Many people are finding CBD for arthritis to be an effective remedy in combating the debilitating pains and symptoms associated with their condition. In this article, we will discuss your body’s endocannabinoid system, how CBD helps your endocannabinoid system manage arthritis, and the best types of CBD products that are available to use.
Arthritis and CBD
Arthritis is a disease characterized by severe inflammation of the joints in the body. The body’s joints are lined with a substance called cartilage and what is called a synovial membrane, both of which are intended to protect the bones coming together in the joint. Arthritis results in swelling of the synovial membrane and the breakdown of the cartilage in the joints. Without the protection of both of these components, the bones begin to rub together causing considerable chronic pain, joint stiffness, and immobility.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant. The fact that CBD creates natural homeostasis in the body is the most significant aspect of CBD’s medicinal qualities. Unlike the pure marijuana plant that contains the psychoactive component of THC (the ingredient that gets you “high”), CBD contains none of this element. So there is no risk of harmful effects due to THC such as a delay in judgment or aberrant behaviors that are associated with THC. Most of the medical community believes the biggest value of CBD is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body.
Role of the Endocannabinoid System
Patients who live with the burden of arthritis every day may be able to benefit from the influences that CBD has on the human endocannabinoid system or the ECS. The parts of the ECS can be separated into three main components: special enzymes that assist with the breakdown of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, special nervous system receptors all throughout the body, and the endocannabinoids themselves. The human body utilizes the ECS primarily to obtain a state of homeostasis or a stable equilibrium of all main body functions.
The receptors in the ECS have the unique ability to only act on the precise factor of the imbalance throwing the body’s homeostasis off its normal track. The body creates its own endocannabinoids that bind with the specialized ECS receptors to regulate the body’s equilibrium. A healthy ECS system can help with soothing some of the chronic pain and inflammatory symptoms that arthritis patients experience on a regular or frequent basis. Research suggests that CBD can help facilitate the repair of damaged ECS receptors and can boost the augmentation of these specialized receptors within the ECS. CBD may also provide the body with assistance in utilizing its own naturally occurring endocannabinoids more efficiently.
Effects of the ECS on arthritis
One major type of arthritis is precipitated by the presence of severe inflammation of the synovial membrane. Decreasing this inflammation before it has a chance to wear down the protective cartilage covering of the bones can help slow the progression of advanced stage arthritis. The effects that CBD oil has on the ECS system allow the body to better use its own mechanism of ECS activation to decrease these levels of synovial membrane inflammation, thus helping inhibit the progression of cartilage breakdown.
The sensation of pain from arthritis can result in turbulence to the homeostatic state of the body which activates the ECS. With the help of CBD, the ECS is able to optimize its effects of pain signal modulation between the nerves and the brain. This process effectively reduces the painful sensations that an arthritis patient feels with regular movement and activity.
CBD products for arthritis
If you’re looking to try CBD for arthritis and as a means of managing its associated symptoms, there are many different product types you can choose from. However, the two most common and effective types of products are CBD oil and a CBD topical.
CBD oil, taken from a tincture, is probably the most recognized way of using CBD. Usually the oil is placed under the tongue and the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream sublingually. Depending on the dosage taken, effects will usually be felt within an hour and last several several hours afterwards. However, if you take that same oil dosage and drop it in your morning coffee or tea, the effects will take longer to be felt because the CBD must be first digested and pass through the liver before moving into the body’s bloodstream.
CBD Topicals often come in lotions, creams or salves and are directly adminstered to a targeted area of skin on the body. They are commonly used by those with bone and joint pain, or those who suffer from nagging muscle aches or strains. Typically, topicals provide immediate pain relief and they are different than taking CBD oil orally in that the CBD does not directly enter the bloodstream.
One other popular topical form, is a CBD transdermal patch. Similar to nicotine patches for those trying to quick smoking, CBD patches help you receive a longer lasting, slower release of continuous CBD to a specifc area of the body as you go about your day.
Which type of product you choose to use is ultimately a matter of personal preference and many users find a combination of the two to be most effective.
Additionally, the Arthritis Foundation recently established and issued their formal CBD Guidance for Adults to provide general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD for arthritis.