemoglobin SE
  • Hemoglobin SD
  • Hemoglobin SO

What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is caused by a gene mutation responsible for creating the red iron-rich compound that gives the blood a reddish color (hemoglobin). Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.

In the case of sickle cells, abnormal hemoglobin leads to the staining, formation, and deformation of red blood cells.

Transmitted from generation to generation by a method known as autosomal recessive inheritance, the sickle cell gene is hereditary. This means that the mother and father must pass on the incorrect gene form for the child to be affected.

If only one parent passes the sickle cell to the child, the child will have sickle cell property. With normal hemoglobin gene and defective gene form, people with sickle cell trait produce both normal hemoglobin and sickle cell hemoglobin.

Your blood may contain sickle cells, but they usually have no symptoms. But they transmit the disease, which means they can pass the gene on to their children.

Treatment Options for Sickle Cell Anemia

If you have sickle cell trait, consulting with a genetic counselor before attempting conception can help you understand the risk of a child with sickle cell anemia.

Your doctor may also explain the possible treatment, preventative measures, and reproductive options.

While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™

Medical Treatment

Medications used to treat sickle cells include:

    Antibiotics: Children with sickle cell anemia may start taking the antibiotic penicillin at about two months of age and continue to make it until they are at least five years old.

This helps prevent infections, such as pneumonia, which can be devastating to a baby or child with sickle cell anemia.

Alternative Treatment

You can do these at home to relieve sickle cell symptoms:

  • Use a protective heating pad to relieve pain.
  • Take folic acid supplements as recommended by your doctor.
  • Consume enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help your body produce more red blood cells.
  • Drink more water to reduce the risk of sickle cell crisis.
  • Exercise regularly and reduce stress to reduce seizures.
  • If you think you have an infection, contact your doctor immediately. Early treatment of the disease can prevent a complete crisis.
  • Support groups can also help you cope with this disease.

CBD Treatment

Cannabis may not be a panacea for everyone, but its usefulness and versatility are for many people, including people with sickle cell disease.

In addition to stimulating the euphoric effect on mood, cannabis has both analgesic (pain relief) and anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory) properties that are particularly beneficial for sickle cell patients.

Some brands like Mana Artisan Botanics™ offer CBD tinctures that are actually palatable.

It’s hard to feel good when your CBD tastes bad.

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How CBD Can Treat Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms

Common sickle cell symptoms include:

  • A lack of red blood cells, which causes anemia.
  • Sickle fever episodes in which congested parts of the circulatory system swell and inflame, causing throbbing/pain relieved by medication alone and increased blood circulation
  • Swelling of arms and legs
  • Inflammation and damage to the spleen and internal organs which can lead to frequent infections
  • Slow growth and late puberty.
  • Vision problems
  • Stroke risk

Because the main symptom associated with this condition is prolonged pain, the patient’s quality of life is significantly affected by symptoms.

Pharmaceutical analgesics are often used, but they pose the risk of addiction and overdose.

CBD could be beneficial for the condition in this regard and is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Also, the herb is very safe.

Treating pain that is associated with sickle cell anemia is also more critical than merely managing pain. The pain caused by the disease starts with inflammation, tissue necrosis, and vascular occlusion.

This means that treating cannabis pain can help reduce tissue damage. Also, cannabinoids such as CBD have important anti-inflammatory mechanisms that can be particularly beneficial.

Because CBD is not psychoactive, it offers the opportunity for patients who do not want or cannot manage the mind-altering effects of THC.

Research in this area is not well developed. However, a study published in the journal, “Blood” showed the effects of cannabinoids on mice expressing human falciform hemoglobin.

Cannabinoids have been shown to reduce pain in mice.

What’s the CBD Dosage for Sickle CEll Anemia?

Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.

We’ve built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below:

The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.


Sickle cell patients have a reduced life expectancy. Although there is no single treatment for sickle cell disease, the studies described above reveal that CBD has potential health benefits for this disease.

Therefore, it is reasonable to consider taking CBD as a dietary supplement for sickle cell disease. CBD is a non-psychoactive natural compound.


About the Author Jessica Jones

Jesse has spent most of her adult life struggling with anxiety. After studying neuroscience at University, she has since dedicated her life into researching the effects of CBD on the human body. The content on this website reflects her research.

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