The ability of cannabidiol (CBD) to interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been widely documented from clinical and laboratory research data. This level of interaction between the ECS receptors scattered all over the body gives CBD the numerous therapeutic abilities in the body. The more researchers understand the nature and strength of CBD in the treatment and prevention of diseases, the more fascinated they become. At the time of writing this article, CBD has played vital roles in the prevention and treatment of migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other inflammation-related diseases.
Inflammation can be described as the body’s response to injuries. It plays essential roles in wound healing and can serve as a portal of entry for chronic diseases. Inflammation can also be described as the body’s signaling channel through which the immune system is activated to heal and repair damaged tissues and recruit the first line of defense to guard against invaders like bacteria and viruses at the point of injury. When inflammation lingers for too long, it can lead to several chronic disease conditions which may be life-threatening. The onset of inflammation is usually characterized by the presence of abdominal pain, chest pain, fatigue, fever, joint pain, mouth sores, heat, and rashes.
HOW DOES CBD INTERACT WITH INFLAMMATION?
Public interest has been drawn to the wide range of medical activities of CBD in the body. Data gathered from clinical and laboratory research has reported the potential of CBD acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antimicrobial and anticancer agent. This activity has linked with CBD's interaction with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system which plays active roles in controlling cognitive responses like appetite, pain, immunity, nerve health and hormonal balance.
While acute forms of inflammation are usually mild and may not present adverse clinical symptoms, the presence of chronic inflammation has been linked with life-threatening conditions. Data gathered from the John Hopkins Health Review has shown that inflammation is one of the major underlying causes of many common and chronic disease conditions known to man. It has played vital roles in heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, anxiety and depression. Inflammation is commonly treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and natural supplements like CBD. While the former is linked with several side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, life-threatening bleeding and increased chances of ulcers, the use of CBD is completely safe and does not lead to adverse side effects. Most of the CBD medications available in the market only suppress the cause of the inflammation, and this may be bad for the patient. CBD can interact with inflammation in the following ways;
1. Pain Control
CBD can interact with the ECS receptors of the immune system to boost the production of immune cells and also limit the occurrences of overfired immune systems. It can also address the causes of chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system thus reducing the expression of aches and pains in the body. This activity can come in handy in mediating immune responses. A hyper-immune system can destroy the body’s cells and make room for chronic inflammation. The activity of CBD can mediate immune responses linked with autoimmune diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis and chronic pain syndrome. There is a wide body of research aimed at discovering the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in drug development.
2. Limiting Oxidative Stress
The accumulation of free radicals in body cells over time can result in chronic inflammation. The use of CBD as an antioxidant can help neutralize the negative effects of oxidative. It can also reduce the presence of inflammatory pain through the activation of glycine receptors. The antioxidant activity of CBD can also play significant roles in detoxification, anxiety, and depression.
3. Antimicrobial Activity
CBD can limit the growth of pathogenic bacteria cells which increase the chances of chronic inflammations in the body. The antimicrobial activity coupled with boosting the immune system can help the body remain healthy.
4. Improvement of Neuron Health
Neurons serves as the body’s communication system. A lot of conditions may limit their activity and increase the chances of chronic inflammation. CBD can interact with the ECS receptors to boost neural health and brain function. This also improves the transmission of nerve impulses between cells.
Although there is a need to further study the mechanism of action between CBD and the ECS receptors on inflammation, the available data has shown that CBD has great potential.
Ron GoedekeMD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM