Hemp Extracts for arthritis? A few things to consider.
Arthritis is a dreaded disease that affects millions of people around the globe and in the country. It can strike young and old, men and women, and even skinny and obese people. Arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by the swelling and tenderness of the joints and muscles. It's primary symptoms are stiffness and soreness that gets progressively worse over time. There are two primary types of Arthritis:
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - An autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. RA commonly affects the hands and feet and leads to painful, swollen, and stiff joints.
Osteoarthritis (OA) - A degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. It often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints.
How does it help?
It is important to note, that there is woefully little organized research into the effect of Hemp Extracts on Arthritis (or any medical condition, really). Most of the evidence that does exist is anecdotal. Much of this is due to Hemp only being recently made legal to grow, and along with the fluid regulations and laws nationwide, the amount and quality of research is changing, and will hopefully improve in the following years.
However, we are aware that Humans (and most animals) have what is known as an Endocannabinoid System. The Cannabidiol (CBD) in Hemp Extracts act to affect this system, which acts like a Chemical Messaging system in the nerves and cells of the body. Basically, this systems responsibility is to maintain a balance (homeostasis) within the bodies systems. Hopefully, someday soon, a more concerted effort to research exactly how Cannabinoids work in the body will be conducted. The inevitable realization of this research is very likely to shoe how Hemp Extracts can help maintain and improve the health of its users.
A few studies have already been conducted though.
Despite what we mentioned before, there has been some attempts to look into the effects of Cannabinoids as they relate to easing pain and suffering in the body. Although not anywhere near enough to establish scientific fact. Below is a summary of a few of these:
In 2011, one study in rats found that Cannabidiol changed the way that inflammatory pain was perceived.
A 2014 review of existing research pointed to evidence that Cannabidiol is helpful in treating OA.
Another 2016 study of rats found that topical applications of Cannabidiol helped reduce swelling and relieve pain from arthritis.
In 2017, and again with rats, another study suggested Cannabidiol as a safe and effective treatment for OA.
In 2006, a study showed the drug "Sativex" (an oral spray) helped to relieve Arthritis pain, although it should be noted that Sativex' s formula includes both CBD and THC.
Another review of Cannabis research in 2008 suggested that Cannabidiol, and its method of action, could play a role in chronic pain management.
How can you take Hemp Extracts?
Hemp Extracts (CBD) come in many different forms and strengths. The dose (strength) that is required is dependent upon several things, such as weight, other medications and conditions, length of time taking CBD already, and a multitude of other items. The best course when determining dose is to speak with a qualified Medical professional about where to start and what to take. One fact that needs to be made clear is that, Hemp Extracts (CBD) that are derived from Legally Grown Industrial Hemp DO NOT have the ability to get you high, no matter how much you ingest! Another thing to remember, which is for some reason a confusing point, is that Hemp and CBD products are PERFECTLY LEGAL!
Other than "how much" to take, you must also decide "how" to use the product. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. They may be used alone, or in combination as needed. For the particulars of your situation, you should consult your doctor, and if you have questions about the method itself, consult a reputable Hemp Store. Here is a short list of some of the choices:
Tinctures and Drops or Oral Sprays: Directly, orally ingesting your dose either by measuring it out in a medicine dropper (that is generally part of the cap of a common Extract Bottle) or by using a pump-sprayer bottle (similar to a breath spray).
Capsules and Pills: Just like taking any other pill, the dose is pre-measured and part of a gelatin capsule or pill.
Creams and Salves or Roll-Ons: Applying the CBD directly to the skin, where it penetrates the muscles and joints via transdermal action. This is probably the most popular method of application, directly to the affected site.
Inhalation: Some people still prefer to smoke or vaporize and inhale their CBD using Hemp Flower or "Vape" oils. This method is controversial as to how much CBD it actually introduces into the body.
There are many others, but these are some of the most popular. You can visit your local Hemp/CBD Store to see what else may be available.
Do's and Don'ts
DO make sure that when comparing products available, you choose one which has been tested by a 3rd party laboratory and is safe.
DO make sure you consult a wide array of medical professionals, including Mental Health professionals, and create an OVERALL plan to treat chronic Arthritis symptoms that include Cannabidiol.
DO consider the best dose and method to take your CBD.
DO establish realistic goals for pain and symptom management and realize that, while it could prove helpful, Cannabidiol is not a "miracle drug" which works overnight, and it may take a little time to see the relief you desire.
DO keep your doctor in the loop about your progress and usage of Hemp Extracts as they need to know and may need to adjust other forms of treatments you receive.
DON'T rely solely on CBD, or opt for it as your first course of treatment. As helpful as it may be with Arthritic pain, it is in NO WAY a cure for the disease, and the actual condition will still need to be treated and monitored by a physician.
DON'T discontinue other medications without consulting your physician. Some drugs (such as RA medications) are designed to strengthen and protect joints, and stopping could lead to further complications and even worse pin in the future.
DON'T (if it hasn't been made abundantly clear yet) allow a non-medical person (like the salesperson at the CBD or Vitamin store) help you make medical decisions, or "monitor" your symptoms for improvement. Always consult a medical professional when making these types of decisions.
Hemp Extracts (CBD) have been used in the medical arena for at least a couple of hundred years, and likely (had it not been for the prohibition on Hemp) would have been more prevalent in the last century. But with the legalization, and with the promise of future research, Hemp Extracts hold the most promise of any natural material in helping ease the pain and suffering of millions from the scourge of Arthritis.
CBD for Arthritis Pain: What You Should Know; Arthritis Foundation Website, undated
Can CBD oil relieve arthritis pain?; Medical News Today, August 2, 2018
Could CBD Help Relieve Your Arthritis Pain?; By Michael O. Schroeder, Staff Writer, Sept. 17, 2019
Does CBD help with arthritis pain?; Robert H. Shmerling, MD, April 10, 2020
FDA Notice: Please note, these products, nor this information, are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any condition, etc. Please consult with a trained Medical Professional prior to making any diet or lifestyle changes.
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