Statistics from the Arthritis Foundation show that at least 50 million people in the United States suffer from arthritis or other forms of rheumatic disease that cause joint pain. Some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness, pain, and impaired movement within the joints.
These symptoms tend to worsen over time, especially if the condition is not appropriately addressed. As a chronic condition, rheumatoid arthritis is typically approached as an illness that requires management and oversight, but conventional medications are not the only methods of managing this and other similar conditions.
Several alternative treatments can help in alleviating pain and minimizing the risks of permanent damage. These alternative treatments include exercise and relaxation techniques as well as heat and cold therapies. There’s also an emerging alternative medication that is very promising when it comes to managing rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain: CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the over 100 chemical compounds (“cannabinoids”) found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil is an oil created using this particular compound. The oil is thought to be effective in treating a wide range of health issues, including anxiety, chronic pain, and cardiovascular problems.
The first study to uncover the effects of cannabis-based medicine on rheumatoid arthritis was carried out in 2006. According to the study findings, participants exhibited reduced inflammation and considerably improved pain after using Sativex for five weeks. Sativex is a cannabis-based drug.
In addition, participants reported improved sleep. They also experienced few side effects.
Likewise, a 2008 review of the use of CBD in treating chronic pain concluded that CBD could alleviate pain and improve sleep without any detrimental side effects. A 2016 study carried out on rats using CBD gel revealed that the gel relieved both joint pain and inflammation without causing any adverse side effects.
All these studies show that CBD has the potential to treat rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain. However, further studies are still required to fully understand how CBD oil and other cannabis-based medications can affect rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
It is important to understand how CBD oil works to deliver its benefits. Our body’s endocannabinoid system comprises two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain. They are responsible for cognitive actions that affect mood, coordination, memory, thinking, and appetite. Conversely, the CB2 receptors are located mainly in the immune system. That means they are mostly responsible for the body’s reaction to inflammation and pain.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, attaches to the CB1 receptors. That’s the reason smoking or ingesting marijuana in any other way affects the user’s cognitive response.
CBD, on the other hand, indirectly affects the CB2 receptors. It doesn’t attach to the CB2 receptors; instead, it stimulates the body to generate and utilize more of its own cannabinoids. This results in a positive effect on the body’s inflammation and pain responses.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD is generally safe. According to a 2017 report by the World Health Organization, CBD shows no effects associated with any abuse or dependence potential. There’s no evidence of health-related issues that result from using pure CBD. That being said, it’s important to purchase from companies that test their product before shipping it to their customers. One such company, RoyalCBD.com, provides third-party lab tests on all of their products. You should be wary of companies claiming to provide X milligrams of CBD, but not willing to show the lab results to back up their claims.
Exploring a Safe Alternative
Medications are not the only remedy for relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other sources of chronic pain. There are several alternative treatments that can help in managing these symptoms. One of the emerging alternative therapies proving to be hugely beneficial is CBD, a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.