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CBD and Inflammation: Will it Help?

CBD and Skin Inflammation: Will it Help?

The idea of combating inflammation has become a hot topic in recent years.

People are changing their diets, lifestyles and purchasing decisions based on the idea that inflammation could in fact be the source of many issues we face day-to-day.  From chronic pain to depression, it would seem inflammation is the culprit behind many of our problems – but is this current movement based on science…or is it just another trend?

Unfortunately, the epic struggle between our bodies and inflammation is all too real and leading researchers have associated ongoing inflammation with many health concerns and illnesses – even going so far as to claim that up to 20% of cancer cases are caused by long-term inflammation to localized areas of the body.

But what exactly is inflammation?

It’s caused by stress, pollution, poor diet, lack of exercise – all the things we know to avoid but plague the majority of our lives every day. Inflammation is our body’s natural response to these stressors – internal and external. When the human body detects a threat, our immune systems go to work battling whatever is invading our system – sometimes without regard for the system itself.

This is where inflammation gets its nasty reputation.

A healthy immune system will use inflammation to its advantage,

turning it on exactly when and where you need it but most importantly turning it off when you don’t.  The reality is, many of us experience non-stop signaling from our bodies to produce inflammation. Constant exposure to stress creates what’s known as chronic inflammation – and once that sets in, a cycle begins where damage caused by inflammatory response elicits even more inflammatory response, furthering the damage and causing destruction to our bodies.

So, to put it simply – a little inflammation is in fact a good thing. It’s only when the response becomes chronic that real issues begin to arise.

So where does CBD fit in?

There are multiple systems within our bodies responsible for maintaining a multitude of functions. The Endocannabinoid system, a series of receptors located all throughout our bodies (mostly concentrated in the brain, gut and pelvis) is responsible, in part, for regulating inflammation. 

A body subject to chronic inflammation most likely suffers from an imbalanced Endocannabinoid system, which in turn disrupts the natural production of endocannabinoids in your body – furthering this cyclical imbalance. Using CBD can help tip the scales back in your favor, working to re-balance your systems so that your body will stop signaling for inflammatory response when it doesn’t need it.

What's amazing is how quickly CBD can switch off the response signal.

Clinical observations have revealed that CBD can reduce redness and itching, two major symptoms of inflammation, within as little as 10 minutes of application. This positions CBD infused skincare products as a practical solution for those suffering from inflammatory skin conditions. Because, while many skin conditions arise from a variety of issues, anything you can do to reduce inflammation will ultimately help foster a better environment for your health to thrive.

How to find the best CBD Skincare:

With an influx of CBD Skincare products pouring into the market, it’s important to know what you’re buying and that you are actually using CBD. Here are some tips to help you make a better, more informed decision:

    1. Make sure the ingredients say “cannabidiol”. Some companies will try and slip by with “hemp seed oil” but this is in fact not CBD oil – rather, a carrier oil commonly used to suspend CBD within it. So be careful and always check the ingredients!
    2. Make sure the label clearly defines the total cannabidiol content in milligrams per fluid ounce. Some companies will even break it down further to milligrams CBD per milliliter or per drop.
    3. Make sure the company provides a Certificate of Analysis from an accredited testing lab. Usually you can access this by scanning what’s called a “QR code” on the back of the bottle with a smartphone.
    4. Look for stable packaging. Jars and clear bottles will expose your product to air which can in turn lessen the efficacy and shelf life of the CBD.
    5. Make sure the company specifies wether the CBD is an Isolate, Broad-Spectrum or Full-Spectrum product. There are major differences between the three, and knowing which you are consuming is vital to pinpointing an effective CBD regimen for yourself. For a deeper understanding of the differences between the types of CBD oil available, click here:

The research behind topical CBD application and its relation to chronic inflammation continues to develop, and as the bonfire of knowledge grows on the subject, its light reveal just how much was previously outside our understanding. We’re excited to see where the science leads, and hope you will continue with us on our journey to creating total wellness, inside and out. 

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Caleb Lee

Caleb Lee

Caleb is a graduate from the University of Louisville's School of Fine Arts program and is an emerging writer with a passion for research and spreading knowledge. A fascination with Cannabidiol and all its incredible healing properties has lead him down a path of exploration we hope you will join in on.

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While you may have never heard of terpenes, chances are you’ve interacted them your whole life. Simply put, terpenes are what make things smell – yet, they are so much more than that. If you are familiar with “essential oils” you already have some experience with terpenes… For example, limonene is in the essential oil of lemons and limes. Alpha and beta-pinene are found in the essential oil of pine needles. While terpenes are responsible for giving the pine forrest its notorious aroma, they are also responsible for the relaxing effects of lavender and when combined in different concentrations, can elicit an astonishing variety of effects. Currently there are over 20,000 known terpenes in the natural world and the cannabis plant has more than 100 of these present within it.
Here are some you should know:
Myrcene – The most abundant terpene in cannabis – making up as much as 65% of the total terpene profile for most strains. It is described as having a fruity, red-grape like aroma with earthy and musky undertones. Myrcene has been reported to effectively reduce inflammation and aide in the reduction of chronic pain, and is commonly recommended as a supplement for those undergoing cancer treatments.
Limonene – The second most abundant terpene in most strains of cannabis, but not all strains contain it. As the name suggests, limonene produces a citrusy smell that resembles lemons.  This comes as no surprise as all citrus fruits contain large concentrations of the terpene, and it can be found in many household cleaning products as well as cosmetics. Limonene is known to improve mood and reduce stress and has also been found to have antibacterial properties.
Linalool – The terpene most responsible for the notorious smell of marijuana. Linalool can also be found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander at various concentrations. It exhibits very strong sedative and relaxing properties that have led doctors to recommend this terpene as an aide to those suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, and insomnia. 

Caryophyllene – This is the only terpene that will actually bind to cannabinoid receptors within the body, and while it exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties like other terpenes, many are finding it an effective tool for alcohol rehabilitation.  This unique aspect of caryophyllene make it a hot topic of research in the scientific community.

Pinene – As the name may suggest, pinene smells like pine trees, and can be found in large concentrations in rosemary, basil parsley and even orange peels. It exists in two varieties, alpha, which produces the aroma of pine, and beta, which is what’s more commonly found in  spices. Pinene can improve airflow and respiratory function, but also can interestingly help reduce memory loss related to chronic intake of THC.

Bisabolol – This terpene has a pleasant floral aroma and can be found in chamomile flower and the candeia tree. It is most commonly utilized in the cosmetic industry as an agent to help ingredients reach deeper levels of the skin, but is showing promise in the medical field as an effective tool for treating bacterial infections and wounds.

Humulene – Commonly found in hops, humulene can also be found in clove, sage and black pepper and is described as having an earthy, woody and spicy profile.  Early research has shown it can be an effective tool in the reduction of inflammation, fight bacterial infections and there is more data coming forth that it may be an efficient appetite suppressant. 

Carene – Found in a number of plants like rosemary, basil, bell peppers, cedar and pine, carene has a sweet aroma and resembles the smell of a cyprus tree. It is most commonly used in supplements as an aide to memory retention but is also showing promise in the medical sphere as an aide to healing broken bones, giving some relief to sufferers of osteoporosis, arthritis and even fibromyalgia.

Camphene – Often mistaken with myrcene, this terpene is described as having musky, earthy tones and resembles the smell of fir needles. It is used in combination with vitamin C as a common topical skincare option and shows powerful antioxidant properties. Camphene may also reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, making it a viable tool for those at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Borneol – Used in traditional Chinese acupuncture, this terpene has an herbal, minty scent and can be found in rosemary, mint and camphor. Some use borneo as a natural insect repellent, and it can be found in many places of the world as a preventative tool for avoiding West Nile Virus.

Terpineol – This terpene has a pleasant scent similar to lilac, and is a common ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics and flavor additives.  It exhibits antibiotic and anti-oxidant properties, and also is used as a sedative and relaxing agent for those suffering from sleep disorders.

Valencene – As it name may reveal, this terpene is found most abundantly in Valencia oranges.  It is described as having a citrusy aroma and taste, and is found in cosmetics as well as natural insect repellents.

Geraniol – Found in lemons and tobacco, its smell is reminiscent of rose grass, peaches and plums. Geraniol is widely used in aromatic bath products and body lotions and shows great promise as a neuro-protectant and antioxidant. 

So…what does this mean for CBD?

The Entourage Effect is a real phenomenon that scientists and researchers are learning more about every day. It points to the naturally synergistic nature of cannabinoids and terpenes, and how different combinations of these chemical constituents can produce drastically different effects. In the case of CBD Oil, terpenes can lend the natural “earthy” flavors most people associate with ingestible CBD – but they can also lend various added benefits based on whichever plant strain the CBD was extracted from. For instance, a CBD product extracted from a Hemp plant with naturally high levels of the terpenes Linalool and Myrcene may be a better sleep aide, while a CBD extracted from a plant with higher levels of Camphene and Caryophyllene may have better anti-inflammatory properties. Determining what strain of plant your CBD comes from is admittedly easier said than done. However, any credible source of CBD products will be able to produce what’s called a certificate of analysis for you to review.  Here, you will find a breakdown of cannabinoids present within the CBD you’re considering which will help you make a better and more informed decision.