Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular choice as an alternative therapeutic treatment for many different health issues. As one of the most prolific of the hundreds of chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, CBD oil has been touted as beneficial in treating everything from stress and anxiety to headaches, chronic pain, arthritis, and inflammation.
4 Benefits of Using CBD for Inflammation
- Pain Relief
- Variety of Treatment Methods
- Natural Alternative to Prescriptions
Though research into CBD’s effects on inflammation is fairly new and remains in early stages, there’s much in the current research that shows CBD’s promise in easing the symptoms associated with chronic inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a naturally occurring, protective response that the body enters into in response to injury. It can manifest as an acute response to injury, illness, or trauma, with the body’s immune system dispatching immune cells to the affected area in order to protect it, causing redness, discomfort, and swelling.
Inflammation can also be chronic. When inflammation lingers, it can have a negative effect on the body’s tissues and organs because of the associated increase of free radicals, which bring with them oxidative stress as well as an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals.
Chronic inflammation may be the result of several different medical conditions, such as untreated infections, autoimmune disorders, or illnesses. It’s also common in conjunction with an inflammatory condition like asthma, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. Lifestyle factors like smoking, stress, or obesity may also encourage chronic inflammation. And while inflammation is a necessary and normal biological response in most cases, in others, its ongoing presence can mean lingering chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
In recent years, cannabis has gained attention for its ability to provide relief for many different types of health conditions, many of which typically cause pain and inflammation. In particular, CBD oil has emerged as a viable health and wellness solution because it doesn’t cause the intoxicating effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another key cannabis compound typically associated with marijuana. This allows people to enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD without worrying about experiencing the “high” that THC is known for.
It’s also important to note that while CBD oil and other products are legal at the federal level, it must contain less than 0.3 percent THC in order to meet federal guidelines. CBD may also be deemed illegal in some states. Conversely, THC is illegal at the federal level, but may be legal in certain U.S. states. Before purchasing any cannabis product, make sure you understand the applicable laws for your particular area.
How Does CBD Oil Work for Inflammation?
Inflammation is a complex process that often varies from patient to patient, so there’s much research that remains to be done on how CBD exactly interacts with the inflammation process.
It’s important to keep in mind that any study of CBD’s mechanism of action remains in the very early stages, but early research into CBD’s effect on inflammation does show great promise. For example, some research indicates that CBD oil reduces inflammation by influencing activity within the body’s cannabinoid receptor. This appears true both for both chronic inflammation and acute inflammation. One 2016 study on rats found that a topical CBD gel reduced the chronic inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, with no adverse side effects. And a 2009 review suggested that CBD also may alleviate acute inflammation, which is the body’s typical reaction to injury.
Further research from the European Journal of Pain has suggested that CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis (either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) when applied topically to the skin. Other research has shown that cannabis may inhibit an inflammatory response and neuropathic pain, which are often difficult to treat using traditional methods.
It’s important to note that most studies around CBD have centered on animals, so additional research with human subjects is necessary before any definitive claims can be made. However, the success of CBD in animal subjects has led many researchers to believe that the results may be applicable to humans as well. This belief has been supported as well by the many anecdotal stories from people who have treated their pain and inflammation with CBD with good results.
If you’re interested in using CBD to help fight inflammation, you may be interested in trying a CBD tincture or CBD balm. These products are reported by many patients to be effective in helping them manage symptoms of pain and inflammation.
4 Benefits of Using CBD for Inflammation
There are many benefits to using CBD to treat chronic inflammation, including:
1. Pain Relief
One common response to inflammation is pain, especially with chronic conditions like arthritis. A CBD treatment may help reduce this type of arthritis pain. In fact, a 2018 study in Neurology indicated that CBD may bind to and desensitize cannabinoid receptors known to mediate pain and sensory perception, along with inflammation and body temperature. In addition, many patients have anecdotally reported that using cannabis to treat pain has led to positive results.
A 2020 review of available studies shows that CBD could offer some relief for chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation. And when it comes to neuropathic pain (pain caused by damage to nerves) there’s slightly more evidence of CBD’s positive effects. A 2017 study review examining 11 randomized controlled trials with 1,219 patients indicated that CBD helped reduce neuropathic pain in human subjects. The review also showed improvements in both sleep and overall quality of life, with no adverse effects.
2. Variety of Treatment Methods
You can find CBD in a wide variety of delivery vehicles, including oils and tinctures, CBD capsules, edibles like CBD gummies, and CBD topical products like CBD cream or CBD lotion. This versatility means you can experiment with the application that gives you the best results, along with giving you the flexibility to adjust your CBD dosage depending on the level of inflammation and pain at any given time. Some patients recommend using CBD oils and tinctures sublingually, since the CBD oil is absorbed more quickly when placed under the tongue, and oils and tinctures make it extremely easy to adjust dosing.
The ability to easily adjust CBD oil dosage is important. Keep in mind that, because the FDA has not approved cannabis for medical use, it has also refrained from offering any type of dosing guidelines. That means you should, as always, speak with your doctor or pharmacist before adding CBD to your treatment regimen. If you’re wondering, “how much CBD oil should I take,” a good rule of thumb is to start with 5-10 mg and build from there until you get the therapeutic effect you need with little or no side effects.
Most people, as shown both in the current body of research and anecdotal experiences, tend to tolerate CBD oil extremely well, with very few known side effects. Patients who do experience side effects report them as being mild. These may include nausea, changes in appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, or changes in weight.
However, it is possible for CBD to react negatively with an over the counter supplement or certain prescription drugs—especially those that tout a warning to avoid using them in conjunction with grapefruit.
4. Natural Alternative to Prescriptions
The traditional approach to managing pain and inflammation has been with a variety of prescription drugs, ranging from steroids to high-level pain medications, like opioids. While steroids may help with inflammation, they don’t necessarily address the corresponding pain, and prescription pain medications often come with a full range of unwanted side effects. Because CBD can be used, even in high quantities, with few to no adverse side effects, it may represent a more natural and more tolerable approach to managing pain and inflammation than prescription drugs.
In addition, many people use over the counter medications, including non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen, to help control inflammation and pain. CBD oil also may offer a natural alternative to these choices without the associated blood-thinning or stomach-irritating side effects some patients experience.
Which CBD is Best for Inflammation?
You can find CBD products in many forms, including capsules, oils, patches, extracts and topical products that you can apply directly to your skin. If you’d like to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle pain and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, CBD lotion, or cream may be a good option to try for its anti inflammatory effect.
CBD tinctures and CBD oils also are popular choices for treating the symptoms of inflammation. Both are designed to be taken sublingually (underneath the tongue) for the most rapid relief, but both also can be mixed into drinks or swallowed directly. If you need guidance on how to take CBD oil, the team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at Farmer & Chemist can certainly help.
Ultimately, the best CBD for inflammation is the one that’s best for you—he one that gives you the greatest relief with the fewest side effects. You may need to try a few different treatment types before you find the one that gives you the best results. One of the most important things to keep in mind is, no matter what form of CBD you purchase, you should only buy CBD from a reputable retailer that you trust, and that will stand behind the quality and safety of its products.
When you’re ready to add a CBD product to your treatment regimen, the team at Farmer & Chemist can help you choose among our variety of oils, tinctures and gummies that have proven helpful for patients in managing inflammation.
CBD is a Safe, Natural Anti Inflammatory
If you suffer from either chronic or acute inflammation, like that associated with arthritis, CBD oil may offer relief. While the research into how exactly CBD fights inflammation is still early, it also offers great promise.
As always, speak with your doctor about how CBD may fit into your health and wellness regimen, especially if you’re already taking prescription drugs. And when the time is right, our team at Farmer & Chemist can help you make an informed decision about the best CBD option for you.