Inflammation is a well-studied biological response to injury or sickness. Its characteristic key symptoms form the acronym “PRISH”, which stands for pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat. Pain and inflammation go hand in hand, and even a minor injury will trigger the immunological response.
Have you ever been hit by a fastball or broken a bone? Or, had the flu or an infection? These are classic injuries that will activate acute inflammation. The first line of defense against injury, inflammation is an incredibly complex action where heart rate increase, blood pumps to the injury, and immune cells, receptors, and other substances activate to protect the body. Acute inflammation is necessary for the body to heal and the process should normally cease in a relatively short period.
Chronic inflammation, however, is different in that it persists for an extended period of time usually due to different types of long-term medical conditions and diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis.
Acute inflammation is our body’s way of flushing out any harmful pathogens, cleaning out dead tissue, and activating processes of cell tissue regeneration. At the onset of an infection, burn, or other injuries, molecular receptors present on the surface of localized immune cells release biological mediators that are responsible for the classical signs of inflammation.
Never the root condition, chronic inflammation is brought on by a host of disorders like cancer, atherosclerosis, or heart disease. Allergic reactions, myopathies, and immune system disorders like arthritis and sclerosis can also cause inflammation.
There is another acronym used to remember how to treat injuries and acute inflammation, RICE. Rest, ice, compress and elevate. These are the first things you should do to address inflammation and pain from an acute injury or sickness. Common anti-inflammatory and pain medications include ibuprofen and aspirin, [corticosteroids], chemotherapy drugs, [DMARDs], and antimalarial drugs.
Over the counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or [NSAIDs] have been shown to increase the risk of heart failure by 19%. Many people are taking aspirin and ibuprofen for years trying to manage chronic inflammation and pain despite a long-standing FDA warning that habitual use increases the risk of stroke, kidney, and liver damage.
When the underlying causes of chronic pain are unaddressed, correlative symptoms like pain, insomnia, and even depression can develop. Attempting to treat inflammation often results in a pharma-cocktail of NSAIDs, [opioids], and [psychiatric meds].
Corticosteroids, like hydrocortisone, are used to dampen the immune system that would otherwise naturally react to stimulus. They can be used to reverse life-threatening inflaming, but even short-term use is associated with an increased risk of broken bones as well as infections and clots in the blood.
The long-term side effects of corticosteroids are even worse though, including hypertension, headaches, muscle weakness, diabetes, osteoporosis, glaucoma, and ulcers. Anxiety, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, and psychosis are among the side effects of these drugs, which is why patients are often prescribed dangerous psychiatric meds along with their treatment.
Various studies into cannabis in patients with severe and chronic inflammatory conditions such as MS and Crohn’s disease have produced promising results and a clear connection between cannabinoids and reduction of the inflammatory response by nerves and muscles throughout the brain and body.
Our body's own [endocannabinoid system] is host to various cannabinoid receptors that interact with the [phytocannabinoids] found in cannabis, [THC], [CBD], [terpenes], and other secondary compounds. CBD and caryophyllene have shown an affinity for agonizing [CB2] receptors in the peripheral nervous system. These receptors help to modulate the body’s system of pain management and inflammation.
It’s important to recognize lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and even mentality contribute tremendously to the body’s inflammatory processes. Turmeric and a long list of other herbs and spices are great all-natural anti-inflammatories to consider. As well, inflammation is often a byproduct of pathogenic viruses and bacteria within the gut that can feed on certain foods, such as dairy and gluten and one should eliminate fueling the pathogens with these foods to effectively help reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
Hybrid strains of varying [indica] and [sativa] genetics show incredible efficacy in managing pain and inflammation. CBD actually counters the psychoactive effects of THC, allowing THC and CBD to synergize medicinally without causing the heavy sedation or anxiety often associated with excessive levels of THC.
Strains of medical marijuana that have high levels of [Cannabidiol] also show high amounts [Caryophyllene], a terpene that can also be found in a variety of plants, like peppercorn, gives off a spicy-peppery aroma and has shown to reduce inflammation by 70% in studies in mice.
Marijuana will affect each person differently. Consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about using cannabis, and find links below to strains that have been reported by others to relieve inflammation and associative pain.
· [[White Nightmare]]
· [[Critical Mass]]
· [[Sunshine Daydream]]
· [[Tangerine Dream]]
· [[White Cheese]]
· [[White Lavender]]
· [[3D CBD]]
· [[Afghani CBD]]
· [[Alien Reunion]]
· [[Alpine Blue]]
· [[Berry Noir]]
· [[Blue Dragon]]
· [[Blue Haze]]