CBD for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people in the United States have RA, and there is currently no known cure for the disease. However, many people have found relief from their symptoms by using cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.
CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating a wide range of physiological processes, including pain perception, inflammation, and immune system function. In people with RA, the ECS is often disrupted, leading to increased inflammation and pain. By interacting with the ECS, CBD can help to restore balance and reduce inflammation, leading to a reduction in symptoms.
How CBD Can Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
There are several ways in which CBD can help with the symptoms of RA, including:
One of the most common reasons people use CBD is for pain relief. CBD has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in several studies, including those involving people with RA. A 2006 study found that a combination of THC and CBD was effective in reducing pain and improving sleep in people with chronic pain conditions, including arthritis. Another study published in the European Journal of Pain in 2016 found that CBD gel was effective in reducing joint pain and swelling in rats with arthritis.
Inflammation is a key driver of RA symptoms, including joint pain and stiffness. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation in several ways, including by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that contribute to inflammation. In a 2015 study, researchers found that CBD was effective in reducing inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis, and in a 2018 study, CBD was found to be effective in reducing joint swelling and inflammation in human subjects with osteoarthritis.
Pain and inflammation can often interfere with sleep, making it difficult for people with RA to get the rest they need to feel their best. CBD has been shown to improve sleep in several studies, including those involving people with chronic pain conditions. A 2019 study published in the journal Medicines found that CBD improved sleep in 66.7% of patients with anxiety and sleep disorders, and a 2017 review of studies found that CBD was effective in improving sleep in people with chronic pain conditions.
Reduced Anxiety and Depression
Living with a chronic condition like RA can be stressful and can lead to anxiety and depression. CBD has been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant effects in several studies. A 2019 study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD was effective in reducing anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder, and in a 2018 review of studies, researchers found that CBD had antidepressant effects in animal models.
How to Use CBD for Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several ways to use CBD for RA, including:
CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to use CBD for RA. It is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and mixing it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oil can be taken orally, sublingually (under the tongue), or applied topically to the skin over affected joints.
CBD capsules are another popular way to use CBD for RA. They are easy to take and provide a consistent dose of CBD. CBD capsules are taken orally and can be found in various strengths and formulations.
CBD topicals, such as creams, lotions, and balms, can be applied directly to the skin over affected joints. They are often used in combination with other CBD products for maximum effectiveness.
CBD edibles, such as gummies and chocolates, are a tasty and convenient way to use CBD for RA. They are easy to take and provide a consistent dose of CBD. CBD edibles are taken orally and can be found in various strengths and formulations.
CBD has shown great promise in reducing the symptoms of RA, including pain, inflammation, and sleep problems. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on RA, many people have already found relief from their symptoms by using CBD. If you are considering using CBD for RA, be sure to talk to your doctor first to determine if it is safe for you to use and to find the right dosage and product for your needs.
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