For those with autoimmune diseases, you are probably sick of hearing the phrases “pain management” or “symptom control” or “your levels look good” a couple of hundred times from your doctor. When you read between the lines these phrases all come out to mean the same thing: “there’s nothing more I can do for you”. Many people with autoimmune diseases are left frustrated with the lack of answers and support from conventional medicine and are therefore left on their own to treat painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms. However, the market for autoimmune treatment is only growing and there’s certainly room for sh*tty products sold by people who want to make a quick buck.
When it comes to treatment, the root symptom of autoimmune diseases can be overlooked: inflammation. Inflammation is what causes the buildup of scar tissue in organs for Lupus patients, it’s what causes an underactive thyroid for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients, it’s what causes joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients and what causes many of the symptoms in MS patients. Therefore, reducing inflammation in the body is a key aspect of treating autoimmune symptoms effectively. That’s where CBD comes in.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a form of a cannabinoid chemical that binds to receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is found in many areas of the body such as the nervous system and immune system, so when cannabinoids bind to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, this can reduce inflammation, pain, and even alter mood . CBD is found in the cannabis sativa plant, along with its psychoactive-cousin, THC. Although CBD is not psychoactive, it still has many of the benefits that THC does.
How does CBD reduce inflammation?CBD is a cannabinoid that binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system to both suppress inflammatory molecules and create more anti-inflammatory molecules. So, by giving your body CBD -- whether you take it transdermally, (placed on top of the skin), or sublingually, (dropped under the tongue)-- there are a variety of CBD products available to help with inflammation.
The confirmation of an autoimmune diagnosis is at times nothing more than a signal that you have a lot of work to be done ahead. However, if you find yourself stuck and frustrated with the options that Western medicine is giving you, maybe its time to consider adopting CBD into your routine.
 Sinemyiz Atalay , Iwona Jarocka-Karpowicz and Elzbieta Skrzydlewska *
 Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009;1(7):1333-1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93