Can CBD Oil help your Arthritis?
Swollen joints, reduced mobility, and recurring pain are just some of the symptoms that people with arthritis have to deal with on a daily basis. Yet, despite being known as an old lady disease, arthritis is a condition that can develop in seniors, younger adults, teenagers, and even children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 54 million Americans suffer from this condition. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis, though medication can be used to deal with the pain.
Some say CBD oil and Arthritis could offer relief from recurring pain. This article will summarize what is known about the effects that CBD oil has on people with arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term that includes more than 100 types of arthritis. But although the causes and treatment may vary for each type, all of them are degenerative joint diseases whose main symptom is recurring pain.
Most people with arthritis tend to have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The first one is a degenerative condition which stiffens the joints and affects mostly the hip, knees, and thumbs. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that provokes the immune system to attack the body’s joints, creating inflammation and pain.
Arthritis usually develops over time, with most people feeling the symptoms when they reach old age. However, some people can feel the effects much earlier, especially if they are overweight.
Besides weight and age, other factors which can increase one’s chances of getting arthritis are gender — arthritis being more common among women than men — joint injuries, and a history of the condition in the family.
CBD oil and arthritis
Some people argue that CBD oil, by boosting and supplementing the ECS, could offer pain relief for people with arthritis and offer relief from inflammation. Since 2011, studies carried out using animals showed that CBD’s boost to the ECS could help reduce inflammatory pain in rats by influencing the way their pain receptors respond to stimulation.
Tests have also been carried on humans, including a 2016 study which used a topical CBD dosage on people with arthritis. An earlier study, dating to 2006, had tested the possibility of using Sativex — a cannabis-based mouth spray — to ameliorate the pain.
However, despite the knowledge gained, it’s still too soon to tell if CBD is an effective pain-relief for arthritis.
How CBD oil works
Being a cannabis-based product, CBD oil shares some of the relaxing effects of the plant but does without its hallucinogen effects. CBD oil has low THC levels, especially if it’s derived from hemp, which is the compound found in marihuana that creates a high.
However, CBD doesn’t deal with the pain directly, but some researchers believe that it activates the pathways through the Endocannabinoid system (ECS) to the cannabinoid receptors which help control the pain. According to them, when these two receptors — CB1 and CB2 — are activated they send signals to the brain and strengthen the body’s immune system which helps reduce inflammation and joint pain.
The connection between CBD and cannabinoid receptors isn’t fully understood yet. However, previous studies done on CB receptors suggest they can offer pain relief to patients who don’t respond well to conventional treatments.
How to use it
CBD oil can be consumed in many forms: capsules, tinctures, topical lotions, and even vaping. Oral dosages are convenient and easy to use; but for people with arthritis, skin creams and lotions have the benefit that they can be applied directly to the affected area.
These topical doses can either come as finished creams or oil, which can be mixed with a cream or lotion of your choosing. However, for those mixing CBD oil with creams, it’s important to talk with a doctor who can recommend a dosage beforehand.
If there’s no specialist available nearby, you can try starting with a very small dosage and then slowly increasing it while keeping an eye on how your body reacts.
Arthritis is a condition which is known for causing recurring joint pain. Although the intensity of the pain can vary according to age or the type of arthritis, the pain can often be strong enough to prevent people from carrying out their daily activities.
Fortunately for them, plenty of research is being carried out to improve the available treatments for arthritis. And thanks to the increasing popularity of CBD oil and Arthritis, we may soon find out if it offers adequate relief for arthritis sufferers
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- Everyday Health (2017, June 11) What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like?
- Healthline (2017, August 14) Arthritis: Causes, Signs, and Diagnosis
- Healthline (2018, July 3) Can CBD Oil Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms?
- Medical News Today (2018, August 2) Can CBD oil relieve arthritis pain?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network (2008, December 17) Does CBD Oil Really Help Treat Arthritis Pain?
- Taylor and Francis Online (2007, June 26) Targeting cannabinoid agonists for inflammatory and neuropathic pain