Inflammation has long been recognized as the body’s response to injury and illness. But did you know that it is a common factor among many chronic diseases?
Diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, sinusitis, Crohn’s, and many more all have inflammation living at the heart of the disease.
Once thought of as a normal response, it is now being looked at more closely for it’s negative role in these diseases, and many others.
So how to treat inflammation? With more and more clinical research on cannabidiol(CBD) emerging, and how it interacts with our bodies, using cannabinoids to treat swelling and inflammation is becoming an extremely popular alternative to using anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or other medications along those lines.
Not all inflammation is bad though, and some truly is necessary in order for your body to properly repair itself. It is part of your body’s normal immune system response, and things like infection or wounds would not be able to heal if it wasn’t for the inflammation response.
But what happens when the inflammation response doesn’t easily switch off? You are left with chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to some cancers, or things like rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic inflammation can present itself in many different ways, some which you may not expect.
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Unexplained rashes
Regardless of how it presents itself, or what symptoms you may be experiencing, chronic inflammation can be very uncomfortable, and hard to live with on a day to day basis.
Fortunately, there is research emerging showing CBD oil as a promising way to treat inflammation at the source, and is tentatively being considered much more safe than other prescription options.
How Does CBD Oil Work To Reduce Inflammation?
Cannabidiol is one of the 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, which can be either marijuana or hemp. These cannabinoids work within our Endocannabinoid System. While there are numerous cannabinoids that have been studied, CBD, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), are the two that have been looked at and researched the most.
As you can see from the image above, cannabinoid receptors are located everywhere in the body. CBD and THC both work by binding to receptors that are located all throughout the body in the Endocannabinoid System, but there are a few major differences between them.
THC is most commonly known as the thing that produces a “high”, or “stoned” feeling, while CBD carries none of these psychoactive properties.
The marijuana plant has the highest concentration of THC, while being low in CBD. The industrial hemp plant naturally has very low THC, and is high in CBD content. It makes it the ideal choice when producing CBD, and is where the majority of all CBD comes from. Both of these plants belong to the Cannabis family, and are often confused with one another.
Certain cannabinoids, and CBD in particular, have major anti-inflammatory properties as detailed in this study. They can work to reduce the inflammation you are experiencing, be it from a disease or other factors, such as strenuous exercise, or an injury.
CBD also has anti-convulsant, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotectant properties. It is a true powerhouse cannabinoid that is getting a lot of attention for a reason.
What Kinds Of Inflammation Will CBD Work On?
You may be wondering exactly what you can use CBD for. Because of the way that CBD works in the body, by binding to receptors found in the Endocannabinoid System, it can have a very big impact on a number of areas, and therefore can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments.
Your body is constantly trying to keep itself in homeostasis. Your Endocrine System regulates hormones in your body, telling them to increase in one area, and decrease in another, all to try to keep you in a state of balance.
When a certain part of you is not in sync with the rest, it can throw the rest of system out of whack, and cause a number of problems.
As mentioned above, chronic inflammation can lead to some pretty serious afflictions. One of these, rheumatoid arthritis, is particularly damaging.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease. In your average person, your body fights off foreign and unwanted invaders in your body, such as illness, or bacteria. In someone who suffers from an auto-immune disease, the body doesn’t stop at that, and instead attacks healthy tissue without end.
The immune system’s response to this is to create inflammation, and in this case can be quite severe. Left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to the tissues and joints, massively distorting them. It is generally localized to the hands and feet.
Some studies have been done pertaining to arthritis, and have had promising results, but more research is needed in the area, This study done on mice showed inflammation was greatly reduced after a CBD gel was applied to the joint.
In another study done to determine the effectiveness of the cannabinoid drug Sativex, a “significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed”
Another study done on mice dealing with Osteoarthritis, it showed the potential to reduce inflammation and block the pain caused by the disease.
This is just one example of the research done that shows just how powerful and effective CBD can be for reducing inflammation. Some other chronic conditions research has shown CBD to help with are:
In all of these studies, CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms.
Is CBD Safe to Take?
Still, much is unknown when it comes to the long term effect that these cannabinoids will have on our systems, and while the research is very hopeful, at the present time it is just too early to tell exactly what effect this is going to have on us later on.
That being said, there are more reports every day of people coming forth and telling their stories about how CBD has helped them, by reducing pain and inflammation, and ultimately leading to a better quality of life.
CBD and THC mimic the endocannabinoids that our bodies produce naturally, and come from a natural source.
It is generally considered as safe to take by anyone, young or old, though there are definitely concerns about the effects that THC has on children, and their still developing brains.
There are a lot of different products to choose from however, and completely THC free options are available.
Both CBD and THC have some medication interaction risks as well, and as with anything you take, it is recommended to speak with a doctor if you plan on using this a method of treatment.
How Do I Use CBD To Treat Inflammation?
Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in several different ways. Sublingual oils are popular, and you use them by placing the oil under your tongue and holding it there. This way it gets absorbed into the sublingual glands and blood vessels, and mostly avoids the first pass through the liver.
Another method that has been steadily gaining popularity is vaping CBD. This method has one of the highest bioavailability rates, which is the rate that your body absorbs and uses the CBD you are taking in. The higher the better in this case, as it has an effect on how much CBD your body is actually receiving in the end.
Vaping does come with its own risks though, and if you decide to go this route, make sure you read up on the proper way to do it, the risks involved, and above all, make sure you are getting a CBD oil that is specifically designed for vaping. You can’t just put regular sublingual CBD oil into your vape device and use it like that.
Capsules and edibles are another method that are extremely easy to use, and you know exactly how much you are getting with every dose you take. This method has the lowest bioavailability rate however, and can take up to 2 hours to fully take effect.
CBD topicals can also provide major localized relief from pain and swelling, and there are many products out there that are specifically geared towards this. Another way to use this method is by rubbing CBD oil straight onto the afflicted area, or mixing it in with any lotion that you are already using.
The skin has a number of cannabinoid receptors, and this method has been said to be highly effective, especially for sore and swollen joints.
Final Thoughts On CBD And Inflammation
I’ve been through quite a bit over the past few years. From surgery to try to correct one problem I was having with my back(which was mostly successful), to another surgery that left me in more pain than ever, anti-inflammatory pain medication has been there the entire time, and taken pretty much every day until I started on CBD oil.
I still took it almost every day in the beginning, but as time went on I found myself needing less and less of it, and I’m at the point now where I may only take some sort of actual medication once a week. The pain and inflammation in my back and pelvis are way down, and I have no doubt that after the years that I’ve been dealing with this, the CBD was what did the trick for me.
Being able to trade in all of the anti-inflammatory meds and pain killers for a more natural option was a no brainer for me.
By experimenting with different doses and THC levels, I was able to find what worked best for me, and is what I would recommend to anyone starting out with it. It isn’t something that is the same across the board for everyone, and a little tinkering is necessary in order to find out what will work for you personally.
The research doesn’t lie. The studies that I’ve included in this article are just a fraction of the research done on CBD and all of its potential uses and benefits, and with the growing interest in it we should see a lot more, and sooner rather than later.
If you’re looking for the best possible pain and inflammation relief, Full Spectrum oil and products are what you are looking for. The only downside to this is that not everyone is able to take it due to the traces of THC within.
A number of the companies on our recommended list are Full Spectrum, but there are THC free options in there as well. As always, make sure when you are looking to buy any CBD product that the company has the lab testing available to ensure you are getting a quality product, as well as following the other guidelines set out here.