CBD is becoming increasingly popular amongst researchers and scientists for its versatility. The non-psychotropic cannabinoid has been studied in relative depth over recent years, and is displaying some encouraging results in regard to its potential anticonvulsant[1], neuroprotective[2], and antioxidant properties[3]. Studies[4] have also implicated the cannabinoid as a supportive aid for reducing inflammation. Inflammation is thought to be a contributing factor to various chronic diseases.

CBD AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

CBD is formed within the trichomes of the cannabis plant as a secondary metabolite. The molecule interacts with the human body in numerous ways and exerts effects partly via serotonin and vanilloid receptors. Much like other cannabinoids, CBD can also influence the endocannabinoid system. This system is comprised of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are found upon the cell membrane of many different cell types throughout the body.

Several cannabinoids achieve their medicinal effects by binding to these receptors sites. Although CBD does not directly bind to these receptors, and is in fact a known antagonist, it does sill influence the endocannabinoid system in an indirect manner. It has the ability to both enhance and reduce the binding action of certain receptors and also acts as an anandamide reuptake inhibitor.

What is anandamide, you ask? Superb question. Anandamide belongs to a class of molecules known as endocannabinoids. These molecules share a very similar shape with cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, or phytocannabinoids, which is why cannabinoids are able to bind to some of the same receptor sites.

Body Inflamation CBD

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?

Although often vilified and looked at through a negative lens, inflammation is actually a vital physiological process and a fundamental aspect of the body’s innate immune response. However, too much inflammation is attributed as a contributing factor for chronic diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Acute inflammation is usually the result of a traumatic injury, such as a sprained ankle or strained muscles, for example, and manifests as pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat. This form of inflammation is a response with the purpose of protecting the injured area and triggering the healing process. Specific cells move into the affected site and begin to clear debris and damaged tissues. Although anti-inflammatory medication is often used to hinder this response and deal with the pain, the body does need to undergo this phase, thus the use of these medicines can be seen as controversial. Acute inflammation can also be caused by harmful bacteria.

Chronic inflammation is defined as inflammation that persists over long periods of time and can be caused by pathogens, viruses, and an overactive immune response. This form of inflammation can span from periods of months to years, and can occur when the immune system perceives healthy tissues as a threat and starts to attack them. This is known as an autoimmune disease. Such conditions include asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and sinusitis.

CBD AND INFLAMMATION

Research into the cannabinoid has shown its potential in helping to mediate the immune response associated with autoimmune diseases such as those mentioned above, along with neuropathic pain[5], hypertension[6], Alzheimer’s disease[7], and depression[8]. A scientific paper[9] regarding this mechanism states that CBD offers promise in the field of anti-inflammatory drug development. The molecule may act to combat inflammation and its associated oxidative stress in numerous ways, including by exerting an immunosuppressive effect on macrophages and microglial cells—cells that play a role in inflammation and immunity.

Further research published[10] in the journal PLOS One investigated the effects of CBD on intestinal inflammation. Application of the cannabinoid led to decreased levels of macrophages within the intestines of mice after CBD treatment, suggesting future therapeutic strategies involving CBD in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Inflamation CBD

CBD FOR ATHLETES

Athletes represent a population with a high risk of acute musculoskeletal injury and chronic pathologies. Acute injuries always start with an inflammatory response. Although the findings outlined above are encouraging, there is still a lot we need to learn about CBD’s impact on combating pain and reducing swelling and soreness. Interestingly, that hasn't stopped the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from recently removing CBD from its prohibited substances list. This means Olympic athletes and professional sports players will no longer be penalised for using CBD before or after competing.

External Resources:
  1. Cannabidiol--antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  5. Oromucosal delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis: an uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  6. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  7. IJMS | Free Full-Text | Cannabidiol Modulates the Expression of Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Genes in Mesenchymal Stem Cells https://www.mdpi.com
  8. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  9. Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  10. Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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