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Arthritis is an umbrella term for over a 100 different types of joint pain conditions and diseases that affect almost a third of the people of the UK. Of those 17 million people, most are women over the age of 45, but arthritis affects anyone, regardless of age, gender or race.

The condition is generally characterised by joint pain and inflammation of varying degrees, ranging from mild to severe and debilitating cases. The symptoms may come and go, or they may be more chronic in nature, but common for all types of arthritis is that while the symptoms can be managed, the condition cannot be cured.

In a time where modern research is increasingly worried about the high level of opioid addictions amongst pain patients, alternative choices of treatment is on the rise – also for arthritis.

Today, more and more arthritis patients are turning to cannabidiol (also known as CBD) for the treatment of symptoms such as pain and swelling of the joints.

Although there are many types of arthritis, the two most common (and most studied) are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


CBD oil for osteoarthritis

When the cartilage and bones that make up our joints start breaking down, it can have many causes, such as injury or disease. However, a common condition that degenerates the joints is osteoarthritis, which can be both painful and debilitating. It often affects hips, knees and finger joints, causing deformities such as nodes.

The pain associated with this condition is often managed by OTC medicines, but the results can be poor and due to the high risk of opioid addiction amongst chronic pain sufferers, osteoarthritis patients are often left with little choice but to live in pain.

However, modern research on CBD has revealed new alternatives to pain management. Several studies have found that CBD has both analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory effects, and these results have provided new hope for a life free of pain for osteoarthritis patients.

The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD have the potential of reducing the swelling of the joints, which can help reduce the cause of pain. Furthermore, research shows that CBD may also directly affect pain levels in a positive way, bringing relief and comfort to many.

CBD has the ability to block certain receptors in the brain, which in turn helps reduce the amount of pain signals coming from inflamed joints. This is a function that is similar to many medicines, but the big difference between OTC or prescription medicines and cannabidiol is that CBD is a natural compound that carries little risk of addiction or adverse side effects. Hence, this alternative choice of treatment is an option sought by an increasing number of pain patients all around the world.


Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and progressive condition that causes infections in the joints. When the condition develops, it attacks the healthy tissue with invading pathogens, which cause inflammation.

It is also known to be an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system is unable to fight the condition on its own – and might even be the cause of the condition in the first place.

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Risk factors and symptoms

Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect anyone. However, lifestyle (such as lack of exercise and poor diet choices) can be just as determining a factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis as are the factors of age (25-45), gender (75 % of patients are women) and a family history of the condition.

With the rise of obesity, so has the numbers of rheumatoid arthritis patients risen, highlighting a need for information about the condition as well as a need for its treatment and prevention.

Rheumatoid arthritis often causes instabilities of the knees, hands and feet, and for some it can also manifest as deformities of the joints, particularly the extremities like fingers, toes, wrists, and ankles. The pain, swelling and heat in the inflamed joints can in severe cases also cause damage to the joints, as well as to nearby internal organs.

The range and severity of the symptoms vary from person to person, but often include joint pain, swelling, persistent lethargy, decreased range of motion, weakness of the muscles, and stiffness of the joints, especially in the morning.

These symptoms can furthermore result in sleep deprivation due to muscle pain.


CBD oil for rheumatoid arthritis

CBD, a refined hemp oil, is an extract of the cannabis plant that medical researchers have found can help reduce the symptoms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) effects of CBD can help enable the immune system to find balance, and thereby reduce joint inflammation and the pain it causes.

CBD is a possible relief for the thousands of people who live with rheumatoid arthritis every day, including the children that battle this condition. Although not a cure, the possibility of pain relief without adverse side effects is most likely a desired solution for anyone with a type of arthritis.


CBD oil as a treatment for arthritis

CBD oil has relieved the symptoms of arthritis for many patients and helped them lead a better life. Research also indicates that cannabidiol aids in the reduction of joint pain and inflammations caused by any type of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.

Medical practitioners have successfully used CBD oil to ease the pain and inflammation of the condition. In a study from 2006, patients who used CBD oil for a 5-week period experienced a reduction of their pain and inflammation levels, and the progression of their arthritis also decreased significantly.

As a result of extensive research, the fastest-growing consumer groups of CBD oil are seniors and aging adults, who have started to see the benefits of using CBD oil rather than pharmaceuticals. The reasons often given by this specific age group for why they have replaced OTC medicines with CBD is the calm feeling CBD brings them and the lack of uncomfortable side effects.

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