Thanks to the constantly evolving medical industry, the world now has plenty of newer therapeutic options to take advantage of and explore. Two recent advancements in the medical field are stem cells and cannabidiol (CBD) products.
The use of these treatments has been somewhat controversial, but they are slowly making their name in the field. Medical experts and scientists are looking into the potential synergistic effect that CBD and stem cells might deliver when they are used concurrently.
CBD has risen to popularity as many athletes, performers, and celebrities have endorsed it and incorporated it into their routine. But what are stem cells?
In this article, we will explore what stem cells are and what benefits they may provide. We will also look at how CBD could potentially help people make the most out of what stem cell therapy has to offer. If you want to discover more about stem cell and cannabinoid research, read on.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are the basic components from which all of our body’s cells are derived. Among other roles, these cells play a significant role in the body's healing process. For medical practice and research, stem cells can be harvested from a variety of sources. Two of the most common sources are adult fat and bone marrow.
Stem cells are important to medical research because they are considered to be the raw materials of the body. They can develop into cells that have specialized functions or cells that make up our muscles, tendons, bones, cartilage, or ligaments.
Under the right conditions, these cells will divide and form more cells known as daughter cells. The resulting cells will either self-renew (form new stem cells) or be differentiated (turn into the specialized cells that were mentioned in the previous paragraph). Stem cells are the only type of cells in the body that can do this. This simple fact is what makes these cells unique and significant to the medical industry.
What are the Benefits of Stem Cells?
Because of their transformative capabilities, stem cells are believed to have the potential to treat a wide array of conditions, including degenerative illnesses, physical injuries, and more. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let us first familiarize ourselves with the five most well-known benefits that stem cells provide. Based on stem cell and cannabinoid research, these are as follows:
Prevent invasive surgery and the risks associated with it.
It is well-known that the more invasive the surgery is, the more risks and complications the patient may encounter. Stem cell therapy is considered to be a minimally invasive and non-surgical alternative to certain types of surgeries.
One of the steps for stem cell treatments is harvesting the patient's stem cells from their own bone marrow. This occurs through a process called aspiration, wherein the doctor uses a long needle and inserts it into a specific part of the patient's body (like the hipbone). After collecting the stem cells, they are then delivered to the affected organ via injection.
Once the stem cells are introduced inside your body, they begin to produce new tissues that can help replace the damaged part of the body, whether it is a tendon, muscle, ligament, bone, or cartilage.
The insertion of a long needle into the body can seem invasive, but it removes the need for cuts and incisions required for traditional surgical processes. As a result, the risks of bleeding, injuries, and damage to other organs (that are more common in traditional surgical methods) are reduced or even eliminated.
Promote faster post-procedural recovery time.
The less invasive the surgery is, the faster the patient can recover. Since there are no cuts and incisions, patients will not have to worry about walking around or overworking themselves after the therapy. They can quickly go back to performing daily tasks in just a matter of days to a week. The established recovery time is just to allow the stem cell treatment process to take place without hindrances and avoid possible inflammation.
Reduce procedure time.
Aside from faster recovery, the use of stem cells also makes the procedure a lot faster. Since the stem cells are harvested from the patient's body, the amount of time needed to perform the surgery is minimized. Depending on the type of procedure performed or the severity of the medical condition of the patient, stem cell procedures generally last for two to five hours.
Eliminate the risk of rejection.
When you receive stem cells or body organs from a donor, there is always the risk that your body might reject it. This may happen when your immune system perceives the transplanted organs and stem cells as foreign. It may be because the antigens on the cells of the transplanted organs do not match the antigens in your body. When this happens, your body may suffer a blood transfusion reaction or an organ transplant rejection wherein the body's immune system attacks the foreign cells or organs. In such cases, the effect of the surgery and your health could both be compromised.
Stem cells, on the other hand, are typically harvested from your own body. Therefore, there is much less risk of your body recognizing the transplant as a foreign agent.
Deliver chronic pain relief.
Stem cell and cannabinoid research shows that people who suffer from chronic pain may benefit from the use of stem cell therapy. Studies have been conducted to determine the stem cell therapy's ability to manage pain, especially in the parts of the body like the knees, elbows, back, and hips.
It is believed that stem cell therapy targets inflammation, one of the primary causes of pain. The effectiveness of adult stem cells is due to its ability to restore lost, aging, or damaged cells to regenerate the tissues in our body. Because of this discovery, it is believed that stem cell therapies can treat degenerative conditions that cause pain, like arthritis.
Aside from arthritis, other potential conditions for which stem cell therapies may be useful include osteoarthritis, labral tears, partial ligament tears, meniscal tears, discogenic back pain, tendon inflammation, and more.
Offer a platform for new drug testing.
One of the most exciting benefits of stem cell therapy is its role in drug testing studies. Instead of testing on animals and humans, pharmaceutical companies can first test on stem cells to determine the safety and effectiveness of the new drugs that they are trying to develop. If the target conditions are perfectly replicated in the stem cells, the studies conducted may yield more accurate results.
Pave the way for the discovery of new and more advanced treatments.
Based on the discovered effects of stem cells on the body and in the medical industry, they may provide better opportunities to learn new treatments for different types of diseases. In other words, stem cells are a very new field of medical research. Every new discovery that scientists make enhances the future of the industry’s potential.
Exploring Stem Cell and Cannabinoid Research
Stem cells and CBD are both in the spotlight in the medical industry. Numerous studies are being conducted to determine their potential benefits and applications in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals.
Did you know that stem cells and CBD have something in common that goes beyond the limelight that they are getting? It is believed that the application of stem cell therapy and the usage of CBD products may deliver synergistic effects. This means that these two medical interventions work together to provide a more significant impact.
Stem cell and cannabinoid research is being conducted to explore the potential ability of CBD products to boost the number of stem cells growing inside the body. Moreover, some studies are attempting to determine the possible effect of CBD on the movement of stem cells within the body to facilitate their regenerative and healing properties.
It is also believed that, like stem cell therapy, CBD might help manage inflammation. This may be because CBD acts on the body's endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the inflammatory processes of the immune system.
As discussed in the previous section, stem cells can help manage chronic pain, especially arthritis. Many CBD users claim that they seek relief from arthritis-related pain by either taking CBD capsules or applying CBD cream directly to the affected area. Upon ingestion or application, CBD may activate the body's endocannabinoid system, which also plays a significant role in managing pain.
Stem cell and cannabinoid research are still in their infancy. Further studies are needed to determine if the combination may lead to a synergistic effect. If you want to take advantage of the potential benefits of stem cell therapies or CBD, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor first.