New evidence on how cannabinoids ease inflammation

Liz Filmer
11 Sep 2023

German researchers have found new evidence surrounding how cannabinoids may potentially have the ability to ease inflammation in the body, with CBD showing particular promise.

Friedrich-Schiller-University in Germany has been studying how specific compounds found in the cannabis plant can neutralise inflammation in the body. 

Previous studies have shown that cannabis is analgesic and antispasmodic, and they have also revealed that it has an anti-inflammatory effect. However, the reason for any anti-inflammatory potential was not fully understood until now.

The investigators examined how cannabinoids, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), work on human immune cells.

The eight chosen cannabinoids studied were discovered to have anti-inflammatory effects, according to the study results published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology

 “All the compounds studied were found to inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory messenger substances in cells while enhancing the formation of inflammation-resolving substances.” Lukas Peltner, doctoral student and co-author of the study 

CBD was proven to be especially effective, with the study focusing on it in more detail regarding its mode of action. 

The study defined that CBD activates the 15-lipoxygenase-1 enzyme. This is the enzyme that triggers the production of inflammation-soothing messenger substances that cause the inflammation to reduce. 

“CBD thus induces a switch in the affected cells, so to speak, which steers the inflammatory process from the promoting to the inhibiting side.” Study co-author Dr Paul Mike Jordan

It was confirmed that the study results were acquired from cell cultures in investigations on mice.

It was concluded that the understanding acquired could lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for treating inflammatory diseases in the long term. It was noted that the focus should be on CBD, which was Proven to be the most compelling cannabinoid in the analysis. 

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Liz Filmer