Inflammation is one of those topics that are not necessarily discussed by your doctor, either thrown at you as typical outcome of a condition or disease. Go to your primary doctor, and you’ll probably hear words like “It’s inflamed, you need antibiotics.” Furthermore ask him about cannabis as a treatment and you’ll probably get a puzzled look.
According to WebMD, inflammation is defined as the process by which your body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection against foreign organisms, such as viruses and foreign bacteria.
While inflammation is often brushed aside by doctors, it should be analyzed as soon as possible in order to understand the cause of the inflammation. Inflammation associated with general medical conditions such as fevers, chills, and headaches may not indicate any major threat.
Even a simple thing such as a toothache can cause inflammation. But in some diseases like arthritis, the body’s defense system triggers inflammation when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. The autoimmune diseases then cause damage to the body’s own tissue as the inflammation thinks that it is fighting off an intruder when there isn’t one there.
What Causes Inflammation?
When a foreign substance is attacking your body, in the case of injury, bacteria, and viruses, your body goes into combat mode, releasing chemicals from the body’s white blood cells in order to fight off the intruding bacteria. These chemicals flow to the infected area and start to heal the injury. This can result in redness and warmth which then leads to swelling. While this is an important part of the process as it helps the body repair itself, it does cause pain. All of this is known as acute inflammation and is classed as a normal healing process.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is an exaggerated response that leads to changes in the cells that are trying to heal and destroy nearby tissue. Left untreated and Chronic inflammation can lead to severe medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis and more.
Inflammation can also be associated with a number of diseases. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases, and some cancers. When treating these type of diseases and their inflammation, the main goal is to reduce the inflammation rather than let it take its course, as this type of inflammation, known as autoimmune inflammation, can lead to other severe conditions, such as stiffness, loss of function, rashes, heart issues and even affect other internal organs.
Common Treatment for Inflammatory Diseases
When treating inflammation, it is important to understand the source of the problem, as each disease has its own unique treatment. For example, inflammation related to arthritis is treated very differently than to acute inflammation.
The type of treatment will often depend on the patient’s age, type of disease, overall health, medical history and other factors determined by your primary doctor.
There are many different pharmaceutical drugs that can help to decrease joint pain, inflammation and swelling. They range from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen to oral drugs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) such as sulfasalazine, leflunomide, and azathioprine.
When using any pharmaceutical drugs it is extremely important to meet with your primary care doctor regularly in case of any side effects.
Marijuana and Inflammation
Those that suffer from inflammation frequently turning to alternative remedies including natural herbs such as marijuana. According to recent studies, cannabis has been linked to reducing inflammation and the associated pain. The main reason is due to cannabis’ cannabinoid components; THC and CBD.
CBD is known for helping to reduce the inflammation in joints and preventing associated diseases from happening. CBD has also been known to help people who suffer from Crohn’s disease an illness that is marked by inflammation in the lower digestive tract.
While THC was once the star of the show in regards to the marijuana plant, CBD is now coming into the light, being acknowledged as an effective form of treatment for inflammation for conditions such as Crohn’s and Arthritis. CBD has been so effective in treating specific conditions that it is now listed as one of the top qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in legal states.
According to a recent cannabis related study published by the National Institutes of Health, it is now understood that cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory properties as they go the extra mile in reducing the activity of the pathway most important to the inflammatory process. Furthermore, cannabinoids help stop inflammation as they contains beta-carophyllene, a terpene found in a variety of plants which are used for inflammatory diets.
Recreational cannabis users are also claiming that the healing powers of marijuana are helping them with their inflammation. Whether cannabis is helping to treat migraines, to even to counter simple pain management, it seems as if marijuana is the solution.
5 Best Marijuana Strains That are Killing Inflammation
#1 – ACDC Cannabis Strain
ACDC is one of those Sativa Dominant cannabis strains which tend to combat everything. It originates from Cannatonic and is used to treat a variety of medical conditions due to its high CBD percentage. This strain is so remarkable that it stands out for its low-THC-high-CBD ratio (about 1:20), which means it can produce strong pain relieving effects without any psychoactive effects at all
#2 – Harlequin Cannabis Strain
This Sativa-dominant cannabis strain usually has CBD:THC ratio of about 5:2, which makes it a good option for those looking to treat arthritis pain while staying alert and avoiding the paranoia that sometimes accompanies high-THC strains. It’s perfect for depression, headaches, inflammation, pain and stress.
#3 – Cannatonic Cannabis Strain
Cannatonic is an excellent marijuana strain for its medicinal properties and is known for its high CBD levels. Cannatonic is an extremely popular cannabis strain used by patients to treat and prevent inflammation as well as pain, seizures, and epilepsy. This hybrid strain has low THC, high CBD content, which produces a mellow high that is typically short-lived.
#4 – Girl Scout Cookies Cannabis Strain
It would have been a sin if we wouldn’t have left this strain off the list. This popular hybrid cannabis strain is known for its high-THC content that produces powerful, full-body pain relief. Girl Scout Cookies strain may not necessarily combat inflammation, but rather help with the pain associated with inflammation. GSC is known for having THC levels as high as 28% and CBD of around 0.09%-0.2%.
#5 Charlotte’s Web Cannabis Strain
This marijuana strain has a lot of history around it as it was first developed to treat an epileptic girl named Charlotte. Charlotte’s web is known for treating a variety of medical conditions, including inflammation. It contains only around 0.3% THC but makes up for it with its high CBD. This strain is perfect for medical purposes as it has little to no psychoactive properties.
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Final Thoughts About Cannabis and Inflammation
Even though the true health benefits of medical marijuana are still not fully understood by researchers, the miracle cannabis plant does seem to be having a massive impact on the medical industry and is showing positive signs in treating a number of medical conditions. One of those problems is inflammation.
It is important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user and discretion should be taken.