When it comes to wellness, you hear a lot about how to reduce inflammation in the body. Maintaining a diet high in tomatoes, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts and other foods touted for their anti-inflammatory properties is strongly encouraged to reduce inflammation in the body. But what exactly is inflammation, what causes it, and what happens during an inflammatory response?
Acute versus chronic inflammation
What causes inflammation in the body is actually pretty easy to understand. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to “danger.” When presented with foreign or harmful substances, including bacteria, viruses, fungi or even a foreign particle, such as a splinter, your body’s immune system goes into action to try to destroy them. “When inflammation happens, chemicals from your body’s white blood cells enter your blood or tissues to protect your body from invaders.”
There are actually two kinds of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is probably the more familiar. It’s short term and can occur within minutes of an injury. It is characterized by redness and warmth, because of the blood flow to the injured or infected area. Swelling also may occur if the chemicals released by the white blood cells leak into tissues and cause fluid buildup. The process also may stimulate nerve endings and tissues, resulting in pain.
When inflammation is persistent, it’s considered chronic. Your body thinks that it’s under constant attack. In response, your immune system fights the foreign invader by continually pumping out white blood cells, which release chemicals into your blood and tissue. The problem is that the white blood cells may begin to attack healthy tissue and organs and that can cause a number of health issues. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are some of the diseases associated with chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation also can lead to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Research continues to understand how chronic inflammation affects the body and the development of these diseases and more.
There is a host of over-the-counter as well as some prescription medications for treating acute, short-term inflammation. The most common over-the-counter medications are known as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin). There also are prescription NSAIDS, when the over-the counter medications aren’t effective. 
However, when it comes to chronic inflammation, the right food and lifestyle choices are the best defenses. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Spices such as ginger, rosemary and turmeric also are anti-inflammatory. Also limit your consumption of trans fats, like margarine, and most processed foods. Exercise and controlling stress also are important for preventing inflammation.
Controlling Inflammation with CBD
As more and more consumers get on the bandwagon to prevent and control inflammation, some are looking to cannabidiol (CBD) as another natural option, in addition to diet and lifestyle. That’s because research on animal models suggests a connection between CBD oil and inflammation. “...the cannabinoid seems to be able to interact with the immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce pain from a number of conditions.”
A 2016 study published in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation indicated that CBD was able to lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, an animal model of spontaneous type 1 diabetes (T1D) development.
Another study reported in the European Journal of Pain looked into the effectiveness of a topical CBD gel on rats to reduce inflammation and pain from arthritis. The CBD was applied to the rats for four consecutive days. Results indicated a significant drop in joint swelling and signs of pain. The data indicated that topical CBD has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.
More research and clinical trials, however, are needed to fully understand CBD and anti-inflammatory responses in humans.
Lab+Blends has a range of topical CBD solutions to introduce you the effects of CBD in reducing inflammation and pain. Also, our Daily Dose Total Wellness Drop can help reduce stress, which can lead to chronic inflammation in the body. Find out more about Lab+Blends products.
 “Inflammation,” WebMD, accessed July 18, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/about-inflammation#1-4
 Szalay, Jessie, “What is Inflammation,” Live Science, October 19, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html
 “CBD Oil for Inflammation,” Weedmaps, accessed July 18, 2020. https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbd-oil-inflammation#
 Lehmann C, Fisher NB, Tugwell B, Szczesniak A, Kelly M, Zhou J. Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2016;64(4):655-662. doi:10.3233/CH-168021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27767974/
 Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936‐948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925