Sickle Cell Anemia Overview
Sickle Cell Anemia is a hereditary blood disorder in which red blood cells contort into sickle shapes and rapidly break down due to insufficient oxygen caused by abnormal hemoglobin. Since the blood cells die prematurely, there is a consistent shortage of healthy red blood cells. This shortage is called anemia. The sickled cells often block blood flow resulting in debilitating pain episodes. Typical symptoms consist of extreme, chronic pain and fatigue; Sickle Cell Anemia also leads to other serious health complications such as acute chest syndrome, splenomegaly, cholecystitis, and stroke.
Mast Cell and Hyperalgesia Constriction from Cannabinoids
Treatments for Sickle Cell Anemia range from risky bone-marrow transplants to blood transfusions and medication - namely opioids which activates mast cells. Inflammation, vascular dysfunction and direct neural injury may also initiate sickle cell pain. Hematology articles suggest that targeting cannabinoid receptors could effectively reduce vascular irritation, neurogenic inflammation, and mast cell activation which conducts pain associated with Sickle Cell Anemia. Cutaneous hyperalgesia and musculoskeletal pain due to physical, hot and cold stimuli compiles the pain phenotype experienced by patients with Sickle Cell Anemia. Observations displayed sustainable analgesia with the use of cannabinoids which is very promising for the use of CBD as a possible treatment .
Another European study demonstrated how acute doses of cannabinoids appear to weaken deep tissue and mechanical hyperalgesia in sickle mice models; results also implied an absence of physical tolerance to cannabinoid analgesia. Weak mast cell activation appears to be a result of cannabinoid treatment with a related decrease of the protein Tryptase, neuropeptides, and cytokine enzymes releasing from the skin and cutaneous blood flow. This outcome presented a significant increase in the flow of blood within sickle cell patients.