CBD for inflammation

Does CBD have an anti-inflammatory effect?

Published: 18.04.2023 (Updated: 14.07.2023)
Reading time: Min.
Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Health expert

Inflammation is the cause of many health problems. And CBD can have an anti-inflammatory effect. In this article, you will learn how CBD can be used to treat various inflammatory conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an ingredient of the female hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is also an ingredient of the female hemp plant, CBD does not cause any intoxicating effects.

In the following, you will learn how impressively CBD actually works, what its limits are and what you should look for in high-quality CBD products for anti-inflammation.

Can CBD have an anti-inflammatory effect and help treat inflammation?

Is CBD oil anti-inflammatory? This is a question that is increasingly being asked in connection with the cannabinoid. And indeed: of all the health benefits of CBD, the anti-inflammatory effect is the most impressive. The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD has already been investigated in studies: there are now many high-level clinical studies and thousands of animal and in vitro studies demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD and other secondary plant compounds in hemp.

There are dozens of chemical messengers and enzymes that interact in the development of inflammation in the body. Blocking a pathway can be helpful for some types of inflammation, but it is not the most effective treatment.

CBD is an excellent anti-inflammatory because it works through multiple pathways. For this reason, CBD interrupts the inflammatory process at different points in the process. Compared to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin - which only inhibits one of the enzymes involved in the inflammatory process - the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD is more effective in fighting inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory effect: Which CBD products can be used?

CBD-containing preparations are available in the form of:

But not all forms of CBD have similar anti-inflammatory effects and are suitable for every problem. For inflammation in particular, there are different types of CBD that work better than others. Let's take a look at the main types of CBD you're likely to come across and discuss their pros and cons in reducing inflammation.

CBD drops and oils - anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD oils, usually in drop form, are the most common form of CBD used today. They allow for easy and effective dosing and have a long shelf life. The main thing to look out for here is that they are true full-spectrum oils, containing not just CBD or a broad spectrum, but actually all cannabinoids. All CBD oils from Lucky Hemp® are TÜV-tested. About the oils.

CBD tinctures are very similar to oils, but use alcohol as a carrier instead of oil. This extends their shelf life and makes it easier for herbalists and alternative practitioners to mix them with other anti-inflammatory herbs - however, the taste is usually unpleasant. CBD oil dosage for inflammation always depends on the individual case, more on this below.

CBD capsules

CBD capsules are another popular method of taking CBD. They solve a lot of confusion around dosage and make it easier to take CBD on the go.

CBD suppositories

CBD suppositories aren't very popular, but they're a great option for treating inflammation in the digestive tract because they deliver the anti-inflammatory CBD directly to the problem area.

CBD products for external use

Any inflammation of the skin can be relieved by the internal application of CBD. The direct route to relief can be topical products. This allows the cannabinoids and anti-inflammatory CBD to concentrate their effects directly on the affected tissue. For example, a CBD patch or ointment can help with inflammation.

When can CBD be used for external application? There are various areas of use where the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD can be beneficial, for example:

  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Muscle injuries
  • Tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath)
  • Skin infections

CBD for inflammation: CBD foods

Foods - such as fruit gums, biscuits or cooking oils - also offer useful ways to get CBD into the body. They taste great without compromising the anti-inflammatory effects from CBD. The only downside is that, with the exception of standardised chewing gum, measuring the effectiveness of CBD foods can be difficult. Consuming too many edibles can have negative effects in the long term due to the high sugar content./p>

Foods are therefore better suited for irregular use than for daily intake of CBD.

CBD flowers

Vaporising CBD is the most effective of all forms, as bioavailability is much higher in the lungs than in the digestive tract.

Vaporisation is ideal for getting CBD into the lungs and is therefore a good choice for pneumonia. It may or may not aggravate conditions such as asthma - so CBD flowers for vapourising should always be used with caution. Using it as a tea or room fragrance are other options. You can get creative here. At Lucky Hemp® you can order different CBD flowers - just try the assortment. Take a closer look at the CBD flowers.

CBD for inflammation: Dosage for the anti-inflammatory effect?

When it comes to inflammation, the more CBD the better. Most studies on the use of cannabinoids for inflammation point to a dose-dependent response. This means that the more you take, the stronger the anti-inflammatory CBD effect. Therefore, the recommended dose varies depending on the degree of inflammation.

For low-grade inflammation - such as early-stage arthritis - even a low dose can achieve the desired results.

For the treatment of severe inflammation - such as inflammatory bowel disease or autoimmune disorders - it may be necessary to choose a medium or high potency formulation for anti-inflammatory CBD effects.

CBD Dosierung Entzündungshemmend

What are the side effects of CBD?

Although CBD has been shown to be very safe in terms of toxicity, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not be equally good for another.

Here are some of the most common side effects of CBD:

  • Reduction in appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Head shaking
  • Lower heart rate
  • Fatigue

The controversy surrounding CBD and its anti-inflammatory effects

CBD is mainly associated with the stimulant cannabis. Unfortunately, because of this association, those who benefit from the partial anti-inflammatory properties of CBD consumption are often met with resentment and stigma.

Effects of CBD on the body

The health benefits of hemp have been known to mankind for generations. The first medicinal use of cannabinoids was proven as early as 2,700 BC in ancient China. At that time, hemp flowers and resin were used, among other things, to treat menstrual cramps and rheumatism.

Clinical studies conducted in recent years indicate an antispasmodic effect. When mice were given CBD in a dose of 120 mg per kilogram of body weight, there was a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures. CBD has also been shown to be well tolerated in humans. In studies , daily doses in the order of 1,500 mg administered orally or 30 mg administered intravenously did not produce negative central nervous system symptoms or worsening of mood.

Basic information about inflammation and the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD

The human body is made up of trillions of individual cells that need to work together and be able to communicate with each other. Our nervous system sends messages in the form of electrical impulses to and from the brain and uses chemical messengers to send signals through the body via the blood.

The inflammatory process depends largely on how these chemical messengers activate the immune system and regulate blood flow to damaged areas of the body.

There are dozens of inflammatory messengers, each sending a specific type of message. Some call immune cells to the affected area to help clear the infection, others tell the cardiovascular system to start collecting blood in the affected area.

Allergic reactions, for example, rely on the activation of mast cells that wait patiently until an allergen is nearby. When a cell is exposed to an allergen, it releases a strong dose of inflammatory markers (such as histamine) that trigger a series of inflammatory reactions. These are called allergic reactions (e.g. hives, runny nose, puffy eyes or scratchy throat).

Scientists are constantly discovering new information about inflammatory processes, and there are forms of inflammation that we do not yet understand (e.g. interstitial cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome). The best treatment for inflammation depends on the type of inflammation.

We need to consider whether the inflammation is acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). We also consider whether the inflammation is caused by physical damage, an allergic reaction or an autoimmune reaction. This is important information because each of these forms of inflammation involves different chemical messengers.

To stop the inflammation, these chemical messengers need to be blocked. The most important distinction is whether the inflammation is acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). CBD oil or CBD flowers can be valuable supporters here.

CBD Entzündungshemmend

Acute inflammation

Acute inflammation can lead to chronic inflammation if the stimulus persists (e.g. regular consumption of inflammation-promoting foods).

Acute inflammation can lead to chronic inflammation if the stimulus persists (e.g. regular consumption of pro-inflammatory foods).

The most common causes of acute inflammation include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma attacks
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Eczema (can also become chronic)
  • Early stages of arthritis
  • Early stages of depression

The main messengers involved in acute inflammation are histamine, nitric oxide and inflammatory enzymes such as COX or 5-LOX. Aspirin, for example, works by blocking the COX enzyme.

CBD inhibits COX enzymes (both COX-1 and COX-2), which are responsible for the production of inflammatory messengers such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins, which are known key mediators in both acute and chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation

Inflammation is classified as chronic when symptoms last longer than six months. Long-term inflammation can seriously damage the affected systems.

In short, chronic inflammation works like this:

  • Inflammation damages the tissues
  • The tissue releases new inflammatory messengers to repair the damage
  • New inflammation leads to further damage to the tissue
  • The process repeats itself

If this process continues over a long period of time, it can lead to further health problems. Long-term inflammation can damage membranes (such as the digestive membrane or the blood-brain barrier), lead to the formation of scar tissue, reduce the sensitivity of hormones such as insulin, and trigger autoimmune responses.

Difficulties associated with chronic inflammation:

  • Depression
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoarthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Eczema and psoriasis

The main inflammatory messengers involved in chronic inflammation include TNF-a, NF-kB, IL-6 and IFN-y. CBD has been shown to inhibit all of these inflammatory messengers. This is the reason for the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD.

Without CBD: Treat inflammation conventionally

Inflammation is very common - which is why many different treatments for inflammation have been developed over the years. Common forms of inflammation treatment include:

  1. Changing your diet
    • Removing foods from the diet that cause inflammation
    • Identifying and eliminating the causes of food allergies
    • Eating more fibre and antioxidant-rich foods
    • Increasing consumption of foods with anti-inflammatory properties (such as turmeric or ginger).
  2. Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Corticosteroids
    • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol)
    • TNF inhibitors (adalimumab and etanercept)
  3. Herbal preparations
    • Hemp extracts (CBD, CBN and THC)
    • Ginger root (Zingiber officinalis)
    • Frankincense resin (Boswellia serrata)
    • Curcuma root (Curcuma longa)
    • Aloe vera
  4. Lifestyle changes
    • Gentle aerobic exercise
    • Stress reduction techniques
    • Yoga/meditation
    • Sleep hygiene

Does CBD have an anti-inflammatory effect - What the research says

CBD is anti-inflammatory - it interferes with inflammatory messengers at almost every level of the inflammatory response.

There are several reasons why CBD can get into and stop inflammation at so many levels:

  • It stops the breakdown of anandamide, a powerful regulator of inflammation throughout the body.
  • CBD (and other cannabinoids) are structurally similar to many of our inflammatory messengers (similar to prostaglandins and leukotrienes).
  • CBD activates the vanilloid receptors responsible for regulating various inflammatory messengers (TNF-a, IL-4, IL-12).
  • It slows down the activation of immune cells, such as T and B cells, which are responsible for maintaining autoimmune inflammation.
  • CBD triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) in immune cells involved in chronic inflammation.

CBD oil can have an anti-inflammatory effect: Which inflammatory messengers does it act on?

Unlike most anti-inflammatory agents, which only inhibit a few inflammatory messengers that lead to inflammation, CBD stops almost all of them. This makes it useful for many different types of inflammation - from allergic and autoimmune reactions to sprains and strains.

CBD wirkt entzündungshemmend

Conclusion: Using CBD for inflammatory conditions.

CBD is an excellent anti-inflammatory, which is why it is used for many different types of inflammation.

Types of inflammatory conditions CBD is suitable for:

  • Autoimmune reactions
  • Allergic reactions
  • Traumatic damage to soft tissues
  • Muscle tension
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Post-operative inflammation

The key to effective use and anti-inflammatory CBD effects is to ensure that only high quality full spectrum CBD extracts are used that have been confirmed to be free of contaminants through third party testing. In fact, at Lucky Hemp® you'll only find oils that have been tested by TÜV.

You can use virtually any form of CBD for anti-inflammatory effects. However, we recommend buying a high potency CBD oil as it is easy to use, inexpensive and has a long shelf life.

Frequently asked questions

What is CBD?

CBD is a natural, plant-based cannabinoid extracted from cannabis plants.

How does CBD work for inflammation?

CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the release of inflammatory mediators and reducing the activity of immune cells.

What are the benefits of CBD for inflammation?

CBD can be helpful in treating different types of inflammation such as arthritis, colitis and atopic dermatitis. It can also relieve pain and ease the symptoms of inflammation.

Are there side effects of CBD on inflammation?

Although CBD is usually well tolerated, certain people may experience side effects such as fatigue, nausea or vomiting. It is important to talk to your doctor about using CBD for inflammation.

How can I take CBD for inflammation?

There are different ways to take CBD for inflammation. These include oils, capsules, tablets, lozenges and gummy bears.

Where can you buy CBD for inflammation?

CBD can be bought in pharmacies, drugstores and online shops in various forms such as oil or capsules.

What dosage of CBD is useful for inflammation?

The recommended dosage for CBD varies from person to person. It is best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right one for you.

Can CBD be a substitute for inflammation?

No, CBD cannot replace inflammation. You should use CBD as a supplement to your treatment, not as a replacement.

What other types of inflammation will CBD treat?

CBD is used to treat arthritis, colitis, neurodermatitis, asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

Is CBD legal for inflammation?

Yes, CBD is legal in most countries and states. However, make sure you check the respective laws before buying.

Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Graduate Biologist, Medical Information Processing Officer and Doctor of Health Sciences
About the author

After studying in Saarbrücken, Dr Harald Stephan worked in research and teaching at the Universities of Marburg and Bochum as well as at the University Hospital in Essen before becoming a self-employed publicist in 2016. He sees acquiring and passing on knowledge as his life's work.

In addition to his publications on cell biology and tumour research in renowned specialist journals, hundreds of his articles on health topics can be found on the internet. In them, he explains the causes of diseases, laboratory values, diagnoses as well as traditional and novel therapy options.