CBD for Arthritis Pain – Should You Try It?
CBD is everywhere you turn and people speak of it as if it is the best thing on the planet since sliced bread but is all the hype true? Can you believe everything you read? We know that it helps with the reduction of seizure activity in patients with epilepsy. It was approved by the FDA in the drug Epidiolex, as the primary active ingredient. Does it help to use CBD for arthritis pain though? Definitive proof may still not be available, so the decision may largely be left up to you for now.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the phytocompound cannabidiol. A phytocompound specifically means plant compound. Not all plant compounds are cannabinoids, but CBD is. It should also be noted that not all cannabinoids come from cannabis. There are cannabinoids in plant species all over the world. Some of the cannabinoids in cannabis are found in other plants but not CBD; it is found only in cannabis plants.
There are 483 compounds in cannabis, but less than 25% of those are cannabinoid in nature. CBD is often confused with THC by people who assume that CBD is used for getting high. THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid phytocompound found in cannabis. THC is a psychoactive compound, which causes users to feel high, sometimes even causing hallucinations in some people.
CBD is extracted from hemp, not marijuana plants, though both plants are members of the cannabis family. Both plants contain CBD and THC but the levels of THC are less in hemp than in marijauna. For this reason, hemp has been industrialized and grown for the purpose of extracting CBD oils that contain less than .03% THC in them. This is not enough to cause any psychoactive response and it allows for the legal sale of CBD oil in all fifty states. You should be forewarned however, it is possible to fail a drug test if you are using full-spectrum CBD that contains other cannabinoids with THC. This is an argument to use CBD isolate instead, in products that have isolated the CBD compound and use it exclusively. Forbes printed an article Marijuana Madness, in December of 2018 which discussed this topic, which also claims that the body’s own endocannabinoids can cause you to fail one of these tests.
How Does CBD Work?
In order to fully explain why people are using CBD for arthritis we will need to discuss the Endocannabinoid System, the ECS. The ECS is a system in the body of humans and animals that scientists have researched extensively and continue to research today. It seems to be in supervisory control of metabolism,the immune system, mood regulation, and pain management, according to findings reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
The ECS is made up of enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids made by them. Endo means inside or within and it refers to the cannabinoids that are manufactured inside the body. When phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) are introduced to the body, such as CBD for arthritis pain, they seek the ECS and if they are small enough, they may bond with it. CBD and THC are small enough to bond with it and impact it directly. Other cannabinoids are larger and may antagonize the system and promote it produce more of its own cannabinoids while others suppress enzymes in the body to help the ECS in other ways.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in the ECS; they are CB1 and CB2, respectively. THC prefers to seek and bind to the CB1 receptors which are exclusively located in the brain. This is why it has the psychoactive impact that it does. CBD, on the other hand, find the CB2 receptors which are located all over the body with a focus on the gut region.
When taking CBD arthritis pain may be curbed in a very natural way. The jury is still out and more testing must be done. When CBD binds to the ECS, a small lipid is formed and this lipid becomes a neuroprotectant. It travels the neural network of the body, coating the network with an armor-like protective shield.
As the lipid travels, it works to intercept the nerve impulses that you know as thoughts and twinges of pain, even cravings that happen randomly. CBD and arthritis may be linked through this process. When joint pain is being signaled to the brain, the signals may be blocked so that the brain is unable to react to the messages of pain. When the brain doesn’t acknowledge something, it effectively doesn’t exist. The problem for some people when using CBD is that they may need to take a lot to work well. Using CBD, rheumatoid arthritis may improve but it largely depends on the person, the dose, and how much pain they are in to begin with.
CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial when using CBD for arthritis. Several research studies have concluded that CBD may have anti-inflammatory usefulness.This issue is, as this research study printed by Harvard University points out, that most studies have been done using animals. There is no definitive data regarding CBD and arthritis in humans.
Research is underway and when studies are able to do more than interviews and questionnaires with human subjects, we’ll have more conclusive evidence as to whether or not this is a true way to treat arthritis pain. For now, the jury is hung and you’ll have to try it for yourself and see.
When people are surveyed as to whether CBD arthritis pain is better, the jury is still out. There are many different research studies and data links that could be skewed by the industry. The research printed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has some of the most in-depth data available on the subject, but also didn’t segregate arthritis users from those who were treated ‘pain’ in their surveys.
With few side effects which tend to be minor, it may very well be worth your time to give CBD for arthritis pain a try and see how it works for you.