Dozens of studies have compellingly indicated (1) that cannabidiol (CBD) is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. These same studies also suggest that CBD does not have any notable side effects. This plant-based compound can be manufactured cheaply and easily using a variety of widespread methods. In a market dominated by expensive anti-inflammatory medications that can often do more harm than good, this simple hemp derivative is a ray of hope for those suffering from inflammation-related conditions. But what exactly is CBD and how does it reduce inflammation in the body?
Most Diseases are Caused by Inflammation
While conventional medical science treats the symptoms of a disease instead of the root cause, many of today’s health practitioners are rejecting this reductionist philosophy of medicine in preference of a more holistic approach. Researchers have found (2) that the root cause of most types of disease is inflammation. This means that a drug or treatment that addresses inflammation itself would prove much more effective in the long run than a drug or treatment that only reduces the symptoms of a disease.
Removing the root cause of disease is a hallmark of the medical traditions of China and India, and growing trends in Western science are revitalizing these ancient approaches. In light of new research, medical practices that only treat the symptoms of disease while overlooking the root cause are starting to seem as barbaric as lobotomy or bloodletting. It’s also being discovered that many previously-overlooked plant-based medicines may be much more effective than anyone could have ever dreamed.
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CBD Reduces Inflammation
CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a type of chemical found in the plant genus cannabis sativa. Also known as the hemp plant, cannabis sativa has been used for thousands of years across the world as a medical treatment, textile product, and recreational drug. Though certain types of cannabis sativa contain high concentrations of the intoxicating chemical THC, this plant can also be bred to be low in THC and high in CBD, providing a plentiful source of this compound that many respected medical researchers and practitioners are now calling a wonder drug.
When CBD is introduced into living mammalian tissue, anti-inflammatory effects can be noted almost immediately. This reduction in inflammation also leads to a reported reduction in pain in human subjects. CBD has been noted to be effective in treating the following inflammation-related diseases:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The Mechanics of CBD
The above-mentioned conditions certainly do not constitute the full scope of conditions that CBD has been observed to treat effectively. Due to the incredible versatility of this plant compound, many are being tempted to designate CBD as a panacea. Though this is a lofty claim to make, it may not be far from the truth, especially given the contemporary understanding that inflammation is the root condition of most types of disease.
Though it is becoming more and more widely accepted every day that one of the best ways to treat general ill health is by reducing bodily inflammation, there is still very little known about how exactly CBD reduces inflammation in the body. We do know that CBD does not interact significantly with the CB1 or CB2 receptors, which are the primary cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It’s been postulated that CBD may interact with a yet-undiscovered cannabinoid receptor, or that its method of effect may bypass the cannabinoid receptors entirely.
Even though there’s much yet to be learned about the specific mechanics of how CBD reduces inflammation, it isn’t necessary to know exactly how CBD works to be impressed by the sheer volume of scientific evidence indicating CBD’s efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. When the seemingly endless deluge of testimonials given by individuals whose lives have been improved by this seemingly harmless compound are also taken into account, the case for CBD as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment becomes incredibly compelling.
Methods of CBD Application
Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs, CBD can be applied in a wide variety of different ways. While the most common form of CBD application is oral ingestion in capsule form, some varieties of CBD treatment are inhaled, others are orally ingested in liquid form, and others are applied transdermally.
There is no universally agreed-on recommended dose for an individual CBD treatment, but there also appears to be no danger of overdose with this plant compound. High doses may cause mild sleepiness, but CBD does not induce any psychotropic effects (3), sharply differentiating this cannabinoid from THC.
Oral ingestion of CBD provides a gradual full-body effect that is usually noticed within half an hour. The effects of inhaling CBD are usually felt almost immediately but do not last as long as other application methods. CBD applied transdermally only affects the area of application, which can be a benefit for sufferers of certain inflammation-related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Does CBD Cure Inflammation?
Though CBD treatment is now a multimillion-dollar global industry, research into the seemingly miraculous benefits of CBD is still in its infancy. It is therefore hard to make any definitive claims as to the efficacy of CBD as a long-term treatment, but the evidence compiled so far certainly suggests that CBD is an amazingly effective anti-inflammatory with an incredibly wide scope of potential applications. CBD researchers, advocacy groups, and producers are working tirelessly to get this plant-based treatment the attention it deserves. With more research and public awareness, it is certain that CBD will soon be universally regarded as one of the natural world’s most miraculous cures for inflammation-related disease.