CBD to reduce steroid use
Did you know that it is possible to reduce steroid use with CBD? Many regular steroid users are combining their use with positive results. So in this article we will talk about whether it is possible to use CBD to reduce steroid use.
The popularity of CBD products continues to grow. However, there have been some concerns about CBD interactions with other medications. The potential health benefits of CBD are well known, and medical researchers are working around the clock to determine how this cannabinoid interacts with other compounds in the human body.
We also know that for a long time, medical specialists have evaluated CBD as a possible solution to control a variety of diseases. It has been suggested that CBD, in particular, produces effects similar to those of steroids. For more than 100 chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, they remain the first-line treatment.
But how do CBD and steroids compare? Is it possible for CBD to replace or reduce steroid use? Let’s take a look at some of the differences between CBD and steroids.
What are steroids?
Steroids can have a variety of meanings. However, they are considered artificial drugs that are designed to mimic hormones in the human body. They are mainly used to treat inflammation in this context.
In addition, steroids are divided into two categories: corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids, or simply anabolic. Corticosteroids, which work similarly to the hormone cortisol, are used to treat inflammation in the body.
After illness or injury, cortisol helps block enzymes that cause inflammation. Anabolic-androgenic steroids, on the other hand, are a synthetic version of testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone associated with muscle growth.
Unfortunately it is very common for this type of steroid to be abused due to its muscle building potential. However, many do not know it, but the negative effects can be deadly. As a result, they should only be used under the guidance of a medical specialist to avoid complications.
How do steroids and CBD reduce inflammation?
Steroids have a complicated anti-inflammatory action. In general, corticosteroids reduce inflammation by altering the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. They do the same with the activity of inflammatory cells and the release of proinflammatory mediators. They also help in the management of autoimmune diseases by reducing the activity of the immune system.
Prednisone and other steroids work by mimicking the effects of natural steroids in the body. These hormones are produced in the adrenal gland and their function is to regulate a variety of physiological activities, including immune system function and regulation of inflammation.
Inflammation is a normal, healthy reaction to illness or injury. Our immune system works more efficiently and eliminates any invading microorganisms as a result of inflammation.
Because of this, the inflammation causes discomfort, redness and swelling. However, it is a beneficial process in the short term, which becomes a major concern only when it does not go away as it should.
As for CBD, one of its main benefits is known to reduce inflammation. While both steroids and CBD can help reduce inflammation, the way they do it is completely different.
On the one hand, steroids affect the release of mediators and the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. In the case of CBD, it operates primarily through interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
CBD does not connect to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and immune system, unlike other cannabinoids such as THC. Rather, it changes the way cannabinoid receptors interact with other substances. As a result, they alter the effectiveness of these compounds.
Additionally, CBD can reduce the activity of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in particular. This enzyme is involved in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and its activity in inflammatory cells can cause tissue damage. CBD may work by reducing inflammation by blocking the activity of the enzyme.
Can CBD be used to reduce steroid use?
As we’ve seen, CBD and steroids have one thing in common: they can both help decrease inflammation. The question that arises is whether you can reduce steroid consumption with CBD, and at the same time regulate inflammation.
It is important to mention that some people are insensitive to steroid therapies. This has raised concerns about the use of steroids to control inflammation over the years.
In addition, medical authorities warn against prolonged use of steroids because of their negative consequences, which include:
- Aseptic necrosis of bone
- An increased risk of infections
- Diabetes mellitus
- Weight gain
What does the research say about this?
Several research studies have been conducted to better understand the anti-inflammatory capabilities of CBD. In one study, CBD gel was given to rats with arthritic knees. The joint swelling in the rodents had decreased considerably after four days and they were experiencing less pain.
While this suggests that CBD can be used to reduce steroid use, it is still unknown how effective CBD is as a steroid substitute. Most steroid-sparing medications are studied in transplant procedures to prevent rejection.
Researchers used CBD in an initial clinical trial to investigate whether it can prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients who did not respond to steroid treatment. After bone marrow transplantation, GVHD is a potentially life-threatening complication. The transplanted bone marrow may perceive the recipient’s body as foreign and fight it during this process.
While these experiments may not have been decisive, the researchers came to two conclusions: CBD treatment could have increased the therapeutic effect of steroids or reduced the required steroid dose while preserving or enhancing their therapeutic benefit. More importantly, even steroid-resistant patients were found to respond favorably to CBD treatment.
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