Swollen hands, feet, knees, and ankles are enough to ruin anyone’s day. They’re uncomfortable, painful, and just overall unsightly. The good news is that there’s hope in sight because CBD is taking the world by storm for its effectiveness at helping with inflammation and pain relief. Let’s take a look at how CBD can help with everything related to all things inflammation.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound derived from the hemp plant. It’s often used interchangeably with hemp seed. However, the difference is that CBD incorporates all parts of the plant, whereas hemp seed only uses, well, the seeds! It’s a naturally occurring substance that can be used in all sorts of products like gummies, oils, and creams. It’s known for its ability to bring relief to symptoms of anxiety and stress, but it’s also been used to help promote peaceful sleep and improve mood. Recently, just like omega-3 fatty acids, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have been discovered, making it more widely used as an alternative to over the counter nsaids, helping to aid in pain reduction as well.
How Does it Work?
Your body has something called the endocannabinoid system, which is a pathway in your body that mainly interacts with the central nervous system. It helps regulate things like sleep, appetite, mood, and pain sensation. You have this system even if you’ve never used CBD products before. CBD is a cannabinoid that binds with cannabinoid receptors throughout this system. Each one of these receptors is in charge of a different area of the body. For example, cannabinoids may bind with CB1 receptors in your brain to help soothe feelings of stress and anxiousness.
What Causes Inflammation?
Everyone’s experienced the redness, swelling, and tenderness around muscles and joints before. This is called acute inflammation. It happens when you’ve injured yourself by bumping, bruising, or spraining a part of your body. Prostaglandins play a key role in the generation of the inflammatory response. Prostaglandins are bioactive lipids produced from arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes and specific terminal prostanoid synthase enzymes. Your body responds to injuries by releasing white blood cells to surround and protect the affected area. This is what leads to the inflamed appearance of injuries: it’s the white blood cells protecting the area from further harm while it rebuilds itself. However, some people may experience inflammation due to an underlying condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. This is called chronic inflammation, and it occurs when your body begins to attack healthy organs and tissue for seemingly no reason at all. This can cause swelling and pain regardless of an injury. Generally, inflammation doesn’t pose any increased risks to you. You typically don’t need to worry too much about it unless the inflammation persists for a prolonged period of time. With that said, it can still be physically and visually uncomfortable. For both acute and chronic inflammation, remedies are aimed at reducing the swelling and alleviating pain. CBD is one of many different ways to help.
How Does CBD Help with Inflammation?
There are many different types of receptors that CBD can interact with after it’s turned into a cannabinoid in the body. One of these is the CB2 receptor, which exists in the body’s immune system. This is the receptor that can help alleviate inflammation in problem areas. Since inflammation is an issue that occurs when the immune system attacks itself, CBD can be effective at relieving symptoms of inflammation by working to inhibit microglial activation. Microglial cells remove damaged neurons and infections, often leading to inflammation. By decreasing their production, you may start to notice relief from pain and lessened swelling. This is why CBD is commonly used as a remedy for chronic diseases like arthritis where the cause of inflammation is unknown.
Can CBD Help with Other Types of Pain?
CBD is pretty effective at helping to relieve swelling and soreness associated with inflammation. However, it can help with many other types of pain as well. Since CBD is able to provide holistic wellbeing through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, it’s often used to help reduce pain that is difficult to pinpoint through traditional methods. Furthermore, CBD may be able to help improve blood flow and alleviate nerve pain. Glycine receptors in the spine regulate nerve function and sensation. It’s been found that cannabinoids are able to suppress neuropathic, or nerve, pain by directly targeting these receptors. This makes CBD helpful for things like carpal tunnel, as it helps promote blood circulation.
What Makes CBD Better Than Other Inflammation Relievers?
There’s a broad number of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams and gels on the market. However, many of these are made with harsh chemicals that can have unwanted side effects, such as skin irritation or allergic reaction. CBD may be a better and safer option overall. In addition, topical CBD creams and lotions offer a great alternative to using common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) products that contain ibuprofen such as Advil, Motrin or naproxen, or even prescription medications like Diclofenac or Celebrex. Side effects of nsaids can impact the gastrointestinal part of your body which can often create stomach pain or even stomach ulcers when taken at higher doses.
Plant-based pain relievers have been used for centuries, probably because the wisdom of traditional plant medicine is far-reaching. The fundamental right of access to the healing powers of nature and sustainable interaction with the world around us is something that artificial and chemical products are unable to obtain. Our CBD products are free of artificial ingredients, fillers, parabens, or GMO ingredients. And on top of that, any added active ingredients are thoughtfully incorporated to achieve a specific therapeutic purpose. The powers of CBD are reliably sustainable, so you can feel good both inside and out every time you use it.
It’s Scientifically Backed
From a research perspective, CBD is continually becoming much more well understood. More clinical trials are being conducted almost every single day to help assess the reliability and efficacy of CBD based products. And the evidence is extremely promising. Numerous different studies have yielded positive effects for things like anxiety and stress relief, inflammation relief, relief for joint pain, and many other issues. The scientific evidence to show that CBD works is astounding, so it might be worth a try to help with your inflammatory needs.
Especially when it comes to ointments and creams, it’s a bit of a trial and error process to see which topicals have adverse, irritating effects on the skin. This is because many traditional anti-inflammatories use harsh chemicals that can be rough on sensitive skin. CBD, on the other hand, is generally well tolerated and has fantastic moisturizing properties on all skin types. It’s also 100% legal because of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, so you can have confidence that you are using an entirely safe substance that has loads of potential benefits.
How to Use CBD to Help with Inflammation
In the same way that CBD has versatile benefits, it also has an extremely vast number of different applications. You can use CBD to soothe inflammation in so many different ways, so keep trying different methods until you find one that works well for you!
Apply Directly to Problem Areas
One of the most common external applications for CBD is in body lotions and creams. What’s great about these is that you can apply them directly to areas that are causing you trouble. All you have to do is massage a small amount into areas of pain or discomfort. You can even try refrigerating some for an extra refreshing sensation after prolonged sun exposure or physical activity. It’ll absorb into your skin and start working quickly. If you’re prone to soreness and swelling after working out, you may even want to try applying some before your workout to help prevent issues from occurring in the first place. Also, the act of physically massaging the CBD into affected areas is an added bonus that can help reduce inflammation and alleviate tenderness. The only problem with topical creams is that they can be hard to apply to hard-to-reach areas like your lower back, ankles, or neck. For easy application, try our Extra Strength Body Spray. It packs all of the same ingredients into a compact, easy to use spritzer that can cover every part of your body.
Soak in a Bath
If you’re feeling achy and swollen around your whole body, there’s really nothing better than a nice, hot bath. However, try using an Extra Strength Bath Soak for ultimate relaxation during your next self-care day. Our bath soak incorporates all of the natural ingredients from our topicals in addition to sea salt to help reduce swelling even more. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your nightly bath routine that’s sure to help reduce pain and inflammation from swelling.
What Else Can Help with Inflammation?
CBD is a powerful analgesic that has shown to be pretty effective at soothing inflammation. However, we know that there are plenty of other plant based medicines that are also really great for all of your anti-inflammatory needs.
If you’ve ever eaten a breath mint or chewed some mint gum, you know how soothing and refreshing mint can be. These properties extend to your physical health as well, as the menthol in peppermint suppresses mediators in the body that cause swelling. The menthol is also able to provide a sense of cooling and soothing to your skin’s surface, so it just feels great to apply. And on top of that, it can make your skin smell minty fresh.
The juniper berry has been used in folk medicine for a long time because it has a wide number of benefits. Namely, it is known to reduce swelling associated with arthritis.
Arnica is a plant that is widely believed to help control bruising and reduce swelling. In a study, it was shown to be effective at reducing pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Because of its ability to help reduce the appearance of bruising, it is a great accompaniment to CBD as it can help reduce the cosmetic issues associated with inflammation and swelling.
CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant that has a number of purported uses for your holistic wellbeing. In addition to being useful for alleviating symptoms of anxiety and stress, it can be a great way to help with swelling and discomfort due to inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the immune system sends white blood cells to an affected area in order to protect it from further damage. When you use CBD, it can bind with CB2 receptors in your central nervous system which can inhibit the production of specific cells that may lead to inflammatory symptoms. CBD is a great alternative to other anti-inflammatory remedies because it is natural, scientifically backed, and safe to use without lots of the other otc medication risk factors. On top of that, it can help relieve pain outside of just inflammation, including nerve pain and discomfort associated with cancer and multiple sclerosis. You can use CBD in a number of different ways, but some of the most common applications are body creams and bath soaks. These are most effective when it comes to helping with joint and muscle inflammation. But CBD isn’t the only natural ingredient that you can turn to for your anti-inflammatory needs. In addition to adding antioxidants like potassium and omega 3 fatty acids as part of an anti-inflammatory diet, analgesics like peppermint, juniper, and arnica are just as good for you. You can feel the healthcare benefits of all of these ingredients, and improve your overall wellness and more by checking out Apothecanna’s line of products.