Dr. Dung Trinh is a chief medical officer of Astiva Health, a board member of Alzheimer’s Orange County, and the founder of the Physicians Cannabinoid Council.
Dr. Trinh, Is Inflammation – Good or Bad?
Dr. Trinh helped us uncover what inflammation is and whether it is good or bad. “Inflammation is like a fever; when you have a cold or another injury, your immune system sends “soldiers” to defend your body and promote healing in that area, causing redness, swelling, and heat, which is a normal and healthy response. “But imagine having a fever every day for a month,” that would be a concern. If your body is going through constant inflammation, or chronic inflammation, that’s like, “going to war…and experiencing a friendly fire.” The answer is: that chronic inflammation is harmful.
Chronic Inflammation as a Cause of Disease
One example of chronic inflammation is heart disease. When someone is diagnosed with heart disease, we immediately think the cause of the problem is clogged arteries from cholesterol and plaque buildup. “But why does the cholesterol get stuck to your artery?”
The cholesterol binds to the arteries because the lining of the artery becomes damaged, making the lining sticky. “Where does the damage come from?” Arterial damage is caused by chronic inflammation.
Using many other examples, Dr. Trinh says that inflammation is the true cause of chronic disease in many parts of your body, including arthritis in your joints, encephalitis in the lungs, and health issues in the brain like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s.
What Can We Do About Inflammation?
To avoid inflammation, you should know that it is primarily caused by our lifestyles. Through proper nutrition and stress control, you can reduce inflammation in your body. Try to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods like fish oil, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, and other supplements and vitamins. Also, you should avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar, fried foods, red meats, and fast food.
Inflammation is also caused by excess amounts of stress hormones, like cortisol. A study demonstrates that yoga poses and meditation can help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by reducing stress and reducing inflammation.
What About Cannabis?
Another way to reduce inflammation is through cannabis. Cannabis stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system in your body, like your nervous system or endocrine system. The endocannabinoid system’s primary function is to bring your body into a state of balance, which Dr. Trinh uses the scientific term for: “homeostasis.” By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, cannabis can reduce inflammation and create balance since inflammation is a state of imbalance in your body.
Dr. Dung Trinh has a lot of experience with patients coming to him with cannabidiol products, optimistic about how it makes them feel. Many of his patients told Dr. Trinh they are taking far fewer prescription pain medications, sleeping better, experiencing less anxiety, and finding relief from PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions. After hearing their stories, he went to look for more research to explain their testimonies, which is how he became an advocate for cannabis and its reported positive effects on inflammation.
According to Dr. Trinh, more research needs to be done on the effects of cannabis and inflammation on specific chronic diseases, but the implications could potentially be significant. Nevertheless, Dr. Trinh insists that before self-medicating with CBD or other cannabinoid extracts related products, you should speak to a doctor to understand how it can interact with your current medications. There is no major side effect to CBD alone, but since all medications are filtered through the liver, you want to ensure when to take the proper medication and not favor CBD over something else that may be crucial to your health.