- Aches & Pains
CBD Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis
CBD has become easily one of the most popular forms of natural pain medication. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can be used to treat both cases of mild, temporary pain and more serve instances of chronic pain.
As a result, using CBD oil for rheumatoid arthritis has proven to be an effective form of treatment for many people. While many people with rheumatoid arthritis may have considered heading to their local health food store and trying CBD for themselves, most people do not know the exact science behind why CBD oil for arthritis works.
So, is CBD actually a valid form of treatment, or is it merely an overhyped natural supplement that many people are pinning their hopes on. Let’s take a closer look at what rheumatoid arthritis is and what scientists say about using CBD as a method of treatment.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes also referred to as RA, is a chronic condition that causes the joints to become painful, stiff, and sometimes swollen. Most doctors also consider it to be an autoimmune disease that mostly occurs in the elderly. The most common areas of the body that are affected include the hands, wrists, and feet, although it is possible for any part of the body to be affected.
In most cases, rheumatoid arthritis occurs in flare-ups, causing people to have periods where pain feels worse and other times where it is almost unnoticeable. It is common for flare-ups to occur without warning and seemingly for no reason. For that reason, many people find it can be incredibly frustrating to live with.
Many people find this treatment to be much more successful during the initial stages of the disease. Consequently, early diagnosis is essential in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Similarly, successful treatment can reduce the rate at which flare-ups occur while also minimizing the risk of long-term damage.
Let’s take a look at the most common early signs of rheumatoid arthritis and potential risk factors that could drastically increase your chances of developing the disease.
What Are the First Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It is extremely common – and indeed expected – for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis to experience physical exhaustion and a general feeling of fatigue. Most noteworthy, several studies have shown that up to 80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis will experience fatigue.
Many people describe fatigue due to rheumatoid arthritis as a similar feeling to recovering from the flu.
An early sign that something might be wrong is an unexplained mild fever. Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis triggers the body’s defense mechanisms, which can result in a gentle and persistent fever.
If you notice a fever accompanied by sudden joint pain, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor allowing for rheumatoid arthritis to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Weight loss is an early symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Feelings of fatigue and fever can cause a loss of appetite; as a result, some people can fall below a healthy measure of weight.
Joint stiffness is not necessarily a sign that a person has rheumatoid arthritis, but is one of the early signs that may help a person to receive an early diagnosis.
Joint stiffness tends to be worse during the morning or after long periods of inactivity. Therefore it is essential to keep active. Movement helps to loosen joints and muscles and is often why a person with rheumatoid arthritis should take part in regular gentle exercises.
Joints that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis are often painful to touch, appearing tender. A doctor is likely to test how a patient reacts to having swollen, and painful areas touched because this is often one of the most obvious ways of detecting rheumatoid arthritis.
The most obvious sign of rheumatoid arthritis is pain within the affected joints. As a result, a throbbing and aching pain that feels worse after a period of inactivity affects almost all people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation within the joints, but can often become noticeable from an external perspective. Because of this, many people can spot early signs of the condition. Swelling is most evident around the wrists, ankles, and fingers.
Often paired with swelling is hot, tender, reddened skin. Areas of the body that appear swollen can be sensitive to touch and take on a red, inflamed color.
Inflamed joints can often feel warm to the touch. This is because the warmth is caused by the body’s immune system going into overdrive. Resulting in an increase in body temperature, especially in the most painful and affected areas.
Numbness and Tingling
Your doctor may ask you if you have felt any numbness or tingling in the affected joints, as this can often help to rule out other joint pain-related conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis stands out from other types of arthritis. For the reason that it often causes a random feeling of numbness in the affected areas of the body.
A Decrease in Range of Motion
As a result of joint stiffness, movement can feel restricted and difficult. Most notabley, pain is at its most intense during the morning, or after sitting for long periods of time, it is at these points that movement will feel the most challenging.
Joints Affected on Both Sides
Rheumatoid arthritis normally occurs on both sides of the body. While pain may at first appear isolated to just one wrist, for example, it is likely to spread to the other wrist within a short period of time.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
The pain felt with rheumatoid arthritis is the result of joint inflammation caused by an autoimmune condition. Exactly what triggers the body’s sudden action to start attacking itself is not fully understood.
The immune system is almost entirely responsible for protecting your body from viruses and bacteria, but it can also become confused, sending antibodies to the lining of the joints and attacking surrounding tissue. This results in the synovium, the layer of cells that covers the joints, becomes inflamed and painful.
One of the main concerns with rheumatoid arthritis is that the synovium releases a chemical in response to the antibodies. This chemical slowly damages nearby bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
If rheumatoid arthritis is left untreated, joints start to lose shape and alignment. In the most serious cases, people will notice a rapid deterioration of their joints.
The exact reason for why the immune system attacks itself is not understood. However, there are a number of different and unique factors thought to increase a person’s chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. It is theorized that this is due to a difference in hormone levels and that estrogen levels.
While rheumatoid arthritis can happen to you at any age, it is much more likely in those over the age of 60.
A person is considered to be at an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if they have a family history of the condition.
Studies have shown that those who choose to take up smoking are at an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life. The exact reason for this is not fully understood and questions have been raised as to whether this could be linked more to environmental factors rather than smoking.
Environmental factors are often taken into account when considering a person’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. For that reason, certain chemicals, such as asbestos, could potentially increase a person’s chances of developing the disease.
Researchers believe that being overweight is one of the most significant risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis. Women, in particular those over the age of 55, who are overweight are at an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Using CBD oil for rheumatoid arthritis is an excellent way to manage pain naturally. This is because CBD works by interacting with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, helping to reduce inflammation and regulating the way in which the body is able to deal with pain.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for controlling many of the systems within the body, including the immune system and the body’s central receptors. CBD helps to boost the endocannabinoid system allowing CB1 receptors in the brain to better respond to pain. Similarly, CB2 receptors within the immune system are also able to benefit from CBD, helping to control inflammation.
The main benefit of using CBD to treat rheumatoid arthritis is that it naturally boosts the level of cannabinoids within the body allowing for better pain management. As CBD is most effective when being used to control systems rather than as a way of actually preventing the disease.
CBD has proven to be effective at reducing inflammation within the body. However, this is only a temporary effect and can, therefore, not be used as a natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis.
There are many different ways to consume CBD, with no particular method proven to be better than another. Above all, when choosing CBD products its important to consider the best way in which you personally are going to include CBD in your daily routine.
How to Use CBD for RA
Many believe that CBD is only truly effective when consumed consistantly. Because of this, it is essential to find the right product.
CBD oil is a popular choice for many. One of the really great things about CBD is that it offers complete control both in terms of dosage. CBD oils are widely available in a range of different strengths, usually starting at 150mg per bottle and going all of the ways up to 5000mg per bottle.
When using CBD oil, you have the freedom to measure out the exact amount of oil that you require. CBD oil also comes in a wide array of flavors, allowing you to select those that you enjoy.
CBD oil can be used in all kinds of unique and interesting ways. For a quick and straightforward solution, place a few drops of oil under your tongue and allow it to absorb. For those feeling slightly more creative, you can try adding CBD oil to smoothies and other recipes.
Other oral forms of CBD include CBD capsules, CBD edibles, and CBD vapes. CBD capsules are an incredible option for anyone because they are super quick to consume and off a discreet way to take CBD. Capsules, however, do not offer the same level of dosage control that you will find with CBD oils.
CBD topicals, in particular CBD cream, are another excellent option for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. CBD topicals allow you to more easily target specific areas of the body without CBD affecting the rest of your body. Topicals can also often provide much faster pain relief.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for RA
The idea of using CBD oil for rheumatoid arthritis makes a lot of sense when you break down the main benefits of using CBD in general. The two most significant selling points of using CBD as a natural supplement are its ability to reduce inflammation and manage pain.
As rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a mistake in the immune system that triggers inflammation, CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation can temporarily ease symptoms.
Equally, CBD helps the body to manage and regulate pain, the most noticeable and disabling symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, making it a useful form of treatment. Research suggests that CBD becomes more effective when consumed on a regular basis.
What taking CBD oil for arthritis is not able to do is completely cure the disease. You can temporarily manage inflammation and pain with CBD, but these will quickly return once CBD leaves a person’s system.
CBD is a useful tool to have when treating rheumatoid arthritis. However, it cannot prevent the long term damage that many prescription medications will be able to. We always suggest consulting your doctor before taking CBD, so you can carefully design a treatment plan suited for you.