Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that affects more than 50 million Americans (and 300 million people worldwide). It’s also one of the most widespread types of pain. While there are many conventional treatments available for arthritis—from physiotherapy to anti-inflammatory drugs—none are particularly effective nor pleasant long term. Fortunately there may be an answer: CBD and arthritis.
The CDC reporting that nearly 50 million American adults have experienced some form of arthritis. Arthritis comes in many forms, but all of them cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your joints.
Depending on which type you have and how advanced it is, you could struggle to do simple tasks like walking up stairs or reaching for items on a shelf. Arthritis is an auto-immune disease where your body attacks its own tissues as if they were foreign invaders—in this case, proteins found in your joints and other connective tissues. Most commonly it affects the small joints of the hands and feet, leading to swelling and stiffness.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is one of many compounds found in the hemp plant. Hemp plants are stalky and have leaves shaped like a fish hook; they’re also the same species as cannabis plants, but they contain very little THC (the psychoactive compound associated with marijuana).
CBD has gained a lot of attention recently because it has multiple therapeutic benefits, but unlike THC it won’t get you high. CBD is one of the most promising natural remedies for arthritis, but there are other compounds in hemp oil worth checking out.
Arthritis Symptoms and Causes
Arthritis can cause a surprising number of symptoms, from pain in your joints to digestive and respiratory issues. If you experience joint pain, typically in your knees, hips, fingers, and spine it’s worth getting tested for arthritis.
Other symptoms include redness and warmth around the joints; stiffness that lasts longer than 24 hours; and unusual levels of joint swelling or tenderness. While the exact cause of arthritis is unknown, there are a few common causes.
The most common type, osteoarthritis (OA), has no known cause. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks healthy tissues. And gout is a metabolic disorder that causes joint inflammation.
CBD and Arthritis: How it Works
CBD works in a couple of ways to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. First, it activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body a network of receptors, enzymes, and cannabinoids (i.e. chemicals produced by the body). Gut, liver, and immune function are regulated by the ECS, but modern lifestyle and diet can cause it to become unbalanced.
Achieving homeostasis (i.e. the natural balance of your ECS) is the goal of using CBD for arthritis, as it can help to bring your body back to a state of equilibrium.
Pros of Using CBD for Arthritis
– Reduced inflammation. The most common symptom of arthritis is joint inflammation and swelling. This can cause significant pain and difficulty moving. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation in the joints and other parts of the body.
– Less pain. In addition to reducing inflammation, CBD also helps to reduce pain in the joints, muscles, and other areas of the body. This can help you perform your daily activities more easily, and reduce the need to take over-the-counter pain medication.
– Fewer side effects. While there are many medications that can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, many of these also come with side effects. These include digestive issues, nausea, headaches, and more. CBD has been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation without causing any adverse side effects.
Cons of Using CBD for Arthritis
– No quick fix. Unlike many medications, CBD doesn’t provide relief immediately after taking it. It can take up to three weeks to see a significant reduction in joint pain and can take even longer to reduce inflammation.
– It won’t cure arthritis. While CBD can reduce the symptoms of arthritis, it won’t cure the underlying condition. While it’s not possible to cure arthritis completely, it is possible to live with it in a way that minimizes symptoms and doesn’t cause you to lose the quality of life.
– CBD oil is not a cure-all for arthritis. While CBD oil has been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation, it won’t work for everyone. It may not be the best option for those with inflammatory arthritis, since it can actually increase inflammation.
Arthritis is a common and painful condition, but you don’t have to suffer from it. CBD can help to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Making it easier to perform daily tasks and participate in your favourite activities.
But it’s important to choose a high-quality CBD product, and follow a routine until you’ve achieved results. Finding the right CBD oil for arthritis can be a long journey. It’s wise to start early and do your research before settling on a product.