There is no question about it – CBD has become one of the more popular supplements available on the market today. There are many reasons for this, including countless anecdotal stories and some published evidence that shows CBD’s apparent ability to help people who are suffering from a variety of illnesses and discomforts, including pain, inflammation, stress, and more.
CBD has been touted as a potential remedy for many illnesses. One such example is arthritis. Indeed, some have argued that taking CBD for arthritis can be a great way of minimizing the painful symptoms of this devastating disorder.
Since CBD is so new – it was only legalized at the federal level in 2018 – there is a great deal of confusion about what it is and how it works. For example, contrary to the popular belief, CBD is not marijuana – they both come from the hemp plant, but that is where the similarities end. Some forms of CBD do contain trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the specific cannabinoid in marijuana that is responsible for intoxication), but the amounts are so low that it is not possible for CBD to get anyone high.
CBD works by altering your body’s naturally occurring Endocannabinoid System. Everyone has an Endocannabinoid System. Your Endocannabinoid System produces cannabinoids in your body. These cannabinoids will then react with various cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout your body, binding to these receptors and causing various biochemical reactions. When the reaction is complete, enzymes will break down the cannabinoids.
CBD does not bind with any cannabinoid receptors directly. Instead, it alters the natural bond between your cannabinoids and their receptors, making it strong and last longer. This, in turn, impacts a variety of physical and emotional sensations in your body. Some people have reported a reduction of pain and inflammation thanks to CBD ingestion, and there is some scientific evidence to back it up.
Over fifty million Americans suffer from arthritis in one of two forms: Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis. They are two different types and work in two different ways, but both are painful conditions that involve pain in someone’s joints, cartilage, and bones. This can result in inflammation, stiffness, soreness, and pain.
Numerous studies have found that CBD can be helpful in reducing numerous types of pain and inflammation. As such, it follows that taking CBD for arthritis may be helpful at reducing the pain it causes.
Some studies support the idea that CBD can be helpful for people with arthritis. For example, a 2014 study found that CBD can help animals who suffer from arthritis. That finding was confirmed in a 2017 study that found that rats who were treated with CBD showed fewer signs of pain and more movement. A 2016 study of rats came to a similar conclusion.
Indeed, arthritis advocates have discussed CBD use and found there to be potential evidence for its efficacy in treating plan. In a long explainer on their webpage, the Arthritis Foundation wrote extensively about CBD, discussing the various pros and cons of CBD and noting a variety of best practices associated with starting CBD for the first time.
While some studies have found CBD can be helpful with arthritis, the FDA has, as of yet, not approved any specific CBD medications to treat arthritis.
CBD has also become popular to give to pets, with some owners finding that CBD has helped to calm their pets down and control seizures when other forms of medication failed.
Research about giving CBD oil to animals is still ongoing, with a variety of more research needed before veterinarians begin to prescribe the substance to others. However, the research that has been done so far has been positive – including specific studies on CBD and dogs with arthritis.
According to a 2018 study that appeared in Veterinary Science, dogs that were given CBD showed reduced pain and observable side effects. To be clear, more research is needed, but it does appear that CBD may also be able to reduce pain in dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis.
One of the things that are still unclear about CBD oil is the dosage. This is a determination best made by following the recommendations on the CBD package, but also by talking to a veterinarian who has expertise when it comes to CBD. You should always speak with a veterinarian before starting your dog on CBD anyway, as they will know about potential drug interactions.
CBD comes in many forms, including topicals, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more. You can use it in any form that you choose, but there are positives and negatives associated with each form.
Topicals (such as balms or lotions) can provide extremely targeted relief. All you have to do is put a dollop of the topical on the area in question and rub it into the area of pain. This allows you to take CBD in one area only and often cuts down on some of the negative side effects which can be associated with CBD use. However, CBD topicals do come with some negatives. Depending on the area of pain in question, it can be difficult to give the CBD the time it needs to stay on your body, as it may accidentally rub off. Additionally, CBD topicals take the longest to actually take effect, potentially in as long as a couple of hours. This is because the CBD has to absorb through your skin and muscles. As such, of the options here, it provides the slowest form of relief. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate dosage to take with topicals. This can make increasing or decreasing dosage difficult.
CBD Capsules, like other capsules, can be swallowed. They have no taste or flavor and have to go through your digestive system in order for them to take effect. Thus, it takes capsules longer tinctures to take effect, but shorter than topicals. They are no-nonsense – pop one in your mouth, swallow, and you are good to go. Furthermore, they are often the most accurate when it comes to dosage.
Edibles have somewhat similar processes to capsules. They are eaten and digested, so it takes roughly the same amount of time as capsules for them to take effect. As the name makes clear, they come in some sort of food that you eat – usually a tasty snack like a gummy. However, this can be a problem, particularly if you are on a diet, have diabetes, or other food allergies. Dosages are usually relatively easy to determine, as they usually come in a certain amount of milligram per unit of food.
Tinctures work great because they can be taken sublingually (under the tongue). As a result, they bypass your digestive system and go straight to your bloodstream, enabling them to work relatively quickly – often in as little as twenty minutes. Furthermore, since you take tinctures in a dropper, you can easily control the dosage that you take, although taking “half a dropper” can create less than exact measurements in dosages. Tinctures often come in a variety of flavors, so you have your choice of what they taste like. They are also flexible: In addition to taking them sublingually, you can add them to food or drink, allowing you to create your own CBD concoctions.
Before starting CBD, always talk with your doctor first, as there have been some reports of negative drug interactions with CBD. When it comes to deciding on the right dosage for you, it’s important that you move slowly. Take the lowest recommended amount and see how you feel. From there, gradually increase the dosage until you get the desired effect. Again, CBD can’t get you high, but it may cause other unpleasant side effects, so make sure you take your time when it comes to trying CBD and increasing the amount you take.
There is no question that more research needs to be done on CBD. However, the research that has been done has been positive, and it appears CBD may be able to offer real hope for people with arthritis.
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