Those that have suffered through bouts of gout of course know first hand how wildly uncomfortable, painful, and debilitating it can be. Common over the counter medications are at times effective, but many people (especially elderly) are unable to take them due to liver complications or some interaction with other meds they are on.
This has left thousands of folks in quite the predicament: either suffer through agonizingly painful bouts of gouty arthritis sans medication, or take pain-blocking drugs with a risk of side-effects and potentially dangerous contraindications.
However, you may have heard recently of the wonders that CBD oil for arthritis has been producing. While there have not yet been any specific trials on CBD for gout, research on other forms of arthritis and inflammation-induced joint pain has been extremely positive. As such, inferences can now be drawn to CBD’s ability to fight gout via its natural functions as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and even immune response enhancer.
In this article, we talk about what gouty arthritis is, how it is onset, and how CBD for gout just may be a viable – and 100% natural – therapy.
First Things First: What is Gout (aka Gouty Arthritis)?
Gout is a sub-form of arthritis (in fact, it’s one of dozens of different specific types of arthritis) that involves the accumulation of excess fluids in joint cavities.
To be even more specific, it is the accumulation of fluids with high uric acid content. Over time, uric acid may concentrate throughout the body into synovial cavities and solidify into hard crystals (similar to kidney stones), where they can turn into intensely painful needle-like projections that cause a host of internal damage and discomfort.
Unless routine screening is done frequently, it can be nearly impossible to predict a gout flare-up as arthritis sufferers can live for years with what’s known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia. This is when there is an abnormally large content of uric acid in the body. Like we mentioned, specific bouts of gouty arthritis occur when the uric acid crystallizes in joint fluids, thereby causing localized pain, severe inflammation, and tenderness.
Upon first recognition of the symptoms the condition usually worsens over a 24-hour period, before eventually subsiding over the course of a few days. During this time, however, unless adequate treatment is administered, the pain and general discomfort can be entirely debilitating.
Gout and Lifestyle Conditions: Things You Should Know
Gout is typically onset in elderly (55+) individuals who live a rather sedentary lifestyle (i.e. minimal exercise) combined with an excessive, unhealthy diet. This includes large contents of sugar, alcohol, and saturated fats which lead to obesity and high blood pressure.
In fact, obesity, high blood pressure, high sugar intake, and frequent alcohol consumption are all known “gout contributors” that can lead to a vastly increased likelihood of developing the condition in latter stages of life.
Moreover, men are known to be at a much higher risk for gout development as are women. While the reasons for this are not entirely clear, it’s believed that the female hormone estrogen plays a role in uric acid regulation, which of course greatly decreases the likelihood of it solidifying in joint tissue.
Traditionally, gout has always been associated with big-boned, “meaty” men who (to put it bluntly) prefer to engage in excessive amounts of eating and drinking. In other words, obese males are those most at risk. While there are of course exceptions to this generalization, the same still rings true in today’s day and age.
Is CBD the Same Thing as Marijuana?
Short of going into a long-winded report on the differences between CBD and marijuana, it’s important to understand a few things about this wonderfully therapeutic natural compound before you consider taking it for gout, pain, inflammation, or any other condition.
First, CBD is in fact a natural component of the marijuana plant – it is what’s called a “phytocannabinoid,” of which nearly 100 different types are known to exist. The two main phytocannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD, and in fact, between the two of them it has been estimated they can account for up to 90% of any given marijuana plant’s cannabinoid content.
As you may already know, THC is the substance that accounts for the “infamous” marijuana high, being that it acts on chemical receptors in the brain. However, since CBD has an entirely different chemical pathway, it does not produce a psychoactive response. In fact, numerous studies have shown it to be 100% non-intoxicating, which is why it has become so wildly popular over the last couple of years, even among the elderly population.
CBD works by interacting with natural receptors and other chemicals in the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system, although only relatively recently discovered, is already known to play a major role in whole-body homeostasis, as it regulates everything from appetite control to localized pain and immune system responses.
As such, CBD has become a phenomenal treatment for most forms of arthritis, as its pain-relieving, inflammation-reducing, and immune system enhancing properties combine to reverse the onset of painful flare-ups and debilitating symptoms.
How CBD for Gout May Potentially Offer Symptomatic Relief
Like we said earlier, there have not as of yet been any specific clinical trials or research studies done on CBD oil for gout. Of course, though, there has been no shortage of publications on CBD for arthritis, including both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, which is in fact an autoimmune condition.
Like both of these forms of arthritis, gout may also be categorized as the result of some immune system deficiency, as localized tissues are inadvertently attacked, leading to the intense pain and inflammation associated with the condition.
Moreover, it is known that when the endocannabinoid system is deficient or not functioning at full capacity (as any bodily system is prone to doing, especially as we age), it could lead to hyperactivity of the immune system, which is known to promote the onset of arthritic symptoms.
Basically, gout is characterized by two major conditions, both of which CBD oil has been well-documented to provide therapy for: pain and inflammation.
In terms of pain relief, one of the most thorough investigations that clinically shows the natural cannabinoid to act as an analgesic (pain-reliever) was conducted via patient survey from the collaborators at Care by Design and Project CBD. Essentially, results of the survey showed that CBD appeared to act as “an effective pain management tool with few negative side effects,” and also that it could offer “significant decrease in opiate usage among elderly patients.”
Likewise, CBD’s role as an anti-inflammatory are equally impressive and well-documented, which of course is entirely relevant for gout victims as swelling, tenderness, and joint inflammation are hallmark symptoms of the disorder. Essentially, clinical trials and scientific publications in recent years have verified what thousands of people have already known for decades: that cannabis is a uniquely potent treatment for localized inflammation. With this in mind, it takes no stretch of the imagination to see how CBD oil for gout could potentially be a highly effective – and most importantly side-effect free – alternative treatment option.
It is worth mentioning though that studies have shown CBD oil to be most effective and potent when they are administered as a “full-spectrum” tincture. This simply means that rather than acting alone as an isolate, the compound seems to function within the body more efficiently when other natural cannabis compounds (such as terpenes and flavonoids) are present. Of course, however, this doesn’t mean that you have to “get high,” as full-spectrum CBD oils are still 100% non-psychoactive and THC-free. For some ideas on a few of the most reliable and effective full-spectrum oils on the market, check out this recent rundown that we did on the subject.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Gout
To conclude, it is worth mentioning again that there have been no known clinical trials that showcase CBD to be an effective treatment for gout. Any indication that the natural cannabis compound may help to alleviate the onset of flare-ups and symptoms is drawn from the fact that CBD for arthritis has been a well-documented clinical topic over recent years.
Moreover, the well-defined capacities for CBD oil to act as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and immune system enhancer make it a prime candidate to act as a potential alternative form of therapy for gout sufferers all across the nation.