When I was a child, I was jumping on my bed. The higher I could bounce was symbolic of how excited I was to have a new bunk bed to share with my brother. Like a spaceship headed to Mars, I launched myself as high as I could. However, unlike space, my bedroom had a ceiling. I smashed the top of my head and nearly bit my tongue off. My mother sped me to the emergency room for a row of stitches to sew my tongue back on. My tongue became swollen. I could feel my heart beating as if it was in my mouth. However, within just days, the swelling and pulsing reduced. The pain diminished. I did not develop an infection, and it healed. Inflammatory is the standard biological process that aided in the healing and prevention of infection in my mouth. My immune system put a typical series of events into motion as a reaction to injury.
Fast forward to the year 2002. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at the age of twenty-two. That was when living with inflammation in my large intestine (colon) became a part of my daily routine. My immune system flooded my guts with white blood cells to heal, well, nothing. There they linger, out of control, setting ablaze the colonies of healthy bacteria (microflora) resulting in ulcers.
The colon is the last five to six feet of the digestive system, which from end to end, is about thirty feet long. Johns Hopkins Health Library explains that “the job of your large intestine is to absorb water, minerals, and some of the remaining nutrients from your food.” However, the erratic behavior of my immune system created inflammatory problems inside my body, and I suffered the effects of a dysfunctional digestive system.
I accepted that traditional medicine failed to resolve my inflammation. Sure, the pharmaceutical drugs I was prescribed worked, but with a significant price paid, both financially and figuratively. I had nightmares in the middle of the day while I was awake. My bones and joints ached so severely that I quickly forgot how uncomfortable my guts felt. I would go days eating very little or nothing at all because of how painful it was on my colon, but still, within days I gained so much weight that I did not even look like myself. The adverse side effects go on and on.
After experimenting with synthetic and natural medicines and made dramatic changes to the way I live I have discovered an influential relationship with a natural herb that smothers the fires of inflammation— Cannabis.
Presently, I am an expert in how I manage my inflammatory disease. After ten years observing how inflammation reacted to my lifestyle choices, I have come to know the effectiveness of legal medical marijuana. Anti-inflammatory medicines made with specific chemical compounds extracted from marijuana enable me to actively work and play without compromising my awareness. That is right! I do not get stoned. Marijuana contains many chemical compounds called cannabinoids. One cannabinoid call cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in marijuana that does not have mind altering effects.
At the end of five years without using doctor recommended medications I had a routine colonoscopy, and there were no visible signs of inflammation. The only way he could tell that I had an autoimmune disease was based on the results of the biopsy.
Reducing inflammation is only one of the many health benefits of CBD. Find other ways CBD will enhance your health by reading CBD Health Benefits.
Inflammation is an organized accumulation of biological interactions in response to injured living tissue. Let’s break that down for easy understanding. When tissue is damaged in your body, it will use your white blood cells to release molecules to try to heal. Those molecules do different things such as expanding blood vessels to increase blood flow which causes heat, swelling or redness. They also stimulate mucus membranes to release fluids to flush out a virus. That is why your nose runs if you get a cold.
Inflammation is your body’s announcement that there is a problem inside of you. Because there are two types of inflammation, it is essential to be able to identify which kind you are experiencing. When you can identify the type of inflammation you have, you can address it accurately. After all, you know your body best.
There are two types of inflammation; acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is short-term, and the symptoms of this kind of inflammation can be generalized as inconvenient. For the most part, your day to day activities can continue. Acute inflammation goes away relative to the typical time required to heal the injured tissue. On the other hand, chronic inflammation is long-term and notoriously attached to a long list of diseases.
Your immune system works hard to comfort bruises, fight infection out of cuts, as well as stand in defense against viral invasion. Pain is linked to inflammation. Nobody likes pain. Isn’t it interesting that pain is proof that your body has recognized a problem and began a self-repair process? Think of inflammation as a fire alarm. The alarm catches your attention. It is loud, irritating, and disruptive. Like a fire alarm, inflammation is the indicator that your immune system is responding to the call.
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Inflammation is the accumulation of cells around tissue damage. If the flow of white blood cells continues too long the composition of the inflammation can change. It is normal for everyone to experience inflammation, but if it gets out of control, it can have a drastic effect on your happiness.
Every day accidents, like a paper cut, are accompanied by acute inflammation. As well, surgery to repair an inguinal hernia brings on acute inflammation. Both examples have a different time frame for healing. The paper cut will be healed, and the inflammation will go away within days. Moreover, healing from surgical hernia repair takes several weeks for inflammation to fade away. However, ultimately it leaves, and you will not even notice when.
Chronic inflammation destroys your quality of life. It is long-term, sporadic, and can become permanent. Chronic inflammation is the rebellion of your immune system and is a condition of disease. As I expressed, in the beginning, an IBS like ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the colon) is an inflammatory disease characterized by white blood cells going completely rogue and mistakenly start to attack the inner lining of the large intestine. Flames of inflammatory diseases like this are showing their ugly faces far too frequently and with increasing regularity. Especially in our guts.
Dilution of toxins
Entry of antibodies
Delivery of nutrients and oxygen
Stimulation of immune response
Persistent cytokine release
Destruction of normal tissues
Inappropriate inflammatory response
Fire starters – Causes of inflammation
Inflammation comes and goes for evident and not-so-apparent reasons. Do you know what the most common causes of inflammation are?
Germs are microbes. Moreover, microbes are arsonists. They set fire to your body. That is what happens when viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites gain access. If you catch a gnarly influenza virus, you will experience a fever. A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature. Because germs proliferate (rapidly increase in number) in specific pH ranges, your body will raise its temperature to disrupt germs from spreading.
Your immune system will always try to heal you. It wants to keep you alive. It is made up of cells that stand in defense of your body. Moreover, upon detecting injury they send out the medics. If the responsiveness of the immune system is inappropriate, it could respond in excess with adverse effects. An extreme example is an excessively high fever. If your body temperature rises too much it can cause unintentional damage to neighboring cells and cause brain damage. Hypersensitivity is also characterized when your immune system responds to a false alarm. Meaning there was no tissue damage, but white blood cells show up regardless. Once the immune system arrives, but there is nothing fix, the result can mean ulcers and hemorrhaging.
School kids sniff glue. Teenagers try to fit in and smoke a cigarette. Adults drink wine. This is to say we are all exposed to either trace or copious amounts of chemicals. Cleaning solutions are all over the place. They are scattered about the garage, bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and cupboards at the office. Many of those products warn against skin and eye contact because of their corrosive nature. Oxidizing agents, such as acid, burn the organic cells of your skin and eyes. Inflammation occurs as your body respond to the healing needs of the damaged area.
A sunburn, a rolled ankle, and that mysterious bruise of unknown origin is all inflammation. Even after a vigorous workout, your body will feel sore. To build muscle you first have to break them down. Exercise creates micro-tears in the fibers of muscle. Following a workout, your muscular system is visited by your immune system to patch it up.
Simplified, life is the resistance to the dying process. All the cells in your body are in constant analysis of their efficiency. The moment a cell is no longer contributing at the optimum level, it will eliminate itself to create room for a new cell to take its place. That process is called apoptosis. Inflammation can occur when necrosis creeps into the situation. For example, bed sores form in locations where there is severe lack of blood flow. Necrosis happens when cells no longer perform at their peak level and lose the ability to follow through with programmed death.
Regardless of the what ignited the flame, there are five indicators to be familiar with.
Loss of function
Some inflammation does not have noticeable signs. It is problematic when inflammation persists undetected and typically indicates a state of cell disorder. The symptoms of chronic inflammation depend on the nature of the disease from which it began. Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of your immune system attacking the cells in your joints. Multiple sclerosis is the outcome of your immune system attacking the cells in your nervous system.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are your instruments to control the burn of inflammation. Because inflammation can get out of hand, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids (CBD) help to control how it affects your life.
Natural anti-inflammatory agents such as omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric can be added to your nutrition intake to calm your immune system. My go-to anti-inflammatory medicine is CBD.
If you have chronic inflammation, you are in pain. If you are in pain, you want relief. Agreed? There are chemical compounds in the hemp plant that interact with your body to reduce inflammation. Using CBD supplements gives you the health benefits of the cannabis plant, but you do not get high.
The cannabis plant contains many chemical compounds. A scholarly article published in 2009 reviews the use of CBD as a novel anti-inflammatory medicine. Two types of receptors located in your brain and immune system called CB1 and CB2 respectively “suggests that cannabinoids play an important role in the regulation of the immune system.” Cannabinoids are well-received by these receptors.
In 1992 science squashed a massive portion of propaganda that had dominated America for the previous eighty years or so regarding marijuana. Ironically it was the same bureaucratic institution (National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA) that financed studies to prove harmful effects. That research led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance.” (PDF)
Thankfully in the states that legalize medical marijuana you can purchase products containing only CBD. The initiation and resolution of inflammation are signaled by the immune system through groups of cells called cytokines. Cytokines are secreted around injured tissue to stimulate a group effort to heal. “One of the possible mechanisms of immune control by cannabinoids during inflammation is the dys-regulation of cytokine production by immune cells.”
Are you aware of the legal status of cannabis products in your state? Check out our guide: The current legal status of using CBD today.
An anti-inflammatory diet of specific fruits and vegetables is not always easy when obligations limit our time to heal our bodies. Therefore, supplements provide easy-to-use methods to address your inflammation.
Use the chart below to discover how you can use CBD anti-inflammatory supplements for inflammation without inhalants.
CBD cream is a fantastic anti-inflammatory supplement. CBD is extracted from the cannabis by using CO2 or by dissolving in alcohol (tincture). Then it is added to salve, lotion, and various creams for topical application.
There are many healing uses for CBD. It addresses pain caused by inflammation and at a cellular level interacts with your body to enhance the synergistic qualities of healing. The CB2 receptors mentioned above are found in our skin. That makes CBD creams the front runner to tackle acute inflammation. The receptors in your body will grab CBD whether it is applied topically or ingested. Either way, you can rest assured that you will not experience a head change.
It makes sense to have an inventory of resources and products to rely on for inflammation. Studies that indicate the potential of CBD to aid our bodies are flooding health journals. If you had to pick only one, here are 25 reasons why it ought to be CBD.
If you are suffering and traditional medical practice is failing you, stop enabling it. Put your energy and money to better use. Conduct your own experiments with natural and legal products. Continue seeking what works for you
Those of us who have experienced the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis are a community who wait for the federal government to catch up. Once federally legalized the space for cannabis research will quickly fill with more funding. When that happens you can bank on the explosion of empirical data that will let us remove the word “potential” out of our blogs, articles, websites, and mouths.
In the meantime, visit a dispensary, even if you have no intention of buying product. Learn all you can about your options to extinguish inflammation. Talk with friends, family, and colleagues about what they know about medical cannabis and visit forums. Bookmark websites and share them on social media.