America is #1 in health care spending yet it languishes at #37 in terms of actual healthcare performance! Simply put, in a value for money sense, the United States has one of the world’s worst healthcare systems. A clear indicator of the problem is the sheer number of people suffering from chronic inflammation and chronic inflammatory disease.
There is a myriad of reasons why America has this problem, including a sedentary lifestyle and a severe lack of Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids in our food. Inflammation is the root of a remarkable number of ailments including asthma, arthritis, joint disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depressive disorders, and even hay fever!
Rather than attempting to overhaul our poor diets, though, we are more likely to gulp down prescription medication like candy, much to the delight of Big Pharma. In most cases, excessive drugs only make things worse. Meanwhile, marijuana sits on the shelf as a Schedule I drug even though its cannabinoids, notably CBD, are capable of tackling the inflammation epidemic head-on.
What is Inflammation?
The short answer to this question is: ‘A bodily response to harmful stimuli.’ Frankly, inflammation is less of a disease and more of a warning sign issued by your body because it correlates with a huge array of illnesses. When your body perceives a threat, it activates the immune system as a means of fighting the invader.
Therefore, inflammation is only a bad thing because we cause it due to poor diet, too much stress, not enough exercise, and constant exposure to environmental toxins. Symptoms of inflammation include pain, soreness, swelling, redness, heat, gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, and much more. If your immune system is unable to prevent an inflammatory response, it means something is wrong. Fortunately, we can rely on CBD to make things right.
How CBD Combats Inflammation
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is marijuana’s best known non-intoxicating compound. Its effectiveness against inflammation revolves around the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which contains a large array of different cannabinoids. Remember, weed contains well over 100 known cannabinoids so when you consume it, there is a positive reaction in the body.
The two most important cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system are CB1 and CB2. CB2 has a major impact on the immune system, and while it doesn’t act directly on either receptor, it does act as “an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists in both CB1 and CB2-expressing tissues or cells”.
While we realize this sounds super confusing, it basically means that CBD interacts with CB2 receptors and since inflammation is an immune response, the heightened activity of CB2 receptors lead to a major impact.
One of the most important studies of its kind compared the inflammation levels of weed smokers with those who had never smoked it. Around 9,000 people were involved in the study and it showed very clearly that marijuana users had lower levels of inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP) is an inflammation ‘marker’ often linked with an increased risk of heart disease, and research suggests that weed helps lower CRP levels. In one study, the data showed that people who used cannabis within the previous 30 days had lower CRP levels than individuals who had never used the herb.
Also, don’t underestimate the impact inflammation has on our everyday lives, because it certainly isn’t just a case of a sore elbow or knee. Inflammation is a sign and symptom of serious conditions and tens of millions of Americans have a medical issue such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, or diabetes, which could be aided by using CBD to reduce inflammation.
Instead, we rely on drugs such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Oxaprozin and others which do little other than provide a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Aside from ‘minor’ side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting, these drugs could cause serious problems such as kidney and liver failure. Moreover, research shows that CBD does nothing of the sort and it works on inflammation over a long period.
Further CBD & Inflammation Research
The increasing amount of scientific material we’ve become exposed to shows that CBD is the strongest natural anti-inflammatory available, easily beating off competition from vitamin C, omega-3, curcumin, and antioxidants. Perhaps even more importantly, unlike anti-inflammatory drugs CBD has minimal toxicity levels which means you won’t overdose, nor must you worry about possible damage to the liver, kidneys, or gut lining.
A 2011 study at the University of Naples looked at CBD as a means of treating gastrointestinal inflammation on mice, and also on cultured human biopsies from individuals with ulcerative colitis. The research team discovered that CBD did a fantastic job of counteracting inflammation in both instances. Here is the study’s conclusion: “CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel disease.”
Also, in 2016, scientists from the University of Kentucky analyzed CBD’s effect on arthritis-related inflammation. CBD gels were applied for four consecutive days after inducing the condition in rats, and they determined that transdermal CBD gel reduced joint swelling and pain. Moreover, the rats didn’t experience any side effects.
One of the biggest issues surrounding inflammation is the pain it triggers. Scientists have long since linked chronic pain with an overactive inflammatory response in multiple diseases and illnesses. In a 2012 study, CBD therapy was found to suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Best of all, CBD users did not gain a ‘tolerance’ to the cannabinoid, which helped rule out the possibility of addiction. In contrast, people become tolerant to opioids which means they need more and more of the drug to get the same effect as before.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Inflammation
We are excited to discover that the area of research involving CBD and inflammation is rapidly evolving. There are now dozens of scientific papers published recently which all say the same thing: CBD is effective against inflammation and causes no side effects. Rather than relying on useless medication, it is time to take a more natural approach.
Of course, this won’t work unless we also sort out our lifestyles which means less junk food, stress, tobacco, alcohol, and exposure to toxins. We invest so much time in pointless activities, why can’t we use some of it to invest in the most important thing of all — our health?
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