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How CBD can help with arthritis and the benefits of this cannabidiol used as an alternative treatment and some of the basics you should take into account before starting to use it.
If you experience chronic pain due to arthritis, you may be wondering if there’s any truth about using cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative treatment. It’s been a few years since marijuana became an option for pain relief. But the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives you that euphoric high, and the fact that it’s marijuana has made some people hesitant to test it out. This is why CBD oil has become increasingly popular.
While cannabidiol is also derived from the cannabis plant, it does not make you high. Moreover, it is considered federally legal because hemp-derived CBD does not have THC levels higher than 0.3%. The question is, will it really help alleviate your pain if you take it?
What should you know about CBD?
CBD, as we’ve previously mentioned, is a compound extracted from help which is a variety of the cannabis plant. Hemp does not produce a “high” like what you’d normally get when consuming or smoking marijuana because it does not have enough THC (0.3% or less).
There are three types of CBD offered in the market – Pure CBD or CBD isolate, Broad Spectrum CBD, and Full Spectrum CBD. Pure CBD is when there are no other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids included in the extract. Broad Spectrum CBD is when all other cannabinoids are present except for THC. Full Spectrum is when the extract contains up to 0.3% THC along with other plant compounds. CBD is available in a wide range of products such as oils, tinctures, edibles, and creams.
How does CBD help with arthritis pain?
Studies have been conducted on how CBD can provide pain-relieving effects and the results are quite promising. For example, one study conducted in 2016 found that when CBD gel is applied to the affected joints of rats with arthritis, there was a significant reduction in inflammation and their overall pain. While there have not been any studies conducted on humans as of yet, numerous arthritis patients have reported using it to manage their symptoms including chronic pain. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by The Arthritis Foundation, 94% of people reported taking it to use CBD for arthritis pain management. Their primary reason for doing so is because it is considerably less addictive than any other opiates used to provide pain relief. Some have even reported using it to help them wean off opioids.
There are several theories as to how CBD provides pain relief. Some scientists believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the brain and immune system, specifically those that influence pain perception.
What are the benefits of CBD for arthritis?
Aside from pain relief, there are various other benefits to taking CBD. This compound has anti-inflammatory properties. Your immune system reacts whenever it perceives an infection; that reaction is inflammation. This is what happens when you have rheumatoid arthritis – your immune system starts attacking your joints, causing inflammation.
Scientists believe that CBD activates endocannabinoid receptors in your immune cells which causes them to suppress their response to the infection. Not only that, CBD has been found to downregulate cytokine and chemokine production. Cytokines and chemokines are proteins that help the body coordinate the responses of the immune system.
Pain is not the only troubling effect of arthritis. It can affect your physical function, quality of sleep, and even overall well-being. According to The Arthritis Foundation survey, 71% of the patients using CBD reported improvements in their ability to sleep. More than 30% felt that CBD helped relieve them of morning stiffness and symptoms of fatigue. Because of this, people also gained mental health benefits. They felt less anxious and depressed. In fact, there’s one study that reported how a low dose of CBD was able to relieve symptoms of anxiety from subjects who were asked to speak in public.
How much CBD should you take for pain relief?
Experts recommend beginners to start low and slow – 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, you can add 5 mg if the pain relief is inadequate. You can continue to increase the dosage in small increments over the next few weeks until you find that it is effectively providing you with relief.
Take note that your ideal dosage of CBD will differ from another person’s. There are several different factors that you’ll need to take into account such as your body weight, body chemistry, the concentration of CBD in the product, and your condition.
Should you discuss CBD with your doctor before using it?
Yes, it is important that you discuss CBD with your healthcare provider before you start taking it. He or she can guide you on what the best dosage is, what to watch out for, and how it will affect any medications you are currently taking. Depending on the laws where you live, you may even get some recommendations on the type of CBD to use and which brand.
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While there is still a lot that scientists need to learn about CBD and its health benefits, the testimonies of people with arthritis benefiting from its use cannot be discounted. In addition to providing pain relief, this compound can reduce inflammation, help you sleep better, and enhance your overall well-being. It is safe, natural, and less addictive than your current opiates. Just make sure that you talk to your doctor and start with a low dosage.
Disclaimer: These hemp products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are advised to consult with your health care practitioner prior to use.