Inflammation

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to a harmful irritant in the body. The aggravation might be a germ or a foreign object. Inflammation can begin before you notice the issue when the body tries to fight against the irritant.

What causes inflammation?

The most common causes of inflammation are:

  • Germs like bacteria, viruses, or fungi
  • Injuries like scrapes or damage through foreign objects 
  • Effects of chemicals or radiation

Medical conditions that include inflammation include:

  • Cystitis: bladder inflammation
  • Bronchitis: bronchi inflammation
  • Otitis media: middle ear inflammation
  • Dermatitis: skin inflammation

Other Conditions that cause inflammation:

Signs of an inflammation

These five symptoms may be signs of inflammation:

  • Redness
  • Heat 
  • Swelling
  • Severe Pain
  • Cognitive or physical function loss

The Body’s Response to Inflammation

Inflammation reactions may include the following signs and symptoms:

  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • exhaustion
  • fever
  • Increased number of immune system cells in the blood

Can Medical Marijuana improve inflammation?

Medical marijuana is commonly found to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help with chronic pain management reasonably quickly. Cannabinoid receptors bind to the brain and peripheral nerve cells and help regulate how you see and feel the pain to reduce symptoms. Medical cannabis, therefore, as opposed to other drugs, appears to be an excellent alternative to treat and manage pain due to inflammation. 

Recent studies from medicine and health sciences professionals suggest that certain cannabis products may effectively treat an overactive immune system. It can connect with the cannabinoid receptors of the body to combat the proinflammatory t-cell responses needed. It has been used to treat rare skin conditions, Crohn’s disease, neuropathic pain, particularly autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, acute psychosocial stress, and many other conditions. 

“CBD can bind to receptors in the human body that are part of the cannabinoid system, called the endocannabinoid system, that can influence pain, itch, and mechanisms of inflammation,” Dr. Friedman says. “We know that when CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptor type 2 and other receptors, it can be involved in not just anti-inflammatory activity, but it can become the chemical messenger to facilitate an array of activities that resolve inflammation. It can stimulate the secretion and recruitment of skin cells important for removing debris and proper skin maturation and healing.”

Research on Inflammation and MMJ

The Canna Research Group, led by Joanna and Robert Zieger, surveyed 1,200 athletes across various sports. Their findings showed that many athletes use cannabis for relief and performance. This survey assisted in studying the positive and negative effects of marijuana use from a neutral standpoint. Their findings showed that cannabis use could benefit inflammation, pain, and insomnia. Only a few participants experienced adverse side effects, such as loss of concentration and heightened anxiety.

An article by Elizabeth Hanes, RN, for Healthgrades, reads:

“Researchers currently think taking in cannabinoids from the cannabis plant may help activate the body’s endocannabinoid system and facilitate its’ effects in dialing down the body’s inflammatory response, which could reduce the symptoms of diseases like psoriasis and PsA. Both THC and CBD can influence symptoms of inflammatory diseases. Which substance you use depends on which symptoms you want to alleviate.”

Is Indica or Sativa better for Inflammation?

While looking at the results of a 95-person online survey about the medicinal use of marijuana, researchers found that the Indica cannabis strains perform best for chronic pain management, arthritis symptoms, and a relaxing effect to help with sleep. However, the Sativa cannabis strains worked better as energy and mood boosters.

Conclusion

There is evidence that cannabinoids like THC, CBG, and CBD can help reduce inflammation. For patients with chronic conditions, these anti-inflammatory effects could help relieve severe symptoms and give them their lives back. Although more research is needed on cannabis use for inflammation, individual reports claim their personal use of medical marijuana and CBD has effectively reduced some of their chronic symptoms. In addition to a decrease in pain, it may also bring back appetite and help control weight fluctuations.

Last Updated: July 26, 2023

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