Does CBD help with inflammation? What we know so far
Inflammation, or the inflammatory response, 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, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer’s.
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 does CBD reduce inflammation?
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.
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.
Human health: What do studies say?
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.”
What do experts say?
CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory and it is likely one of the safest medicines to provide such an effect.
Dr. Michael Verbora
“One of the challenges is we don’t know what dose can alleviate what anti-inflammatory or immune-related conditions,” he continued.
Verbora is hopeful that future research might reveal a role for CBD in treating many inflammatory disorders.
CBD is often celebrated for its anti-inflammatory properties, but how much do we know about how it works on inflammatory conditions like IBS, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease?
Find the Best CBD for Inflammation
According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) one-fifth of the American adult population experiences chronic pain and inflammation on a daily basis. And for those who deal with inflammation, finding better long-term alternatives to over-the-counter NSAIDs can be another unexpected struggle all on its own.
Recently, more and more people are turning to a new natural health alternative known as cannabidiol or CBD. By now, you may have heard of CBD, a cannabinoid found in hemp plants, as this buzzy new supplement is being touted for its wellness benefits for everything from anxiety to pain relief to skin care—and that includes the positive effects of CBD on inflammation. (Related: 3 Reasons You Should Try CBD Even If You Have No Interest In Weed)
What Causes Inflammation?
The inflammatory response is a natural defense mechanism that helps your body fight off pathogens and foreign compounds. There are two different types of inflammation: Acute, which lasts for short periods of time and occurs when cells or tissue in the body are damaged, and chronic, which can occur for months—or even years—and lead to harmful long-term effects on the body.
Some of the most common solutions for chronic pain and inflammatory diseases are NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Advil), as well as acetaminophen drugs (i.e. Tylenol). But these pain-reducing pills have their own drawbacks, including possible negative long-term effects, which is why many people look for alternative treatment options to naturally ease pain and inflammation. (Related: What’s the Best CBD Cream for Arthritis Pain?)
Does CBD for Inflammation Really Work?
Some recent research (although still in its early stages and mostly derived from animal studies), seems to suggest that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s how it works: CBD may be able to impact inflammation through its actions on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an extensive physiological system in your body.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in key inflammatory processes, and it’s vital for maintaining normal functioning of the nervous systems, immune system, and many other organs and tissues.
The effects of CBD are made possible primarily through cannabinoid receptors that are activated by the inflammatory response. Cannabinoids from hemp, like CBD, stimulate these same receptors, and in the process it can help modulate pain sensation and inflammation.
Best CBD Oils for Inflammation
Whether you’re struggling from an inflammatory bowel disease, joint pain, arthritis, or any other chronic condition associated with pain and inflammation, CBD may be worth a shot. But just like anything else you consume or apply on your body, it’s important to consider the quality of what you’re purchasing. You’ll want to choose options from high-quality, trustworthy brands that provide third-party lab tests for their products (which helps ensure the purity, potency, and safety of CBD products).
Additionally, just like with any supplement, you should always check with your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or take prescription medications. Side effects are uncommon, but it’s best to play it safe when it comes to your health and wellness. (Related: A Definitive List of the Proven Health Benefits of CBD Oil)
If you’re looking to give CBD a try, check out some of the top CBD products for inflammation below, including CBD oils for oral consumption and CBD topicals that can be applied directly to the skin to alleviate specific pain areas.
Are you struggling with inflammation and want to try CBD oil? Here’s what you need to know about CBD for inflammation and how it can help.