Does CBD Oil Really Help Treat Arthritis Pain?
Approximately 54 million adults and 300,000 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with arthritis or some other type of rheumatic disease causing joint pain according to the Arthritis Foundation (AF).
If you consider all of the individuals who have arthritis but have not yet been diagnosed, the AF suggests that the true count is likely closer to 91.2 million in total. To make matters even worse, that number is expected to grow by 49 percent by the year 2040.
The most precarious and debilitating symptoms suffered by arthritis patients include pain, stiffness, and decreased movement within the joints, all of which can be severe and worsen over time. In addition, there are other symptoms that are just as troublesome, such as anxiety and depression. Not only that, but it can become especially trying when you have to contend with other medical problems that tend to coexist with arthritis, like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Some medications and treatment programs can potentially help ease these negative effects, but many people are searching for a more natural pain relief option. This is where CBD oil comes into play.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which MedlinePlus explains is one of more than 80 chemical cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa. Thus, cannabis oil, or CBD oil as it is more commonly known, is an oil that is developed using this particular compound.
Although CBD oil is just now becoming fairly mainstream, largely because of the debates surrounding medical marijuana, cannabis actually has a long history of providing relief in many different countries around the world.
CBD’s Long History
In June 2015, National Geographic ran a story about how Siberian burial mounds as far back as 3000 B.C. were found to contain charred cannabis seeds. Cannabis has also been used in Chinese medicine for thousands and thousands of years.
The article went on to explain how American use of cannabis goes back to our country’s founding fathers as well. In fact, George Washington himself grew hemp at his plantation estate and the location of his burial, Mount Vernon.
Because of its somewhat tumultuous history marijuana has had with the law (regarding whether it is illegal or not), research on the positive properties of hemp plants’ derivatives such as cannabidiol oil has been extremely limited.
This has caused many people to question its use for modern day ailments, primarily because they don’t know a lot about how it works.
How Cannabis Oil Works
According to Medical News Today, the body’s endocannabinoid system has two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.
A majority of CB1 receptors are located in the brain and are associated with cognitive actions related to coordination, mood, thinking, memory, and appetite. The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, can be found in the immune system. This makes them more responsible for the body’s response to pain and inflammation.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, attaches to the CB1 receptors, which explains why smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana affects users on a cognitive level.
However, CBD impacts the CB2 receptors. And it does so indirectly, not by attaching to the CB2 receptor, but by enticing the body to make more of its own cannabinoids. This creates a positive effect on the body’s pain and inflammation responses.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Many studies have been conducted on CBD and found that this compound offers individuals diagnosed with arthritis several potential benefits.
CBD Oil Eases Arthritis Pain
One of the primary CBD oil benefits for arthritis sufferers is its positive effect on pain, and research confirms it.
A study published in the journal Pain in December 2017 analyzed whether CBD could prevent osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy. Based on their findings, researchers affirmed that it did both because it decreased joint inflammation and served as a protectant to the nerves.
CBD Oil Relieves Other Chronic Pain Conditions
CBD oil has been found to relieve other chronic pains as well. For instance, research published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management indicates that cannabinoids have been helpful with easing pain for individuals diagnosed with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Other studies have reported positive effects for individuals taking CBD to ease their fibromyalgia pain, many of whom only experienced mild side effects from this chemical compound, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and dizziness.
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