SEP 13, 2023 6:00 AM PDT

How Hemp Fights Inflammation

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A research team from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena’s Institute of Pharmacy investigated how certain ingredients from the cannabis plant counteract inflammation. Previous studies have indicated the analgesic and antispasmodic properties of cannabinoids, but this study highlighted hemp’s anti-inflammatory effects. The findings published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology explain how CBD induces a lipid mediator class switch. 

The research team investigated how certain ingredients from the cannabis plant counteract inflammation. They studied how different cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol the psychoactive compound known as THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), affect human immune cells. The researchers found that all eight cannabinoids had anti-inflammatory effects. According to doctoral student and first author of the study Lukas Peltner, “All the compounds we studied were found to inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory messenger substances in cells while enhancing the formation of inflammation-resolving substances.” The researcher’s observations shed light on how cannabinoids can influence human immune cell function and particularly CBD’s effectiveness in minimizing inflammation. 

The study showed how CBD induces a switch in immune cells. By shedding light on cannabinoid’s mode of action, the researchers found that CBD activates the 15-lipoxygenase-1 enzyme. This enzyme promotes the production of inflammation-resolving messenger substances.  

The findings could lead to new therapeutic strategies for treating inflammatory diseases. As the stigma associated with cannabis weakens, more people seek hemp products to lessen swelling and discomfort. The German parliament recently approved the draft bill called the “Cannabis Act” that makes the acquisition and possession of small amounts of cannabis exempt from punishment. Medical cannabis advocates urge policymakers to allow for increased cannabis research to study the benefits and risks of cannabinoids. 

Sources: Cell Chemical Biology, Eureka News Alert, Friedrich Schiller University Jena


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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