Is cbd oil good for sickle cell disease

Ultimate Guide to Using CBD Oil for Anemia

There is a common misconception about the association of anemic individuals with their weight. In truth, there are several types of anemia and the most common type is iron-deficiency anemia. If you have been diagnosed with low iron, even though you may have anemia-like symptoms, your diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean that you have iron-deficiency anemia.

There are various ways to treat iron deficiency. One of the most common ways is to use over-the-counter iron pills, but those are known to cause constipation. If you’re not interested in making dietary changes or taking pills every day, try using CBD Oil to treat your Anemia.

What is Iron Deficiency?

Iron is a mineral. When you have an iron deficiency it means the iron levels in your blood are low and your body is lacking a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is most likely caused by a poor diet, but there are some underlying causes that could be out of a person’s control. There are several symptoms of iron deficiency such as chronic fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, pale skin, headaches, dizziness, irregular heartbeats, brittle nails, internal bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, leg cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and slow or chronic blood loss.

Possible Causes

As stated, a poor diet isn’t the only cause of anemia or iron deficiency each type of anemia can be caused by different factors. For instance, in the case of Aplastic Anemia, the immune system attacks the stem cells in your bone marrow. If you have an underlying condition like inflammatory bowel disease or are pregnant you could be iron deficient. Pregnant women need a higher amount of iron to supply both themselves and their fetus(es). Although some causes of anemia are avoidable, genetics plays a factor when it comes to Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell is caused by a genetic mutation.

Difference Between Iron Deficiency and Anemia

So as we established, when you are iron deficient, your body lacks iron. When you are Anemic, your body is also lacking hemoglobin. So, what is hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body’s tissue. Patients diagnosed with anemia may need to get a regular colonoscopy. If you have anemia and you’re considering getting a gastric bypass, talk to your doctor about any pertinent guidelines to follow.

CBD Oil and Anemia

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to treating the symptoms of anemia, CBD oil can help fight weakness, headache, and pain with its proven anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

CBD oil has been known to help in Sickle Cell Anemia cases. Sickle Cell symptoms include pain, vision problems, delayed growth, infections and painful swelling of the feet and hands. A crisis is that one of the main symptoms of the condition where the sickle cells break apart and die causes the patient severe pain. CBD oil has been effective in relieving both the discomfort and pain of the illness.

Always speak to a medical professional before starting any course of treatment for any illness. Your family doctor is a reliable source of information on natural and holistic options if you choose to use alternative medicines. Anemia affects millions of people and for some patients, treatment options are available.

If you choose to use CBD oil to treat the symptoms of anemia, ensure that the CBD product is pure and free of pesticides before buying based solely on price and availability. It is important to note that when you’re buying a CBD product online and even in a brick and mortar store, the source of the product must be vetted. Read all the CBD oil reviews you can find before purchasing a product to use for any ailment.

Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia? What the Research Says

This report looks at cannabis as a treatment for sickle cell diseases. Before we dive in, here’s a brief overview of the scientific research Leafwell has been reviewing for this article.

Key Information

Total Studies = 13

Types of Study = Meta-Analysis (9); Animal Studies (3); Human Trials (1)

No. of Positive Results = 7

No. of Inconclusive Results = 4

No. of Negative Results = 2

Potentially Useful Cannabis Compounds

THC, THCV, CBG, CBD, CBN, Beta-Caryophyllene, Pinene


    • THC, CBD, and beta-caryophyllene may help treat sickle pain and reduce the need for more powerful, addictive analgesics (e.g., opioids) and CBD may help treat bacterial infections and reduce reliance on antibiotics
    • An alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for those who cannot tolerate them
    • THC and pinene may help ease breathing
    • Beta-caryophyllene may help treat pain and inflammation associated with SCDs, as well as malaria . show fewer complaints and hospitalizations due to sickle pain.


      • Use of cannabis may increase the likelihood of hospitalization and the risk of vaso-occlusive (blood blockage) crises .
      • Smoking cannabis may not be ideal, as it can damage the lungs and circulatory system, potentially increasing the risk of acute chest syndrome.
      • Some studies show weak or inconclusive results when it comes to using cannabis to treat chronic pain – the evidence for cannabis’ uses for SCDs is also limited , with current studies limited by low sample sizes and the potential of bias.

      Possible Efficacy

      What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

      Sickle cell anemia is a type of sickle cell disease (SCD). SCDs are a group of blood disorders that result in abnormalities in the blood cells. The most common is sickle cell anemia. SCDs result in a rigid, sickle-like shape that affects the red blood cell’s ability to carry oxygen. This can cause anemia, swelling, bacterial infections, and an increased likelihood of stroke .

      SCDs mainly affects people of Sub-Saharan origin, where about 80% of cases of sickle cell anemia are found. People from Arabia and India are also affected due to the high incidence of malaria in such places, where sickle cells can prevent malaria parasites from attaching to the red blood cells. However, the protective effect of the sickle cell trait does not apply to people with sickle cell disease, and sufferers may have an increased likelihood of contracting malaria .

      Why might cannabis be useful for treating sickle cell diseases (SCDs)? The pros and cons.

      How are Sickle Cell Diseases (SCDs) Currently Treated?

      There are a wide variety of treatment methods for SCDs, including:

        • NSAIDs like diclofenac and naproxen
        • Opioids in cases of extreme pain and vaso-occlusive crisis
        • Antibiotics for those suffering from acute chest syndrome
        • Stroke prevention – Transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) detects blood vessels partially obstructed by sickle cells by measuring the rate of blood into the brain.
        • Blood transfusion
        • Bone marrow transplant, which may potentially cure SCDs in children
        • Physical therapy
        • Psychological therapy

        Why Medical Cannabis Could Be Useful for SCDs

        Here’s what the research shows us so far:

          • Both THC and CBD may help treat “ sickle pain ” and reduce reliance on more addictive painkillers.
          • The antimicrobial properties of cannabinoids may help treat acute chest syndrome and reduce reliance on antibiotics
          • The bronchodilatory (i.e., airway opening) effects of pinene and THC may help ease breathing
          • Low doses of THC and moderate to high doses of CBD may help reduce anxiety
          • Cannabinoids may have neuroprotective effects, making them useful in the treatment of stroke and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) , helping alleviate anxiety and improving memory function
          Download Free Guide to CBD
          Download Free Guide to THC

          Cannabinoids, Terpenes & Flavonoids for Sickle Cell Disorders

          With cannabis, using the right cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids can be vital in achieving the desired results. The research points to these compounds as potentially useful for sickle cell diseases:

            • – for its vasodilatory effects and ability to ease breathing, as well as reduce pain and inflammation – for its anti-inflammatory, mood-lifting, and antimicrobial properties
            • Cannabigerol (CBG) – for its neurogenic (creation of new brain cells) properties – for its anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties – for its antimicrobial properties and the ability to open up the airways and ease breathing – to help treat neuropathic (nerve) pain, which has been estimated to occur in approximately 25-40% of adolescents and adults with SCD.
            Download Free Guide to CBG
            Download Free Guide to THCV
            Download Free Guide to Beta-Caryophyllene

            Suggested Dosing

            There is little information on dosing medical marijuana for sickle cell diseases. Far more information is needed, and clinical trials where dosage and cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid content are taken into account need to occur.

            With that said, low-to-moderate doses of THC and moderate to high doses of CBD may be useful for those who have SCD. Choosing cannabis varieties (or “strains,” as they’re often mislabeled) with plenty of pinene and beta-caryophyllene may be helpful.

            Medical Marijuana for Sickle Cell Diseases: Overall

            There is some good-quality evidence to suggest that medical marijuana and naturally-derived plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) may be beneficial for the treatment of conditions like sickle cell anemia. However, some studies are showing inconclusive or even negative results, suggesting that more research on a larger number of people is needed to fully understand cannabis’ positives and negatives for the treatment of SCDs.

            Article written by

            Dipak Hemraj Head of Research and Education

            Dipak Hemraj is a published author, grower, product maker, and Leafwell’s resident cannabis expert. From botany & horticulture to culture and economics, he wishes to help educate the public on why cannabis is medicine (or a “pharmacy in a plant”) and how it can be used to treat a plethora of health problems. Dipak wants to unlock the power of the plant, and see if there are specific cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profiles suitable for different conditions.

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            Cannabis for Disproportionately Affect Minorities

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            CBD & Sickle Cell Anemia Pain: What the Research Says

            Sickle cell anemia is a type of anemia that involves misshaped blood cells.

            This condition can be very painful — here’s how CBD may be able to help.

            Article By

            Anemia is a common medical condition involving loss, premature breakdown, or dysfunctional manufacture of red blood cells.

            It basically means we don’t have enough high-quality blood in our veins and arteries.

            There are many different types of anemia, each with its own set of treatment options, and symptoms.

            Some people have begun taking CBD oil as a treatment for their anemia.

            Here, we discuss what types of anemia CBD oil can be used for, how it works, and when CBD oil doesn’t work for this condition.


            Updated on November 14, 2021

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            The Benefits of CBD Oil For Sickle Cell Anemia

            CBD oil is useful for many things, but it mainly works by supporting homeostasis in the body — which can be defined as a “state of balance”.

            In the case of anemia, there are only a few ways that CBD oil can help; and the people with sickle cell anemia will have the most to benefit from it.

            This is because one of the primary side effects of the condition is pain and inflammation as the misshapen red blood cells that get lodged in the tiny capillaries of the cardiovascular system. When this happens, it blocks blood flow from the area, causing the cells to starve for oxygen and nutrients.

            This is a significant source of pain for these individuals, often prompting them to take opioids or other pharmaceutical pain medications.

            CBD directly inhibits the pain associated with sickle cell anemia, and can dramatically improve the quality of life for these patients.

            The benefits of CBD oil for anemia include:

            • Alleviates pain from sickle cell anemia
            • May support the production of red blood cells
            • Supports energy levels in patients with iron-deficient anemia

            Anemia: Red Blood Cells & Their Impact On Our Health

            One of the most underrated cells in the body is the humble red blood cell.

            They are made in the bone marrow before being released into circulation and are responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to every other cell in the body – and then bringing some of the CO2 produced in the organs back to the lungs for elimination.

            These specialized cells are vital to our health and wellbeing. Any issues with them can leave our cells suffocating for fresh oxygen. This leaves us feeling weak, tired, pale in complexion, and lowers our ability to resist cold and flu.

            This is the main problem with anemia.

            When we’re anemic, it means that our red blood cells are either misshapen, missing hemoglobin, or not abundant enough. So it’s more difficult for the body to deliver the necessary oxygen to the cells that need it.

            Depending on the cause of anemia, other types of blood cells may also be affected, such as the B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, or neutrophils that make up the bulk of our immune system.

            A red blood cell has a lifespan of about 90 to 120 days before it’s removed from the blood and recycled through the spleen and liver.

            This means that any damage to the red blood cells could have an effect for 3 or 4 months before a new cell is produced to replace it.

            This is why anemia is a long-term condition, not something that develops or clears up overnight. It often takes about 3 or 4 months of treatment to improve the condition and alleviate symptoms.

            What is Hemoglobin?

            The functional unit of the red blood cell is a molecule called hemoglobin. This is the part that does all the heavy lifting.

            The hemoglobin molecule is basically made of protein (globin) and what is called a “heme group”, a structure that contains iron. This is the place where oxygen and carbon dioxide bind to the blood cell surface.

            When hemoglobin isn’t manufactured correctly, we can end up with anemias such as sickle cell, and thalassemia.

            We’ll talk more about this later.

            What is Anemia?

            Anemia is a condition involving insufficient or dysfunctional red blood cell production. It’s the most common blood condition in the United States, affecting roughly 5.6% of the entire population.

            There are many different causes for anemia, and CBD oil is useful for some more than it is for others.

            It’s important to understand what type of anemia you have.

            Symptoms of Anemia

            1. Anemia From Loss Of Blood

            As seen previously, we need iron to build hemoglobin – the main functional unit of the red blood cell. We normally get that iron through our food, and we will lose some of it through the sweat glands and shedding skin cells. However, this loss is so small it is negligible.

            The primary source of iron loss is actually through the loss of blood. Since the primary use of iron is in the form of hemoglobin in our blood, when we lose blood, we lose the iron too.

            Typically, when a red blood cell wears out, we recycle the iron to make new hemoglobin. Almost none of it ever gets wasted.

            Although a traumatic injury resulting in a lot of blood loss can certainly cause anemia, it’s more common for the condition to develop as a result of low-grade, chronic bleeding. This is because people who have lost a lot of blood usually end up receiving blood transfusions in the hospital, effectively replenishing the blood supply and preventing anemia.

            Minor bleeding, however, often goes unnoticed, and accounts for many of the leading causes of anemia worldwide.

            Some of the Most Common Examples Include:
            • Menstruation, especially if excessive bleeding is present
            • Gastrointestinal bleeding, such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer
            • NSAID medication use, a common cause of ulcers

            2. Anemia Caused by Dysfunctional Red Blood Cell Production

            A) Nutritional Deficiencies

            Red blood cells take a lot of resources to manufacture. They’re a very complex cell, with multiple stages of development. They’re also needed in ample supplies on a near-constant basis.

            If any of these resources become deficient, or any of the stages of development become impeded, red blood cell production begins to suffer.

            The nutrients needed to build red blood cells include:

            If any of these nutrients become deficient in the diet, red blood cell production will suffer.

            This happens mainly due to iron and B12 deficiencies, which are common in people who eat vegetarian or vegan diets since the majority of foods that contain these nutrients are meats and other animal products.

            Pernicious anemia is another related cause for anemia but relies on a condition where the body can’t produce enough intrinsic factor, which is essential for absorbing vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract.

            This type of anemia is treated by identifying which nutrients are deficient and adding them to the diet either through food or in supplemental form.

            B) Dysfunctional Red Blood Cell Production

            Sometimes there are problems in the actual production of red blood cells.

            This can be the result of things like:

            • Genetically inherited disorders – such as thalassemia
            • Cancer therapy –damages the bone marrow tasked with producing red blood cells
            • Hereditary spherocytosis – genetic conditions affecting the membrane of red blood cells
            • Sickle cell anemia – misshapen hemoglobin molecules, causing distorted red blood cell shape and function

            When talking about CBD oil, perhaps the most significant form of anemia is sickle cell anemia.

            Sickle Cell Anemia

            With this form of hereditary anemia, dysfunctional hemoglobin causes the red blood cells to develop into abnormal crescent (sickle) shapes.

            This abnormality causes a set of problems starting with their function:

            1. Sickle cells don’t work as well as normal cells
            2. Sickle cells break down faster than normal cells
            3. Sickle cells get lodged in microcapillaries, causing pain and damage to the area

            The condition is usually first seen in childhood.

            The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia include:

            3. Anemia Caused by Premature Destruction of Red Blood Cells

            The final category of anemia is caused by premature destruction of the red blood cells themselves.

            This, of course, overlaps with some other forms, such as sickle cell anemia, which leads to a premature breakdown of the misshapen blood cells.

            Some examples of anemia caused by premature red blood cell destruction include:
            • Hemolytic anemia causes excessive breakdown of red blood cells
            • Thalassemia, an inherited disorder resulting in misshapen hemoglobin molecules
            • Side effects of certain drugs such as Cephalosporins that can cause hemolytic anemia
            • Snake or spider venom, especially those containing hemolytic toxins such as cobras
            • Liver, kidney, or spleen disease

            How to Use CBD Oil For Anemia

            So, now that we’ve covered the causes and many different types of anemia let’s get into how CBD oil can benefit anemia patients.

            1. CBD Oil and Sickle Cell Anemia

            One of the main symptoms of people suffering from sickle-cell anemia is the pain associated with lodgements of the misshapen red blood cells in the microcapillaries. Pain can also occur from poor oxygenation of the tissue resulting from sickle cell anemia.

            In some cases, sufferers are prompted to take potent opioid painkillers to manage the pain.

            These opioids are a problem over the long-term because they’re highly addictive and bring with them a wide range of negative side effects. So people are now starting to use other methods of pain management for this condition such as marijuana and CBD oil.

            A questionnaire-based study done on people living with sickle cell disease involved a few questions on marijuana use and the results found that 36% of the 88 patients in the study had used marijuana to treat symptoms of the disorder.

            52% of these people used it to reduce the pain associated with the condition, while 77% suggested they used it for sedation or relaxation purposes.

            Another study used an animal model to look at how cannabinoids can be effective at treating the pain from sickle cell anemia. It found that the primary mechanism was through their ability to stabilize mast cells, which are one of the main drivers of inflammation and pain in the body.

            In this same study, cannabinoids were also shown to reduce neuropathic (nerve-related) inflammation involved with sickle cell disease.

            2. CBD Oil and Iron Deficiency Anemia

            CBD itself has little effect on iron-deficient anemia; however, the hemp seed oil often used as the carrier oil in these products is naturally high in iron.

            The critical thing to consider here, however, is the dosage.

            Typically, the doses used for CBD oil are only a few milliliters per day. But to get the nutritional benefits of hemp seed oil for treating anemia you’d need to consume much more than that.

            In 100 mL of hemp seed oil, there’s approximately 8 mg of iron.

            According to the National Institute Of Health, the daily requirements for iron in adults between the ages of 19 and 50 is 8 mg/day for men, and 18 mg/day in women.

            Daily Iron Requirements:
            Age Male Female
            7-12 months 11 mg 11 mg
            1–3 years 7 mg 7 mg
            4–8 years 10 mg 10 mg
            9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
            14–18 years 11 mg 15 mg
            19–50 years 8 mg 18 mg
            51+ years 8 mg 8 mg

            These numbers would mean we require about 100-200 mL of hemp seed oil each day.

            These are maintenance doses, however – treating iron deficiency anemia is much more difficult and requires much more iron intake.

            Most sources for treating iron-deficient anemia recommend taking 150-200 mg of iron each day, which is the equivalent of about 1.9 L of hemp seed oil per day.

            That’s a lot of hemp oil.

            According to, this would cost about $50 per day in hemp oil alone and would require you to drink nearly 2000 mL of the stuff each day.

            This is simply not reasonable.

            Raw, unshelled hemp seeds are a little better, containing about 9.6 mg of iron per 100 g.

            You would need to consume 1.5 kg of raw hemp seeds per day.

            Instead, it’s probably best to stick to iron supplements and other high-concentration sources of iron, such as dark leafy vegetables, tofu, and red meat.

            Final Thoughts: CBD Oil for Anemia

            CBD oil offers only minor improvements to most causes of anemia. Most of these benefits regard symptoms of anxiety and stress, rather than the condition itself.

            The main benefit of CBD oil towards anemia comes from its ability to lower the pain and discomfort involved with a particular type of anemia, known as sickle cell anemia.

            It could be used to help reduce the nerve pain involved with the condition, which is a particularly difficult type of pain to treat.

            It also lowers mast cell activation, which helps reduce pain and inflammation involved with sickle cell anemia.

            Other types of anemia have shown little benefit from CBD oil; however, it may be useful for secondary symptoms of the condition including mood disorders, anxiety, fatigue, and frequent infection.