CBD for Inflammation

By Dr. Frank Michalski

If you are reading this blog, you are interested in three things:

  1. CBD 
  2. Chronic Inflammation as the root cause of most disease and how to overcome it.
  3. How to improve your health and life.

What is inflammation? 

Inflammation is a response from your immune system. Let’s use a basic example. If you get a splinter in your finger your immune system responds by releasing hormones that cause blood vessel dilation/expansion. This blood vessel dilation allows for inflammatory cells to be carried to the site of injury allowing the healing process to begin. These inflammatory cells will create chemical irritation around the nerves in your fingers. When the nerves are irritated a message is sent to your brain, signaling you are in pain! In response to the pain you are going to be extra cautious with your injured finger. In this scenario we see inflammation is a good thing. But what if the inflammatory chemicals and signals never turned off? 

Think of inflammation as a furnace in your house. If it burns too hot eventually you will overheat, if it shuts down you will freeze. It’s all about balance. You will soon learn that CBD does just that, it helps to restore balance from within. 

When does inflammation become a problem?

When inflammation is chronic it is called chronic inflammatory disease or CID. CID accounts for many of the top illnesses people suffer from today. In CID the inflammatory and biochemical inducers rushing through your blood are never turned off. This results in a state of a nonstop inflammation. Often this process is slow building up over time. CID does not happen over night.

What is the end result of CID? 

When chronic inflammatory chemicals and hormones are present a cellular rusting occurs inside the body. This is similar to how a car rusts or a banana turns brown. When the exterior of a car is exposed to conditions that are not ideal for the metal frame, the frame will become damaged due to chemical reactions between the metal and oxygen in the air.  This is oxidation. In the case of a banana, the sugars are exposed to oxygen and the banana turns brown, because it has become oxidized. Every time you consume healthy fats and proteins in the presence of sugar, they become oxidized. Smoking also leads to excessive oxidation reactions within the body.

CID Statics (Reference Below): 

  • CID: (Chronic inflammatory diseases) are the most significant cause of death in the world. The World Health Organization ranks chronic diseases as the greatest threat to human life.
  • In 2014, 60% of Americans have at least 1 CID, and 42% have 3 or more
  • Worldwide 3/5 people die due to CID (stroke, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes). THREE OUT OF FIVE!
  • Diabetes: in 2015 7th leading cause of death, 9.4% or more of the population is diagnosed 30+ million people. 
  • CVD: 1 out of every three deaths according to the AHA, 800,000+ a year not including stroke deaths. 
  • Arthritis: 350 million affected worldwide 43 million in the US, 20% of our population. 60 million plus by 2020. 
  • Allergies: 6th leading cause of chronic human diseases
  • COPD- 3rd most common cause of death in the US 

What is the result of this chronic oxidation stress in the body? 

After oxidation occurs in the body free radicals are formed. Free radicals are toxic by-products that accumulate in our bodies after oxidation/ oxidative stress occurs. Free radicals are also known as AGE’s or advanced glycation end products. These AGE’s/ free radicals are literally the things that AGE us. They wear away at our joints, skin, arteries, gut, brain, hair, the list goes on and on. 

What are some diseases affiliated with free radical build up and CID? 

  • Diabetes 
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Cancer 
  • Hypertension 
  • Stroke 
  • High Cholesterol 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Acne 
  • Hormonal imbalances 
  • Chronic Kidney disease 
  • Macular degeneration 
  • COPD
  • Allergies 
  • Elevated triglycerides 
  • Crohn’s / autoimmune disease. 
  • RA 
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

What predisposes us to CID and free radical production?

  1. Age 
  2. Body fat (muscle wasting as we age). Did you know fat secretes its own inflammatory chemicals? That’s right, fat is an endocrine tissue, fat is a living thing. 
  3. Diet (high in sugar, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats) 
  4. Sleep 
  5. Pathogens (germs, virus, bacteria) 
  6. Lifestyle (drinking, smoking, sedentary) 
  7. Low sex hormones 
  8. Lack of exercise

What are the symptoms of CID?

  1. Body pain 
  2. Fatigue 
  3. Insomnia 
  4. Illness 
  5. GI distress (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea) 
  6. Depression and anxiety (That’s right, these are symptoms of inflammation!) 

How do we fight free radicals, oxidation and inflammation? Can CBD help?

Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory compounds found in foods, and supplements. Let’s be clear CBD has been shown to have multiple anti-inflammatory effects due to its antioxidant potential. Think of free radicals as little pieces of burning ash. When too many accumulate a fire will begins. That fire will burn hot and out of control until it’s put out. Antioxidants are like fire fighters, they “put out the flames” before it’s too late. Let us refer to the Government’s patent on CBD: 

"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new-found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemis, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3, and COCH3."

That’s right CBD is a potent antioxidant!!! It only makes sense that it would benefit those suffering from CID. 

How much CBD should I take for inflammation?

I wish this was an easy answer. This will depend on your lifestyle, medications, supplements, and disease progression. For most the standard dosage range of 10-100 mg’s will work. For a daily maintenance serving 5-40 mgs daily should do the trick. Remember as always start small and increase until you find your CBD “sweet spot”.

If you suffer from CID chances are you have one or more “symptoms” or “diseases” listed above. CBD has the ability to affect a host of systems in the body, including but not limited to, insomnia, depression, anxiety, pain, blood pressure, blood sugar, and the list goes on. Be sure to monitor how you feel daily for each “symptom”, don’t be afraid to keep a journal.

Disclaimer: Although I recommend between 10-100mgs daily, many people find relief with the 3500mg concentration. Remember at higher dosages always consult with your physician, especially if your medications require monthly blood work.

What else can I do? 

Remember CBD is an excellent start. In clinical practice when a patient begins to supplement with CBD oil, we always emphasize that CBD is supplemental to a healthy balanced life style. Eat healthy, stress less, exercise and rest. If you want to experience the full benefits of CBD take advantage of the lifestyle factors you can change.

Bonus: For a more in-depth discussion of anti-inflammatory nutrition, CBD, supplements, and lifestyle choices please view our video on Diabetes.


In Good Health, 

Dr. Frank Michalski 

Northtown Chiropractic & Injury Rehab 

Buffalo Functional Medicine 


Pahwa R, Jialal I. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2018 Oct 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/