If you are like most people – you have heard a thing or two about CBD by now. But what have you heard about CBD and its effect on inflammation?
Short for Cannabidiol (can·na·bid·i·oll), CBD is one of many chemical compounds found in hemp plants. These compounds are also called cannabinoids.
CBD promotes wellness without the intoxicating effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), another cannabinoid.
The list of physical problems that CBD helps with can sound unrealistic.
Everything from seizures to anxiety to better sleep. While more research is needed to prove these claims, there is a lot being done as we speak.
CBD has been used for many years for medical purposes. But it was only recently that scientists discovered its anti-inflammatory properties.
What is Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. It is a protective response where the blood vessels become larger and produce more liquid. This helps fight off the invading organism.
Inflammation can be caused by external factors like sunburn or an infection, but often it is caused by a person’s own immune system in response to an internal problem that it cannot fix on its own.
Inflammation is one of the most common reasons for pain and discomfort. It can affect any part of the body, including the joints, muscles, bones, and organs.
Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation usually lasts a few days and then goes away. Chronic inflammation can last for weeks or months and can lead to serious health problems. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease are just a few.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS)
Humans have a built-in Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. The primary function of this system is to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within the body.
This system helps regulate functions such as sleep, immune-system responses, and pain. We produce some cannabinoids ourselves known as endocannabinoids. The term “endo” refers to “within”, as within the body.
When a mom nurses her baby she produces an endocannabinoid that will soothe her and the baby. Another example of an endocannabinoid triggered in our body is a “runner’s high”.
How does CBD help with inflammation?
CBD itself does not bind to receptors but is thought to work by inducing other components of the cannabinoid system.
It modulates pain and the sensation of pain by stimulating the reuptake of adenosine (the neurotransmitter), thereby boosting adenosine levels in the brain and inhibiting pain sensations.
CBD may also block pain signals from reaching processing centers in the brain by binding to TRPV1, which is responsible for pain and inflammation.
Applying CBD cream allows the CBD to pass through the subcutaneous layer via blood vessels and interact directly with the afflicted area.
In plain English, CBD can help dial down your pain by blocking the signals for pain.
Types of inflammation CBD can affect
While CBD is a promising option for pain relief, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD for treating pain.
This 2020 study reports that CBD could have benefits for relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation, but these effects are condition-specific.
Based on the current research, here are some possible benefits of CBD oil:
Like most things CBD, more evidence is needed to determine the therapeutic benefit and safe and effective dosages for pain. But the research is being conducted and the current findings are extremely optimistic.