Here’s How Marijuana Relieves Inflammation & Restores Health

How Marijana Impacts Inflammation

You’ve probably heard the buzzword, “inflammation.”  It’s a hot word in the wellness world.  Google says the term inflammation is so popular 74,000 people search for it every month.

But what is inflammation?  What causes it?  And why is it so damn common?  Most importantly, what’s the deal with marijuana and inflammation?

What is Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to invaders or injury.  For example, when a virus tries to attack our body, inflammation protects us.  When you cut yourself shaving, it’s thanks to inflammation that the skin heals.

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How Inflammation Works

When a cell is injured or senses an invader (for example, an allergen, virus, or chemical), they release messenger chemicals.  These chemicals signal white blood cells to rush in and get to work.  The white blood cells defend the body and begin repairing the damage.


Signs of Inflammation

If you sprain your ankle, it might look swollen, be warm to the touch, and feel stiff and painful.

If you eat something rotten, you might get gas, bloating, diarrhea and pain.

These symptoms occur because of inflammation.

But a person can also have low levels of inflammation that present with vague symptoms like fatigue, body aches, and hay fever.

Inflammation is associated with all diseases, illness, allergies, and injuries.

What Causes Inflammation?

Anything can trigger inflammation.

Sometimes our body reacts to irritants in the environment but we can’t identify which ones.  This is common because we unknowingly come into contact with dangerous chemicals every day.

Obesity and/or a lack of exercise can also trigger inflammation.  In some people, even normal everyday foods can cause inflammation.

Unexplainable symptoms are often caused by excessive inflammation.


What Is Chronic Inflammation?

Doctors don’t completely understand the process of inflammation yet.  Even less is understood about chronic inflammation, but we do know that chronic inflammation contributes to a variety of diseases and illnesses.

Injury, illness, poor lifestyle habits, allergens–even your lunch–can trigger inflammation.  If we can identify the irritant and eliminate it, we can stop the inflammation.

But sometimes, we can’t identify the source of inflammation.

If an individual is unable (or unwilling) to make the necessary changes, it can result in chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is widespread and can affect any organ system.  Often chronic inflammation affects multiple organ systems.

Rashes, GI problems, urinary tract issues, kidney stones, heart trouble, neurological issues, breathing problems, mood swings, brain fog, and more can all be caused by inflammation.


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Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

Long-term chronic inflammation, even at low levels, can contribute to many long term conditions.  Cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and more, all correlate with an increase in inflammation.

Excessive inflammation also plays a big role in autoimmune diseases, like Lupus, Chrone’s Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Chronic inflammation can manifest as fatigue, allergies, aches & pains, irritable bowel disease, asthma, depression, diabetes, repeat infections, or more. Some patients with low levels of chronic inflammation don’t show any significant symptoms.


Treating Inflammation:

There are currently no pharmaceuticals designed to treat chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is difficult to correct.

Recommended treatment includes lifestyle changes, like weight loss, exercise, adequate sleep, stress corrections, and a healthy diet.


Marijuana and Inflammation

While it’s not well understood yet, research has determined that the endocannabinoid system plays a significant part in the inflammatory process.

Cannabis Is A Potent Anti-Inflammatory

Marijuana battles inflammation in a variety of ways.  Cannabis may balance the internal regulation of the inflammatory system.  Research in Free Radical Biology & Medicine details that cannabis can be an effective “weapon in the arsenal of the immune system for fighting invading pathogens and initiating tissue repair.”


Cannabis Fights Oxidative Stress

Much of the damage caused by inflammation is caused by cellular oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a normal part of inflammation. During the inflammatory process, cells produce free radicals.

But, in chronic inflammation, the body fails to properly “clean up” these excess free radicals.

Free radicals can cause damage to DNA, cell walls, proteins, and more.  This is when inflammation becomes harmful. 

The immune system and the inflammatory process is entirely dependent on intercellular communication.  Oxidative stress prevents cells from sending messages to each other.


Cannabinoids Functions as an Antioxidant

Numerous studies have demonstrated that cannabis can modulate and reduce cellular oxidative stress.  Cannabis helps remove the free radicals to restore cellular communication.


Marijuana Can Balance Overactive Immune Systems

Cannabis inhibits overactive immune cells, which balances the immune system.



Marijuana is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory.

Cannabis has repeatedly demonstrated phenomenal anti-inflammatory powers.

Not only is marijuana a natural anti-inflammatory, but it fights inflammation without the damaging side-effects of NSAIDs.

Adding medical marijuana to a healthy lifestyle may boost wellness levels by drastically reducing inflammation.  However, it’s imperative that medical marijuana is tested & regulated to stay free from pesticides, fungicides, molds, etc.

Unfortunately, illegal marijuana is routinely contaminated.  Many legal dispensaries allow inorganic cannabis farming.  The pesticides used can trigger inflammation. This is one of the many reasons the US needs widespread cannabis decriminalization.  Patients need access to organic versions of cannabis.



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Written by Jessie Gill

Jessie Gill, RN is a cannabis nurse with a background in holistic health and hospice. After suffering a spinal injury, she reluctantly became a medical marijuana patient then quickly transitioned into an advocate. Her site, combines science with personal insight to educate about medical marijuana. She’s been featured on Viceland and bylines include GoodHousekeeping, Cosmopolitan, MSN, and more.

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