CAN WE USE CBD TO HEAL INFLAMMATION ACROSS THE BODY?
Studies have found that CBD oil can reduce inflammation in multiple sclerosis by reducing the activation of pro-inflammatory white blood cells. While more studies need to be done, animal studies have demonstrated that topical CBD reduced joint swelling and pain in arthritis affected rats. CBD has also been found to prevent the activation of toll-like receptors that induce inflammation in acne.
INTRODUCTION TO CBD
Many health experts are now saying the root of almost all ailments is inflammation - and there is a lot to support this idea. Inflammation itself occurs to neutralise toxins at the site of injury, and return the cells back to normal, so it is a natural part of our immune response.
Prolonged or chronic inflammation can lead to healthy cells being damaged, and then tissue and organ damage, internal scarring and DNA damage; these can start the development of several diseases, including cancer.
There is promising evidence to suggest that CBD has anti inflammatory properties, and so might help with reducing inflammation across the body.
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
Cannabidiol CBD oil is available for consumption in MCT oil, and this is made from coconut, palm oil or sometimes soybean. The CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, added to the oil, and this can be CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD, or full spectrum CBD.
WHAT IS IN CBD OIL?
CBD Isolate is literally just the single cannabinoid Cannabidiol. Broad spectrum CBD contains other elements from the cannabis plant including other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, to take advantage of ‘the entourage effect’ - this is when these compounds work together to enhance their effectiveness.
The last of the CBD products available is full spectrum CBD - this contains all of the same stuff as broad spectrum CBD, but includes the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol ‘THC’. The levels of THC in full spectrum CBD is low - and this is because CBD is taken from cannabis sativa plants with less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC are classified as hemp.
WHY IS CBD OIL USED FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES?
The benefits of CBD come from CBD interacting with our body. Humans have a system dubbed ‘the endocannabinoid system’ - and this literally means ‘internal cannabinoid system’ which is made up of cannabinoid-like compounds that interact with receptors to trigger and regulate certain functions, like pain and inflammation.
One action of CBD is that it reduces the degradation of an endocannabinoid called anandamide, this is nicknamed ‘the bliss chemical’, and it is thought that this helps reduce feelings of pain.
CBD works as an agonist (activator) of the cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, and activation of the CB2 receptor reduces the number of inflammatory white blood cells present - this leads to a reduction in inflammation.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES OF CBD
The anti-inflammatory potential of CBD suggests it could be useful in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory disease, such as Alzheimer’s. In Alzheimer’s, it is suspected that a build up of proteins called ‘beta amyloid’ and ‘tau’ create plaques in and around brain cells, leading to a gradual loss of inhibitions, aggressive behaviour, trouble sleeping, and memory issues.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is another disease that CBD could help to treat. In MS, a process called demyelination occurs: this is where the protective layer (called myelin) of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord gets attacked by the immune system. The myelin sheath becomes inflamed, and this inflammation plays havoc with messages being sent along the neurons, causing the signs and symptoms of MS.
Heart disease is another area that CBD has shown promising effects in. A contributory factor to heart disease is atherosclerosis - the build-up of plaque in the arteries. The immune system identifies the plaque as a foreign entity, and so engages the inflammatory response to address it.
Other conditions developed through inflammation include things like rheumatoid arthritis; an autoimmune issue where the lining of the joints is attacked by the immune system. The lining of the joints - the synovium - becomes inflamed, triggering an immune response that can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Recent understanding of the gut biome has lead to the association between many ailments and gut health. Inflammation in the gut can be caused by a variety of reasons, but there is growing evidence that CBD oil could help to reduce inflammation in the gut, as well as regulate the bacteria communities and strengthen the intestinal lining, helping those with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR ABOUT CBD AND INFLAMMATORY ISSUES
Clinical trials have indicated that a high dose of CBD restores protein function, which in turn leads to a reduction in the beta amyloid plaques that are thought to cause Alzheimer’s. In addition, CBD helped neurons live longer and this may be because CBD plays a role in regulating cell death.
One study using a viral model of MS demonstrated that CBD reduced inflammation by decreasing the activation of pro-inflammatory white blood cells, such as microglia and cytokines. The study also showed the ability of CBD to protect and improve the deteriorating function of the motor neurons in the chronic stage of MS.
Another study from 2017 found that CBD increased blood flow to the brain during a stroke - a risk of heart disease. The antioxidant effect of CBD may also play a role here, capturing free radicals - unstable molecules in the body that can damage cells - but more animal studies need to be done.
The Arthritis Foundation reports anecdotal evidence from sufferers who use CBD that it helps relieve pain, improve sleep and reduces anxiety. While more clinical trials need to be done, the action of CBD in reducing inflammation suggests CBD as a possible therapeutic treatment for arthritis, other forms of chronic pain and even depression.
DIFFERENT FORMS OF CBD OIL
A great thing about CBD oil is the variety of products available to get your CBD! The different delivery methods may work better for different ailments.
Sufferers of arthritis, or specific muscular aches and pains, may find that a topical CBD cream applied directly to the site of discomfort works fastest. CBD can be taken orally in a number of forms; from CBD gummies, to oral drops or in pill form.
Working out the CBD dosage is easy if you are taking oral drops, gummies or a pill. Retailers mark their CBD products with the total CBD contained in the bottle - this means that in a 10ml bottle of CBD oil, each drop is about 0.05ml which works out to 200 drops per bottle, so in a bottle of 1000mg CBD drops each drop contains 5mg of CBD. If you are dosing 3 drops at a time from a 1000mg bottle, this means you are dosing 15mg of CBD.
CBD Gummies and pills work the same way - a single gummy contains a calculated dose (which should be indicated on the packaging) so you know how much CBD you’re getting in each one.
Where dosing becomes more of an issue is in the area of topical creams or lotions. The stronger creams have around 8mg of CBD in their recommended dose, compared with the weaker creams that would provide around 3mg per recommended dose. The problem lies in following written instructions to estimate the approximate amount of cream they recommend.
For anyone using a CBD cream, it is probably worth starting at a low strength and being sparing with the cream, as the option to apply more is always there, and can buy a stronger cream if absolutely necessary.
THINGS TO NOTE WHEN PURCHASING CBD OIL
CBD is certainly not a cheap product, so it isn’t a huge surprise to learn that an examination of online-bought CBD products revealed that over 25% of those included in the analysis had lower CBD levels than stated on the packaging, 42.85% of the products had more CBD than stated. Eighteen of the products also had levels of THC that could potentially result in intoxication, even more so in a child.
This makes dosing problematic, as you may be using more or less CBD than you want, making consistent dosing unlikely, particularly if changing between brands. Make sure to do some brand research, checking customer reviews to get an idea for the quality of their product and customer satisfaction.
One way to make sure you are buying what you intend is to check with the brand about any certificate of analysis - this contains the details of the tested product, indicating levels of CBD and other constituents, and if the certificate matches the strength indicated on the packet, that is a good sign.
It is worth remembering that while CBD is generally very well tolerated at dosages much higher than you would typically take in the forms available on the retail market, it can interfere with certain medications and conditions, so please have a quick chat with your doctor about CBD to ensure you are OK to go ahead without worrying.
CAN WE USE CBD TO HEAL INFLAMMATION ACROSS THE BODY? CONCLUSION
The properties exhibited by CBD in studies and clinical trials so far indicate that CBD plays a role in regulating immune responses, and inflammation is a huge part of our immune response. The benefits to the immune system do not stop there, with many people reporting CBD aiding aches and pains, relaxing muscles and helping with sleep - all things that can build up to cause stress, which in turn exacerbates our immune response.
If you are looking for a CBD product that you can trust, SMOKO’s CBD products are made in the UK, with broad spectrum CBD extracted using a cryogenic extraction process, from cannabis sativa L plants responsibly grown in Oregon, USA. Whether it’s CBD gummies, CBD oral drops - we’ve got you covered.