CBD and inflammation are the focus of the following 15 studies examining cannibidiol’s effectiveness on inflammation and the conditions that cause it.  We reviewed each study and summarized what each study was about, what the findings were, and the conclusions each study reached.

Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to injury or infection. Sometimes inflammation becomes out of control. It has been linked to many diseases and conditions.

It has been shown and is acknowledged by most of these studies listed that cannabidiol is a non-psychotropic (does not affect mental state) compound developed from cannabis. Most studies also concede that CBD has been shown to work with our internal cannabinoid receptors with beneficial properties, including inflammation.

Keep reading to find out what these studies looked at  regarding CBD and inflammation and if they also found it benefical.

Studies are listed from more recent at the top to more dated.


CBD is a non-psychoactive and non-psychotropic (does not affect mental state) compound developed from cannabis

Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis
Sep 2017 | Lab study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690292/]

Brief summary:

The aim of the study was to see if cannabidiol could relieve pain, joint neuropathy and inflammation caused from osteoarthritis. Injections of a compound induced arthritis in rat subjects and pain was measured using various models.

Acute, transient joint inflammation was reduced by local CBD treatment. CBD prevented the development of joint pain at later time points. It was also found to be neuroprotective. Local administration of CBD blocked pain.

CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in joints. Findings suggested that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating osteoarthritic joint neuropathic pain.

end study summary

Mechanical allodynia: is a painful sensation caused by innocuous stimuli like light touch. Unlike inflammatory pain that has a protective role, allodynia has no obvious biological utility.

Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats
Jun 2017 | Lab study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690292/]

Brief summary:

The aim of this study was to see how effective CBD would be for blocking or relieving pain caused by incision, as in the pain experienced after a surgical operation.

Rat subjects were used and exposed to an incision pain model – they were subjected to incision and pain was measured. One type of pain they were looking at was mechanincal allodynia (see definition). They also looked at whether CBD had any ability to block any pain caused by incision.

Results showed that injecting CBD in the body cavity did not have an effect on blocking mechanical allodynia, but it was made to be less intense. When CBD was inject directly in to the brain, mechanical allodynia was reduced in a dose dependent manner (the higher the dose, the more effective it was).

The study provides evidence that CBD influences different dimensions of pain response to a surgical incision. Results establish the rACC as a brain area from which CBD evokes pain blocking effects in a manner similar to the systemic administration of CBD.

end study summary

Mechanisms of action of CBD in adoptively transferred experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain).
Dec 2017 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28867485]

Brief summary:

Basis for study – “Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most important compounds in Cannabis sativa, lacks psychotropic effects, and possesses a high number of( therapeutic properties”-  direct quote.

This study analyzed CBD and its effectiveness against inflammation of the brain using mice cell culture models. Preventive injection treatment with CBD improved the clinical signs of brain inflammation. Inflammatory infiltration, axonal damage, and demyelination were reduced, and cannabinoid receptor expression was modulated. Incubation with CBD decreased encephalitogenic (brain inflammation caused by viral activity) cell viability, increasing early apoptosis (viral cell death) and reactive oxygen species (cell destroying conditions).

end study summary

Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis.
Nov 2016 | Review Paper | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27435265]

Brief summary:

This review presents comparisons of various compounds in the treatment of inflammation, including; delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabinol and synthetic cannabinoid drugs being developed with anti-inflammatory drugs we may be more familiar with. Connections of cannabinoids with related lipoamino acids are also discussed. Of course, many studies are reviewed.

Conclusions were made that cannabinoids do not work the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and are free from the adverse effects of both NSAIDS and the synthetic cannabinoid drugs now in clinical use. Ultimately, cannabinoid use “results in an increase in the rate of resolution of chronic inflammation” -quote from review.

end study summary

Protective effect of CBD on hydrogen peroxide‑induced apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress in nucleus pulposus cells.
Sep 2016 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28867485]

Brief summary:

This is an unusual look into how CBD protects cell from death caused by hydrogen peroxide. Cultures were developed with cells from rats, nucleus pulposus cells to be exact – they are the inner core cells of the vertebral disc.

They determined that cannabidiol enhanced the ability of cells to live (cell viability) and reduced apoptosis (cell death) in pulposus cells treated with hydrogen peroxide in lumbar disc herniation models.

end study summary

Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
Oct 2015 | Lab study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/]

Brief summary:

This study examined the effectiveness of cannabidiol used transdermally (absorption through the skin) on inflammation and pain on arthritis.

It was noted before the study that CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain without side-effects, but CBD does not mix well with water and has poor oral bioavailability.

Can it be used effectively as a topical agent?

Using rat subjects and knee joint arthritis models, cannabidiol was used topically as a gel.

Result showed that CBD concentrations in the blood and other plasma were in direct proportion to dosages given. Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration – all in a dose dependent manner, meaning the higher the dose, the greater the effectiveness.

Pro-inflammatory biomarkers were reduced in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia.

The gel used contained from 1% to 10% CBD. Results showed from 6.2 mg/day to 62 mg/day were effective doses based on the rat subjects.


end study summary

Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice .
Jan 2013 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850623]

Brief summary:

Anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on experimental acute pancreatitis were explored in this study.

Acute pancreatitis was introduced using drug injection on mice subjects. After multiple pancreatitis drug injections and hours to let the inflammation set in, subjects were then treated with cannabidiol and a synthetic cannabinoid, O-1602..

The results were that either cannabidiol or O-1602 (neither were tested separately in this study) significantly decreased inflammation activity and improved overall conditions. Conclusions were reached that CBD and O-1602 showed anti-inflammatory effects.

end study summary

Cannabidiol (CBD) Enhances Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation in C57BL/6 Mice
Nov 2012 | Lab study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632657/]

Brief summary:

Though we don’t usually see studies looking to see if cannaibidiol causes inflammation – this one does.

In their words…” it is clear that immune effects of cannabinoids can vary with cannabinoid concentration, or type or magnitude of immune stimulus.”

And they experimented to see what the results were on mice subjects.

They demonstrate that oral administration of CBD enhanced lipopolysaccharide (toxins that cause inflammation)-induced lung inflammation in mice.

The enhanced inflammatory cell invaders in lung fluid were comprised mainly of white blood cells (neutrophils and monocytes).

CBD enhanced pro-inflammatory cells secreted by the immune system (cytokines) production of inflammatory factors, including tumor necrosis factor, immune system regulating factors, and white blood cell stimulating factors.

This study recommends further investigation into the how cannabidiol works and the mechanisms involved.

Our opinion:
Unlike other studies that clearly showed that inflammation was reduced, this study showed that CBD can do the opposite. What is notable about this is that CBD seems to do both, reduce inflammation and increase inflammation. Perhaps this is part of the moderating effect of CBD.

This study did demonstrate that CBD did produce an anti-tumor immune response – as other studies have shown.

end study summary

Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: role for the adenosine A(2A) receptor.
Mar 2012 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22265864]

Brief summary:

This study used mice subjects in a lung injury model to see if cannabidiol had anti-inflammatory effects on acute lung injury. Subjects were then given CBD before they were given lipopolysaccharide to induce lung injury. Measurements were taken 1, 2, 4 and 7 days afterward.

They were able to show that a single dose of cannabidiol is able to induce a decrease in several lung inflammation parameters, such as leukocyte migration, myeloperoxidase activity, pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production, and vascular permeability during the course of a murine model of LPS-induced acute lung injury.

They also showed that CBD most signaling through adenosine A2A receptor is most likely the mechanism mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol in our work.

end study summary

Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors
Jun 2012 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/]

Brief summary:

CBD was directly involved with this study. The study wanted to report on what mechanisms (how it works) are used when cannabidiol is administered.

They did by subjecting two mice subject groups to chronic pain induced by chemicals. One group was normal, the other was genetically modified to not have the α3 glycine receptors. This was to see if this receptor was the influential receptor for pain.

They also tested both CBD and DH-CBD (dehydroxylcannabidiol), another form of cannabidiol.

They showed that CBD and DH-CBD significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents. No cause of analgesic tolerance meant that they did not build up a tolerance which would create a need for more CBD to have the same effect.

This was the case for the normal mice subjects with the α3 glycine receptors – the modified mice (without α3 glycine receptors) were not affected by either CBD or DH-CBD – demonstrating that the α3 glycine receptor was indeed involved in pain and neuropathic pain relief and suppression.

end study summary

Endocannabinoid system = an internal system of cannabinoids and receptors found in all mammals

Pshychotropic = that affect a person’s mental state

Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
Sep 2011 | Review Paper | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21238581]

Brief summary:

It was noted in this review that oxidative stress is a key weapon of our immune system, but unchecked it can cause cell and organ damage. CBD has been shown to interact with our immune system through our endocannabinoid system.

This paper goes on to discuss and evaluate recent studies to see if CBD would be a promising compound to resolve inflammation or for possible drug development.

The conclusion was that evidence supports the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. And it is suggested that studies support the idea that CBD attenuates (reduces the force of) inflammation far beyond just its antioxidant properties, by targeting inflammation related signals, for example. It was noted that CBD lacks any psychotropic effects.

end study summary

Cannabidiol reduces Aβ-induced neuroinflammation and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis through PPARγ involvement.
Dec 2011 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22163051]

Brief summary:

The basis of this study was reported involvement of PPARG (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) with respect to Alzheimer’s disease. The study wanted to see if cannabidiol’s binding activity with PPARG might be an effective anti-alzheimer’s treatment.

“Results showed that the blockade of PPARγ was able to significantly blunt CBD effects on reactive gliosis (brain neuron inflammation) and subsequently on neuronal damage. Moreover, due to its interaction at PPARγ, CBD was observed to stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis (building of new neuron cells). All these findings report the inescapable role of this receptor in mediating CBD actions, here reported.” – direct quote.

end study summary

Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis.
Dec 2011 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22163000]

Brief summary:

The effect of CBD on intestinal inflammation was the focus of this study. This gives important insights on hoe CBD might help millions suffering from IBS and other similar intestinal conditions.

They examined cannabidiol effects on inflammation and damage of the intestinal biopsy cultures of both mice subjects and human patients with ulcerative colitis.

CBD targeted the reactive change of glial (nerve) cells in response to damage to the central nervous system. It also counteracted the inflammatory environment induced by LPS (Lipopolysaccharides, known to cause inflammation) in mice and in human colonic cultures from ulcerative colitis patients.

“Our results therefore indicate that CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.” – direct quote.

end study summary

Diabetic retinopathy: Role of inflammation and potential therapies for anti-inflammation.
Mar 2010 | Review Paper | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21537423]

Brief summary:

This review focused on cannabidiol and its possible ability to help with diabetic retinopathy. It focused on the therapeutic effects of CBD based on animal model studies of inflammatory retinal diseases. Recent evidence suggests that local inflammation plays a major role in the development of diabetic retinopathy.

The conclusion was that CBD as an antioxidant to block oxidative stress and to enhance a self-defense mechanism against retinal inflammation represents a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of ophthalmic complications associated with diabetes.

end study summary

Cannabidiol attenuates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by decreasing oxidative/nitrosative stress inflammation, and cell death
Mar 2009 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19074681]

Brief summary:

Alternate Title: CBD tested to see if it reduced inflammation caused by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

In this study they were looking to see if cannabidiol could offset some of the side effects of the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, which is known to cause severe oxidative stress and inflammation when used clinically.

Treatment of mice with CBD showed significant reduction in oxidative stress and cell death in the kidney and improved renal function. It was suggested that CBD may be a new protective agent used with cisplatin to fight cancer.

end study summary

Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and related analogs in inflammation.
Mar 2009 | Review Paper | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19199042]

Brief summary:

This review cover studies done over 5 years (2004-2009) on the anti-inflammatory activities of all cannabinoids, including CBD.

It finds evidence supporting relief from chronic neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and postoperative pain. This points to possible therapeutic roles of cannabinoids.

end study summary

hyperalgesic: abnormally heightened sensitivity to pain

Cannabidiol attenuates high glucose-induced endothelial cell inflammatory response and barrier disruption.
Jul 2007 | Lab Study | [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17384130]

Brief summary:

This study examined inflammation from several perspectives with regard to high glucose (diabetic) scenarios and cannabidiol effectiveness.

“Remarkably, all the above mentioned effects of HG were attenuated (weakened) by CBD pretreatment. Since a disruption of the endothelial function and integrity by HG (high glucose) is a crucial early event underlying the development of various diabetic complications, our results suggest that CBD, which has recently been approved for the treatment of inflammation, pain, and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis in humans, may have significant therapeutic benefits against diabetic complications and atherosclerosis.” – direct quote.

end study summary

If you liked this article on CBD and inflammation studies, you may want to check out this article that summarizes studies on CBD and Cancer.