CBD and Inflammation. How it can help.
Inflammation is an aspect of the body’s immune response. While short-term inflammation can be protective, chronic inflammation is linked to several diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. On top of that, Inflammation often goes hand in hand with pain. The most common symptoms of inflammation include pain, heat, redness, and swelling. Typically, inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medications, including both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroid medications.
Such medications have risks and side effects, however. Some people choose to take a more preventative approach to treating inflammation, such as consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, and taking anti-inflammatory supplements. Could CBD contribute to a more natural approach to treating inflammation?
Current evidence suggests the answer may be yes, but as with many subjects in the cannabis world, more research is needed.
How can CBD reduce inflammation in the body?
Cannabinoids, including CBD, are believed to be anti-inflammatory. Several studies in cells, rodents, and humans support the idea that CBD may be an effective anti-inflammatory, but more research is needed to determine how it works and the best applications for specific types of inflammation.
Inflammation is a complicated process involving many signalling pathways. The body uses signalling molecules called eicosanoids to initiate the inflammatory response. One of the ways CBD can reduce inflammation is by inhibiting an eicosanoid enzyme called COX2. NSAID medications such as Advil and Aspirin also target COX2 in their method of action.
CBD also appears to affect a class of molecules important to the inflammation process called cytokines. CBD tends to reduce the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation.
What are studies saying about all this?
Inflammation plays an important role in a number of diseases, including asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and a number of autoimmune conditions, as well as in other seemingly unrelated conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Could CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects be used in any of these applications?
There is some evidence supporting the idea that CBD can act as an anti-inflammatory treatment for some diseases.
A 2008 study in mice found that CBD prevented the onset of type 1 diabetes, an inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the beta cells of the pancreas.
Another 2013 study found that CBD protected against the harmful effects of inflammation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.
A 2013 review concluded that CBD was a potential candidate for an inflammatory bowel disease medication. However, a 2017 clinical trial found CBD to be safe, but ineffective for the condition. The authors said their results could “be due to the small dose of CBD, the small number of patients in the study, or the lack of the necessary synergism with other cannabinoids.”
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