CBD for Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions

CBD for Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions

To start off this blog post, we would like to stress that Flora Fusion does not make any medical claim about its products and cannot advise you on which CBD product(s) to use for any medical condition(s). Make sure to do your research and it is imperative that you consult a trained medical professional, or your GP before using any CBD supplements.

 

Arthritis affects millions of people in the UK and is generally understood as a painful condition affecting the joints. This is partly true, however, there are multiple different arthritic conditions that are caused by auto-inflammatory and auto-immune system issues.  Arthritis and other related illnesses can cause debilitating and life-altering pain. According to the 'Center for Disease Control & Prevention', more than a third of all adults with arthritis say that it limits their daily activities. Alongside, 25% of them say that they have severe pain- a rating of seven or higher, on a scale of 0 to 10. It is clear that arthritis has a huge impact on peoples quality of life.

In this blog post, we will discuss the ways in which CBD can have an impact on the lives of those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

The most common form of arthritis is 'Osteoarthritis' (OA) which is caused when the protective layer of cartilage inside your joint breaks down. Eventually, this can mean that your bones rub against one another which causes extreme pain and limited/no ability to move. Osteoarthritis is localised around the joins and usually affects the cartilage, bone, synovium & ligaments.

For supporting material click to see NHS resources 

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune inflammatory condition where the immune system starts to attack the body, causing inflammation & pain. The condition usually affects the joints which cause arthritis, enthesitis & skin conditions like psoriasis. Not only does this condition cause painful movement, but it also can cause severe itching & embarrassment if the psoriasis is visible on the face or causes hair loss.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unfortunately, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of the lesser known and understood Arthritic conditions. It is a particularly nasty autoimmune system condition that similarly to Psoriatic Arthritis, causes the body to attack its own immune system. The immune system is responsible for protecting a person from viruses, bacteria and other bodily invaders. This leaves RA sufferers more vulnerable to infections & heavily impacts a person's general health. Like other arthritic autoimmune conditions, the body also attacks the synovium which triggers persistent inflammation and breaks down the joint, damaging it permanently. Unlike OA, which is localized to a specific joint or area, RA affects the whole body and can limit movement and cause incredible pain throughout the whole body; this means that a person may be in constant pain even without moving.

RA is sadly a degenerative illness which means that the condition worsens over time. As those with RA know, the stages of treatment get progressively more aggressive and can have long-term effects on your health (particularly stomach, heart, kidney & liver health). Particularly potent painkillers & anti-inflammatory medications are combined to help manage the condition as there is no cure for this type of disease.

Complications of RA can include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Numbness, pain and loss of movement/power in the hands and limbs)
  • Inflammation of other areas of the body (such as the lungs, heart and eyes)
  • An increased risk of heart attacks and strokes

 

For more information and support please click the link to the NHS

 

CBD for Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions

There are many associated health benefits from Cannabinoids. CBD, in particular, is known to be an excellent anti-inflammatory. CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system and acts as a sedative, powerful anti-oxidant & helps to regulate your body's inflammatory response. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, are known to help with your basic bodily function & induce homeostasis (part of your body's repair system). This is why CBD is often used during Chemotherapy & is associated with helping reduce the symptoms of arthritic conditions.

CBD plays a role in the regulation of pain. Although, the majority of the information that can be found is anecdotal it is believed that it can help manage chronic pain conditions. Although one study posted to Neurotherapeutics suggests that CBD actually does very little to directly regulate pain, instead it either activates or inhibits other compounds found in the endocannabinoid system.

In the case of PsA, some Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce both the itching and appearance of skin conditions like eczema & psoriasis, and could be a good supplement to work in tandem with other more conventional medications. The CBD is often applied topically to the affected areas and has been proven to improve the quality of life for those that suffer from debilitating, embarrassing and painful skin conditions. When taken orally, CBD can have a general affect on your bodies autoimmune response and can help reduce inflammation for sore joints.

In the case of RA, the patient will not only have a lowered immune system, but will suffer from the inflammation, pain and lack of mobility that sufferers of OA & PsA experience. CBD interacts with the CB2, which is part of your endocannabinoid system that plays a role in your immune system, and could help to boost a lowered resistance to bacteria, viruses and other body invaders.

CBD will also help to reduce the inflammatory response from your body and significantly reduce pain alongside giving patients a better sleeping pattern (sufferers struggle with sleep due to pain and morning stiffness). Better news still, CBD has been seen to slow down, or even stop the progression of RA. Which is really fantastic. See the study for further information.

CBD has been shown to help reduce the symptoms & can be used as a supplement for pain medication, alongside conventional pain relief & anti-inflammatory medications.

CBD with Pain Killers

Some of your stronger painkillers have some really nasty long-term side effects: Liver & Kidney damage, stomach irritation, severe nausea & addiction are just a few of the side effects. In all honesty, sometimes it is a fair price to pay for pain relief. CBD is a known sedative, and natural pain relief but can it be combined with other medication for pain?

Most medical drugs are metabolized by the Cytochrome P450 complex enzymes in the liver. CBD tends to take a lot of processing power to be absorbed, which results in other drugs not metabolizing in an expected way. Preliminary studies have found that CBD may increase the concentration of other drugs in the bloodstream which may make these medications more potent than they are expected to be. This could have very adverse side effects, however, if this process were to be further understood and if medications were tailored alongside CBD use, the impact could be very positive. There is limited research on this subject, however it is entirely possible that using too much CBD could result in toxic levels of other medications in the bloodstream. For instance, anticoagulant drugs also use the p450 metabolic system, and when taken with CBD, increased serum levels will be fatal.

The use of painkillers in tandem with CBD should be considered with caution. Please, speak to your GP before combining any pain medications with CBD Oil. In theory however, CBD can be used as an alternative to pain management and could mean the reduction in dosage of traditional pharmaceutical drugs.

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CBD & Naproxen (plus other anti-inflammatories)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) treat pain and inflammation. Unlike analgesics, these drugs can also help to prevent joint damage. They are the most common form of medication due to the fact that they come in an oral and topical form and do not have sedative side effects. These medications include Asprin, Ibuprofen (effects some asthma sufferers) & Naproxen.

Most NSAIDs have negative side effects such as:

  • Stomach irritation, erosion, or ulcers (can lead to stomach bleeding and death)
  • Kidney problems

One of the more potent medications for those suffering from advanced arthritic conditions is called Naproxen. It is associated with a plethora of side effects alongside those listed above:

  • heartburn
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

In higher dosages, Naproxen can be very harmful to somebodies health and is not compatible with some other medications. It is a worry for many users of CBD whether Naproxen and CBD can work together due to the fact that the wrong combination of medication can cause damage to the liver.

Stevia Corp has recently filed for the use of a combination of CBD & prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. The theory is that if the dosage of the harmful drugs can be reduced and replaced with a supplement of CBD (which has not been found to have any adverse effects) the lifestyle of the patient will be increased. This also shows that these medications do not have a conflict with CBD, but on the contrary, work alongside CBD.

“We believe that there will be significant advantages of using these four very effective drugs in combination with cannabidiol as opposed to using these drugs alone. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aspirin ....We strongly believe that our intellectual property strategy, if successfully implemented, will provide us a competitive advantage over other healthcare companies using cannabinoids for human healthcare,” commented George Blankenbaker, President of Stevia Corp.

Once again, please do not use CBD products without consulting a GP beforehand.

Speak to your GP before taking CBD supplements

Please, consult your specialist or GP before trying CBD products in tandem with any other medication associated with arthritis. There may be drugs that you are taking that may not work effectively or could cause you to harm if you use with CBD. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that arthritis patients have been using CBD to help their condition, there are many variations in the way certain drugs work. This means that you may have a different reaction to another person. For instance, it is certainly not advised to use CBD products alongside an immunosuppressant as potents as Methotrexate Minocin, Azulfidine, and/or Plaquenil (used by PsA & RA sufferers) without speaking to a medical professional. Methotrexate is notorious for leaving RA sufferers vulnerable to infections and not working well with lots of medications.

Unfortunately, there are few studies giving categorical scientific evidence on the impact of CBD while using prescription pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, we cannot say for certain the impact these supplements have on medications.

If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with us and we will help the best that we can.

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