Those seeking natural alternatives to what doctors are prescribing in the world of Western medicine may be curious to learn more about CBD. The use of CBD (or cannabidiol) has been surrounded by controversy due to its relation to THC and the marijuana plant. However, it produces no mind altering effects and is known for providing a number of health benefits including its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory. This article will explore CBD taking a close look at its anti-inflammatory effects.
Before beginning, let’s explore CBD and its relations to marijuana and THC.
Like THC, CBD is one of the many chemicals called cannabinoids that are derived from the hemp plant. However, unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not cause intoxication. Rather, it produces a number of health benefits in the human body. It is useful as an anti-inflammatory, can fight depression and anxiety and can help in the management and prevention of a number of life threatening diseases.
Why Anti-Inflammatories are Important?
When we think of inflammation, we might think of that which is caused by injuries. While this type of inflammation might be enough to make us seek the relief of an anti-inflammatory, inflammation is actually linked to a variety of conditions in the body, some of which can cause discomfort, while others are life threatening.
To better understand this, it is best to explore the different types of inflammation that can occur in the human body.
Inflammation is the body’s natural instinctive defense against injury or harmful stimuli. It can be broken into two categories, chronic and acute inflammation. Acute inflammation tends to be short lived and is usually the result of illness or injury. Chronic inflammation is defined as long term inflammation that can occur as a result of foreign agents entering the body.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by diet and lifestyle choices. For instance, a high fat diet can lead to can lead to inflammation which can, in turn, cause diabetes. However, even if you adopt a healthy lifestyle, you may still experience chronic inflammation in your life and end up suffering with the many diseases it can be linked to.
Here are just some of the conditions that can be a result of chronic inflammation.
There are many people in the world suffering with these conditions which can greatly affect their quality of life and longevity.
Although there are a number of medications that can be prescribed to deal with inflammation like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen and celecoxib, these treatments can also cause several unpleasant side effects. These include drowsiness, diarrhea, constipation, sickness and even liver damage.
CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory agent
CBD is an alternative to these anti-inflammatories that does not cause unpleasant side effects. Here’s a bit about how it works to reduce inflammation in the body.
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) in their bodies. This system regulates our bodily functions ensuring everything runs smoothly. The ECS releases natural cannabinoids that are essential in a range of physiological functions including the way we think to the way we feel pain.
When CBD is consumed, it interacts with the ECS to increase the number of natural cannabinoids it is producing. This enables the body to heal faster and it regulates various functions. It also interacts with our CB2 receptors which oversee our entire immune system.
The effects of CBD are well known and the compound is quickly being recognized as one of the most effective anti-inflammatories available. It is even beating out other traditional options like Vitamin C and omega 3 supplements.
The Proof is in the Pudding
If you are suffering with inflammation, CBD may seem like an attractive option. But how can you tell if it really works?
Well, a number of studies have been conducted looking at CBD’s effects as an anti-inflammatory. Here is some of what has been revealed.
2011: The University of Mississippi’s G.W. Booz studied CBD to find out what sort of impact it would have on decreasing inflammation on the body. He found that, not only was inflammation was reduced, but that by working as an alternative to potentially harmful anti-inflammatories, it could actually decrease the risk of long term liver damage.
2013: This study took a look at mice with Acute Pancreatitis to determine the effects CBD would have on the subjects. The results showed that the compound decreased enzyme activity as well as other functions associated with the condition. It was particularly effective in working as an anti-inflammatory and was shown to have virtually no side effects.
2016: This study focused on rats with arthritis. Results showed that the topical application of CBD was successful for the treatment of joint swelling and the pain and other behaviors associated with the condition. All this without any evidence of side effects!
What You Should Know About CBD Before You Buy
If you are planning to buy CBD to help manage inflammation, there are a number of things you should know in advance. The first of these involves the legality of CBD.
If you live in the United States, the laws involving CBD can be quite confusing. State laws dictate the legality of CBD and can, therefore, differ from state to state. Although almost every state allows the use of CBD to some extent, the differences will lie in how the compound is being used and how it was derived. States will look at whether the CBD is being used medically or recreationally and whether it was derived from hemp or marijuana before making a determination on its legality. Be sure to check your local state laws before purchasing and using CBD so that you can stay out of trouble.
CBD is legal in multiple countries in Europe and in Canada.
If you are purchasing CBD for inflammation, you should also make sure you are buying from a trusted source. Because CBD is being investigated regarding its legality, it is not regulated and there are a number of companies out there selling CBD that may not be high in quality and may contain unwanted additives.
Before buying from a source, be sure to look at what types of extraction the retailer is using, the claims they are making and their customer reviews. Make sure they include lab reports on their web site which will serve as proof that they are manufacturing a product that is safe and effective. Also, remember, cheapest is not always the best option when it comes to purchasing CBD. Going for a higher priced item may be worth it if you want a high quality product that works for you.
CBD is being looked at as an alternative to traditional Western medicine which may cause unpleasant side effects. It is effective in treating both chronic and acute inflammation quickly becoming the anti-inflammatory of choice for athletes and others that are suffering with ailments and injuries. Though there are still a number of legalities surrounding the use of CBD, we are hopeful that the world of medicine will soon change so that the compound becomes more available to the public for safe and effective use.