One of the many benefits of cannabidiol is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that the body uses to fight off illness-causing pathogens and foreign compounds. In the case of injury or infection, acute inflammation lasts briefly, and plays a vital role in healing.
Chronic inflammation, however, carries on for months or years. It can be caused by, and result in, a number of severe conditions. Longterm diseases associated with inflammation include rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular disease.
CBD exerts its potent anti-inflammatory effects through four biological processes:
- Induction of apoptosis. Apoptosis is the body’s highly regulated process of programmed cell death. This natural mechanism maintains homeostasis, and can eliminate potentially threatening cells. At optimal concentrations, cannabidiol can induce apoptosis in immune cells, alleviating inflammatory responses and protecting from acute and chronic inflammation. In patients with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis, diseases caused by activated immune cells, CBD may trigger apoptosis and act as anti-inflammatory therapy.
- Inhibition of cell proliferation. CBD can be extremely beneficial in blocking the growth of tumors, and may also be beneficial in treating certain types of cancers triggered by chronic inflammation. In such instances, CBD can either directly inhibit tumor growth, or suppress inflammation and the growth of the blood vessels that help sustain the tumor.
- Suppression of cytokine production. CBD deregulates the production of Cytokines, a category of signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation.
- Induction of T-regulatory cells. CBD induces T-regulatory cells (Tregs), a component of the immune system that suppresses the immune responses of other cells in order to inhibit inflammatory responses.
Studies have shown that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate multiple inflammation-related conditions, when used in both topical and oral forms.
- One of the causes of acne is underlying inflammation, and the overproduction of an oily secretion produced by the skin, called sebum. Recent studies show CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production
- Additional skin conditions. When applied to the skin as an ointment, CBD can significantly reduce inflammation in psoriasis and other skin diseases, as well as scarring.
- Numerous studies have shown that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in reducing pain related to arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis. Additional studies show that a combination of CBD and THC improves pain during movement, walking, and muscle spasms for patients with multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative diseases. Though more research is needed, initial research shows CBD may reduce the inflammation that can exacerbate diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.