Is marijuana capable of reducing inflammation symptoms?

Many patients suffer from pain because of inflammation in various areas of the body. Many individuals can benefit from medical marijuana instead of using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), opioids, or steroids,  all of which may have long-term and well-known harmful effects. The potential risks of cannabis use are not zero, but the reported short-term adverse effects are typically minor and temporary, while the long-term consequences are still being researched.

Cannabis is used to help activate or deactivate neurotransmitters in the body that aid in pain and inflammation management using the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids are chemical messengers made in the body that functions like neurotransmitters. They can be activated by the cannabinoids (chemical compounds) found in marijuana, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, through a variety of receptors.

Cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. The central nervous system contains the majority of CB1 receptors, whereas many immune cells have CB2 receptors. These can also be found in the synovial fluid that surrounds joints. Certain cannabinoids have been shown to bind with opioid, adenosine, serotonin, and dopamine receptors, which might provide therapeutic benefits as well as other health effects. CB receptors have also been observed to associate with other receptors to generate a variety of outcomes.

To learn more about the ECS and our chronic pain page, see our endocannabinoid guide.

What Cannabis Can Do to Reduce Inflammation

Medical marijuana uses the endocannabinoid system to manage inflammation via the following pathways:

  • THC and CBD induce immunosuppression by triggering cell death, or apoptosis, which is a normal process in cells. It can cause T-lymphocytes and macrophages to undergo apoptosis, reducing the body’s natural chronic inflammation producers.
  • THCA reduces inflammation by decreasing cytokine proteins produced by the immune system’s cells known as cytokines. When cytokines are destroyed, white blood cell development and immune responses are slowed; as a result, cell inflammation is also delayed. 
  • THC, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory effects that help to reduce inflammation symptoms and stop them from occurring. The body’s reaction against itself, which is called autoimmunity, causes inflammation.

It’s crucial to remember that cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties are based on the ECS’s immunological responses. It all depends on the type of inflammation you’re experiencing and where it occurs in the body when it comes to how marijuana helps on a cellular level.

According to a recent study, cannabinoids may also act on additional complicated pathways in the body that reduce inflammation. CBD has been shown in clinical trials to have antioxidant activity in the body and the capacity to target free radicals, which can cause inflammation. CBD also helps to reduce inflammation, which is beneficial in inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of skin problems such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Cannabidiol is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, according to preliminary studies. CBD’s typical targets are CB2 receptors, which allow it to enhance vasodilation and help prevent diabetic neuropathy in rats. CBD has also been proven to assist improve wound healing in these diabetic rats.

There’s also evidence suggesting that inflammation in the body might play a role in over 20% of human cancers. Inflammation can lead to cancer, and cancer can cause inflammation, resulting in a vicious cycle. CBD can slow tumor growth and activate anti-inflammatory processes in the body to assist it to fight disease.

Marijuana and inflammation: Our knowledge of cannabis and inflammation is still in its infancy. More study is needed to understand all of the mechanisms, therapeutic possibilities, and long-term health consequences of medical marijuana use on inflammation.

Using THC to treat inflammation

CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by THC, which allows it to modulate pain perception and immune responses. This enables the endocannabinoid system to be activated to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids present in the plant are thought to collaborate to decrease inflammation in the body when cannabis is consumed. Terpenes (flavor profiles) also improve medicinal properties, which is why some cannabis strains work better than others to fight inflammation. The entourage effect is a term used by Dr. Ethan Russo to describe this phenomenon.

Can CBD help you with inflammation?

People who are worried about feeling impaired can use CBD products such as CBD oil. This is not intoxicating and has some of the same effects as THC. It will also regulate pain and reduce inflammation.

CBD may be able to assist additional ailments if you suffer from chronic illness. It’s now been established that CBD can help anxiety and sleeplessness, two problems that frequently go together.

For additional information, check out our CBD guide.

Not all types of chronic inflammation are caused by the same factors in the body. We suggest consulting with a qualified cannabis professional for personalized recommendations depending on your condition and requirements. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, have not yet been clinically evaluated as anti-inflammatory therapies in a wide sense.

Inflammation: Is it bad?

Some inflammation is beneficial to your health. Acute inflammation occurs in the human body daily. Swelling, redness, heat, and discomfort are all typical symptoms of acute inflammation. The immune system is used by the body to defend against disease and heal injuries; the difficulty arises when inflammation persists for an extended period without dissipating. Chronic inflammation is a problem because the body sends white blood cells to attack inflammatory targets, which can result in damage to good tissue and increased inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation: Causes

The following are some of the most common causes of chronic inflammation:

  • The inability of the body’s immune defenses to remove potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus, and protozoa.
  • Exposing oneself to irritants that the body cannot remove, such as pollutants or particles like silica dust.
  • Autoimmune diseases in which the body mistakenly views its cells as foreign and launches an attack against them.
  • Inflammation that recurs regularly.
  • Gout causes inflammation and chemical and metabolic inducers that produce oxidative stress and cell dysfunction.

Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of illnesses and conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

How Do Medical Cannabis Patients Feel About It?

In the 2020 study, researchers looked at inflammation biomarkers and self-reported cannabis consumption among adults. Among patients who described using marijuana in the last 30 days, those who used it had lower levels of inflammation biomarkers, according to the research. High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein (hsCRP), Interleukin 6 (IL-6), and fibrinogen were the biomarkers investigated by this research. Although the findings are lower, they are not statistically significant in terms of technical significance. This research demonstrates that patients who use cannabis to treat inflammation have biological responses as a result of doing so, and further study into the therapeutic potential of cannabis in treating inflammation is suggested.

Restart CBD is the brainchild of cannabis advocate, public speaker, and brand marketer Shayda Torabi. She provided some information about customers’ questions regarding CBD and inflammation, as well as her use of CBD for pain:

“We see a lot of people come into our shop going to look for cannabis to help with their inflammation.” We’re not doctors, but the research shows that CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, has a good amount of anti-inflammatory characteristics because it affects the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are found all over the body. Cannabis has been said to be very good at cutting down on inflammation by people who have used it. Personally, I was involved in a serious car accident over five years ago and continue to suffer from chronic pain, but after being introduced to cannabis and continuing to develop a consistent routine, I’ve found comfort in handling my own inflammation, and it all comes down to recognizing how much cannabis your body requires per dose as well as how frequently.”

If you want to learn more about the medical use of cannabis or have questions, please contact a cannabis coach or a medical marijuana doctor on Digidrs’s platform.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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