Every so often, a product overtakes the health and wellness space, and recently it seems like there’s one product in the spotlight. In many circles, hemp tends to have a negative stigma solely because it is associated with marijuana. After all, marijuana and hemp are types of the cannabis plant. However, there are many notable differences between marijuana and hemp. Hemp has higher levels of CBD, with only 0.3% or less of THC. It is also often used for industrial purposes such as paper and plastic production. The higher levels of CBD make the hemp plant valuable for its potential therapeutic benefits. Recent studies are building cases that there may be substantial uses for the compounds the plant contains. One popular field of study examines the effects of hemp on inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an integral part of the immune response mechanism and plays a crucial role in an individual’s health and overall quality of life. But what is inflammation exactly? And what causes it? Essentially, inflammation is the outward sign of the defense process that different systems in the body initiate in response to dangerous intruders in the form of a disease, infection, or injury. Inflammation is meant to help your body, but if unregulated, it can be equally destructive.
Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
Typically, inflammation is not a comfortable experience. When immune cells pick up a “danger signal,” they spring into action and send out messenger proteins called cytokines to recruit immune cells to the injury site. So the outward signs that people notice, such as swelling, redness, and pain, are the influx of immune cells and fluid. The site of injury will return to normal once the danger passes. This is because inflammation is set to stop as rapidly as it starts. The body’s immune cells release chemicals that switch from “kill” mode to “cure” mode to normalize the body.
But what happens when inflammation won’t stop? This is where things become problematic. Prolonged inflammation has dire and excruciatingly painful consequences. Below are the two types of inflammation:
Acute inflammation is the ‘normal’ body reaction against infection or injury. This type of inflammation is short-term and can even have ‘silent’ symptoms or signs that are not always present, such as fatigue or a fever. Symptoms of acute inflammation last only a couple of days and include redness, pain, heat, and swelling. Note that while acute inflammation is short-term, it can turn into chronic inflammation if you don’t treat it.
Chronic inflammation comes on slowly and persists over long periods, sometimes even for years. Here, inflammation becomes the problem and not the solution. Chronic inflammation can be a result of several factors and conditions, including:
– Persistent acute inflammation
– Overactive immune system
– Autoimmune diseases in which immune cells mistakenly attack and kill healthy cells and tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, sinusitis, and Crohn’s disease can cause this.
– Tuberculosis, active hepatitis, periodontitis, and chronic peptic ulcers can also cause chronic inflammation.
Treatment Options For Inflammation
Treatment options will depend on the cause as well as the severity. Often, there’s no need to treat acute inflammation since it will come and go pretty fast. Sometimes, however, inflammation caused by an infection can lead to a dangerous situation. For this reason, it’s crucial to manage and treat inflammation and related conditions early to prevent further complications. Common treatments for inflammation include:
– NSAIDs: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs can manage inflammation, but cannot eliminate the cause of the inflammation. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
– Pain relief medication such as paracetamol manages the pain but allows inflammation to run its course.
– Corticosteroids: cortisol. These types of drugs affect different mechanisms that cause inflammation.
The Effects of Hemp On Inflammation
Although hemp can be used for industrial purposes, products such as hemp oil and CBD oil have other applications, including therapeutic benefits. Many patients with chronic inflammation seek alternative options to help them improve their quality of life. The effects of hemp on inflammation is intriguing because it may offer relief without the side effects of other pharmaceutical drugs.
The Difference Between Hemp Oil And CBD Oil
Hemp oil comes from the seeds of industrial hemp. Hemp seeds do not contain the same levels of chemical compounds as the plant itself (which explains why hemp oil contains little to no cannabidiol). They are still packed with a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and other useful bioactive compounds. Like other nut or seed oils, the cold-press technique is the method of hemp seed extraction – literally pressing hemp seeds together.
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is the primary medical and therapeutic powerhouse compound in hemp and cannabis. This compound is responsible for the bulk of the effects of hemp on inflammation. Unlike hemp seed oil, cannabidiol comes from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of industrial hemp.
CBD For Inflammation
Research on CBD in animal test models shows that CBD oil plays a therapeutic role in acute and chronic inflammation. CBD has demonstrated the potential to moderate the immune response from a majority of autoimmune diseases, along with neuropathic pain. Scientific studies show that CBD offers great promise as an anti-inflammatory treatment option. Cannabidiol acts to alleviate inflammation and its related oxidative stress in many ways. It has an immunosuppressive effect on cells that play a role in inflammation.
The endocannabinoid system is part of the body that maintains homeostasis in the body. This system comprises three key aspects: endocannabinoids, enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). The ECS is why the effects of hemp on inflammation are possible.
Cannabidiol is an inverse agonist of CB2 receptors (which are most dominant in immune cells), which means it weakens their efficiency. When CBD affects the efficiency of CB2 receptors, it reduces cytokine (cell messengers) production. Scientists contribute the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol to this mechanism.
Research Behind the Effects of Hemp on Inflammation
Study results published in the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD oil applied on the skin could help reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis.
Research findings were published in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation regarding CBD as a potential treatment option for early pancreatic inflammation. The study showed test subjects who received ten weeks of treatment with cannabidiol developed diabetes much later than test subjects that didn’t receive the treatment. CBD-treated test subjects also demonstrated a major reduction in immune-cell activity.
A 2018 study printed in Neurology showed that CBD desensitizes receptors known to mediate inflammation, pain, and sensory perception.
The Medical College of Georgia and Dental College of Georgia recently conducted a relevant study. It showed that CBD could help reduce cytokine storms (a severe immune reaction that causes the body to release too many cytokines into the blood too quickly) and unrestricted lung inflammation in patients with Covid-19.
Hemp Seed Oil For Inflammation
The effects of hemp on inflammation are not limited to CBD. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 and many other nutrients and minerals. The number of fatty acids in hemp seed oil, especially GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), helps reduce inflammation. Several studies have suggested that GLA can act as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Also, the amount of essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil can help reduce inflammation.
Effects of Hemp on Inflammation Are Real
Whether you ingest it or apply it topically, CBD oil and hemp seed oil offer numerous therapeutic benefits. Many people, including those looking for alternative anti-inflammatory treatment options, can take advantage of these products. There are many studies and anecdotal evidence that supports hemp and its potential to help with inflammation.
An important part using CBD oil and hemp seed oil for inflammation is to ensure that you’re using premium-quality, full-spectrum products that have been confirmed to be contaminant-free by third-party testing. Tanasi has conducted $2.5 million worth of research to craft our full spectrum hemp extract formula. If you’re looking for a quality hemp extract, we can assure you that ours is as good as it gets.