What is inflammation exactly and why is everyone talking about it?
In the past, you might have taken a couple of Ibuprofen to reduce inflammation from a twisted ankle or wrenched knee and thought no more about it.
But there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests that inflammation isn’t just a symptom of an injury or infectious disease, as scientists used to think.
Many now believe inflammation is “intimately linked to a broad range of non-infectious diseases, perhaps even all of them.” 
In fact, inflammation has been associated with some of the most serious health conditions we face today, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
In this article, we’ll define the two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. We’ll discover why inflammation is sometimes a good thing and when it becomes a problem. We’ll talk about traditional methods of reducing inflammation and the role of exercise, sleep, stress, and diet.
Finally, we’ll also talk about the excitement of combining Omega-3s and CBD to help manage inflammation long-term.
Ready to find out what the real deal is with inflammation? Read on!
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to disease or injury. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
Remember last time you twisted your ankle? Your immune system jumped into action by sending an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the injury, leading to redness and swelling. Your body has the same response if you catch the flu or pneumonia.
A healthy inflammatory response repairs damage and protects you from infection. Without inflammation, injuries or infections wouldn’t heal and could quickly become serious. 
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is long-term. In fact, it can last for years.
Chronic inflammation is sometimes caused when an illness or injury that triggered an acute inflammation isn’t treated effectively. Other causes include an autoimmune disorder and exposure to toxins such as chemicals over a long period.
Conditions that are associated with chronic inflammation include rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, ulcerative colitis, sinusitis, and active hepatitis. Any condition that ends with the suffix -itis is caused by inflammation. 
As well as being a symptom of many infectious and non-infectious diseases, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that chronic inflammation could be at the root of many serious conditions including heart disease, brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and some cancers. 
How is Inflammation Treated?
Traditionally, inflammation is treated either with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids.
NSAIDs for Inflammation
If you experience inflammation as a result of injury, chances are you reach for an NSAID such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin.
NSAIDs work by reducing the effects of enzymes that cause inflammation.
While they might provide an effective short-term fix, used long-term, NSAIDs can lead to health issues such as serious stomach ulcers. They may also make symptoms of asthma worse, cause damage to your kidneys, and increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. 
Corticosteroids for Inflammation
Corticosteroids are also commonly prescribed to treat inflammation. Corticosteroids work by mimicking hormones in your body that reduce inflammation.
Corticosteroids have a wide range of side-effects, some of which can be serious. These include high blood pressure, psychological problems such as confusion or delirium, weight gain, diabetes, and elevated risk of infection. Diet and Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Inflammation
There are many natural alternatives you can practice to help manage inflammation.
The most effective way to reduce inflammation long-term is to make changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Exercise - According to a study reported in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, just 20 minutes of regular exercise a day can reduce inflammation. 
Sleep - Aim for eight hours of sleep a night to allow your body time to rest and heal. Sleep is also one of the best ways to manage chronic stress which is often a cause of inflammation.
Stress Management - As well as getting a good night’s sleep, practice methods of reducing stress such as meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature - take a “forest bath” like the Japanese. 
Diet - Reduce your intake of sugar and processed foods that are more likely to contain additives and toxins. Instead, eat meals packed with lean proteins, healthy fats, and lots of veggies.
What are the Best Supplements to Reduce Inflammation?
It can be really hard to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from diet alone, particularly when you take into account modern farming and food production methods.
Supplements are an efficient way to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs both to manage normal inflammation and also function at its best.
But which supplements are the most effective at reducing inflammation?
Read on to find out why we believe CBD and Omega-3s are the perfect inflammation stack.
Is CBD Good for Inflammation?
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis (marijuana). Unlike the compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. This means it does not produce a euphoric state or a high.
CBD oil is made by extracting cannabidiol from the cannabis or hemp plant and mixing it with an oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
For more information about the forms and extraction methods of CBD go here.
What are the Health Benefits of CBD?
Many people are using CBD to reduce symptoms of a wide range of health conditions including epilepsy, MS, anxiety and depression, chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, and even insomnia and acne.
Studies have shown that CBD is also effective in reducing inflammation and pain. 
CBD and other cannabinoids work by attaching themselves to receptors in your brain and immune system. One of these receptors, CB2, is known to reduce inflammation.
Other research suggests that CBD enables the body to produce natural cannabinoids - endocannabinoids - that attach themselves to the receptors. 
Is CBD Safe?
While studies have shown that CBD is safe for most people, as it is a supplement rather than a medication, it is currently unregulated. 
For this reason, it’s really important that you buy a quality supplement so you can be sure that it contains the amount of the active ingredient listed. You also need to be sure about the other substances that are in the supplement. 
As we said earlier, CBD is not psychoactive, which means it doesn’t cause a high and according to the World Health Organization, there is no risk of becoming dependent on it. 
Some people might experience side effects which could include diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue. It can also interact with medicines, so check with your doctor before taking CBD if you regularly take other drugs.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
There is no RDA for CBD and the advice can seem confusing with recommended dosages varying between 10mg and 1300mg. It’s best to start with a low dosage and build it up gradually. If you have any concerns, existing health problems or regularly take other medicines, you should check with a doctor first.
Do Omega-3s Reduce Inflammation?
What are Omega-3s?
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fats that are found in plants and animals. The best sources of Omega-3s are:
Animals: Krill, salmon, mackerel, trout, halibut, sardines
Plants: Chia seeds, flax seeds, algae, walnuts, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens
Omega-3s are called essential fatty acids because your body can’t make them for itself, so you have to consume them as part of your diet or through supplements.
There are 3 types of Omega-3s: ALA, EPA, and DHA.
Alpha Linolenic Acid - ALA is mainly found in flaxseed. Your body can make DHA and EPA from ALA, but the process isn’t very efficient.
Eicosapentaenoic Acid - EPA is mainly found in fish oil and is known to have heart benefits.
Docosapentaenoic Acid - DHA is also found in fish oil and algae and is known to have brain benefits.
What are the Health Benefits of Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a powerhouse of nutrition. They may not only help you to have healthy hair, skin, and nails, but they are also associated with an impressive range of health benefits. These include benefits for the heart and brain, and they may also help to prevent diabetes. 
Research has shown that Omega-3s may also help prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. 
One of the most important things that Omega-3s can do for you is help reduce inflammation: preventing tissue damage and swelling that causes pain.
How do Omega-3s Reduce Inflammation?
Studies have shown that Omega-3s break down into compounds called resolvins that are highly effective in switching the inflammation response off before it becomes a problem. 
Studies have also shown that your body uses Omega-3 essential fatty acids to produce anti-inflammatory cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, such as CBD and THC.
We’ve already discussed CBD, but what is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an active ingredient in marijuana that, like CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, but unlike CBD is psychoactive and can, therefore, induce euphoria - in other words, it can make you high.
The results of an animal study reported in PNAS suggested that the chemical reactions that occur as the body breaks down Omega-3s produces endocannabinoids that work in a similar way to THC - but without the psychotropic effect. 
So, Omega-3s may produce a similar anti-immune response to THC but without the high and the risk of dependence. 
CBD and Omega-3s - The Perfect Inflammation Stack?
Chronic inflammation is a problem partly because we live surrounded by toxins and are often tempted by foods that cause inflammation.
Traditional treatments such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids may provide a quick fix, but they are not a long term option because of the potentially serious health side effects.
It’s much better to manage inflammation by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Exercising just 20 minutes a day, aiming for a night of regular eight-hour sleep, and practicing strategies such as meditation to manage stress may all reduce inflammation significantly.
Diet is also extremely important - skip the sugar and processed foods and fill your plate with lean proteins, healthy fats, and lots of veggies instead.
Consider including quality supplements in your daily routine, too.
Cannabinoids such as CBD bind to receptors including CB2 that reduce inflammation. Research shows that Omega-3s enable the body to produce natural cannabinoids - endocannabinoids - that do the same job.
Have you used CBD and Omega-3 to reduce inflammation? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
And don't forget to check out our DREAM CBD and OMEGA CBD here.