In the past few decades, inflammation has emerged as the number one villain in the fight for health and wellness. Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, periodontitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression. Inflammation is complex and has many different biological variances. That being said, let’s dive into a simple explanation. Acute inflammation is our body's first line of defense against injury, illness, or infection. For example; if we jam our finger, our body sends inflammatory molecules to the site and our finger becomes inflamed. This reaction is for our body’s own protection. A healthy immune system knows when to send these inflammatory molecules and when to stop.
Chronic inflammation comes when our body’s immune system doesn’t know when to stop sending these inflammatory molecules. This is due to uncured infections or illness. Our immune systems could also perceive something we eat or drink as a threat that triggers an inflammatory response.
Chronic inflammation can be devastating in several ways. First, free radicals are produced by an inflammatory response to kill damaged cells. This encourages the growth of new cells and is good for mitochondrial health. However, if the inflammatory response doesn’t stop this leads to oxidative stress that triggers a DNA mutation in the cell; couple this with a lot of new cell growth that has the DNA mutation and the stage is set for cancer.
Heart disease is also caused by inflammation. Inflammatory molecules attract cholesterol rich immune cells to the artery walls and cause blockage. Which is a little different than what doctors originally thought caused heart disease – fat/cholesterol directly building up in the artery lining.
Prostaglandins – CBD has been shown to inhibit COX–2 the enzyme that is responsible for productng inflammatory prostaglandins.
TNFa – Rodent studies have shown CBD to reduce the body’s production of inflammatory tumor necrosis factor.
PPAPy – CBD stimulates the PPAPy receptor which tells your DNA which genes to express. This simultaneously reduces the production of inflammatory molecules and increases the production of antioxidants.
TRP Receptors – CBD has been shown to desensitize a several of the TRP receptors. These sensory receptors are responsible for sending the pain signal to the brain. The brain in return sends back an inflammatory response.
CBD is proving to be a promising method to combat inflammation. However, more research is needed as most of the clinical research done has been either in petri dishes or on rodents. That being said, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that CBD is a great anti-inflammatory.
Until next time, Stay healthy my friends!