CBD And Arthritis

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is when your joints become inflamed or swollen due to age, disease or overuse, causing pain and stiffness that lasts more than a few days. The most common types of arthritis are inflammatory and osteoarthritis. Arthritis affects well over 27 million people in the U.S. alone and is the leading cause of disability in the United States affecting 25% percent of those over 65 years old and 11 million under that age group (Source:Arthritis Foundation). Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your immune system misidentifies your own body tissues as harmful germs or pathogens and attacks them. The result is inflammation of the affected tissues in and around joints. Types of inflammatory arthritis include Ankylosing spondylitis, Gout and pseudogout, Lyme disease, Lupus, Psoriatic arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.Osteoarthritis is caused by physical use – wear and tear of a joint over time or, occasionally, over a short time as a result of an injury.

How can CBD help arthritis?

CBD is a natural, non-psychoactive plant extract that many people use as part of their treatment when addressing chronic conditions such as arthritis. Unlike other well known plant extract, THC, CBD does not get you high.

In fact, a study at the NIH  indicates CBD can act as an antipsychotic compound, because it dampens down overactive neurons which can lead to psychosis or schizophrenia.

Below we will explore using CBD as another source for arthritis relief.

What Is CBD?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis Sativa L plant, also known as the hemp plant. One big reason CBD gets a lot of attention is its non-addictive quality and it does not get you “high” like THC, which is another compound found in the plant.

Within the human body (and animals) there is what’s called your Endocannabinoid System. This system in the body contains many receptors located in the brain, central nervous system, immune tissues and peripheral organs. According to a recent study at the NIH in 2020 , CBD may be able to provide acute pain relief in a variety of ways through binding to these receptors. The study further suggests CBD may indirectly improve anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD and Pain Relief for Arthritis

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to relieve pain by creating changes in your body’s endocannabinoid system. In plain English, this means that as CBD enters into your central nervous system (CNS) it activates the endocannabinoid receptors and suppresses the transmission of pain signals from affected areas of your body to your brain through brain receptors, through nerve growth factor (NGF) and by blocking certain enzyme activity involved in pain transmission – both peripherally in the periphery as well as in your spinal cord.

CBD For Inflammation

CBD, especially when taken internally, helps to regulate immune system response, thus resulting in less joint inflammation.

Inflammation is at the root of all autoimmune diseases, but it also plays a role in collagen degradation which leads to arthritic conditions like degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis. Arthritis can cause extreme swelling, and the pain associated with it can make it hard to do every day activities. Keeping your immune system regulated can help you with overall pain reduction, as well as reduce swelling and the stiffness associated with arthritis.

CBD is a way to help in ways similar to anti-inflammatory drugs, without the dangerous side effects typically associated with pharmaceuticals.

What forms does CBD come in?

CBD comes in many forms: tinctures, capsules, topicals, and more. These all require different ways of using them in order to receive the best results from your chosen method.

Some common terms associated with CBD use are:

Tinctures (commonly referred to as CBD Oil)

This form of CBD comes in a bottle with a dropper. The CBD oil is administered by taking the oil and squirting the oil under the tongue, holding it there for 30-60 seconds, then swallowing any remaining. The oil is absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) and is a fast way to get it into the body. The oil can also be administered by mixing it into a beverage or food like a shake, but it may lose efficacy in absorption.

The benefits of taking tinctures sublingually is the efficacy of fast absorption into the body. This means that by taking CBD this way, you are absorbing more of it into your blood system for better results. Another benefit is you can vary your dosage amount with the dropper. For example, you can take ½ dropper, or a full dropper based on your needs. With a gummy or capsule, is all and all or none approach.

Capsules and Gummies– 

For people who don’t enjoy the taste or texture of a tincture or would prefer something they can consume on the go; capsules or gummies are an excellent choice. They also have the benefit of being easier to travel with and are convenient if you are out and about, on the golf course, exercising, or traveling. The downside to this method is that it takes longer for CBD to become effective because the capsule or gummy needs to process through the digestive system. Another downside is you can’t vary the dosage and because of the digestive process, the strength of CBD may not be as highly absorbed into the body compared to tinctures

Topicals – 

Anywhere a muscle, tendon or joint is tense and sore rubbing a high quality CBD salve onto that area should provide relief from pain and inflammation. When it comes to topical CBD products, stronger is not always better. When CBD is combined with other ingredients, such as quality essential oils, these topicals may have a lower dose of CBD, but have stellar results due to the combined blend with essential oils.

An obvious benefit of using a topical CBD is it avoids side effects associated with ingesting it orally such as nausea, dry mouth, etc. Topicals are easy to travel with and can be used as often as required and are most effective when rubbed in for deep penetration.

Is CBD Safe?

There have been numerous studies done to determine the long-term effects and safety of CBD use on people. Although research is ongoing, when taking CBD on it’s own internally, there are not any serious adverse side effects associated with it. That being said, if you are on medication, such as blood thinners (beyond baby aspirin), CBD may affect medications.

Read our blog on medication and CBD potential interactions. It’s important to consult your physician or medical care provider before taking CBD if you are on medications.

Is CBD Legal In My State?

Due to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is federally legal in all 50 states as long as it contains less than .3% THC. Because CBD can not possess THC at a high level, it does not require users to obtain a medical marijuana card.

It’s important to know that CBD is not regulated, making it important to be a smart consumer and only purchase from a trusted source, such as Nature’s Gem CBD products via their store or website naturesgemcbd.com/shop.

Takeaway CBD for Arthritis

CBD is a natural solution that may benefit those wanting another resource to help with arthritis. You can purchase CBD in many forms from online retailers such as naturesgemcbd.com or your local store.

Finally, remember your body is unique to you, and you know it better than anyone else. Listen to it. If you have health issues, the best way to understand them better is to start a log of symptoms, food, weather, medications, how you feel, etc. This log will evolve into a story of your body, how it feels, what may be causing symptoms, what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be adjusted and help you along your health and wellness journey.

Lastly, be your own health advocate and do your research. Knowledge is power.

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