The Anti-Inflammatory Action of CBD

Inflammation is the process by which the body isolates and heals an injured or infected part of the body. It is a complicated process that involves the release of hormones, the activation of immune cells, and their recruitment to and subsequent activity at an affected area. The hormones that trigger this process are called cytokines. Cytokines are hormones including interferon and histamine which trigger the various aspects of an immune response depending on the combination of those released. Some cytokines are nerve cell agitators, and they produce the aching pain associated with swelling at an injury site or the common cold and flu.

Chemokines are a class of cytokines that recruit white blood cells to the area from which they were released. These hormones attract the first immune cells to a site of injury or infection which then mediate the rest of the immune response. Inflammation and the inflammatory response are the net effects of all of these chemical processes occurring simultaneously. While the process of inflammation is largely to credit for the phenomenon of healing, many of its aspects do more harm than good and in general inflammation has a negative connotation, as it can actually prevent some of the healing activity of the immune system.

The role of the endocannabinoid system in inflammation and immunity has to do with your body’s response to the hormones released by the immune system. As a gross generalization, endocannabinoids potentiate the effects of most immune hormones. This means they can amplify or dampen the effect of the hormones, and in this manner, homeostasis is maintained even throughout an attack on the body from a foreign substance. However, many chronic pain, neuropathic, and autoimmune disorders occur because there is an imbalance in the endocannabinoids which carry out the effect of the immune system signals.

Phytocannabinoids from cannabis, like CBD, are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Cannabidiol and cannabichromene in particular have a strong effect not only on cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, but on vanilloid receptors which mediate pain and on glycinergic receptors, which are also involved in the pain reflex and in the release of chemokines which agitate nerve cells to promote favoritism. CBD is not only able to raise the threshold at which a nerve cell will fire a “pain” message to the brain, but it also decreases the release of the chemokines which cause aches.

Finally, and this is the real power house, CBD is a strong inhibitor of COX-2, which is the main enzyme that initiates the most common inflammatory response. It activates the cox-2 gene which codes for the precursor of immune system hormones, cytokines, and chemokines. In other words, this enzyme is like the factory that produces all of the agitating substances and CBD disconnects it from the power grid, rendering it useless.

This is the mechanism of action which aspirin and most of the other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) utilize to block inflammation as well. However, coupled with its several other mechanisms of anti-inflammation and pain relief, CBD’s 20-fold increase in potency over aspirin makes it a truly revolutionary and powerful anti-inflammatory supplement.

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How CBD Can Improve Immune System Function and Efficiency

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid compound produced by varieties of C. Sativa L along with over 100 other phytocannabinoids. THC is the most well-known component of cannabis plants thanks to its psychotropic effects, but CBD has gained much notoriety over the past quarter century for its therapeutic effects, which lack psychotropic activity. 1 Research on phytocannabinoids and the cannabis species has spurred congruent research into the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS), which mediates (most of) the effects of cannabis-derived products.

Specifically, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is integral to the way that our immune system regulates itself and maintains a healthy balance of self-defense without causing self-harm. The immune system exists to sense any damage or threat and to respond to it in a way that removes the threat and repairs the damage. However, sometimes the immune response is disproportionate to the degree of damage. This results in an immune attack on healthy tissue, a condition known as autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is the harmful component of numerous common conditions, from arthritis to Crohn’s disease to Alzheimer’s.

While autoimmunity produces the symptoms of many common conditions, the exact cause of the autoimmune reaction is often not clear. However, the overwhelming majority of common autoimmune conditions coincide with abnormal activity within the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the immune system. CBD and phytocannabinoids in general are reputed by the medical research community to possess extensive immunoregulatory properties. Furthermore, the majority of the effects of CBD on the immune system only modulate abnormal or pathological activity, with a negligible effect on typical immune system activity.

This overview discusses the various ways that CBD can improve immune system function and efficiency: ways in which it can shore up the healthy immune system and possibly prevent autoimmune reactions from happening in the first place.

First, let’s get some context.

Many pathological (disease-related) conditions of the immune system are a result of dysregulation of how our immune system should respond to a given stimulus. In people who are allergic to cats or peanuts, certain molecules unique to cat dander and peanut oil set off the biological equivalent of a fire alarm inside the body. This is an example of an immune system response which is disproportionate to the danger posed by the threat to which it is responding: peanuts won’t kill you, but if you have a peanut allergy, then your immune system might kill you while “protecting” you from peanuts.

So what causes the immune system to act in a way that threatens the life of the organism which it exists to protect? The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. The immune system is a complicated, well-oiled machine, with countless hormones and compounds called cytokines that it uses to mediate its activities. They are intricately balanced thanks to a few robust regulators including the endocannabinoid system. The machine that is the immune system has thousands of moving parts, and if any single one fails, it can disrupt the entire system.

First, the immune system senses the presence of injury (damage) or a threat (infection).

Immune cells (macrophages, endothelial cells, dendritic cells, etc.) located in our blood stream and comprising all of our mucous membranes react to chemical tags unique to bacteria and viruses. They also respond to distress signals released by injured endogenous cells (cells belonging to your body).

The threshold amount of a threat or injury required to stimulate the immune system has a very specific range in which it must remain: if the threshold drops too low then the immune system will react to a stimulus that isn’t really dangerous; too high a threshold will cause the immune system to ignore threats that may actually be harmful to the organism. This is known as sensitivity, and both hyper- (too much) and hypo- (too little) sensitivity result in negative consequences.

Second, the immune cells that sensed the threat or damage tell the rest of the immune system how to respond.

Depending on their sensitivity, immune system cells called helper cells produce compounds known as cytokines: these include interleukins (IL), interferons (IFN), tumor-necrosis factors (TNF), and several other classes of chemical signals that all either increase or decrease the overall activity of the immune system. If the wrong combination of cytokines is produced by an immune cell (based on “wrong” sensitivity to the initial stimulus), then an abnormal immune response will occur.

This is the case in many autoimmune conditions, but again, exactly why the wrong combination of cytokines is produced remains a mystery. As with sensitivity, issues involving cytokine signalling are just as detrimental to immune function.

Third, effector cells act on the response of the helper cells, carrying out an immune reaction.

In this step, the immune system actually carries out processes either to heal damaged tissue or to kill pathogens and endogenous cells that are past repair.

…Back to sensitivity; if effector cells are too responsive or not responsive enough to the signalling from helper cells, then an immune reaction will occur that is detrimental to the health of the organism as well.

While CB2 cannabinoid receptors are vital to the normal function of immune cells, many of the therapeutic effects of CBD on immune system function are mediated by separate mechanisms than the classical cannabinoid receptors. In fact, much of the therapeutic effect of cannabidiol is due to CBD’s rare ability to alter which genes get expressed by cells.3 In the immune system, this affects both sensitivity and signalling. CBD limits the combinations of genes that get expressed, which limits the combinations of cytokines that cells are able to produce (proinflammatory vs. anti-inflammatory) and also the combination that they are able to respond to (the cytokines for which they have receptors).

Every cell in our body contains a full copy of our all of our genes. Each of our genes (humans have about 20,000) codes for a specific protein. The whole point of DNA – its only function – is to create the thousands of different proteins that our cells need to operate. Proteins are massive functional molecules that serve some technical purpose for the function of our cells.

Proteins in muscle cells physically change their shape to contract the muscle fiber. Proteins in the retina react differently to the different wavelengths of light, allowing us to see. Proteins, quite literally, do it all. Seriously. Every single activity inside every single one of your cells depends on a protein. All “chemical signalling” involves some molecule that was created by an enzyme protein, interacting with a receptor protein. Usually, the only non-protein piece of the puzzle is the actual signalling molecule itself.

All cellular functions depend on proteins, and each kind of cell is different because of the specific proteins that it expresses: of course, each cell doesn’t need to express all of the genes in the human genome (remember every cell contains all of the genes). A protein is “expressed” when the specific gene that codes for that protein is activated by the cell to then produce that protein.

In the immune system, there are hundreds of genes that code for cytokines, and for the signals that determine whether immune stem cells differentiate into repair cells (ambulances) or killer cells (tanks): these signals are called transcription factors because they “factor into” which genes get transcribed, or activated.

Transcription factors are also proteins themselves, that need to be produced by their own genes. If the immune system has to choose between building tanks or ambulances, then transcription factors are the executive officers that decide which machines (cells) to produce more of. If the transcription factors build more tanks than ambulances, then the destruction caused by the immune system will outweigh any repairs it can make. This is one of the common characteristics of immune system disorders: too many killer cells are created and not enough repair cells to clean up the damage.

CBD activates a receptor known as PPARγ (PPAR gamma). When activated by certain transcription factors, PPAR receptors modulate the expression of genes in their cell. PPARγ (PPAR gamma) receptors increase the expression of genes that code for immunosuppressant proteins, proteins that will build ambulances, not tanks. Essentially, by activating PPARγ receptors, CBD goes straight to the executive board of the immune system and tells it to produce machinery that will help to repair the body and prevent damage rather than machinery that causes unnecessary damage.2, 3

In essence, CBD activates a PPAR receptor on immune cells that causes the immune system to become less active and to produce more machinery associated with repair and prevention than with inflammation and destruction.4

When the immune system has decided that it needs tanks to destroy a pathogenic enemy, the killer cells that it creates flood the infected area in the form of inflammation. These cells exert their damage by releasing reactive compounds containing oxygen (reactive oxygen species), which act in the same way that Oxyclean or bleach acts on a stain: by breaking down any molecules they come into contact with.

Most stains in clothing are a product of food, which means they almost certainly came from a once-living thing. The large molecules produced by all living things are sensitive to oxygen-containing compounds. Just like Oxyclean degrades the biological molecules making up a stain, ROS released by killer cells degrade the cell membrane and DNA of cells they come into contact with.

People from all corners of the nutrition and health industries emphasize the importance of antioxidants in your diet, but why are antioxidants necessary and why do so many bloggers talk about them? Antioxidants are compounds like vitamin E and CBD which attract ROS before important cell components get damaged. Antioxidants are like little filters that constantly remove dangerous ROS as they float around the cell. The balance of natural antioxidants produced by the immune system’s repair cells and of ROS produced by its killer cells is completely relevant to whether or not it works properly.

CBD increases the amount of natural antioxidants that our bodies produce. This is at least partially a result of its ability to alter the genes that get expressed by immune cells, however CBD itself has antioxidant properties at least as potent as vitamin E. This has lead some to propose that CBD itself takes some of the antioxidant load off of the body’s own antioxidant ability, leaving higher levels circulating in the blood.5

Another proposed mechanism for CBD’s overall effect on the immune system has to do with a different aspect of its activation of PPARγ receptors. PPAR, a class of receptors, controls which genes get expressed in a given cell. In immune cells, PPARγ happens to increase expression of genes that are mainly immunosuppressive. Its activation has the secondary effect of decreasing the expression of other PPARs that increase the expression of proinflammatory genes. CBD increases the good and decreases the bad.6

CBD for Sleeping Disorder

Getting enough sleep is not a luxury—it is something people need for good health. Sleep disorders can also increase a person’s risk of health problems.

Sleeping pills are a solution that come with a health-compromising cost. Hence, people are scooting towards alternative remedies that are natural and affordable. Luckily, CBD usage can be the solution in these cases.

CBD is stress reducing and calming for body and mind. Hence, it can help restore a normal sleeping pattern. Moreover, CBD not just makes falling asleep easier, it also influences the sleep cycle positively. Sleep is divided into multiple cycles with different phases. CBD increases the third phase, which is the phase of deep sleep.

Studies of blood tests have shown that CBD influences the dopamine levels in the bloodstream during sleep. This leads to a better, more relaxed sleep. Furthermore, it has been shown that CBD can help improve the night’s rest of people with an irregular sleeping pattern, and who experience chronic fatigue as a result.

CBD can fight insomnia without making you get high and can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. CBD can be used without risks, because it has no known side effects and needs no Medical prescription.
Fatigue is a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Often fatigue is caused by one of these factors: lifestyle factors, physical health conditions & mental health issues. Several studies have shown CBD can improve physical and mental health and reduce causes of fatigue.

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CBD for Diabetes

It has come to notice of medical practitioner, researchers & doctors that therapeutic effects of CBD can effectively treat illness like Diabetes.

One of the main root causes of Type 2 diabetes is related to inflammation and oxidative stress. This just so happens to be an area where CBD has been studied extensively, i.e. where hard data exists. Cannabinoids have already been shown to improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.

CBD also show great promise in helping alleviate the main complications of diabetes. The underlying factor in diabetes is insulin dysfunction, and cannabinoid receptors have been found in the islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, thus effectively aiding in treatment of Diabetes.

Researchers have found that current users of CBD had 16% lower fasting insulin levels than respondents who had never used CBD, as well as having 17% lower levels of insulin resistance.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a biological condition that makes it hard for many people to sit still and concentrate. It is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Opioid based medicines are a solution that come with a health-compromising cost. Hence, people are scooting towards alternative remedies that are natural and affordable. Luckily, CBD usage can be the solution in these cases.

One main physiological irregularity of ADD/ADHD is the brain’s shortage of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter involved in cognitive processes like memory and attention.

CBD appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine. CBD does no harm to sick (young) children, on the contrary, it gives children in a hopeless situation a chance to live like a child again, instead of being a patient every day.

CBD dosage to ADHD suffering Kids & Adults can lead to boring and arduous tasks become more manageable, and mood swings tend to level out.

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CBD for Aids / Cancer

Study has been shown that CBD usage can be helpful in healing effects of AIDS & Cancer.

How does CBD help?

HIV is a typically asymptomatic virus that causes AIDS and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections. HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, spreads through body fluids and specifically attacks the immune system, gradually weakening it and making the body less effective at combating diseases and infections.

Research shows CBD helps patients manage symptoms associated with HIV and AIDS treatments and may even help slow the progression of the virus. HIV positive patients using CBD have reported significant improvements in appetite, muscle pain levels, nausea, anxiety, depression, and skin tingling. Studies have found that daily and chronic neuropathic pain related to AIDS can be significantly lowered by regular CBD usage. It also boosts appetite and daily functioning, helping to combat weight loss and muscle breakdown.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.

CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cell reproduce. CBD has the effect of reducing the ability of some types of tumor cells to reproduce.

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CBD for Addiction

When stress, anxiety & depression drives one to see the doctor for help, he is likely to prescribe a light anti-depressant for a period. And move on to something stronger, if the first medication does not work. Anti-depressants medication is also extremely addictive. Withdrawal symptoms when discontinued include dizziness, headache, nausea and hallucinations.

This is where CBD can play a critical role due to its anti-addiction properties!

CBD, or hemp derived Cannabidiol, is a viable alternative to expensive antidepressant medications for the treatment of many forms of anxiety & depression. CBD has now also been found to be able to successfully and effectively treat Disorders & Stress.

One can use CBD (easily available variants – Oil, Cream, Terpenes, Syrup & Capsules) without fear – it is not a psychoactive substance, so there is no danger of getting “high” from it.

CBD effects your body by binding to cannabinoid receptors which helps to calm and relax your mind.

CBD consumption can effectively help in following conditions:

Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.
Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. Depression affects how you feel about yourself and makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

Given the huge social and financial costs of Stress, Addiction & Anxiety related disorders in the U.S., CBD has the potential to play a significant role in treating a myriad of such disorders.

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CBD for Acne

CBD usage is one of the effective methods for acne treatment.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. It’s caused when a pore on your skin becomes clogged with dead skin cells. Bacteria sometimes plays a role too, inflaming the skin until it’s red and swollen.

Over the last couple of years, it has been seen that CBD-rich extracts could be a great topical treatment for acne. CBD have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sebum-reducing properties that could work together to fight acne. CBD can increase the levels of our own cannabinoids, such as AEA, by stopping them from breaking down. AEA, at high levels, has been found to reduce the production of sebum. Sebum keeps our skin in good condition at normal levels, but in excess it blocks the pores of our skin and can cause acne.

CBD is a very potent anti-inflammatory. It’s also chock-full of antioxidants and omega fatty acids. All three of these properties make it an excellent choice for skin health.

CBD oil has been making headlines as the “holy grail for acne treatment”.

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CBD for Prevention General Health

CBD is impactful in majorly all health issues due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-anxiety, skin improving & immunity boosting properties.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies indicate that CBD possesses almost unbelievable clinical potential. CBD has been shown, in clinical settings, to help relieve convulsions, inflammation, asthma, anxiety, nausea, and other general health concerns. CBD has also been shown to strengthen and improve the efficiency of mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of your cells that are responsible for ensuring that your cells work the way they should.

CBD consumption can effectively help in following conditions:

Fatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy. Fatigue is a common symptom, and it is usually not due to a serious disease. However, unrelenting exhaustion, on the other hand, lasts longer, is more profound and isn’t relieved by rest. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.
The immune system, which is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs, defends people against germs and microorganisms every day. In most cases, the immune system does a great job of
Inflammation is – very generally speaking – the body’s immune system’s response to stimulus. Inflammation happens when the immune system fights against something that may turn out to be harmful.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder. It describes a group of symptoms that affect your large intestine with no known cause. IBS is common and occurs more often in women.

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CBD for Pain

It’s not easy living with pain. Whether you suffer from muscle spasms, chronic pain or arthritis, finding a solution to help deal with that pain can mean the difference between a pleasant day where you can function to a nightmare of a day, just waiting to end.

Over the last couple of years, CBD oil has become a popular form of treatment for pain management. It is currently thought to be so effective, that more and more doctors are recommending it instead of traditional pain killers.

CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.

CBD usage is one of the proven methods for relief to various pains & inflammations.

Cramps are sudden, involuntary muscle contraction or over-shortening; while generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause significant pain.

When a wound swells up, turns red and hurts, it may be a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is generally speaking – the body’s immune system’s response to stimulus. Inflammation happens when the immune system fights against something that may turn out to be harmful. Inflammation is generally followed with acute pain, swelling & redness.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals

Spinal cord injury or in short, SCI is damage to the spinal cord that causes changes in its function, either temporary or permanent. These changes translate into loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in parts of the body served by the spinal cord below the level of the lesion.

A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.

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