Gout is a difficult condition to deal with. Depending on how bad it gets, it may become completely debilitating. Those who have it are always looking for the best way to deal with and manage the symptoms so that they can continue doing the things they love and spending time with those they love.
Thanks to recent research, an unexpected potential aid has arisen in an unusual place: a compound found in Cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD). What is CBD and how might it provide some relief for those who struggle with gout?
What is gout?
It is best to define gout before we can really get into how CBD may be able to help.
Gout is a very common form of arthritis. Unlike other forms of arthritis, which tend to be a bit more constant, gout shows up in sudden attacks of redness, swelling and pain. It is usually found at the base of the big toe. However, it may be found at any joint of the body.
Flare ups of gout often come very suddenly. They tend to lead to intense pain, but even after that pain goes away those who have it often report discomfort in the affected area lasting up to a week. Gout may also lead to difficulty with motion within the affected joints.
Gout is caused by a buildup of urate crystals within the joints. Urate crystals are caused by large amounts of uric acid in the system. Uric acid is found in foods like steak, seafood, and alcohol. This means that having too much of those in your diet could lead to a higher chance of developing gout.
While diet is a major factor in the potential causes of gout, there are many other factors, as well. For example, those with a family history of gout are more likely to develop the condition, as are men (women tend to have lower levels of uric acid). Certain medications have also been connected with the developing gout.
There are ways to help avoid attacks of gout. For example, staying hydrated is a good way to keep flare ups away. Of course, altering your diet so you take in less uric acid is also a good way to keep attacks to a minimum. However, if you do have flare ups, how do you handle it? Recent research suggests that CBD may be able to help provide some relief.
Learning more about CBD
CBD, as mentioned above, is a kind of chemical compound, specifically known as a cannabinoid. These are compounds that are found in Cannabis plants, like marijuana and hemp. There are over 113 different cannabinoids in Cannabis.
CBD is arguably one of the better-known cannabinoids. But there is one that is just as well-known, if not more famous: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is so famous because it is psychoactive. That means that it creates a high in those who use it. CBD often gets thrown in with THC since they are both cannabinoids. But they are actually very different. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not create a high. It may help the user reach a greater sense of calm but will not get them high.
While CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana, CBD manufacturers almost exclusively use hemp over marijuana from which to extract the cannabinoid. There are a couple of reasons for this. One of the main reasons is that hemp is bred to have more CBD than THC in it. Whereas, marijuana is bred for the opposite. The high level of CBD in hemp makes extracting the cannabinoid much easier. The other reason is that as of late 2018, industrial hemp is legal in the United States. Marijuana, on the other hand, is still federally illegal.
There has been much research performed on CBD in recent years. They have found a number of interesting things about the cannabinoid. Some of these studies suggest that CBD may be able to help with managing the symptoms of gout.
Focusing on CBD and gout
As mentioned, CBD has been a big area of study for medical research in recent years. There have been some very encouraging results to come from those studies. But what do the studies have to say about gout and its symptoms?
Cannabis therapies have been used to treat gout for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder described a Cannabis root decoction in the first century that he claimed could treat pain and inflammation associated with gout.
One symptom of the condition has been looked extensively in CBD research: inflammation. Swollen joints are a very common side effect of gout and may lead to some serious discomfort. It is also a symptom of several other conditions, so it has been of great interest for researchers.
One study wanted to look at how CBD handled inflammation caused by pancreatitis in mice. The researchers injected some of the mice with pancreatitis with CBD and waited to see how the CBD would interact with the inflamed areas. The researchers found that the CBD-injected mice had less inflammation than those without the cannabinoid.
This is just one study of many that have looked at CBD and inflammation. As time goes on, more studies on the help that the cannabinoid may be able to provide are published. If you are interested in using CBD, it is a good idea to keep an eye for more studies to help fully understand the benefits CBD may offer you.
How to take CBD
You have several options when it comes to taking CBD, as it is an extract that is easily mixed into other products. There are two main kinds of CBD products: topicals and oral products. Each has their benefits and drawbacks. Let’s go over those so you can find the right CBD product for you.
Topicals include a few different products. They tend to be things like lotions and creams with CBD extract mixed in. Topicals are recommended if you are looking for a more localized effect rather than an overall effect. This is because the CBD in these products does not move much beyond where they are placed. In theory, this means that they may have a stronger effect in a particular area.
Oral products are a bit more diverse than topicals and they tend to have more of an overall effect in the body. One of the more traditional oral CBD products are oils and tinctures. These are CBD extracts that have been mixed with a carrier oil, like palm oil for example. You can take them in a couple of different ways. One way is to mix it in with some food or drink. Another way is by placing some drops directly into your mouth. While oils and tinctures are rather popular, there are some people who do not like them as much because of their taste. Most tinctures and oils have some sort of flavoring in them, but some people do still taste a certain marijuana flavor. So, if you are sensitive to strong tastes and smells, tinctures and oils may not be for you.
Another kind of CBD oral product is capsules and tablets. These are products that you take like a pill. CBD soft gel capsules are softer and more flexible than regular pills, making them easier to swallow. They also digest more quickly than regular pills, making them start working faster. Tablets are a bit different than soft gel capsules but offer similar benefits. Most CBD tablets are dissolvable. That means you just place them under your tongue and wait for them to dissolve instead of having to swallow them. If you dissolve the tablet under your tongue it may start working more quickly than regular pills, as the skin under your tongue is thin and can absorb things into your bloodstream more quickly.
The final kind of CBD oral products are edibles. These are exactly what they sound like. They are food and drink that have been made with CBD extract. Edibles are very popular. They are easy to take and often taste good. They come in several different forms. You can find candy, pasta, crackers, soda, and coffee all with CBD in them. This means that you have lots of options when it comes to this kind of CBD product. The main downside is that edibles tend to take the longest to start working. The food or drink needs to digest before the CBD can enter the system.
Those who have gout know what a struggle it is to deal with flare ups. While CBD will not prevent flare ups, research does suggest that it may be able to help with easing some of the side effects. This means it may be a good option for those who are looking for help with coping with the condition.
There is a big, wide world of CBD out there. It can seem a little intimidating at first. However, you have started at the right place. Here on the Panacea Life Sciences site we have articles covering all things about CBD from A to Z. Once you have learned all there is to know about CBD, you can check out our high-quality CBD products. We have stuff for everyone and their dogs (and horses). If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, let us know. You can get a hold of a member of the Panacea Life Sciences team through our site or by emailing [email protected]