Does CBD Reduce Inflammation?

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.

Reduce inflammation with CBD

Acute 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

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 Medicinesupports 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.

Reduce inflammation with CBD skin balm

Curcumin

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. 

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

Lately, Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil has been making headlines for its therapeutic effects. But many are wondering what the hype is all about. Simply put, CBD naturally aids and nourishes the body’s Endocannabinoid System. Though you’re likely unfamiliar with it, this biological system is found inside all of our bodies. So instead of introducing synthetic substances that oftentimes involve side effects, CBD interacts naturally with the body’s systems.

The Endocannabinoid System

Despite its integral role in maintaining a healthy and balanced body, many are unfamiliar with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and what it does. This biological system is an important communication network. It’s composed of cannabinoids (naturally occurring chemicals) and receptors throughout the body. Additionally, more and more scientific research is beginning to show the vital role the Endocannabinoid System plays in supporting various vital biological tasks. This may include the regulation of appetite, mood, memory, immune function, energy, and sleep patterns.

Dr. Vincenzo di Marzo, Research Director at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council in Italy, has been studying the Endocannabinoid System for over 20 years. As one of the world’s leading cannabinoid scientists, he explained, “The endocannabinoid system so far is the only endogenous system of chemical signals that is involved in everything.”

The system’s widespread impact may be due to its overarching goal of homeostasis. In other words, the ECS is activated to help keep things functioning just right.

Endocannabinoid system creates balance

Cannabinoid Receptors

The Endocannabinoid System is comprised of cannabinoid receptors located all throughout the body. They were first discovered within the human body by scientists in the 1990s and are found on almost all vital organs and immune cells. Type 1 (CB1) are found primarily in the brain, central nervous system, connective tissues, and related organs. Type 2 receptors (CB2) are found in higher concentrations in the immune system and related organs. These cannabinoid receptors work much like a lock and key. They respond to our environment and thus, in turn, initiate various changes in response to said stimuli. 

Cannabinoids

If the ECS receptors are the lock, then cannabinoids are the key. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger various physiological actions. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which help with cell growth, inflammation, and regulating the nervous system. These endocannabinoids stimulate key receptors to help balance responses in the body. Certain endocannabinoids, such as Anandamide (aka the bliss compound) and 2-AG, are integral to our mental function, stress management and immune health.

Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, and Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most widely known. However, 85 other phytocannabinoids have been identified. These chemical compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system functioning. They boast many therapeutic benefits and when cannabinoids work together these benefits are greatly enhanced. This synergy, found in Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD is referred to as the entourage effect.” It’s also why we recommend whole plant CBD products over CBD isolate.

Maintaining a Healthy Functioning Endocannabinoid System

No matter what function the ECS is playing throughout the body while performing its different tasks, the goal is always the same: homeostasis. So supporting your body’s Endocannabinoid System will benefit your overall health and well-being. There are several ways you can promote a healthy functioning Endocannabinoid System.

  1. Exercise
  2. Reduce Stress
  3. Daily CBD Supplement
  4. Sleep
  5. Healthy Diet

With a variety of CBD products available, individuals can choose a product that fits best with his or her lifestyle and personal needs. Similar to taking a multi-vitamin, a daily CBD supplement is a simple way to support the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids and give your Endocannabinoid System a boost. Maintaining a healthy ECS, in turn, results in an overall healthier you. 

Cheat Sheet

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS): A network of receptors spread across our body that help regulate homeostasis across all other major body systems

CB1: ECS receptor primarily found in the brain and central nervous system

CB2: ECS receptor primarily found in the immune system and related organs

CANNABINOIDS: Key to unlocking ECS receptors throughout the body. Two types of these naturally occurring chemical compounds

ENDOCANNABINOIDS: Natural cannabinoid found within the human body

PYTHOCANNABINOIDS: Natural cannabinoid found in the hemp plant

CBD: A major cannabinoid found in Hemp plants which has no psychoactivity but plays a major role in supporting health and wellness, and promotes homeostasis

THC: A major psychotropic cannabinoid found in high amounts in the Marijuana plant that can get you high but also has several medicinal benefits

What is Homeostasis and How is it Achieved?

Balance and homeostasis

Homeostasis is defined as: the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

In other words: balance.

As humans, our bodies (and our lives) are constantly in flux. We are perpetually responding and adapting to the environment around us. For example, think about how your body sweats to cool itself down in response to a hot summer day, how certain foods can uncomfortably disrupt digestion, or how sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic may cause a spike in your blood pressure.

Fortunately, our bodies are also comprised of several biological systems built to automatically respond to these changes. These systems naturally shift us back to our internal equilibrium, or toward achieving and maintaining homeostasis. When the body and mind’s innate center is reached, or when homeostasis occurs, our health, happiness, and overall well-being are greatly improved.

The Endocannabinoid System and Homeostasis

The Endocannabinoid System plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. It affects the immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems, our sleep cycles, and some studies suggest even our mood. In short, this biological system is composed of naturally occurring chemical compounds called endocannabinoids and receptors. As the endocannabinoids stimulate key receptors, together they help balance responses in the body. Certain endocannabinoids, like Anandamide (aka the bliss compound) and 2-AG, are integral to our mental function, stress management, immune health, and ability to maintain homeostasis.

But this delicate system of achieving balance is not indestructible. Chronic stress, toxicity, and poor health choices can greatly impair the proper functioning of this process. We’ve all heard by now the negative effects stress can have on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Yet many of us continue to ignore the dangers of living with chronic stress. Chronic stress throws us out of homeostasis and can wreak havoc on the body and mind. It can lead to exhaustion, depression, weight gain, sleep disruptions, and eventually disease.

How to promote Homeostasis

Because the body’s Endocannabinoid System is directly involved in regulating homeostasis, it’s good to give it a boost. Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found in hemp plants) such as CBD or THC, provide the support your body needs to continue functioning properly. Though CBD and THC affect your mind and body very differently, they do have some similarities. Both are well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and both interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System receptors to support health and wellness.

THC and Homeostasis

Though highly stigmatized throughout the United States and other countries, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does have several medicinal benefits. Research shows THC is a supreme pain reliever, dramatically reduces symptoms accompanying chemotherapy and radiation, improves sleep, and more. Unlike other cannabinoids, THC can get you high to an intoxicating level, though to feel the effects of it, you would have to ingest a strain of cannabis with a high enough THC content. Hemp, however, has less than 0.3% THC content making it legal in the U.S. and consistently unable to get you high. Many companies leave this small THC content in their products. However, Proper Hemp Co. extracts all THC out to provide CBD products to mainstream users without risk of job loss.

CBD for Homeostasis

CBD and Homeostasis

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is another major cannabinoid, though it cannot get you high. This chemical compound interacts with the body’s ECS to help trigger the release of the naturally produced endocannabinoids. Studies show CBD is a powerful yet natural way to relieve pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, and improve sleep quality. Proper Hemp broad spectrum CBD products balance and boost multiple molecular pathways throughout the body and aid homeostasis.

Achieving and maintaining the dynamic state of homeostasis in our bodies requires synergy. Our bodily systems and organs work together to create this balance. As disruptions and deficiencies in our ECS occur, supplementing with CBD products such as Proper Hemp Co.’s Broad Spectrum Phytocannabinoid Rich Hemp Extract can prove to be a valuable resource for promoting healthy activity.