In this article we’ll be covering how hemp oil works for inflammation so you can better understand what the latest research tells us about how to resolve conditions resulting from chronically unchecked systemic inflammation.
We’ll cover what inflammation is, how cannabinoids work with and through the endocannabinoid system to bring relief, balance and order to a system under stress.
Inflammation is defined as "a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection."
Inflammation is an immune response that helps the body actually defend itself. The immune system uses inflammation to protect the body, alleviate damage, or fight off all kinds of pathogens. In fact, without inflammation, the body would not be able to heal things like wounds or infections.
While this is an incredible testament of the human body's capability to correct itself, long term inflammation can lead to health conditions and diseases. Some of these diseases include asthma, autoimmune disorders, neurodegeneration, cardiac diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease. Tissue damage is another threat caused by long-term inflammation.
Without treatment, these conditions can progress and have adverse effects on one's well-being. Fortunately, cannabinoids have shown major successes in supporting inflammation, and they work through the body's endocannabinoid system. We'll cover how hemp oil works for inflammation, but we need to cover what the endocannabinoid system is first.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the most integral physiological system in the body. It governs and regulates all other bodily systems from the micro cellular level to the entire big picture of the body and the mental/emotional wellbeing of a person.
The ECS is so important, it’s creation begins 8-weeks in gestation and its healthy functioning is actively supported through a mother’s breast milk as the growing human baby develops. But the ECS is not just present in humans, but in all mammals from dogs to dolphins. This is how hemp works for inflammation.
If the ECS is compromised, the entire body can fall into havoc and disarray, leaving the organism broken, hurting and out of order. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of such an important bodily system until now, that would be because science only discovered the ECS in the mid 1990’s (and as we all know, it can take some time for science to catch up to the mainstream and education). Especially when it involves such a complicated topic as cannabinoids (they’ve had a bad wrap with being caught up with marijuana).
The endocannabinoid system interacts with major pain systems in the body and can control inflammation and pain. CB2 receptors found in the immune system cells utilize the cannabinoids to amplify the healing process. Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs (like NSAIDs), there aren't dangerous side effects associated with cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids have been the focus of considerable research regarding its efficacy. They are able to act on cytokines, which are proteins that are released at the first signs of inflammation and that help resolve it. Cytokines work to prevent tissue damage.
Cannabinoids help regulate the balance of cytokines so that inflammation can be managed, working together with the cytokines in a synergistic relationship.
Hemp oil is also responsible for increasing the availability of endocannabinoids in the system, and this also increases the effectiveness within the ECS. This means hemp supplies phyto-cannabinoids to the ECS, which in turn, helps the ECS to make more endo-cannabinoids on its own.
Distinction; phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids made by plants, and endocannabinoids are cannabinoids made by the human body. Our bodies have been making cannabinoids, and absorbing cannabinoids from plants for as long as humans have existed; when the cannabis plant grew freely all throughout the world and pollinated across all plant species.
One study went on to find that the endocannabinoid system was shown in both vivo and vitro to regulate the immune system. What this means is that cannabinoids work with and through the endocannabinoid system to suppress inflammation, leading to assisting with resolving disease symptoms.
Another study showed how terpenes have their own anti-inflammatory properties, which is exciting when you take cannabinoids and combine them with terpenes such as in a full spectrum hemp oil product (as opposed to a CBD oil isolate, devoid of terpenes), effectively doubling the cannabinoid product’s effectiveness. This is how hemp oil works for inflammation.
Researchers published a study in 2019 showing that cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory effects in HIV-associated inflammation, going on to share that cannabinoids could become a new way of preventing degeneration and morbidity in HIV patients.
A study in 2016 found that cannabinoids assisted in relieving acute and chronic inflammation and fibrosis. They shared that cannabinoids work differently than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and that both synthetic, plant-based and endo-genous cannabinoids have all shown promise as future treatment options.
If you have heard of the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), you may have wondered how cbd oil works for inflammation. Researchers published a paper in 2020 sharing that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD have been extensively documented, and that if CBD is present with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the undesirable effects of THC are reduced or neutralized.
THC is the main cannabinoid in marijuana due to the nature of breeders increasing the amount of this cannabinoid in the marijuana plant up to 10-20% giving users a “high”. Hemp on the other hand, has only 0.3% THC, so there’s no psychoactive component whatsoever.
Important in CBD’s therapeutic application, they went on to mention that because CBD does not elicit any psychoactive effects, it’s ability to treat systemic inflammation makes it far more desirable than other single isolated cannabinoids alone.
Researchers have now found over 400 cannabinoids, made by the body, and by plants, such as hemp. This is why a full spectrum hemp oil is the superior choice to a CBD oil.
CBD oil is a single isolated product containing just one cannabinoid out of 400. Many cannabinoids from hemp have shown promise in assisting with various conditions. Why would you take one single cannabinoid, and leave out the other 399?
You can learn more about the difference between full spectrum hemp oil vs CBD oil in this article. The key differences being, full spectrum contains a wide array of beneficial plant compounds from cannabinoids, to terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids and phytosterols. All of these compounds work synergistically to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of all working together, for maximum benefit.
What this all tells us is that hemp oil works for inflammation in that users can find relief from their debilitating conditions, ailments and chronic pain when providing the ECS with enough cannabinoids to bring it online, while supplying the body with plant-cannabinoids so they can go to work on bringing the inflammation back into order and balance.
We hope this article has covered how hemp oil works for inflammation in enough detail for you and provided ample evidence to assure you of the importance of supplying your ECS with enough cannabinoids to bring it online and active.
If you found this article of value, share it with a friend.
As always, prior to making any changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan, consult with a licenced medical professional.