Arthritis is an incredibly common condition; it affects over 40 million Americans alone. Some patients learn to live with it and can continue functioning, albeit usually to a lesser degree, while others are rendered entirely disabled by the ferocity of this disease. There are various treatments, some of which include narcotic painkillers, that vary in efficacy. One promising treatment, however, is a cannabis extract known as cannabidiol (CBD), a potent and natural anti-inflammatory that is proving to be highly effective.
What Is Arthritis & What Causes It?
Arthritis is an ailment characterized by the chronic and/or excessive inflammation of one or more of the joints in your skeletal system. The two most common forms are
- Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis) – This condition causes cartilage (the tough tissue that cushions bones where they meet at joints) to deteriorate and break down.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (also known as inflammatory arthritis) – This condition is an auto-immune disorder whereby your immune system mistakenly attacks otherwise healthy cells located in the synovium (the lining of your joints).
The type of arthritis you have will determine what mode of treatment your clinician will have you undertake. Furthermore, there are a number of potential causes for this disease, including:
- Hereditary factors – Some patients are simply genetically predisposed to developing a specific kind of disease.
- Age – All forms of this disease become more common in elderly patients.
- Sex – Women are far more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis whereas men, particularly those who perform manual labor, are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
- Obesity – This medical condition can cause a whole variety of problems in your body, including inducing mechanical stress on your skeletal system and increasing your chances of developing this disease.
The most common scenario is that a patient has a genetic predisposition that lays dormant until it is triggered by some external set of circumstances.
Common Natural Arthritis Treatments
Seeing as how arthritis is a chronic condition with no known cure, most patients have to learn how to live with it while managing their symptoms. Fortunately, if the patient is diligent and willing, they can successfully develop a system to effectively manage their underlying condition and overlying symptoms.
Furthermore, recent research suggests that the most effective treatments are a combination of conventional therapies and holistic approaches. There are a number of natural treatments and lifestyle changes that can help a patient manage their condition, including:
- Weight loss – This is an immediately effective method of decreasing symptoms as it immediately lessens the mechanical stress placed on your body’s joints and skeletal system.
- Exercise – Low-impact, moderate exercise has shown to be particularly effective at improving a patient’s condition by boosting the body’s natural anti-inflammatory and painkilling chemicals known as endocannabinoids
- Acupuncture – This is an ancient medical treatment that is not fully understood yet, however recent research suggests that the process of pricking the skin with the tiny needles might improve capillary blood flow to the affected areas, thereby more effectively delivering the body’s natural anti-inflammatory chemicals.
- Meditation – The use of meditation and relaxation techniques may help the patient more effectively cope with their pain by reducing stress and helping the body exist in a more balanced state.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – These are absolutely crucial for everyone to have in their diets, although in patients suffering from arthritis they have shown to be particularly effective in decreasing their symptoms. These fatty acids are generally contained in fish oil.
- Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) – This fatty acid is also effective as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller and is found in a number of foods, including the plant seeds of hemp, primrose, borage, and black currants.
- Turmeric – Aside from CBD, turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory supplements you can ingest. This is entirely due to its active ingredient:
Using any combination of these various treatments, particularly when paired with CBD products, ensures that the patient has the best chance of properly treating their condition.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a type of cannabinoid that has been extracted from the hemp plant (widely known as cannabis). There are over 110 different cannabinoids in cannabis, although the most famous is undoubtedly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active ingredient in marijuana. However, recently this product has been gaining tons of attention.
THC and CBD are both highly effective medicinal supplements. However, this is not like marijuana and it will not get you high. This means that it has all the positive benefits of cannabis without the potentially unwanted effect of intoxication.
CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, known as CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, that are spread throughout your body and are responsible for modulating the correct function of various processes. CB-1 receptors are found primarily in your central nervous system (the general term for your brain and spinal cord) whereas CB-2 receptors are found throughout your immune system.
This is particularly relevant as inflammation, the defining factor of arthritis, is an immune response. Essentially, it is your body reacting to some molecule or substance that it deems a threat. For more in depth information regarding using CBD for arthritis check out this article.
CBD Is the Best Natural Treatment for Arthritis
In our opinion CBD’s extensive interaction with your ECS is precisely why it is one of the most effective natural treatments you can use for your arthritis. This is due to a variety of reasons, most notably because it treats both the underlying causes of inflammation as well as the overlying symptoms (pain and stiffness). This product has an uncanny ability to be tough on the symptoms of a disease while being gentle on your body.