Inflammation is a vital and fundamental aspect of the body’s immune response. It defends against illness and infection, signaling to the body to heal and repair itself. It’s also a defense against foreign viruses and bacteria. Basically, we need inflammation to stay healthy. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing. While acute inflammation can promote healing and protection, chronic inflammation can lead to organ damage and illness. In fact, most chronic pain is even linked back to high levels of inflammation.
Most of us are familiar with acute inflammation. This short-term, localized type of inflammation occurs when we experience a sprained ankle, a cut on our hand, or a sore throat. When an injury or illness occurs, blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow and the body’s white blood cells release a chemical into the bloodstream. This signals to the body to protect against infection and promote healing. Acute inflammation may manifest as redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Onset is often rapid and is resolved quickly once healing is complete or the threat is diminished.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, persists over an extended length of time. Also known as persistent or low-grade inflammation, this type isn’t part of the body’s healing process and is experienced throughout the whole body. Pathogens, an overactive immune response, or long-term exposure to an irritant are a few of the causes of chronic inflammation.
The primary concern is that this type of prolonged inflammation can lead to serious health issues. Science indicates that diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, hormonal issues, digestive problems, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders may all stem from inflammation. Even fatigue and mood disorders show a correlation with chronic inflammation.
CBD to Reduce Inflammation
Just as there’s plenty of science indicating the connection between inflammation and health problems, research is also revealing several means of reducing inflammation and returning the body to homeostasis. Diet plays a significant role in this process, linking heart-healthy fats, leafy greens, and turmeric as inflammation fighters. However, studies are also showing Cannabidiol (CBD) to be a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory. In fact, perhaps one of the most heavily studied effects of CBD is its potential to reduce inflammation. While research on this forefront is still new and CBD’s long-term effects need to be studied further, the results of CBD as an anti-inflammatory are promising.
Recently, osteoarthritic rats were part of a 2017 study evaluating CBD’s potential to relieve inflammation, pain, and joint neuropathy. Findings revealed decreased joint inflammation in the rats with CBD use. Researchers also noted CBD’s potential to actually prevent the development of joint pain from occurring in the first place.
Research has also begun on CBD in relieving symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This debilitating chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract includes Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. However, one promising study demonstrated CBD reduced colonic inflammation in colitis-induced mice and in cultures derived from colitis patients. This moderated inflammation also led to a reduction of detrimental intestinal damage.
Pain Relief with CBD
By suppressing the inflammatory response, CBD can also provide relief for many of the symptoms related to inflammation-based problems. CBD may especially be of great assistance for alleviating pain and reducing swelling and soreness.
A study on mice and rats, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, supports these findings. Additionally, their study suggests that individuals are unlikely to build up a tolerance to CBD. Meaning that, unlike typical anti-inflammatories and painkillers, CBD likely poses no threat of addiction and increased dosing won’t be necessary for continued results over time.
Topical CBD Creams
CBD topical creams and balms can be an excellent addition to relieving localized inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles. A 2016 study done on rats found that “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” And thanks to its recent removal from the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s list of banned substances, CBD (especially in topical form) has grown in popularity amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Proper Hemp’s CBD Infused Skin Balm and CBD Joint Creme + OptiMSM are both recommended for helping loosen muscles and reduce blood pressure, which alleviates pain and inflammation. These balms deliver soothing doses of relief for pain induced by inflammation. This makes them ideal for joints, sore and strained muscles, or anytime you need to relax.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to be responsible for impressive anti-inflammatory and pain fighting properties. However, due to the curcumin’s poor bioavailability–meaning the body has a harder time absorbing it–positive results are best achieved when curcumin is combined with other agents, such as seen with Proper Hemp Co.’s CBD + Curcumin Pain Relief Softgels. While chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases, curcumin can suppress many of the molecules known to play major roles in inflammation. This results in a phenomenal source of natural pain management, especially when paired with CBD. This magical combination creates a natural inflammation fighting powerhouse. Together these ingredients help alleviate pain from migraines, menstrual cramps, joint aches, and several chronic conditions.
Stress Relief with CBD
Long-term stress has been shown again and again to also be a contributing factor to inflammation. Not surprising considering the toll we know it takes on our overall health. Interestingly enough, though, research indicates that the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays an integral role in how we respond to stress. This suggests that by achieving and maintaining a healthy, functioning Endocannabinoid System, we may be able to better manage stress and therefore reduce some of the body’s existing inflammation. A daily CBD supplement can be an easy and effective boost to reducing one’s overall stress.
Disclaimer: Though the current CBD research as an anti-inflammatory is encouraging, further examination is needed. Additionally, Proper Hemp always recommends discussing with a physician prior to adding new dietary supplements to one’s routine.