CBD and Inflammation

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Chronic inflammation is one of the harbingers of disease. From gum disease to coronary heart disease, inflammation plays a large role. Does CBD reduce inflammation? Well, the jury is still out, but from a chemist’s point of view, it has potential. Let’s first discuss inflammation.

Inflammation can be thought of as tissue swelling. This is brought about by our immune system releasing cytokines in response to injury or illness. Cytokines are chemicals that attract white blood cells to the site of need for an immune response. In addition, these chemicals make the surrounding blood vessels (capillaries) “leaky”: the swelling observed is due to this leaking of plasma into the interstitial space. Think of a bee sting. After the initial pain resolves, a dull ache begins and the sting site becomes red and swollen. This is the initial immune response to the poison the bee injected into you.

The endocannabinoid system has a large presence on immune cells, in ways that are just being understood. CBD may have some interactions with the endocannabinoid system, but it seems at the moment that its main effects go though other mechanisms. (We’ll discuss the endocannabinoid system at length in another post). Those mechanisms remain a mystery, but let’s focus on one certainty about CBD: it is an excellent antioxidant. Indeed, those of us in the field know that CBD protects THC from oxidation to CBN. Heat up a sample (in air) of cannabis low in CBD but high in THC, and the THC will oxidize. Try that with high CBD (hemp) strains, and nothing happens to the THC.

Now being a good antioxidant does not necessarily make an anti-inflammatory. But as CBD is further studied, it very well may be an anti-inflammatory agent. One thing is certain: CBD has fewer side effects than typical NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drugs, especially on the stomach.

It is certainly worth trying low (50-100 mg) doses of CBD instead of, or in conjunction with, NSAIDS for mild inflammation. Our high strength products are ideally suited for this purpose. There are 50 doses in our 2500mg size (at 50 mg per dose). Give it a shot.