Does CBD oil for gout work?
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Although medical hemp oil might not help with the underlying ailment, it might provide assistance for some of the gout symptoms. It might also alleviate several issues that appear during a gout attack. Transdermal CBD products might provide relief for intense pain, while edibles will help you sleep better.
In this article, we will talk about CBD oil and gout and what to expect from this product.
What is gout?
Chronic gout is a long lasting inflammation that affects joints. The affected joint will become red, swollen, stiff, and tender. Gout victims will also experience a lot of joint pain, making it hard to fall asleep and function normally.
The issue occurs due to extreme build up of uric acid in the blood. As the acid starts piling up, it will lead to the formation of urate crystals in joints. The immune system will perceive them as a threat, which will trigger an immune response in the form of inflammation. These crystals will affect joints in numerous ways, severely reducing mobility and functionality.
At this moment, gout has become a widespread condition in the western world. This disease is a metabolic syndrome, and its main risk factors include a poor lifestyle and a bad diet. It might also be caused by a kidney disease that led to the formation of kidney stones. Gout symptoms can be acute, chronic, or the patient can be completely asymptomatic.
Common symptoms of gout
As the uric acid levels increase, they will start piling up in the blood and crystalizing in the affected joint. Gout sufferers feel them like a glass of shard in their bodies. Gouty arthritis is characterized by severe gout pain that requires medication with strong anti inflammatory properties (such as Ibuprofen).
Common symptoms of gout include:
- Inflammatory pain
- Loss of mobility
- Overall stiffness
The condition can affect any joint on your body, but it most commonly attacks big toes, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, and fingers. Patients who are suffering from an acute version of the condition will experience intense problems during the first 12 to 24 hours. These symptoms may persist for 3 to 10 days.
If you notice some of these symptoms, it is very important to address them as soon as possible. Acute gout will lead to a chronic version if left untreated. When a person has chronic gout, deposits of lumps, also referred to as tophi, will form in the joints and skin. As the problem persists, this will reduce mobility and lead to permanent damage to joints.
Furthermore, chronic gout can also damage the kidneys and cause bursitis. On top of that, people who are suffering from this condition also tend to have high blood pressure. Experts believe this might have something to do with excessive use of prescription medication, in particular, diuretics.
Main lifestyle factors causing gout
Like any other medical condition, the problem can be caused by your genetics. As mentioned, it might also be a result of certain kidney issues. In a lot of cases, however, it is caused by outside factors and lifestyle choices.
Here are some of the reasons why a person might suffer from this ailment:
- Too much alcohol
- A diet that is rich in purines (beer, liver, bacon, turkey, and so on)
- Certain types of drugs
- Excess fat
- Metabolic syndrome
A lot of these issues can be controlled. Oftentimes, they are connected to other ailments. Needless to say, a person who is leading an unhealthy lifestyle is more likely to suffer from other issues, which might worsen gout symptoms.
What kind of drugs are used for gout?
Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen are commonly prescribed to patients. Besides NSAIDs, you might also use corticosteroids. The main issue with this medication is that they cause a lot of side effects, especially after prolonged use.
For example, Ibuprofen might lead to stomach ulcers, pain, and stomach bleeding. Colchicine, a drug that reduces the uric acid level, is likely to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Lastly, corticosteroids are notorious for their impact on mood, water retention, and increase in blood pressure.
Given that gout often becomes chronic, patients are forced to use medication for a prolonged period of time. Side effects can become very troublesome after a while, which is why patients often turn to alternative, natural treatments.
How does CBD work?
Whether we're talking about CBD tincture or topical CBD products, they can all provide some sort of relief for gout.
CBD (or cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid substance that is common for the cannabis plant. Companies usually rely on hemp to create these substances. This is because hemp, unlike marijuana, has high levels of CBD with low levels of psychoactive THC.
Experts believe that this chemical is able to stimulate cannabinoid receptors. They are a part of a larger endocannabinoid system that regulates sleep, mood, stress, pain, regeneration, reproduction, and numerous other functions. CBD doesn't work directly by improving these functions. Instead, it restores the natural balance to the body, thus normalizing all these processes.
Experts also believe that the plant might have anti inflammatory properties. As such, it might provide some pain relief for gout. Among others, it might reduce pain and increase joint mobility.
But, perhaps the main reason why you should consider using CBD products is that they can improve your sleep. Although cannabidiol will not necessarily make you drowsy, it might help you get uninterrupted sleep. If we couple that with its potential impact on inflammation and pain, the substance might help address one of the main issues related to gout - being unable to sleep properly.
What do studies say?
There are a lot of things we don’t know about cannabidiol. The substance is not well researched, which leaves us with a lot of holes in our knowledge.
Most of the studies that involve CBD and cannabinoids focus on arthritis. As you can presume, a lot of trials utilize animal models as the main test subject. This particular study shows that cannabidiol might have some potential for arthritis pain by decreasing joint afferent firing rate. According to it, the substance was able to reduce acute inflammation.
Besides gout, experts believe that these products might be used for various other inflammations.
Another potential benefit of CBD relates to its impact on obesity. As mentioned, one of the main risk factors is belly fat. There was one particular study that has shown that CBD might help obese people by turning white fat into brown fat. White fat is the dangerous version of the substance that leads to diabetes.
Among others, it is believed that CBD might have an impact on energy utilization. It helps various metabolic processes and restores homeostasis. As such, it might also improve a person’s body by burning more calories. But, this is more within the realm of theory at this point.
How do you use CBD oil for gout?
CBD creams and ointments are perhaps the best choices for gout as they affect the surface tissue. You can apply them directly on a painful, inflamed spot in order to reduce these problems. However, you can also benefit from some other types of cannabidiol products.
For example, a lot of people like to use CBD oil as a daily wellness chemical. When you use it sublingually, you are able to restore natural balance by affecting the endocannabinoid system. The great thing about CBD oil is that the product can also be used topically. Unlike some other CBD topicals that are only meant for surface application, oils are much more versatile.
The application method will vary based on what you want to accomplish. If you're using the substance to treat the surface pain and inflammation, you will have to apply it topically. On the other hand, sublingual and oral administration will affect your body on a more wholesome level. Ingesting the oil will help improve your sleep and potentially reduce fat deposits.
What is the optimal dosage of CBD oil?
It is really hard to find the right dose of CBD, no matter what condition we're talking about. There are numerous factors that will affect your optimal dose, including your body weight, the concentration of a product, the severity of the condition, age, sex, CBD tolerance, and so on.
Here are some of the main tips that will help you find the right dose of cannabidiol:
First, you need to consider your weight. Most people will take between 10 to 30 milligrams of CBD per administration. Given that a lot of people with gout are also obese, these quantities can go way up. If applied topically, you might need a smaller quantity depending on the surface area that you want to improve.
Form of Intake
If you’re taking cannabidiol in its liquid form, keep in mind that these products are combined with carrier oils. In other words, if you take 10 milligrams of a product, a good part of that will be essential oil. Make sure to check the exact concentration of cannabidiol so that you know how much you'll actually need.
Adapt CBD Dosage
It is always better to start with a smaller dose and increase it as you go. While CBD is unlikely to cause side effects, it is much better to slowly adjust to the chemical. Keep in mind that this product should be used for a longer period of time, so you’re not losing anything by taking a slow approach.
THC or CBD
If CBD does not work for you, consider the options. Some states and countries also allow the use of medicinal marijuana that is rich in THC. These items might give you something that medical hemp couldn't. But, keep in mind that you'll probably get high by using them.
Topical or sublingual CBD
There is also an option to use products both sublingually and topically. This would provide several simultaneous benefits. Keep in mind that topical products will not reach your bloodstream, which is why they rarely cause any side effects (aside from potential irritation). So, by relying on these two different application methods, you won't increase the quantity of cannabidiol in your blood.
CBD Side effects
Side effects are rare, especially if you take smaller quantities of the substance. They are also mild and tend to vanish as soon as CBD passes through your system. But, if the problem persists, make sure to contact a medical practitioner and ask for advice.
How to find the right product?
Perhaps the biggest issue with the hemp industry is that it still lacks regulation and monitoring. Companies can sell all sorts of stuff on the market. Oftentimes, these products have very low CBD levels and a high quantity of essential oil.
Mislabeling is common malpractice. To make matters worse, not every business has quality control. Given all these potential issues, a patient has to be very careful when making a purchasing decision. Here are some of the best ways to find high quality CBD items:
- Always look for products that were manufactured in countries with a well regulated CBD industry.
- Needless to say, make sure to purchase from companies that have all the necessary licenses.
- Check the company's website for a certificate of analysis. Every company should perform third party lab testing that would show consumers what kind of ingredients are within the bottle and in what concentration.
- Avoid purchasing from companies that are making wild medical claims. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- While you can buy CBD oil from any company, it is much better to purchase it from organizations that have dedicated medical teams.
- Although this is an obvious one, make sure to check the company’s ratings and reviews.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division, (2017), The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, Washington, District of Columbia, the United States of America
Philpott, H., O’Brien, M., McDougall, J., (2017), Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Bielawiec, P., Harasim-Symbor, E., Chabowski, A., (2020), Phytocannabinoids: Useful Drugs for the Treatment of Obesity? Special Focus on Cannabidiol, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Lausanne, Switzerland