The Science Behind CBD’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

by | Dec 3, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Have you ever wondered how CBD can pinpoint certain areas of inflammation and provide lasting relief? Many Americans who deal with chronic pain have turned to CBD as a holistic approach to reducing inflammation within various conditions. Nonprescription CBD products range from edible gummies you can take before bed to ensure a restful night’s sleep to topical ointments where you can target a specific area of inflammation. This blog post will dive into CBD’s beneficial effects, scientific intricacies, and why it has become a key player in natural remedies in recent years.

Inflammation Unveiled: A Journey into the Body’s Defense Mechanism

Before we lean into the science behind CBD’s significant anti-inflammatory properties, it’s necessary to understand the fundamentals of inflammation. Initiated by the immune system, inflammation is a natural and complex biological response to protect the body from harmful stimuli stemming from infections, injuries, or irritants. This complex process is vital for defense and healing. Unfortunately, pain and discomfort accompany it; chronic and excessive inflammation has been known to lead to various health issues, including weakening the immune system.

The inflammation process involves releasing chemical signals such as prostaglandins and cytokine production, which trigger the dilation of blood vessels and immune cells to the affected region. The purpose of inflammation is to protect the body from further damage and promote healing within our immune system. The inflammatory response can be identified as acute and chronic inflammation:

  1. Acute Inflammation: Known as a short, rapid response to injury or infection. The affected region may experience redness, swelling, or waves of pain. This is the initial defense against harmful agents in our body. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are common for treating acute pain.
  2. Chronic Inflammation: As opposed to acute inflammation, chronic inflammation can last for an elongated period of time, lasting weeks, months, or potentially years. Chronic inflammation occurs when your body continues sending inflammatory cells when there is no outside danger. Untreated chronic inflammation can lead to continued inflammatory diseases caused by tissue damage if not treated properly.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

Though recently discovered, the endocannabinoid system is a captivating regulatory system found within the human body that plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis by assisting in regulating sleep, mood, pain, and immune response. The endocannabinoid system consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. There are two primary receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2 receptors.

1.CB1 receptors regulate the body’s response to pain, our ever-ranging moods, appetite, and sleep. CB1 receptors are located within our body’s messenger system, the nervous system, and have the ability to suppress nerve cell release in a short and long-term manner.

2.CB2 receptors are intertwined with the body’s immune response; these receptors play a large part in the modulation of inflammation. CB2 receptors are located in peripheral tissues within immune cells. The activation of CB2 receptors by cannabis sativa can promote protective effects in neurogenerative, inflammatory, cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic disorders.


CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD is a Phytocannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant that provides no psychoactive effects. In the intricate symphony of the body, the endocannabinoid system orchestrates balance, while CBD emerges as a graceful dancer in this molecular ballet. Unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors but rather modulates them in many different ways:

  1. Enzyme inhibition: CBD inhibits the interaction of the enzyme FAAH, fatty acid binding proteins whose job is to break down a cannabinoid called anandamide. While FAAH shuts down, CBD promotes levels of anandamide in the body, cascading into enhanced CB1 and CB2 receptor activity. This can reduce pain perception and lower inflammation.

2.GPR55 receptor modulation: located in the endocannabinoid system, this metabotropic receptor increases calcium and inhibits M current. A neurology study from 2018 states that the antagonism of GPR55 may be a favorable target for the management of epilepsy. CBD oils have been shown to modulate molecular mechanisms influencing anti-inflammatory activity.

  1. Allosteric modulation of receptors: CBD can act as an allosteric modulator, meaning it has the ability to change the shape of the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. The shape change doesn’t lead to a direct activation but can modify receptor activity, potentially promoting significant anti-inflammatory activity.

The Anti-Inflammatory Mechanisms of CBD

  1. Reduction of oxidative stress: did you know CBD is a potent antioxidant? Inflammation often enhances oxygen-reactive species, which can lead to tissue damage. CBD can help reduce inflammation and release oxidative stress for those living with inflammatory conditions.
  2. Modulation of immune cell activity: consuming CBD oil can influence the polarization of immune cell behavior. The magnitude of activated macrophages promotes tissue repair and the resolution of reducing inflammation.
  3. Inhibition of inflammatory cytokines: the science of how CBD interacts with treating chronic pain continues to fascinate medical cannabis patients. CBD can damper the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which helps alleviate inflammatory response.

Clinical trials have shown that CBD significantly reduces the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibits T-cell proliferation, and decreases the adhesion and departure of immune cells (National Library of Medicine). The combination of CBD oil and THC, also from the cannabis plant but demonstrates psychoactive effects, can exert relieving anti-inflammatory effects. Our endocannabinoid system is grateful for CBD-treating pain through adaptive immune responses.

CBD & Anti-Inflammatory Properties: A Journey Through Scientific Realm

Chronic and acute inflammation comes in all forms; while there are many different pain medications for immediate ease, few provide lasting health benefits. From what we gathered earlier, tissue pain caused by inflammation can prolong further health issues if not treated properly. Those who live with inflammatory conditions using approved nonprescription CBD products and cannabis oil can see lasting effects by implementing products into their daily routine.

Many recent scientific discoveries have shown CBD oil’s potent anti-inflammatory properties. Here are a few intriguing findings:

Neurological Disorders and Neuroinflammation

Neuroinflammation is involved with many different neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, and neuropathic pain. CBD’s ability to provide neuroprotective properties and anti-inflammatory effects provides an encouraging role in mitigating inflammatory conditions. By activating the endocannabinoid system, taking CBD for neurological disorders may support the body and mind to relieve anxiety and alleviate pain from inflammatory mediators.

Arthritis and Joint Health

Protecting our joints is something cannabis users take very seriously. 53.2 million Americans have arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Arthritis has been a focal point of CBD research; in 2016, the European Journal of Pain investigated the impact of topical CBD through murine collagen-induced arthritis models; scientists discovered the reduction of inflammation and pain, suggesting its potential as a topical remedy for rheumatoid arthritis-related discomfort.

Lung Inflammation

While there is not much research on CBD’s effects on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is possible it can help lower inflammation and improve lung function. Cannabis has been demonstrated to be a bronchodilator that promotes anti-inflammatory activity in airways, according to this 2015 study by the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Skin Inflammation

CBD has been demonstrated to reduce the production of human sebocytes due to its anti-inflammatory properties and is an effective treatment for hydrating skin and inflammation associated with acne. Cannabinoid receptors participate in functions related to pain and itch perception; CBD concentrations can help maintain homeostasis during harsh breakouts. Many who live with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer pain often turn to both CBD and THC topical ointments for relief.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The gastrointestinal tract is no stranger to inflammation; lipid mediators are crucial in inflammatory bowel diseases through nitric acid production or oxidization. CBD has been shown to relieve nausea, pain, discomfort in sleep, and gaining appetite back for those dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases. Implementing CBD while experiencing a flare-up with ulcerative colitis may mitigate pain-related behaviors.

The Scientific Tapestry of CBD and Inflammation

From neuroinflammation to inflammatory bowel disease, CBD has demonstrated a versatile ability to modulate inflammatory responses across our vast immune system. While preliminary studies show a promising future for the path to anti-inflammation, there is still so much scientists have left to discover about our body’s response to cannabinoid receptors and the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.

The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oils unfold across various stages of the inflammatory process. One key takeaway is the ability of CBD to reduce cytokine production, which contributes to a more balanced immune response and encourages tissue repair as a result of inflammation. These studies provide a robust foundation for understanding and appreciating the nuanced science behind CBD’s ability to soothe inflammation and offer a promising avenue for those seeking natural solutions.

As more and more consumers consider incorporating CBD into their daily routine, the nuanced ensemble behind CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties becomes paramount. If you or someone you know suffers from acute or chronic pain, try implementing non-prescription CBD products along with daily dietary supplements. As always, when choosing CBD products, it’s important to check certifications on products for safety and purity.

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