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CBD for Inflammatory Conditions: Can it Help?

CBD For Inflammatory Conditions: Can It Help?

Inflammation, at its best, is our body’s way of dealing with something that is out of whack. It’s an essential process, but when it becomes chronic it could lead to conditions as various as arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.

While we’re still in the early days of research on CBD, there is growing evidence that CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory that may be able to help us protect ourselves against the everyday onslaught of inflammatory triggers. You might be wondering, CBD for inflammatory conditions, can it help?

CBD for Inflammatory Conditions: Can it Help? brown glass bottle with oil in it on top of wooden stool

What Is Chronic Inflammation?

When your body perceives a threat (in the form of viruses or bacteria, for example) it uses the process of inflammation to fight the perceived invader. An army of white blood cells is dispatched to the area, and the increase of blood flow brings with it pain, redness, or swelling 1 Harvard Health Publishing. What is Inflammation? 2021. .

In these situations, we are dealing with acute inflammation. This process is an invaluable part of the immune system’s response when a person is actually injured or suffering from an illness like flu or pneumonia – or if you’ve sprained your ankle or been stung by a bee.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can last for an indefinite period of time – long after an initial trigger has been dealt with. With chronic inflammation, the immune system may actually attack normal, healthy tissue (as in autoimmune disorders).

We also know that long-term exposure to the everyday contaminants and toxins we are bombarded with (like second-hand cigarette smoke or UV rays from the sun) could create a low level of chronic inflammation.

Why Is Chronic Inflammation A Problem?

If you’ve dealt with the chronic inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis or an autoimmune disorder, you’ll know firsthand why this kind of inflammation is a problem. Chronic inflammatory conditions are painful and often very difficult to treat. Millions of people suffer from them, and they represent a huge challenge for the medical community.

But there’s another reason that chronic inflammation is a problem.

When the inflammation process is turned on in the body, it increases the production of free radicals, leading to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, in turn, is responsible for a whole range of diseases – including some of the scarier ones, like cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease 2 Raja, A., Ahmadi, S., de Costa, F., Li, N., & Kerman, K. (2020). Attenuation of Oxidative Stress by Cannabinoids and Cannabis Extracts in Differentiated Neuronal Cells. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 13(11), 328. .

According to Professor Fran Balkwill, at the Barts Cancer Institute in the UK, “ If genetic damage is the ‘match that lights the fire’ of cancer, some types of inflammation may provide the ‘fuel that feeds the flames.” 3 Balkwill, F., & Mantovani, A. (2001). Inflammation and cancer: back to Virchow?. Lancet (London, England), 357(9255), 539–545.

While treating acute inflammation with NSAIDs (including over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen) may make a lot of sense, these traditional anti-inflammatory medications also come with a long list of side effects. This makes them a less-than-ideal treatment for the kind of chronic inflammation that leads to some of these long-term conditions.

What Studies Exist To Support The Use Of CBD For Inflammation?

Recent research has demonstrated that CBD has a wide-ranging efficacy when it comes to reducing inflammation, as well as having anti-oxidant benefits that protect the body from dangerous free radicals.

Inflammation is a complex process involving multiple signaling pathways – and CBD’s activities in the body are also diverse. This means that there isn’t just one way the CBD works in the body, and scientists are busy working out the nuances of how it interacts with our body’s systems.

The Covid-19 pandemic has actually pushed some of this research forward in recent months, as researchers have begun to show evidence that CBD could help to calm a cytokine storm – an inflammatory process run amok – that attends some of the most serious cases of Covid-19.

It’s important to note, though, that most research on CBD for inflammatory conditions is still in the pre-clinical stage, meaning large-scale studies have yet to be completed on humans.

2021: Antioxidative & Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol

The authors of this study review several years of scientific literature on CBD for inflammation and oxidative stress. They note that oxidative stress leads to metabolic modifications that “have many negative aspects and lead to the development and/or exacerbation of many diseases.”

In their conclusions, they state that “relatively recently, multidirectional biological effects have been demonstrated in various preclinical models, including the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol. In the context of the above data, CBD seems to be more preferred than other compounds from the phytocannabinoid group.

2020: CBD: A Killer For inflammatory Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts

According to the authors of this recent study “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from cannabis sativa that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in several inflammatory conditions including arthritis.”

The study details some of the multiple pathways that CBD uses to reduce inflammation and the authors conclude that CBD could work well in combination with other RA medications:

“In conclusion, CBD might be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in rheumatoid arthritis that might support the action of currently used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs”

2011: Cannabidiol As An Emergent Therapeutic Strategy For Lessening The Impact Of Inflammation On Oxidative Stress

The authors of this 2011 study tackle the relationship between Inflammation and oxidative stress, which are “intimately involved in the genesis of many human diseases.”

According to the authors: “Unraveling that relationship therapeutically has proven challenging, in part because inflammation and oxidative stress “feed off” each other. However, CBD would seem to be a promising starting point for further drug development given its anti-oxidant (although relatively modest) and anti-inflammatory actions on immune cells.”

How To Use CBD For Inflammation

If you want to try using CBD for inflammation, you may be overwhelmed by the options available to you. To make things a bit simpler, we’ll recommend a variety of products from companies we trust.

To experience CBD’s systemic anti-inflammatory benefits, you really need to get it into your bloodstream. There are multiple ways of doing this, but the most popular remains the CBD tincture. You can find these everywhere, but the reality is that many on the market don’t contain what their labels say.

In order to be sure you are getting what you are paying for, it’s important to buy from a reputable source. At Bloom&Oil, we have a list of our favorites here, but here are a few of the very best:

● Lazarus Naturals CBD oil: Lazarus Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD tinctures, both full-spectrum (which contains traces of THC) and isolate-based (THC-free).

 Medterra CBD oil: If you want to avoid any trace of THC (or other cannabinoids), Medterra creates affordable, reliably dosed CBD isolate-based CBD oil.

● Joy Organics CBD Oils: For those who prefer to avoid THC, but still want to benefit from other beneficial cannabinoids (in addition to CBD), it’s hard to beat Joy Organics.

If you have questions about how to begin finding your perfect dose of CBD, check out our guide.

Cautions About Using CBD For Inflammation

CBD is known to have a good safety profile, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. In particular, you should talk to your doctor if you are currently taking prescription medications. CBD could interact with some drugs that are also processed in the liver, causing increased side effects or even decreased efficacy.

If you are pregnant, you should also exercise caution with regards to CBD (and any cannabinoid). A recent study has identified possible harms to a developing fetus. It’s definitely worth talking to your doctor or midwife about whether this is a safe option for you.

Finally, for anyone wanting to try CBD for inflammation, it is hard not to overestimate how important it is to buy your CBD products from a trustworthy source. Look for companies that are transparent about who grows their hemp (and whether it is grown organically), how they extract their CBD, and make sure they provide third-party lab reports.

Summary

Research on CBD for inflammatory conditions is in the early stages, but multiple labs and animal studies already attest to its role as a potent anti-inflammatory. CBD utilizes various pathways to modulate the body’s immune response, some of which we are just beginning to understand.

While we have yet to see the results of large-scale clinical studies, the early evidence points to CBD’s efficacy as a treatment for inflammation.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.

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