When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable but are a show that the body is trying to heal itself.
It can be beneficial when, for example, your knee sustains a blow and tissues need care and protection. However, sometimes, inflammation can persist longer than necessary, causing more harm than benefit.
Fast facts on inflammation
- Pro: Inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection to remove harmful stimuli and begin the healing process.
- Pro: Inflammation is part of the body's immune response.
- Pro: Infections, wounds, and any damage to tissue would not be able to heal without an inflammatory response.
- Con: Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is chronic inflammation?
Although damaged tissue cannot heal without inflammation, chronic inflammation refers to long-term inflammation and can last for several months and even years. Inflammation needs to be well managed.
What's My Issue?
Age, honestly. Knocking on 50 years old, injuries linger much longer than they did at 35 and don't seem to heal completely either. The mess I made of my right ankle was completely of my own doing, blowing it up at Hard Charge in 2014 and then running a half marathon, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash all in successive weekends along with playing a full season of soccer was pure stupidity. I'm reminded of my failure to let it heal nearly every night in bed when it throbs. After deciding not to surgically repair my torn right shoulder labrum, the last 4 years have provided plenty of painful days when bursitis sets in.
In both cases, cortisone shots have been entirely ineffective, 15 separate needles did very little to alleviate any pain or provide a full range of motion, and while NSAIDS do help quite a bit, common side effects are GI issues and potential liver or kidney damage. I try and limit my ibuprofen usage to 1200mg/day taken with meals to limit heartburn popping pills for no more than 4 days in a row to give my kidneys and liver time to “clean out”.
Even with a “careful” regimen, I've developed some of the GI issues I've been trying to avoid from prolonged use, on both my upper and lower digestive tracts. To put it bluntly, the NSAIDS I was using to fight inflammation ‘bit me in the ass' by causing a painful situation that knocked me out of running and exercise for several months and may actually require surgery. Let's put that delicate issue aside and focus on other ways to combat long-term inflammation without overusing NSAIDS.
Why CBD & THC?
As I mentioned in my earlier article on CBD, I can legally purchase medical marijuana in AZ with a green card, but cannot function during the day while stoned, so I was looking for a fix – without getting a fix. Since that original article, I've developed the secondary ‘condition' that has made me the butt of my own jokes, and the internal nature of the inflammation meant the topical Elevate CBD Pain Relief Cream wouldn't be a treatment option. Luckily, they make a half dozen other products that absolutely, positively, would do the trick.
Enter Elevate CBD
Justin over at Elevate CBD (Use code MRG15 to save 15%) provided me with the whole product line below to test, and each was effective with a couple real standouts:
Since I've already covered Elevate CBD Pain Relief Cream, I just want to add that I gave both the heat and cooling samples to a buddy dealing with “tennis elbow” who raved about the pain relief after only a couple days of use. Elevate CBD has added a new customer in Coope for sure.
The mints are my favorite Elevate CBD product, my only wish would be that they were a bit more potent. They are rated at 3mg of CBD per mint, I'd rather they were the 5mg dose of the gum… which happens to be my second favorite product. While the mints have more of a mint flavor, the gum is a little more “earthy” and tastes akin to a natural gum with a little mint mixed in. The flavor doesn't last very long, and the gum gets a bit hard when you've worked it in your jaws for 15 minutes or so. luckily, by then you've already ingested the CBD. Not an unpleasant experience at all, for reference I'd compare it to Tom's of Maine toothpaste versus Colgate.
I'm also a fan of the oral spray with the strong all natural cinnamon flavor, 2 sprays contains about 5-6mg of fast-acting CBD, while also freshening your breath. The same can be said of the dissolving strips, the mint flavor is pretty similar to the gum – earthy, not strong – but delivers a good dose of CBD and does your breath a little favor after a cup of coffee (or three).
The most effective product of the bunch is the Hemp Extract Drops that you take sublingually (under your tongue for 10-20 seconds), but the tradeoff is the fresh mint tastes less like actual mint, and more like you're gnawing on hemp root. It's an earthy flavor that taken by itself isn't exactly delicious, I recommend putting a few drops in a smoothie, tea, or any other drink with some flavor to hide the taste.
The Wrap – it (still) works!
After a couple more months of testing the Elevate CBD Pain Relief Cream, it's still my go-to for recovery after a hard workout or knocking down the inflammation in my ankle or shoulder when I sleep. For systemic inflammation relief, each one of the above Elevate CBD products worked very well. I can immediately tell by mid-morning if I've forgotten to take a mint or a drop on days when the discomfort is high. Cost-wise, I think the Hemp Extract Drops are the best bang for the buck, although taste is not its strong suit for the mint flavor (peach, strawberry, and melon are also available, but not tested). Squirt a few drops into a smoothie post-workout and recover a bit less painfully!
Use code MRG15 to save 15% at elevatehemp.com