Arthritis is the chronic or acute inflammation of the joints that can happen to people of all ages. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States with around 58.5 million people affected by it. If kept unnoticed and unaddressed, it can lead to painful problems in the future. Some say CBD (Cannabidiol) can help manage the pain of arthritis. But is it really true or is CBD just another medical fluke?
What is CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, an extract from a type of cannabis plant called hemp. It comes from the distant cousin of marijuana, but has only 0.3% percent of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the chemical that causes euphoria, the state of “high” in a person. But CBD does not have any psychoactive effects.
On the contrary, cannabidiol has many health benefits, some of which medical scientists have already approved of, like treating epilepsy. Other benefits of CBD include anxiety and stress relief. But some CBD users claim to have found help with joint pain, arthritis and other inflammatory problems.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is not just a single condition. It indicates more than 100 types of inflammation problems related to joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness that starts with swelling and tenderness of one or more joints.
Arthritis can happen to people of all ages, and with age, the effects of arthritis gets worse. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 32.5 million adults in the United States are affected by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis develops and intensifies with age. It is a degenerative condition that breaks down bones, ligaments and cartilage, the hard slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint. This causes swelling, stiffness and tenderness in the joints that leads to chronic pain. Osteoarthritis often occurs in hips, knees and thumb joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where a person’s immune system attacks the joints inside the body causing inflammation. This condition is 3 times more common than men in women, particularly in the age group of 30 to 60. In the United States, around 1.5 million people have rheumatoid arthritis.
People with rheumatoid arthritis develop pain, swelling and stiffness in their joints that can last for a long time. Low grade fever and fatigue may also accompany those symptoms. Pain in multiple joints in the body is also an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis.
Can CBD treat Arthritis?
There have been a few studies that show CBD to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. However, those studies were conducted on animals and to date, there is no sound evidence that CBD can treat human patients with arthritis.
Anecdotally, a few people with arthritis reported noticeable improvement in their joint pain, sleep and anxiety after using CBD. The researchers believe there is promise in CBD. A positive side of using CBD is, there is a very low downside to using it. Some doctors believe that it is better to treat arthritis with CBD as it has less side effects than other complex medications. But, with very little data on the long term effects of CBD, one should always consult with a doctor before taking it.
CBD can be taken in many ways. It can be taken as a tablet or capsule, it can also be applied in the form of oil. For arthritis, it is best to apply CBD oil directly on the skin to get the best results. The best way is to follow a routine given by a medical professional.
Without proper care, arthritis can lead to disability. So it is better to keep it in check to ensure a healthy and functional life. CBD has not established itself as a proper treatment for arthritis yet. Even then, one should be alert when buying CBD products as the market is very unregulated. Buying from trusted brands like Dakota Organics, who grow hemp on their own to deliver organic CBD products to you can help you stay safe from market frauds.