Inflammation & CBD Research Overview
One of the best things about the explosion in popularity of CBD is all the peer-reviewed research now being conducted. CBD had long been seen as a less important chemical in cannabis, but all this new research is painting a very different picture.
Uncomfortable inflammation is something most people deal with from time to time, while others suffer every day, so understanding how CBD works has become valuable knowledge. The first thing that comes to mind when most people think about inflammation is swelling. As such, a lot of the research about CBD and inflammation highlights how much of a difference starting on a regimen can make.
A study called The endocannabinoid system: an emerging key player in inflammation reviewed available information on the connection between the endocannabinoid system and inflammation. The team noted a ton of evidence which suggests many of the key processes involved in controlling inflammation are intimately connected with the endocannabinoid system and CBD in particular.
Studies of lab mice have begun to uncover the specific chemicals involved in this process. One report, called Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice found strong evidence that starting on CBD significantly decreases swelling-related chemicals in the system, while simultaneously improving expression of the GPR55 receptor.
This growth in research has even begun to provide some fascinating and important information. For instance, a report entitled Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and related analogs in inflammation was able to show that unlike many traditional anti-inflammatory medications, CBD doesn’t suppress eicosanoids production. In fact, the researchers found evidence that the introduction of CBD increases production.
Other reports have also uncovered some of the key processes involved in controlling swelling with CBD. A study called, Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: role for the adenosine A(2A) receptor was able to prove CBD has “potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties.” The team was able to determine this was most likely a result of an increase in extracellular adenosine, which helps send important signals around the body. A different study called Diabetic retinopathy: Role of inflammation and potential therapies for anti-inflammation showed that CBD is an effective alternative treatment for vascular-neuroinflammation. They concluded CBD provides this neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration protection thanks to its positive impact on nucleoside transporters. Finally, a study of Arthritis and CBD called Arthritis and cannabinoids: HU‐210 and Win‐55,212–2 prevent IL‐1 α‐induced matrix degradation in bovine articular chondrocytes in‐vitro uncovered another meaningful way CBD improves swelling symptoms in the body. Their data suggests CBD is particularly helpful at preventing unwanted swelling brought on by cytokines.
Another one of the most common symptoms of inflammation is uncomfortable stiffness in the muscles or joints. Luckily, much research has shown that CBD is also useful in treating this particular issue.
A report called Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis showed that introduction of CBD significantly lowers the expression of S100B and iNOS proteins in humans. Their research was so detailed, they felt comfortable indicating CBD should be seen as a viable new way to treat inflammation symptoms, especially chronic stiffness.
Other researchers have looked into how far CBD’s influence in the body goes. One report called Cannabidiol reduces Aβ-induced neuroinflammation and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis through PPARγ involvement concluded introduction of CBD promotes hippocampal neurogenesis. However, they found that a blockade of PPARy does dramatically reduce the impact of CBD on inflammation. This could have a massive impact on more advanced and targeted CBD medications moving forward.
One crucial question many scientists are looking to answer about CBD is which endocannabinoid system receptors in the body are the most important for inflammation. A report called Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation found that neither the CB1 or CB2 receptors have much of an impact, while ample evidence indicates the TRPV1 receptor is the main conduit for CBD’s noted anti-inflammatory effect.
The research into CBD has been getting so robust that in some cases, it’s even proving to be more effective than well-established treatments. A study called, Evaluation of the Effects of Sativex (THC BDS: CBD BDS) on Inhibition of Spasticity in a Chronic Relapsing Experimental Allergic Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis: A Model of Multiple Sclerosis, not only showed Sativex is an effective treatment for the uncomfortable stiffness associated with spasticity, but it’s actually more effective than the most common treatment for MS-related spasticity, baclofen.
A report called Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being showed CBD is so effective at treating chronic stiffness and pain thanks in part to the interaction of PEA and anadamide. The researchers concluded that these two substances work together in a way that makes them “100-fold” more potent than either alone.
One of the most debilitating symptoms of inflammation is the chronic pain that often accompanies it. Fortunately, one of the benefits of CBD we have a ton of evidence for is its ability to mitigate chronic pain.
Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress concluded that CBD has a myriad of benefits for people dealing with autoimmune disorders, which quite often involve inflammation due to oxidative stress. This includes both types of diabetes (thanks to new research redefining type-two as an autoimmune disorder), Alzheimer’s disease, and notably for inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathic pain disorders.
A different article entitled, Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors focused on the connection between CBD and pain management, particularly via the glycine receptors. Their testing showed CBD significantly reduces inflammation and the associated pain. Perhaps more importantly, researchers also confirmed CBD provides this effect without the need for increasingly higher doses over time.
More research published by the National Institutes of Health called Cannabidiol attenuates high glucose-induced endothelial cell inflammatory response and barrier disruption found strong evidence that CBD provides a distinct improvement of chronic pain and inflammation. Interestingly, the team also confirmed that CBD pretreatment boost the benefits of some high-glucose-induced treatments.
Other teams have focused in on specific treatments CBD dramatically alters. For instance, a report called Cannabidiol attenuates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by decreasing oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, and cell death studied the impact of CBD pretreatment to fight cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity, an unfortunate condition of the kidneys that’s sometimes a side-effect of chemotherapy. Their data suggests pretreatment with CBD dramatically reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, and most importantly, cell death in the kidney.
Taking in all the evidence starts to provide keen insight into the value of CBD to treat inflammation. A review of all the available research of the time, called Cannabinoids in clinical practice, concluded CBD undoubtedly has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. They should, therefore, be seen as a legitimate alternative to prescription drugs. However, a lot more research is required to nail down all the specifics.