While these results are promising and most FDA-approved medication is initially tested on animals, rigorous clinical trials on humans are needed to move CBD from alternative treatment to approved medication.
There is a large body of scientific literature and anecdotal evidence that supports the use of CBD for the treatment of inflammation. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Woodcock emphasizes that while CBD seems to have potent anti-inflammatory qualities, THC does, too, and the two often work more effectively together. In her opinion, a full-spectrum medical cannabis product containing both THC and CBD will work faster due to THC’s direct effects on the receptors which control inflammation on the body.
Orr first experimented with medical marijuana with mixed results, then discovered CBD. “I’ve found more long-term success with fewer side effects from CBD oil,” Orr stated.
Chronic inflammation refers to a prolonged inflammatory response in the body. When inflammation lingers, it can detrimentally impact tissues and organs due to the increased production of free radicals, which results in oxidative stress, an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals.
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Further, many of the health-related issues associated with obesity are a consequence of increased inflammation. CBD is being explored extensively in relation to obesity in hopes of reducing some of these important health consequences.
It is certainly clear that our most pervasive chronic conditions share a common feature in terms of their underlying cause. Whether we are talking about coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, or even Alzheimer’s disease, what current medical literature reveals is the powerful role that inflammation plays in these and other common conditions.
Ultimately, the main issue with higher levels of inflammation that manifests as damage to tissue is the fact that when inflammation has been turned on, it increases the production of damaging free radicals, a situation we call oxidative stress. When oxidative stress is running rampant, damage occurs to our proteins, and fat, and even our DNA.
In research published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, scientists at the University of Mississippi medical center described not only the complexities and challenges posed by trying to specifically target oxidative stress in a variety of disease states, but also the potential benefits of using CBD to accomplish this goal.
Inflammation and oxidative stress are intimately involved in the genesis of many human diseases. Unraveling that relationship therapeutically has proven challenging, in part because inflammation and oxidative stress “feed off” each other. However, CBD would seem to be a promising starting point for further drug development given its anti-oxidant (although relatively modest) and anti-inflammatory actions on immune cells… The research in terms of medical application of CBD is expanding dramatically, and with good reason. As a natural, plant derived anti-inflammatory, CBD joins other familiar players in this arena like turmeric which is derived from curcumin, as well as ginger and many others.
I have written extensively about how reducing dietary sugar and carbohydrates, while at the same time increasing dietary consumption of good fats along with dietary fiber, goes a long way towards reducing inflammation. Emerging research now demonstrates that cannabidiol (CBD) has significant potential in terms of limiting inflammation and downstream effects in terms of free radicals as well.
Over the years there has been extensive research looking at how increasing the availability of antioxidants might help to protect our bodies against these damaging free radicals. But recognizing that the upstream instigator of this problem, to a significant degree, is inflammation, allows us to redirect our targeting in order to protect our body’s tissues.