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CBD and Inflammation: What You Need to Know!



We’ve all heard the term “anti-inflammatory” used around health and food products. But do you know what this actually means? In the following article, we’ll explore inflammation in the body. 

Furthermore, we’ll learn about how CBD can play a role in our inflammatory responses. And finally, you’ll learn about a few other factors involved in managing inflammation, including diet, exercise, and sleep. 

Learn about how CBD can play a role in our inflammatory responses.

Contents

1. So, What Is Inflammation?
    1.1 The Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation
2. The History of Cannabis as a Medicine
3. The Endocannabinoid System and Inflammation
    3.1 So What Does the ECS Do?
    3.2 CBD and Inflammatory Conditions
    3.3 CBD and the ECS
4. A Daily Dose of CBD
5. CBD Safety
6. Other Ways to Reduce Inflammation in Your Body
    6.1 Sleep and Inflammation
    6.2 Exercise
    6.3 Diet
7. Final Thoughts

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1. So, What Is Inflammation?

 

This is crazy but amazing:

Inflammation is the way our body responds to harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, invading pathogens, and toxic compounds. We’ve all likely experienced inflammation while sick or after injuring an ankle or other joint. Overall, our body uses inflammation as a defensive and protective mechanism to help restore optimal health. [1] 

This means that inflammation is not inherently bad, as we want it when the body needs to recover. The problem is when we have too much inflammation, or when we are constantly inflamed. These situations lead to counterproductive effects as our bodies try to heal but are not able to do so. Instead, the body develops problems as it fights this never-ending battle. 

The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic.

When inflammation functions properly, cellular and chemical events occur that minimize impending injury or infection. By reducing the impacts, the body also promotes the effective restoration of a healthy state. Inflammation should always be an acute response to a specific trigger. When inflammation becomes chronic, that is when we can develop chronic inflammatory diseases [1].

1.1 The Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation 

Put simply, there are five core symptoms of inflammation:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • heat
  • pain
  • loss of tissue function

These symptoms are the effects of immune cells gathering in the area and attempting to get things back to normal. 

Redness and swelling are among the core symptoms of inflammation. Learn how to reduce inflammation.

Don’t worry; we won’t get into immune cell names—like leukocyte—in this article. While important to science, we are going to keep this article practical. Specifically, we’ll focus on what you need to know to help manage inflammation in your body. The fact is, managing inflammation is critical to health and functioning. 

Acute inflammation helps us prevent further damage and gets us on the path toward a full recovery. Chronic inflammation, however, is known to produce harmful effects on our health, including the development of inflammatory diseases. [1]

Bottom line: inflammation is an essential protective mechanism for promoting human health. Failure to get the job done and return to normal can lead to chronic inflammation. This can, unfortunately, lead to chronic disease and the development of fibrosis. [2] 

Inflammation is an essential protective mechanism for promoting human health.

2. The History of Cannabis as a Medicine

 

Cannabis sativa L. has been used as a medicine since before the Christian era in Asia, primarily in India. An ancient Chinese medical pharmacopeia was the first known written record of cannabis as a medicine. [3]

Now, this was around 2,700 BC, which is a very long time ago! The indications for cannabis use at this point included rheumatic pain, constipation, female reproductive disorders, and malaria. [3]

It took thousands of years for humans to analyze the Cannabis sativa L. plant and discover the cannabinoid CBD.

It is worth noting that all of those conditions involve inflammation. This is especially the case with rheumatic pain, which is heavily related to inflammation and modern-day arthritis. So were these early Chinese physicians onto something? 

RELATED: The Cannabidiol-Arthritis Connection

Importantly, the cannabis plant that grew at this time was nothing like the modern-day marijuana strains. Specifically, evidence suggests that these high-fiber strains were more akin to hemp. [4]

It took thousands of years for humans to analyze hemp plant and discover the cannabinoid CBD.

That said, it took thousands of years for humans to analyze the plant and discover the cannabinoid CBD. We now know so much about this amazing compound and the ways CBD interacts with your body. [5] 

In the following section, we’ll introduce the endocannabinoid system so that we can understand how CBD influences your inflammation levels

We’ll introduce the endocannabinoid system so that we can understand how CBD influences your inflammation levels.

3. The Endocannabinoid System and Inflammation

 

For those who have not yet learned this amazing fact, you’ll love this!

The human body contains a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The receptors involved in this system are present throughout our bodies. In fact, we learned about this system and these receptors because of the impacts of Cannabis sativa L. [5]

RELATED: Endocannabinoid System Explained

This is because hemp is able to interact with this system in tremendous ways. Specifically, the cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, are able to interact with these receptors and alter the functioning of the ECS. This is how THC gets us high and CBD impacts our health.

CBD is able to interact with the receptors and alter the functioning of the ECS, thus impacting our health.

3.1 So What Does the ECS Do?

“The endocannabinoid system is involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation.” [6]

RELATED: How Cannabinoids Interact with Their ECS Receptors

This ancient signaling system uses lipids called anandamide and 2-AG, among others, to target the receptors and send signals. It just so happens that THC and CBD are close enough to these endogenous cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids) that they can target the same receptors. This is how hemp mimics and heightens the impact of the ECS by acting like an influx of these naturally produced signaling compounds. [6]

To understand how CBD helps reduce inflammation we'll learn how the ECS uses endocannabinoids to send signals.

This network can modulate neuronal functions, inflammatory processes, and the development of various lifestyle diseases. These include Crohn’s disease, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis. [4]

RELATED: CBD, Gut Health, and Digestion—Is There a Link?

We have learned that when a body is physically damaged, endocannabinoids are sent to the area to reduce inflammation and protect the nervous system. [7]

Furthermore, this system is able to downregulate stress-related signals in our bodies that lead to chronic inflammation and some types of pain. The ECS is present all over the body, impacting pain, cognition, memory, endocrine functions, body temperature, heart rate, nausea, inflammation, and immune system functioning. [6]

So now that we understand what inflammation is and how important the ECS is on our health, we can focus on CBD. In the following sections, we’ll explore how CBD is able to interact with the ECS to impact inflammation inside of us all. 

CBD is able to interact with the ECS to impact inflammation inside of us all.

3.2 CBD and Inflammatory Conditions

CBD is the cannabinoid produced by Cannabis sativa L. that we are most interested in when it comes to inflammation. Additionally, CBD is the primary cannabinoid produced by hemp.

CBD has been scientifically shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This also involves neuroprotective functions in the brain and pain-reducing impacts throughout the body. [8] (Click to tweet)

CBD has numerous potential therapeutic benefits that apply to a variety of disorders and diseases. This list includes several diseases heavily related to inflammation, including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, hypoxia-ischemia injury, inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases. [8] (Click to tweet)

CBD has been scientifically shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

While we have much more to learn about the impacts of CBD on the human body, we have learned much through animal models. For example, we know that CBD inhibits the inflammatory process and reduces immune cell involvement, specifically cytokines. [8] 

RELATED: What Is CBD?

Beyond reducing inflammation, CBD is also known to have anxiety and blood pressure-reducing impacts. [9] (Click to tweet)

Beyond reducing inflammation, CBD is also known to have anxiety and blood pressure-reducing impacts.

RELATED: Is CBD the Next All-Natural High-Blood Pressure Medicine?

3.3 CBD and the ECS

While the exact mechanisms need more research, we have some idea of how CBD functions. The ECS has at least two major receptors that we know about: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is more involved with our brain and nervous system, through which THC acts on to make us feel high. 

The CB2 receptor, however, is more involved in our immune system functioning. And so it appears that CBD reduces inflammation through actions involving the CB2 receptor. That said, it appears that this function is only one of the several pathways by which CBD can influence inflammation in our nervous system. [10]

CBD reduces inflammation through actions involving the CB2 receptor.

RELATED: Hemp CBD vs Marijuana CBD: There's a Difference

Congratulations on making it through and learning about the science behind the ECS! The rest of this article is all practical and requires no further scientific education. So just keep trucking through and get the facts you need to help manage inflammation in your life.

WATCH: SOL*CBD Whole Body Liposomal 

4. A Daily Dose of CBD 

 

With everything we know about the harmful effects of chronic inflammation, finding ways to break this change is essential. With that in mind, it appears that CBD may just be one way to get this job done and finally reduce those chronic high levels of inflammation in our bodies. 

CBD may help reduce inflammation in our body.

What’s the Bottom Line? 

CBD appears to reduce inflammation in our bodies. If you’re suffering from problems related to chronic inflammation—or if you simply want to reduce some acute inflammation after an injury—CBD may help you out. (Click to tweet)

If you roll your ankle and it swells up big, this can be concerning. You should keep in mind that this inflammation is good and is meant to help you heal. That said, after the first day or two, we want this inflammation to start subsiding rapidly. This is where taking high daily doses of CBD may help you get back to normal. You may also want to apply some CBD topically!

Topical CBD application, in addition to a daily dose of CBD, may help reduce inflammation rapidly.

RELATED: How Topical CBD Helps Inflammation and Muscle Pain

For others suffering from chronic inflammation, it may be more a matter of getting regular medium doses of CBD until our body can settle down. While ankle swelling may subside in a week, chronic systemic inflammation can take months to recover. 

This is especially true if we don’t make other changes in our life to remove the trigger and promote positive change. To address this, we have some additional useful tips coming up shortly you help you out!

Systemic inflammation can take months to recover, especially if we don’t make other positive changes in our life.

RELATED: CBD Dosage for Inflammation

For those who suffer from allergies, inflammation may just be one factor involved in your suffering. Working to get your inflammatory levels to settle down may reduce how hypersensitive your body is toward minor allergies like seasonal ones (DON’T expect that nut or bee allergy to disappear). 

RELATED: How CBD May Help With Inflammation and Allergies

Are you considering taking CBD but want a little more certainty around safety? We’ve got your back! The next section will put that anxiety to rest. And finally, we will move on to other lifestyle changes and tips to consider that will reduce inflammation in your life. 

5. CBD Safety

 

CBD has a favorable safety profile. At lower doses, it is known to have physiological effects that promote and maintain health. [11] (Click to tweet)

CBD has a favorable safety profile.

For those with blood sugar concerns, it should be noted that CBD appears to have positive effects on hyperglycemia. These effects are mediated via the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of CBD. [11]

Furthermore, CBD is non-impairing and does not induce the “high” that we all associate with cannabis. In fact, it is THC that causes those impacts via effects on CB1, as we mentioned. Thankfully, CBD does not operate in the same way. Instead, CBD interacts with CB2 and other chemical pathways to impact our immune systems and inflammatory levels. [12]

CBD not only reduces inflammation, it also appears to have positive effects on hyperglycemia.

RELATED: The Coronavirus Outbreak, CBD, and How to Boost the Immune System

Hopefully, we are all on the same page now!

In summary, CBD is broadly safe, even at much higher doses than any of us will be taking at home. On the other hand, even low doses of CBD may just help break that inflammatory cycle and help reduce the chronic signs and symptoms of inflammation. (Click to tweet)

RELATED: Exploring CBD for Cardiovascular Diseases

Now, it is time to explore a few other helpful lifestyle tips to get inflammation under control. We’ll look at some basic parts of our life and discuss how important healthy behaviors are in regard to inflammation. 

Helpful lifestyle tips to reduce inflammation.

6. Other Ways to Reduce Inflammation in Your Body 

 

Now that we’ve discussed what inflammation is and how CBD impacts this, you may be asking: What else can I do? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! 

In the following sections, we’ll briefly discuss how sleep, exercise, and diet can also be used to help you manage inflammation. Furthermore, we’ll also talk about the ways CBD positively impacts these lifestyle habits.

In addition to CBD, diet can also be used to help you reduce inflammation.

6.1 Sleep and Inflammation

We’ve all heard about how important sleep is for just about every aspect of living and quality of life. In fact, sleep loss is known to influence inflammation in your body. Overall, sleeping better introduces minor improvements in the prevention of metabolic syndromes and diseases. [13]

WATCH: Advanced Sleep Formula with CBD

Beyond doing what you can to improve your sleep hygiene, consuming CBD may also help in this regard. Specifically, CBD holds promise in improving sleep and thus has therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia. [14] (Click to tweet)

CBD not just helps reduce inflammation, it also holds promise in improving sleep.

6.2 Exercise

Exercise is another healthy behavior that we’ve all heard before. Nonetheless, it is a critical activity for helping to maintain good health and quality of life. Furthermore, regular exercise reduces inflammation in fat tissue, and subsequently, inflammation levels all over the body. [15]

RELATED: Why You Should Take CBD for Exercising

Fortunately, hemp consumers are by no means lazy.

This is great because combining CBD with regular daily exercise not only decreases pain and accelerates post-exercise recovery but helps to enhance its enjoyment as well. Let's keep this going by promoting more exercise. [16] (Click to tweet)

CBD can help reduce inflammation and enhance the enjoyment of exercise.

6.3 Diet

And finally, the last major lifestyle factor to consider in managing your inflammation is your diet. Dietary changes can improve inflammation along with other cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. Broadly speaking, you do not need to eat an “anti-inflammatory” diet; it is more important to eat an overall healthy and controlled diet. This includes factors like less junk food, less fast food, and more healthy home-cooked meals. [17]

RELATED: CBD Oil May Help with Digestive Issues

Thankfully, we CBD consumers also love to eat. That said, we all struggle with eating more healthy and less unhealthy food. Try to make eating a healthy diet a part of your daily routine to help control inflammation levels in your body. 

Try to make eating a healthy diet a part of your daily routine to help control inflammation levels in your body.

RELATED: Here's Why CBD Is Inflammation’s Worst Enemy

7. Final Thoughts

 

There you have it! We have all discovered what inflammation is and how we can use CBD to help manage our health. Furthermore, we’ve discovered some other factors that are important to consider, including sleep, diet, and exercise. Now it’s up to you to implement these in your own life for optimal health.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805548/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022040/
  3. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462006000200015
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820295/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1760722/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345167/
  7. https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1477-7517-2-17
  8. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  12. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cds/2011/00000006/00000004/art00005
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28349316/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3320801/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503143/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6550471/

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