In the United States, about one in ten people live with some form of arthritis – painfully damaging the joints of roughly 30 million sufferers each day – making it the leading cause of disability in the US.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and occurs when a person’s cartilage simply wears away. It can affect the knees, hips, lower back, hands, and neck.
A more specific form, Rheumatoid Arthritis, is a chronic inflammatory disorder (and autoimmune disease) that can affect more than just your joints. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. In some people, the condition can also damage a wide variety of body systems – including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities.
So what’s a person to do? Especially if their doctor’s prescription drugs might not be working anymore? Is there an answer in CBD?
There just might be. As far back as 2,000 BCE (four thousand years ago!), the Chinese called cannabis a treatment that “undoes rheumatism.” During the 19th century, cannabis tinctures were common on pharmacy shelves throughout North America and were administered as a general pain killer.
That’s right. Until the dawn of the 20th century, pot – albeit in tincture form, not inhaled through smoke – was the primary form of pain killer in the United States. A little over a hundred years ago, if a young girl skinned her knee, she was given a marijuana tincture, not an orange and white Bayer aspirin. (Aspirin didn’t become common until the early part of the 20th century.)
Now, we’ve come a long way since then – both backwards and forward – and have learned that there are two main components in marijuana, THC and CBD. One causes the “high” for recreational users and one is just starting its lengthy discovery of benefits.
Recently, CBD has been shown to interact with the inherent endocannabinoid system of humans, which regulates homeostasis, and thusly plays a large role in the control of inflammation.
One study, by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, discovered that when cannabidiol is broken down by the body it produces a potent anti-inflammatory action which is just as effective as indomethacin (an often prescribed arthritis medicine), but without its unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects.
Another study, showed reduced symptoms in mice with collagen-induced inflammation.
While the studies are still inconclusive, and relatively new, the potential for CBD as a treatment for inflammation is there. With new research popping up every day, who knows where will be in just a few more years.
If you already suffer from RA (or even regular ol’ arthritis), though, and don’t necessarily feel like waiting around – or maybe your prescriptions or OTCs aren’t doing the trick anymore – consider some of our fully legal hemp-derived CBD products. Whether it’s a salve or balm directly on the site of pain or even some edibles in an attempt to regulate internally, DiscoverCBD has got you covered.
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