Inflammation and Medical Cannabis

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the result of a biological response to cellular damage caused by irritants or trauma. It’s considered part of the immune system, since it’s a reaction to illness or injury.

All sorts of things cause inflammation, everything from cutting yourself shaving to getting a cold. From having a toothache to twisting your ankle. From eating something that doesn’t agree with you to a sunburn.

Sometimes it’s obvious that inflammation is occurring – an abrasion hurts, for instance. Other times, inflammation comes and goes without much fanfare.

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system. When the body recognizes the presence of damaged cells, infections or pathogens, it releases white blood cells and other associated substances that work to protect the affected area of the body. This process is known as acute inflammation and it plays a vital role in the body’s immune system.

However, it’s important to note that the process is not without its flaws. Sometimes the inflammation may last for far longer than is necessary; at other times, the body may trigger an inflammatory response even when there is nothing wrong. If inflammation persists for an extended period of time, it may eventually lead to a number of serious diseases and conditions, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Some types of cancer

Cannabis and Inflammation

Cannabis has long been accredited with anti-inflammatory properties. ETH Zurich researchers, however, have now discovered that it is not only the familiar psychoactive substances that are responsible for this; a compound we take in every day in vegetable nutriment also plays a significant role.

People suffering from medical conditions commonly turn towards marijuana to help them manage their illness. If they’re suffering from an inflammatory condition, they have good reason to look towards the pot is linked to both reducing inflammation and the associated pain. Many feel certain strains target their pains better than others.

A growing number of studies are showing that cannabis may be a viable option for anyone looking for an alternative way to treat symptoms of their inflammatory disease. This is largely due to the fact that both THC and CBD are able to reduce the body’s inflammatory response through their interactions with the endocannabinoid system which, according to a review published in Pharmacological Research, can help regulate the immune system.