CBD Oil for Inflammation: Information, Treatment, Effectiveness & Studies


Knee Inflammation

What is Inflammation?

Simply put, inflammation is your immune system's response mechanism designed to help protect and repair your body. When suffering from an injury or disease, the body's immune system responds by sending white blood cells to the affected area. These blood cells help repair damaged tissue, stop the spread of infection, or fight off foreign invaders.

Inflammation is often characterized by the production of heat, swelling, and redness at the affected area. Without this important reaction process, your body would be left defenseless. However not all inflammation is good.

When inflammation sticks around longer than it should it can end up harming the body. Chronic inflammation can cause diseases and conditions over a long period of time including cancers, and arthritis.


Acute vs Chronic Inflammation

There are two primary types of inflammation characterized by the duration.

What is Acute Inflammation?

Acute inflammation is a short-term immune response due to an injury or illness. This response often starts aggressively and becomes severe in a short time. The symptoms may only last for a few days up to a few weeks.

Common causes of acute inflammation include:

  • Cuts or scrapes
  • High-intensity exercise or workouts
  • The common cold or flu causing a sore throat
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Sinusitis

What is Chronic Inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is a long-term inflammatory response that often comes on slowly and lasts from several months to years. Although inflammation's role in repairing the body is critical, chronic inflammation can eventually cause tissue death and scarring of connective tissue resulting in disease. Because of these risks, this long-lasting condition needs to be successfully managed to prevent damage or disease to the body.

Common conditions and diseases that include chronic inflammation include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic peptic ulcer
  • Tuberculosis

Chronic inflammation can be caused by:

  • Failure to heal or eliminate the cause of an acute inflammatory response
  • An autoimmune disorder that mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the body
  • Long-term exposure to an irritant that causes inflammation such as a harmful chemical

Inflammation and Pain

Pain an inflammation often go hand-in-hand. Depending on the severity, pain, stiffness, and discomfort of varying levels is often accompanied with inflammation. This pain is primarily caused due to the fact that the swelling pushes against nerve endings, sending pain signals to the brain. Due to the nature of inflammation, these pain sensations can range from throbbing to steady, to stabbing, to pinching.

For more information on how CBD oil treats pain, see our article on the subject.

Treating Inflammation with CBD Oil

Among the various conditions that cannabis is being shown to effectively treat, inflammation is one of the most well documented due to its occurrence in so many conditions. Research has shown that CBD suppresses the inflammatory response and attenuate disease symptoms. Beyond CBD, studies show that inflammation is treated by a large number of other cannabinoids - making inflammation perhaps the most treatable condition for CBD oil users. These cannabinoids include CBCCBG, CBNTHC, and unheated raw acid forms including THCA and CBDA.

Due to the wide range of cannabinoids that act as anti-inflammatories, we highly suggest seeking out a highly concentrated full spectrum CBD oil. Even taking a step beyond traditional heated oils and looking for a blended formula that contains raw, unheated cannabinoids is recommended.

Cannabis' potential as an effective medicine to treat inflammation then leads to its use in treatment to fight a wide range of issues from chronic pain to arthritis to multiple sclerosis to cancer. These same effects are widely supported by anecdotal evidence. There are a wide number of products being used daily to treat inflammation in people of all walks of life.

Notable Research on CBD Oil & Inflammation

  • Cannabidiolic acid was observed as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitory component in cannabis as part of a 2008 research project. This action mirrors that of many Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
  • A 2010 study titled "Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs" drew many important conclusions on the use of cannabinoids including but not limited to CBD as anti-inflammatories:
    • The cannabinoid system has been shown both in vivo and in vitro to be involved in regulating the immune system through its immunomodulatory properties.
    • Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms. This property of cannabinoids is mediated through multiple pathways such as induction of apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppression of cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites and upregulation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.
    • Cannabinoids have been tested in several experimental models of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and hepatitis and have been shown to protect the host from the pathogenesis through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways.
    • Cannabinoids may also be beneficial in certain types of cancers that are triggered by chronic inflammation. In such instances, cannabinoids can either directly inhibit tumor growth or suppress inflammation and tumor angiogenesis.
  • A 2011 study found that CBD may be useful as a treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases due to its anti-inflammatory processes.
  • A 2012 study on CBC showed that the compound "selectively reduces inflammation-induced hypermotility in vivo in a manner that is not dependent on cannabinoid receptors or TRPA1."


Originally Published: January 7, 2019 | Last Updated: January 7, 2019

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