Arthritis is responsible for the largest number of adult conditions in the US. To make matters worse, arthritis causes not only physical disability but also emotional pain associated with severe pain and decreased quality of life. People living with arthritis are struggling with issues of mobility, deteriorating physical image, unable to handle everyday tasks and decreasing self-esteem. Arthritis also coexists with other inflammatory-related chronic conditions , such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It carries with it the high cost of treating it condition. How is cannabidiol oil offering hope for such a complicated condition? Read on to find out why, and how.
What Exactly Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term for various types of joint inflammation; more than 80 different types of arthritis exist. Some forms of arthritis have an effect on only one joint. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two prevalent types of arthritis in the United States.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis which is caused by an autoimmune process. When this happens, a person’s defense cells start attacking their joints through and causing inflammation in the process. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is a degenerative kind of arthritis that often affects people as they age.
The most debilitating symptoms affecting arthritis patients include joint pain, stiffness, and reduced joint mobility, all these symptoms can get worse over time. Other symptoms that are equally distressing are anxiety and depression.
The common treatment for arthritis includes a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), counter irritants such as menthol, anti0rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologics such as infliximab. On some occasions, corticosteroids are prescribed.
Long term use of NSAIDs is associated with GI bleeding and the formation of peptic ulcers. Corticosteroids and DMARDs may also cause unwanted negative effects when used for extended periods of time. Due to this, many patients are now seeking natural alternatives such as cannabidiol for arthritis to help manage arthritis.
What Is CBD?
Harvard Health describes CBD as the second most common active ingredient found in cannabis or hemp plants. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD shows no warning impact on humans with any potential for violence or dependency. There is no evidence to date of public health issues related to the use of pure CBD.’
Amid the incremental legalization of cannabis in the US, experts have come up with significant data regarding CBD’s medicinal value, which is the same as cannabidiol.
Can CBD Treat Arthritis?
For now, research on CBD for arthritis is inconclusive. A few studies have shown that there might be a correlation between the disease process of arthritis and the therapeutic effects of CBD. There are two theories that shed light on this. The first has to do with immunity and auto-immunity. CBD affects the immune system through the CB2 receptors which form part of the endocannabinoid system. In this way, some studies have shown that CBD regulates the immune system and may have an impact on autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that is initiated by autoimmune attacks.
The second is about inflammation, which is still an integral part of the immune process. CBD has been related to inflammation by a good number of studies. All causes of arthritis are associated with inflammation, somehow.
A few studies to ponder on here:
A 2014 study summarized “the positive findings that have recently been obtained to support the therapeutic value of cannabinoids for treatment of osteoarthritis.”
A research published in 2017 found that CBD can help alleviate the pain and nerve damage caused by osteoarthritis.
There are minimal research on CBD oil for arthritis. But the two studies listed offer some hope that CBD plays a crucial role in treating arthritis.
CBD For Arthritis Symptom Management
Arthritis signs include pain and swelling, in extreme cases decreased mobility, anxiety and depression.
1. CBD oil for pain and inflammation management
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, bind to specialized receptors in the body that influence immunity among other factors. In this way, CBD is able to regulate the immune system. It is speculated that CBD influences pain indirectly, by affecting the way that these receptors respond to different stimuli. In simpler terms, CBD does not take the pain away but numbs it. A 2016 mice study showed that CBD is effective in reducing arthritis-related inflammation and pain. Higher brain function was however unaffected.
2. CBD Oil for improved mobility
Reduced mobility at joints is one of the most frustrating symptoms of arthritis. This could greatly impede one ‘s functionality and decrease one’s quality of life.
A 2018 research by Colorado State University found that CBD has been successful in enhancing the mobility of multiple sclerosis sufferers.
3. CBD Oil for anxiety
Arthritis is often accompanied by anxiety; this is mostly due to the risk of disabilities, severe pain, and comorbidities that are presented in the package.
CBD has a range of mental health benefits including lowering anxiety levels. A research by the New York University School of Medicine demonstrated cannabidiol’s promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
4. CBD Oil for Depression
Depression can set in when pain and anxiety are not adequately controlled. Anti-depressant effects have been seen on CBD. CBD has low risks of violence or addiction, as opposed to conventional antidepressants.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
CBD can cause some side effects that may include upset stomach, lightheadedness, or lethargy. That does not happen frequently though. Stop taking the CBD and consult with your healthcare provider should you experience any unexpected effects.
Can CBD Oil Prevent Arthritis?
CBD can not precisely prevent arthritis. It can however prevent debilitation and other complications from occurring. A mice research conducted by the University of Dalhousie in Canada has shown that CBD can reduce inflammation and thus prevent pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritis.