Inflammation can cause a variety of painful and life-threatening autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, colitis, HIV/AIDS, MS, and more. It’s also a debilitating side effect of many cancers. 36% of medical marijuana patients in Canada use cannabis to treat arthritis alone.
Here are 5 things to know about how cannabis treats inflammation:
Cannabis regulates the immune system
Inflammation is a malfunction of the body’s immune system. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, cannabinoids control immune responses and suppress inflammatory responses.
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) has receptors in our tissues
Our ECS is made up of two receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is responsible for psychoactive effects and is located in the central nervous system. CB2 is responsible for inhibiting inflammation and is located in our tissues. Cannabinoids activate our CB2 receptors and spur them to control inflammation.
THC and CBD aren’t the only useful compounds
Beta-carophyllene is a compound found in cannabis that affects our CB2 receptor. In a study where mice with swollen paws were orally given beta-carophyllene, scientists saw a 70% reduction in inflammation. We know cannabis is responsible because the genetically-modified mice without CB2 receptors had no results.
Cannabis keeps protein levels down
High C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are signs of inflammation that can easily lead to serious heart diseases. A study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal found that people who smoked cannabis in the last month had lower CRP levels than those who had never smoked.
High-CBD strains are better for treating inflammation
The PNAS published a study which reported that CBD blocked the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and provided relief in joint swelling. CBD is also known for treating chronic pain, a side effect of inflammation. Check out these high-CBD strains for treating inflammation.