There are a lot of studies about marijuana for gout relief. Before diving into the benefits of marijuana to this debilitating form of arthritis, let us check the statistics first of people suffering from gout in the US. About 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from gout; 6 million men and two million women. Gout is associated with flare-ups of excruciating pain in joints, you may feel like your big toe is on fire. Depending on the frequency and severity of the flare-ups, your performance at work may be significantly impaired.
Gout can affect different joints in the body including the toes, elbow, wrists, heels, and even ankles. Those suffering from gout can easily get into depression as the condition progresses. Since gout is a chronic condition, managing flare-ups is important. This involves making lifestyle changes and also using medication to control pain and reduce inflammation.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that develops when uric acid accumulates in blood and finds its way to joints in the form of urate crystals. It is a very painful condition and can impede one’s mobility significantly.
Gout is a diet-related medical condition caused by foods that are high in purines. The body produces uric acid to break down the purines. When too much uric acid is produced it accumulates in joints as urate crystals. This causes inflammation in the joints.
Foods that are high in purines:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Seafood and shellfish
- Meats such as bacon, turkey, and organ meat
The primary symptom of gout is inflammation (redness, swelling, pain) in the joints, especially the base of the big toe. This presents as an intense pain that starts abruptly and may persist for 8-12 hours. During this period, the person may be completely unable to move or perform any activity. The discomfort can persist for a week to ten days.
Gout is a chronic condition that will present with flare-ups from time to time. These flare-ups are usually triggered by the consumption of foods that have high purine levels.
The following are risk factors for gout:
- Diet that is high in purines such as alcoholic beverages, red meat, and shellfish
- Increased weight
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity
- Certain medications such as low-dose aspirin and antihypertensive drugs
- Being male
- Having a positive history of gout
- Recent surgery or trauma
How is Gout Pain Treated?
Because gout pain is caused by underlying inflammation, drugs that relieve inflammation are usually effective in relieving gout pain. Medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and aspirin are commonly used. Unfortunately, long-term use of traditional anti-inflammatory drugs is associated with several side –effects, one being GI bleeding and chronic anemia. Patients and their families are constantly in search of safe and effective alternatives for managing gout symptoms.
CBD Oil: Marijuana for Gout. Does It Work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 100+ cannabinoids that are found in cannabis Sativa. In the last decade, dozens of studies have been conducted to investigate the therapeutic potential of CBD. So far, studies have shown that CBD can be useful in managing the following:
- Poor sleep
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can be harnessed in the treatment of gout. Gout patients are also likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. CBD oil can provide calm and relaxation to anxious patients. Unlike traditional anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), CBD rarely causes adverse events, even when consumed in higher doses.
A few studies have been done to investigate the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids that are found in marijuana. A study that was conducted in 2015 showed that a topical CBD gel was effective in relieving pain in rats with arthritis. The rats had reduced joint swelling and better posture as compared to the group that received placebo treatment.
Another study that was conducted in 2017 showed a similar finding in rats with osteoarthritis. Rats that were offered CBD had less inflammation and pain. The CBD also prevented nerve damage due to arthritis. While no studies have been done to investigate the effect of cannabinoids in treating gout, results from other arthritic conditions can serve as a pointer.
Yes, CBD can really help to relieve inflammation pain in gout. CBD is a very diverse molecule that uses different mechanisms to promote healing. It modulates the endocannabinoid system by influencing endocannabinoid receptor activity. It also regulates the activities of neurotransmitters that are involved in the inflammatory process.
There are several ways of consuming CBD so it will be up to you to choose what works best for you.
- CBD gummies
- CBD tinctures
- CBD gels
- CBD pills and capsules
- CBD vapes
Before you start medicating on CBD for gout relief, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. Our bodies have a unique endocannabinoid system that influences how we respond to phytocannabinoids such as CBD. In addition, CBD interacts with some medications. It is important to confirm whether you can safely mix CBD with other medication that you might be taking.