Research shows cannabinoids can stop inflammation by activating CB2 receptors found in the endocannabinoid system.
A couple of years ago, a study comparing the levels of inflammation in people who smoked marijuana and in people who never smoked it was showing that marijuana smokers may have lower levels of inflammation. Data from 9,000 people was examined in the mentioned study, researchers analyzing the influence of marijuana on the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation that is frequently linked with an increased risk of heart disease. It appears that hemp oil for inflammation may well be a great choice of treatment for many ailments.
Chronic inflammation also plays a role in autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, colitis or multiple sclerosis. Researchers wanted to see whether the active components in marijuana can decrease the levels of CRP, reducing inflammation. 12% of study participants said they smoked marijuana recently. Researchers found that people who smoked in the past 30 days had lower levels of C-reactive protein than those who had never smoked marijuana.
Hemp Oil can Reduce Inflammation – CBD & THC are Most Effective
These findings weren’t a surprise, as cannabis has been long-recognized as a medicinal plant and there are several studies that prove the effectiveness of cannabinoids in decreasing inflammation. Here’s one study from researchers at the University of South Carolina for example, which showed that THC has the capacity to affect DNA expression in a manner that may lead to suppression of inflammation.
THC works for inflammation but has side effects
As explained in a previous article, THC is the compound in the cannabis plant responsible for its psychoactive effect. Because THC makes you “high”, it’s often regarded as a harmful component of the Cannabis sativa plant, but this perception is not an objective one as THC has its positive effects as well. In fact THC and THCV cannabinoids have both shown promise in the fight against some serious and debilitating conditions. However, as many people do not want to experience any psychoactive effects while fighting inflammation, THC does not seem to be the best option.
When using hemp oil for inflammation, CB2 receptors are the most important
There are two main cannabinoid “receptors” in your nervous system, CB1 and CB2. These are the point of interaction for cannabinoids introduced into your system and are part of the endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are more affected by THC, controlling perception, memory, mood, sleep and appetite, CB2 receptors affect the immune system.
Of all the compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant, the ones that play a role in inhibiting inflammation are the substances that activate the CB2 receptors as inflammation is an immune response. Cannabidiol (CBD) is not the only compound in cannabis that activates the CB2 receptor. A terpenoid found in hemp extract called beta-carophyllene also activates this receptor with no psychoactive effect. According to scientists from ETH Zurich and Bonn University, this substance may help not only in stopping inflammation but also in preventing or treating ailments like liver cirrhosis, osteoarthritis or arteriosclerosis. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsant, anti-oxidant and immunomodulatory effects.
Research into CBD as an anti-inflammatory with no side effects
The other powerful component in cannabis, CBD, was also proven to reduce inflammation and is thought to play a role in the treatment of arthritis symptoms. According to researchers at the Imperial College London, CBD can reduce inflammation in mice by 50% at the right dosage and can fight against type 1 diabetes. Also, research done by G.W.Pharmaceuticals showed that CBD could be used for treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as well as diabetes, bowel disorders and nausea.
Studies about using hemp oil to treat inflammation
Here’s even more proof that hemp oil for inflammation and cannabinoids can help in reducing inflammation:
- A study published in the Free radical biology & medicine journal by US researcher G.W. Booz from the University of Mississippi Medical Center showed that cannabidiol can be helpful in lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress, decreasing the risk of organ damage and dysfunction. Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to a number of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type 1 and 2, atherosclerosis, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
- Scientists from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (US) showed that cannabinoids can suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing analgesic tolerance.
Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and attenuate disease symptoms by inducing apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppressing cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites and upregulating FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.
We’d love to hear from you about your experience with cannabinoids and inflammation
Have something to add to this article? Please comment below. Also, if you want to learn more about the beneficial health effects of cannabinoids and about the endocannabinoid system, check our blog where we regularly update our readers about CBD and the role of other cannabinoids in health.
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