CBD for Gout: A Review of the Evidence
Gout is a remarkably painful condition that can permanently damage the cartilage and bones in your joints. Based on what we already know about CBD, it’s natural to wonder if CBD can help with gout, and there’s plenty of evidence to examine as we determine the answers to this question. In this guide, dive into the details of what causes gout, and determine for yourself whether CBD is a viable treatment for this condition based on the available evidence.
What is gout?
Gout is an inflammatory condition that causes your joints to swell and become painful. This condition is a type of arthritis , and it is most commonly experienced by men. In the vast majority of cases, gout begins in the joint at the base of your big toe, but gout can also originate in other toes or even in your finger joints.
The first noticeable symptoms of gout may include pain or stiffness in the affected joint. As this condition progresses, it causes the affected joint to swell to multiple times its usual size, and gout can spread from one joint to another. Gout that begins in your big toe, for instance, may spread to your other toes, to the joints in your foot, or even to your ankle.
Your physician may be able to identify aspects of your diet that might be contributing to your gout symptoms, and in some cases, eating the right foods or exercising regularly may make gout go away. More commonly, however, drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or the gout-specific drug colchicine are prescribed. Corticosteroids may also be prescribed to treat gout.
What causes gout?
There is an ongoing debate regarding the factors that make you at-risk for gout, but the pathophysiology of gout , or the process by which this condition happens in the body, is well understood. Gout begins with a buildup of uric acid (monosodium urate) crystals in the affected joint. These crystals then cause an inflammatory reaction in the joint, leading to pain and swelling.
When you have high concentrations of uric acid in your blood, this substance is far more likely to build up in your joints. Uric acid is a natural byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are found in many foods and drinks. When you are healthy, your kidneys eliminate excess uric acid in your blood, but diabetes, excess weight, and alcohol abuse can reduce your kidneys’ ability to remove uric acid.
Having too much uric acid in your blood is called hyperuricemia , and this condition can lead to a variety of diseases in addition to gout. If you believe that you have hyperuricemia, it’s possible that you also have underlying kidney issues, so it’s important to seek prompt medical assistance to determine the root cause of your issue.
Do people use CBD for gout?
In recent years, an ever-increasing number of people have bucked the suggestions of contemporary allopathic medicine and sought out natural solutions to their aches, pains, and serious medical conditions. CBD remains at the forefront of this natural medicine revolution, so it’s no surprise that many gout patients have tried CBD for this painful joint condition.
Even mainstream medical doctors have begun evangelizing the benefits of CBD for gout and other arthritic conditions, so it’s highly likely that using CBD for gout will only become more popular over time. Regardless of whether science ever conclusively determines that CBD is beneficial for gout, this non-intoxicating cannabinoid is remarkably devoid of side effects, indicating that you have very little to lose by trying CBD if you have gout.
Does CBD work for gout?
So far, no studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of CBD for gout specifically. A wide range of studies have been conducted, however, to determine the effects of CBD on arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, so we aren’t completely in the dark regarding the potential benefits of CBD for gout.
Let’s start with the basics. Some people believe that CBD may be useful for inflammatory conditions because this cannabinoid shows remarkable affinity for your nervous system’s TRPV1 and TRPV2 receptors, which modulate bodily inflammation and the sensation of inflammatory pain. Instead of targeting your CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC, CBD primarily interacts with your TRP and 5-HT1A receptors, which also explains this cannabinoid’s lack of psychoactive effects.
In tandem with what we’ve learned about how CBD interacts with your body’s inflammatory mechanisms, research has also been conducted to determine the benefits of CBD for arthritis specifically. One particular 2016 pre-clinical study is cited extensively due to its conclusions that CBD should be investigated exhaustively for its potential arthritis benefits. Cannabidiol has also been studied for its general effects on inflammation , and with further research, we’ll surely get to the bottom of whether CBD is a viable treatment for gout.
CBD vs. other gout treatments
One of the main reasons that people turn to CBD for gout instead of mainline prescription medications is this cannabinoid’s profound lack of side effects . Even THC, which is considered safe enough to prescribe to chemotherapy patients and other suffering individuals, has serious side effects such as intoxication, psychosis, and addiction. CBD, on the other hand, has not been identified as having any major side effects whatsoever, which sharply contrasts this cannabinoid with both THC and many mainstream medical treatments for gout.
Colchicine , for instance, a drug that was specifically designed for gout, commonly causes serious gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. NSAIDs also frequently cause gastrointestinal distress, and these alternatives to steroids can also cause headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, high blood pressure, and kidney or liver problems. Furthermore, corticosteroids can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure, glaucoma, mood swings, and delirium. Since common pharmaceutical gout drugs all have serious side effects, it’s no wonder that people with this condition are opting to try CBD in droves.
How do you use CBD for gout?
In many cases, people choose to use topical CBD for gout. This choice makes a certain degree of sense—after all, gout usually remains localized to a particular part of your body, and applying CBD topically to that area concentrates the effects of this cannabinoid and delivers fast-acting benefits directly at the site of pain and inflammation.
It’s important to remember, however, that eliminating the root causes of a condition is more important than addressing its symptoms in the long run. Reducing the pain associated with gout will make life easier, but it won’t stop your gout symptoms from recurring.
Therefore, you might want to try fighting gout with CBD products that exert their effects throughout your entire body such as CBD flower or CBD vape cartridges. There’s still a lot we don’t know about how CBD works, but choosing a CBD administration method that affects your whole body is more likely to address the underlying causes of gout than simply applying a CBD topical to your affected joint.Can CBD reduce the symptoms of gout or remove the underlying causes of this condition? Learn about the potential benefits of CBD for gout in this guide.
CBD oil and gout
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- Research overview
- The studies
- Patient perspectives
- What the experts say
- Bottom line
Gout is a common yet complex form of arthritis. Crystallization of excess uric acid leads to deposits in the joints, which become inflamed, red, and tender. Inflammation and pain are two of the primary symptoms associated with gout, and they are also two problems that seem to respond well to cannabis. In particular, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has demonstrated effectiveness in suppressing inflammatory pain.
The Chinese and other civilizations used cannabis as early as 2900 BCE to treat joint pain and gout. But modern research is in its infancy with regard to using CBD oil for gout. However, some studies have indicated that cannabis may be beneficial in treating the joint pain and inflammation linked to the disease without the unpleasant side effects of some prescription medications.
While modern research on CBD’s effectiveness in relieving symptoms of gout, cannabis has been used by civilizations to treat joint pain and gout as early as 2900 BCE. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pain examined the effects of transdermal CBD (applied to the skin) in a rat model of arthritis. Results indicated that “transdermal administration of CBD has long-lasting therapeutic effects without psychoactive side-effects. Thus, the use of topical CBD has potential as an effective treatment of arthritic symptomatology,” according to the authors of the study. The findings of this study, though not directly linked to humans, are encouraging for gout patients who are seeking pain and inflammation management through CBD oil.
A 2018 literature review published in Current Opinion in Pharmacology summarizes how cannabinoids have the potential to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis that causes degeneration of cartilage and bones. Also noted in the report was the fact that the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) has an important role in joint-related pain. This could pertain to gout patients who may experience high levels of pain in their joints.
Another 2018 study published in the Journal of Headache Pain reported positive findings from a cohort of medical cannabis patients. Researchers found that cannabis varieties high in the terpenes of caryophyllene and myrcene (the most prevalent chemovars on the market at the time of the study) were most successful in treating headaches, migraines, and other pain disorders, including arthritis. Again, such findings could be hopeful news for arthritis patients who are being treated specifically to relieve pain related to gout.
Actor Sir Patrick Stewart has reaped notable benefits from using medical marijuana for his arthritis. Rather than gout, Stewart suffers from osteoarthritis in both hands and has found relief with a combination of cannabis ointment, spray, and edibles. In a statement published in 2017 in Huffington Post, the actor cited a lack of adverse side effects from his cannabis treatments and shared:
“I believe that the ointment and spray have significantly reduced the stiffness and pain in my hands. I can make fists, which was not the case before I began this treatment.”
Actor Sir Patrick Stewart noted to the Huffington Post that he’s found relief from osteoarthritis with the use of cannabis topicals. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Stewart is not the only person whose painful symptoms have been alleviated with CBD. Weedmaps News reported in May 2019 that more cancer patients are opting for cannabis over opioids, according to one study cited in the article. Carmen Irigaray, a retired investment adviser, told Weedmaps that she began using cannabis oil extracts after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing radiation treatments.
Irigiray said, “It eased the pain, helped me sleep and, more importantly, kept me calm throughout the worst time of my life. I doubt I will ever stop consuming cannabis.” One cancer patient’s encouraging experience could mean that good news is on the horizon for gout and other arthritis patients.
What the experts say
Dr. Jason McDougall, a professor in the department of pharmacology and anesthesia at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been studying how medical cannabis could work to manage general arthritis pain.
In an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) Radio, McDougall analyzed the nerve endings of arthritis sufferers, saying: “They’re all bare, they’re all raw and responsible for feeling a lot of pain. What we hypothesize is that by locally administering these cannabis-like molecules to those nerves, we’d actually be able to repair them and reduce the pain of arthritis.”
Though McDougall is speaking generally about cannabis and arthritis, one can infer that CBD oil may offer similar benefits for gout sufferers.
Dr. Daniel Clauw, professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an expert in chronic pain, might agree. In an interview with Arthritis.org, Clauw shared some advice for using CBD oil alone (without THC) to treat different types of arthritis. Referring to the CBD oil treating knee osteoarthritis, he said: “. it appears as though it is very safe.” Clauw’s guidelines for treatment include low doses of CBD in 5 to 10 milligrams twice daily and progressing to higher doses of 50 to 100 milligrams per day if needed. If symptoms persist, Clauw recommends trying a CBD product that contains a small amount of THC.
CBD oil can be an effective approach to managing the pain of arthritis and painful inflammatory conditions, including gout.
Holistic healthcare practitioner Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., has also acknowledged the potential benefits of treating painful inflammatory conditions, including gout, with CBD. In 2018, Wilson wrote in Medical News Today: “At a time when we are trying to reduce the use of pain relievers, CBD oil can be an effective approach to managing the pain of arthritis. Researchers have also recognized the role that CBD could play in reducing the pain-causing inflammation of arthritis.”
Numerous studies have shown that cannabis and CBD oil are pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory, which gives hope to individuals coping with gout. More gout-specific research is needed to verify the effectiveness of CBD oil for this condition.CBD oil and gout Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Research overview The studies Patient perspectives What the experts say ]]>