CBD & You, Pt. 1: What Science Says About CBD & Inflammation

This two-part series on CBD and inflammation was written to introduce you to a debate that has been raging since the legalization of cannabis became a hot-button issue at the turn of the last decade, the place that CBD has in your anti-inflammation and pain management strategy:

Is CBD an effective anti-inflammatory? And can it either supplement or take the place of current pain medication? Read on to find out!


Medical cannabis was first legalized in 1996 when California passed Proposition 215. While medical marijuana (cannabis strains with high concentrations of THC) is often more popular than medical CBD, doors were still opened that allowed CBD to find its niche in homeopathic treatments for those who wanted the medical effects that many perceived cannabis to have without the intoxicating effect of THC.

The legalization of cannabis in many states began in 2012 with Colorado and Washington, which opened up CBD to many of those who didn’t have ailments that were warranted by their doctors to be severe enough to need the assistance of medical cannabis or those who simply didn’t trust the substance until it became more widespread with more strict oversight.

Since becoming legalized, CBD has exploded, casting a wide net with products ranging from skincare, haircare, and light pain management to even tinctures that many swear by for their perceived depression- and anxiety-reducing properties. Despite this widespread use, however, the question of what CBD has actually been proven to do is more muddled than ever.

The growing acceptance of CBD and even the tentative willingness to consider the inclusion of CBD in treatment plans by segments of the allopathic community — the more mainstream medical community — mean that many of the more common claims made about CBD are finally being tested. In fact, a cannabis-derived medication for two difficult-to-treat forms of epilepsy was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration back in 2018!

Will CBD actually stand up to the hype? Even if CBD does have an anti-inflammatory or pain management effect, the FDA still considers it a supplement, and not a medication. Since supplements aren’t monitored by the FDA, how can you tell if your friend’s favorite product even does what it claims to do? Thankfully, we’re beginning to get some answers to these questions.

CBD and Inflammation

One of the biggest claims proponents of CBD often make is that it can cut down on inflammation, especially hard-to-treat cases of inflammation that more conventional anti-inflammatory medications can struggle to combat. If the science pans out, this could be especially useful in cases such as chronic pain caused by or resulting in inflammation. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) normally given for many of these types of conditions can cause significant gastrointestinal tract problems if taken improperly over long periods of time, and because of that, CBD has become a popular alternative that many feel may be lower risk.

A majority of the evidence from which CBD derives its proof as an anti-inflammatory is anecdotal; a friend of a friend tried it, so your friend tried it, and now they’re recommending it to you. While this doesn’t inherently mean that it’s wrong, it rightly should make you suspicious; is CBD an effective inflammation management strategy?

It’s worth noting that some inflammatory chronic diseases are susceptible to the placebo effect, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Could the positive benefits of CBD just be a figment of our imagination, then?

Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

What’s the Verdict?

While it’s too early to say anything for certain, a number of early studies have come back with incredibly promising answers; here’s one of those studies, promoting further research into CBD because of the promise it shows. Here’s another. Nearly every single one says the same thing: initial reports are promising, and how and why CBD helps can be theorized and consistently repeated, two hallmarks of good scientific discovery.

That these studies struggle to remain impartial in their pushes for further testing is a statement of CBD’s positive effects as anti-inflammatory devices. Calls for further research as to how these products can impact the lives of interested people like you have been heard loud and clear.

While still mostly relying on anecdotal evidence, there’s enough literature on the benefits of CBD to warrant at least giving it a try if these hard-to-treat spots of inflammation are keeping you down.

But Wait, There’s More!

Interestingly enough there’s evidence that, beyond simple anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may actually be able to help relieve painful symptoms of arthritis, beyond those caused by inflammation.

Many of those with arthritis and other conditions that can cause chronic pain swear by CBD, and it appears that they might be on to something! Topical creams especially are gaining popularity, often utilizing lidocaine for an icy kick to help soothe aching joints and muscles. 

A Cautionary Tale

As exciting as this news is, don’t get the wrong idea; CBD can’t replace your current prescribed or doctor-approved medications, and shouldn’t be adopted as a central pillar to your anti-inflammatory or pain-management strategy routine. Always ask a healthcare professional before incorporating these sorts of products into your day-to-day life. While unlikely, you may be predisposed to negative side effects — CBD can, in some, cause nausea, irritation or fatigue, and more.

Don’t let this scare you out of ever trying CBD, though. These side effects are rare, and the likelihood of a negative reaction to CBD is incredibly low. But be aware that there is a chance your body isn’t as big a fan of CBD as you are.

Finding the Right Product for You

Serenity Potions has curated a healthy stock of highly-rated, trustworthy CBD products. For those looking for anti-inflammatory products or products that can be used as effective pain management solutions, we recommend you first stop off and check out our topical ointments and lotions!

If you’re looking for something more convenient when you’re on-the-go, our tinctures may be a better fit for you instead. With just a couple drops under your tongue, you could be reaping the benefits that CBD has to offer! While slower-acting than ingesting CBD directly from smoking or vaporizing it, it is much longer acting and great for lower but more consistent doses of CBD throughout the day.

If you do find a product you think you might enjoy but it doesn’t quite meet your expectations, it might be worth trying a new delivery method or brand of products. There’s a whole world of CBD-based products out there, and sometimes it can take a little work to find the best one for you.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this series; we’ll break down some of our favorite products, and where our clients have found them to be most useful.

But How Can I Tell if A Product is Legitimate?

Great question. Our CBD FAQ has answers to it and more!

If you would like a refresher, though, most legitimate products will come with test results from 3rd party labs, called the Certificate of Authentication. These documents help to authenticate what ingredients are in your product and in what concentrations, so you can be totally confident in your purchase! Just ask for the Certificate of Authentication if you are in the store, or if shopping online, click on the link that appears next to your product of choice!

Looking for High-Quality CBD Products?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Are you looking for CBD products because you’re wanting to try and see if their anti-inflammatory property lives up to the hype? Or do you just want to try something out to see if CBD is worth all the fuss? Serenity Potions can get you set up with your new favorite product today!

If you know what you want, you can sort through all of our collections here. Feeling lost and overwhelmed? Don’t worry! Just reach out via phone or email, and we’ll be happy to set you with the perfect product to suit your needs!
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