CBD Oil as an Anti-Inflammatory (2022)

CBD is a non-psychoactive substance found in cannabis plants, such as industrial hemp. As research on CBD keeps expanding, more uses and health benefits are discovered. One of these benefits is the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil. This ability to act as an anti-inflammatory makes CBD a useful treatment for a variety of illnesses where inflammation is a problem.

What is Inflammation?

While everyone tends to think of inflammation as a negative thing, it’s actually a necessary part of our immune system. Inflammation is simply an immune response where our bodies try to fight off infections, heal wounds and get rid of intruders.

Some of the most common signs of inflammation include:

  • Redness
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Loss of function

When considering the process of inflammation, it becomes apparent why the body reacts in this way.

The Process of Inflammation

Acute inflammation is localized to one area of the body. Normally the injured area. Inflammation normally starts as a result of an injury or infection. For example, when you have a sore throat or if you fall and scratch your knee.

In the case of an injury, the process of inflammation starts with vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels. By allowing less blood to pass through vessels, vasoconstriction prevents blood loss. After this, platelets block off the damaged area of the blood vessel so that blood is no longer able to escape through the injured vessel.

After the initial vasoconstriction, local cells give off chemicals such as histamines and prostaglandin, which cause blood vessels to dilate again, once again increasing blood flow to the area. The increased blood flow to the area helps immune cells and other chemicals reach the site of injury more rapidly. Vasodilation is also responsible for the redness and swelling seen during inflammation.

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Apart from vasodilation, chemicals released by cells at the site of injury also cause the cells that make up the walls of the blood vessels to contract in order to create spaces between the cells. The tiny spaces between the cells allow for fluids, proteins and other substances to pass through the capillary walls. This is essential in allowing white blood cells and other immune cells to reach the site of injury or infection.

Once immune cells penetrate the capillary walls, they move to the site of infection or injury and destroy bacteria and other foreign microbes at the site. Cells responsible for repairing damaged tissue also penetrate capillary walls to access the site of injury.

Without the inflammatory response, the body would have no way to defend itself properly against infections and injuries. This regular process of inflammation where the body is targeting a specific problem is called acute inflammation.

Cytokines and Inflammation

Cytokines are an important part of the inflammatory immune response. The word cytokine comes from the Greek words cyto (meaning cell) and kinesis (meaning movement).

Cytokines are responsible for cell signaling and up-regulating (or initiating) immune responses. Once an immune response is no longer necessary, cytokines are also responsible for down-regulating (or stopping) the processes involved in an immune response.

In inflammation, a special group of cytokines called inflammatory cytokines regulate the inflammatory response. Cytokines are excreted mainly by immune special regulatory cells called T helper cells.

Chronic Inflammation – Inflammatory Problems

Unlike acute inflammation, which doesn’t last long, chronic inflammation is a response in the body where inflammation is ongoing for weeks, months or even years. This chronic inflammation could be caused by an ongoing response to an infection that’s not clearing up, or an injury that takes a long time to heal. However, chronic inflammation can also be present in the body for no reason at all.

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So while acute inflammation is good, chronic inflammation is often harmful and bad. The presence of chronic inflammation in the body can lead to various health problems.

Chronic inflammation can be localized in the same way as acute inflammation, but it can also occur as low-level inflammation throughout the entire body.

To understand what causes chronic inflammation, it’s important to know about cytokines. As already stated, cytokines are responsible for initiating and stopping immune responses, such as inflammation. When cytokines no longer function correctly, the inflammatory immune response won’t ever stop, leading to chronic inflammation.

Research suggests that chronic inflammation is at least somewhat responsible for the onset of various diseases such as:

Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease

While the involvement of chronic inflammation in the onset of some diseases is more direct than others, chronic inflammation is known to health problems and tissue deterioration.

Unfortunately, all adults have chronic inflammation to a greater to lesser extent. The effects of inflammation become more apparent as you age, hence age-related diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis occur. For most people their level of inflammation can only be detected through a blood test, but as they age, the chronic inflammation will take its toll.

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Treating Inflammation with Conventional Drugs

Various anti-inflammatory drugs are available on the market. However, the most popular over-the-counter options are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories drugs (NSAID’s) such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Drugs like ibuprofen work by inhibiting certain chemicals involved in immune responses that lead to inflammation and pain. This is a non-selective process, meaning these drugs can’t target the site of the injury. As a result, the effects of NSAID’s are felt across the whole body, not just the site of injury.

NSAID’s are effective in treating temporary pain and inflammation. However, some of the side effects of these drugs make them a less attractive option for using in large doses on an ongoing basis. Some of the side effects of NSAID’s such as ibuprofen and aspirin include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stomach upset
  • Heartburn
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tinnitus

If too much of these drugs are consumed, patients also risk liver failure and other serious complications. Because of this, patients are advised to be careful about self-medicating on these drugs, especially if large doses are taken daily. These medications should only be used chronically for inflammation if prescribed by a doctor.

When not prescribed chronically, it’s best to restrict the intake of NSAID’s to the doses provided on the packaging and to consult a healthcare practitioner if you need to persist taking the recommended dose of NSAID’s for more than a week.

CBD Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

CBD, also called cannabidiol, has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory benefits. The good thing about CBD is that long-term use hasn’t been shown to have serious side effects.

When compared to NSAID’s, CBD functions in a completely different way. Instead of working by blocking natural chemicals in the body, CBD functions by affecting the endocannabinoid system.

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The endocannabinoid system (or ECS for short) is part of the nervous system. It’s responsible for a wide variety of bodily functions such as pain control, memory formation and appetite stimulation. Within the ECS, chemical substances known as endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

CBD is similar to endocannabinoids found within the ECS. The similarity between CBD and endocannabinoids is what allows CBD to work on the endocannabinoid system to control pain. Currently, research suggests that CBD is effective in treating chronic pain and inflammation.

CBD’s method of action for controlling pain and inflammation is not yet known, but it seems as if CBD is effective in lowering the amount of cytokines in the immune system. Seeing as cytokines are responsible for causing inflammation, it’s clear why lowering the amount of cytokines present in the body could reduce chronic inflammation.

The fact that CBD has been removed from the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, also opens up doors for athletes to use the CBD products as an alternative to conventional painkillers. As many athletes previously used ibuprofen, the use of a natural substance like CBD is a welcome alternative.

Who Should Use CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory?

Seeing as all adults have some chronic inflammation, anyone can benefit from CBD treatment to control inflammation. Those suffering with inflammation-related disease are most likely to see real benefits – this would include people with arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome, for instance.

However, there are also people who should rather avoid the use of CBD. Particularly, pregnant women, seeing as CBD hasn’t been tested for use during pregnancy, so it’s still uncertain whether use during pregnancy is safe.

Research on pregnancy and CBD use is limited to more general studies that pertain specifically to the use of cannabis during pregnancy. These studies indicate that the use of cannabis during pregnancy have a negative effect on the unborn child. However, CBD isolated from cannabis plants can’t be labeled in under these results and more research is necessary before CBD can be seen as either safe or unsafe during pregnancy.

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In the meantime, CBD remains a promising alternative to many conventional drugs and health treatments. The use of CBD can be beneficial in both treating inflammatory diseases and preventing their onset.


Is CBD oil good for anti-inflammatory? ›

CBD is one of the main pharmacologically active phytocannabinoids [3]. It is non-psychoactive, but has many beneficial pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

How much CBD does it take to fight inflammation? ›

You can take 40 mg on days when you're in a lot of pain. After a week, you increase it to 45 mg, and after a second week, you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is bearable. It might be wise to keep track of how much CBD you're taking and whether your symptoms are getting better.

Does CBD reduce inflammation or just pain? ›

CBD may help to reduce pain by acting on a variety of biological processes in the body. CBD has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic. CBD may also reduce the anxiety that people living with chronic pain often experience.

How long does 25 mg of CBD stay in your system? ›

In fact, a 2020 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found people who consumed a single dose of a standardized CBD formulation had detectable levels of CBD in their urine for four to five days after ingestion.

What happens if you use too much CBD oil? ›

The general consensus among professionals and even the World Health Organization, is that in even in extremely large doses, CBD is likely to cause extreme drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhoea and other unpleasant, disorienting side effects, not death.

Is there negative effects to CBD? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

Is CBD good for joint pain? ›

A 2017 study found that CBD might be a safe and useful treatment option for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. A 2016 study found that the topical application of CBD had the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Can I take ibuprofen after taking CBD? ›

Both CBD and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory compounds and pain relievers. Although there have been no reported interactions between ibuprofen and CBD oil, CBD may affect the efficacy of the latter when taken at the same time — especially in large doses.

How long after taking CBD oil Can I drink water? ›

Even if you consume sublingual CBD oil, there's no need to wait at least an hour before drinking water afterward. It's okay to wash what's left down with water as long as you've given the CBD oil some time to sit beneath your tongue for between 30 and 60 seconds.

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? ›

Long story short, yes, CBD may yield a positive result on a drug test. There are certain actions you can take to determine whether the product you're buying contains the lowest amount of THC possible, but there's no guarantee that the labeling is accurate due to the lack of regulation of CBD products.

What medications should not be taken with CBD? ›

CBD can alter the effects of other drugs
  • a common blood thinner, warfarin.
  • a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone.
  • a thyroid medication, levothyroxine.
  • several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate.
11 Jan 2021

Does CBD oil Help Arthritis pain? ›

Under the guidance of a medical professional, CBD may be helpful in temporarily relieving inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. CBD should not be used as a substitute for disease-modifying treatments or lifestyle modifications recommended by a doctor.

How much CBD is enough relax? ›

A 2019 study investigating CBD for anxiety found that 300 to 600 milligrams reduced anxiety symptoms. However, that study was limited to 57 adult males. "For generalized anxiety or sleep disorders, 25 to 75 milligrams per day is recommended, while for PTSD, 33 to 50 milligrams per day is recommended.

When is the best time to take CBD oil under tongue? ›

For the best results, therefore, you should take the CBD oil about one hour before you are scheduled to go to sleep. This will allow your body to absorb it thoroughly, promoting a natural, lasting restfulness.

Can you drink alcohol if you take CBD oil? ›

CBD and alcohol are usually safe to consume together. However, there are some side effects that you should be wary of. Alcohol is known to reduce inhibition — that's why we love (and hate) it so much. While CBD doesn't do that, it helps calm your nerves, which can have a similar effect.

Does alcohol interfere with CBD? ›

Combining alcohol and CBD may cause drowsiness, impaired coordination and, in rare cases, vomiting, says Theisen. Combining CBD and alcohol could also potentially increase the effects of the alcohol, causing the person to feel drunk or impaired faster, says Theisen.

Does CBD oil affect your eyes? ›

cannabinoid in marijuana. pressure of the eye (IOP) and risk of glaucoma. (THC) showed CBD spikes the pressure in the eye. Ciliary muscle involved in the flow in and out off fluid, influencing pressure.

What should you feel when taking CBD oil? ›

It helps you stay centred and grounded and makes you feel more relaxed as you go about your day. CBD is known for its calming properties, and on top of that, it can help with pain relief (like period pain or muscle pain), inflammation, and concentration.

Why does CBD make me so sleepy? ›

Fatigue: Fatigue is a common side-effect of introducing CBD into your lifestyle. CBD relaxes muscles, relieves pain, and even helps minimize anxiety, so you'll likely feel incredibly relaxed and even tired.

Which is better for pain CBD or hemp? ›

On the other hand, CBD oil may offer all sorts of benefits, including relief from stress and anxiety, better sleep, effective pain management, and more. So if you're looking for an oil that offers therapeutic benefits, you'll want to try CBD opposed to hemp seed oil, which has very little effects.

What is CBD oil Good For? ›

People use CBD oil and other CBD-based products for different reasons, including reducing pain, controlling anxiety, and managing seizures. Although studies report few side effects with CBD use, its effectiveness for various medical conditions requires further research.

What are the benefits of CBD? ›

Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive. Proponents of CBD oil and other CBD products claim that it can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety.

Can you take Tylenol and CBD together? ›

acetaminophen cannabidiol

Cannabidiol may cause liver problems, and using it with other medications that can also affect the liver such as acetaminophen may increase that risk.

Does CBD make you last longer? ›

There is no concrete proof that CBD can help people last longer in bed, as no such research has been done. However, it is worth noting that CBD's anti-anxiety effects can help the blood vessels in the body to relax, resulting in easier blood flow to all parts of the body.

Is hemp and CBD the same? ›

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while CBD oil comes from the leaves, stalks and flowers of both cannabis and hemp plants. Both oils can be identified across a variety of products, from beauty to food.

Can I take melatonin and CBD together? ›

Can I take melatonin with CBD sleep gummies? Yes. The body produces melatonin naturally, so any time you consume cannabidiol, you are combining melatonin with CBD. In fact, some people find CBD sleep gummies with melatonin are the best way to fall asleep.

Can you take CBD and ibuprofen? ›

Both CBD and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory compounds and pain relievers. Although there have been no reported interactions between ibuprofen and CBD oil, CBD may affect the efficacy of the latter when taken at the same time — especially in large doses.

Do you need prescription for CBD oil? ›

You do not require a prescription from a doctor or any other medical authority to purchase CBD oil or any CBD products.

What medications should not be taken with CBD? ›

CBD can alter the effects of other drugs
  • a common blood thinner, warfarin.
  • a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone.
  • a thyroid medication, levothyroxine.
  • several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate.
11 Jan 2021

Does CBD help with joint pain? ›

Effectiveness of CBD for joint pain

Early research supports the idea that CBD may help with joint pain in some cases, such as joint pain due to inflammatory arthritis. A 2020 study found that CBD has anti-arthritic activity and may help symptoms by targeting the cells that drive inflammation.

Does CBD help with arthritis? ›

The American Arthritis Foundation reports that CBD may be a beneficial option for people with arthritis and recommends discussing all treatments with your healthcare provider. For many people, this non-psychotropic, mild cannabinoid can offer relief from the chronic pain of osteoarthritis with minimal side effects.

What is the difference between medical CBD and over the counter CBD? ›

Medical CBD, only available with a prescription, is derived from cannabis, not hemp. Its use and distribution is limited and heavily regulated via the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) because the THC content of medicinal CBD is higher than in over-the-counter products.


1. Marijuana THC vs CBD, CBG, CBN: What’s the difference? What are health benefits of each?
2. Hill Country Apothecary | CBD Oil | Anti-Inflammatory and Neuroprotective Benefits
(Hill Country Apothecary)
3. Why I'm Doubling Down on CBD Oil for Inflammation Relief
(Adam Evans)
4. Medical Marijuana Cannabis for inflammation?
(Total Holistic Center)
5. Is Cannabis Anti Inflammatory Anti Aging
(Anti Aging Arts Center)
6. CBD Oil for COPD: Evidence and Research (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
(Living Healthy with COPD)

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