CBD and Uric Acid
Posted on September 2nd, 2020
Currently, research is still underway to investigate the role of CBD and cannabis in helping manage inflammation. It’s already well known that the endocannabinoid system has a huge role to play in the regulation of inflammation. CBD and other plant cannabinoids may support the reduction of inflammation. Some researchers even suggest that cannabinoids may help with arthritic damage in joints, especially in patients suffering from uric acid deposits, or gout.
Gout is a type of arthritis that results in uric crystals being deposited in joints. It’s a painful condition that usually starts when there’s a significant buildup of uric acid in the body. The accumulation of uric acid is largely caused by overconsumption of rich foods and having a sedentary lifestyle. Some of the most common foods known to increase uric acid in the body include red meat, alcohol, caffeine, and seafood.
Uric acid deposits can make the life of the gout victim miserable, making even the lightest of touches and basic movements debilitating. While there are common over-the-counter medications that can be effective, many people prefer to avoid them because of their adverse side effects. For this reason, many gout victims are left in a predicament – either suffer through the agonizing pains of gout with no medication or risk suffering side effects and contraindications from pain-blocking drugs.
Fortunately, CBD oil holds promise for helping deal with the pain and inflammation often experienced from uric acid deposits. In fact, some studies infer that CBD may effectively help to combat symptoms of painful uric acid deposits and gout through its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
In this post, we’ll look at CBD and uric acid with relation to gout, and what possibilities exist in using CBD when you hope to find a natural source of relief.
A Brief Overview of Uric Acid and Gout
Gout is a common form of arthritis known for causing bouts of inflammation, discomfort, and redness in joints, specifically in the foot near the big toe. Gout flare-ups can cause the joints to feel tender, and the feeling is unbearable for many victims.
The main cause of gout is the buildup of uric acid in high amounts in the blood, also known as hyperuricemia. This creates urate crystals that end up settling in the joints. Uric acid is a natural byproduct of the processes in the body that break down substances referred to as purines. Purines can be found in the body and in foods like red meat, alcohol, seafood, and drinks made with fructose. When there’s too much uric acid in the body, the kidneys cannot effectively process it as normal, leading to the formation of urate crystals.
Over time, uric acid can accumulate in the body in different synovial cavities, sometimes even solidifying to form hard crystals similar to kidney stones. Consequently, they can turn into needle-like structures that can be really painful not to mention cause a whole list of other internal cellular damage.
Without undergoing frequent screenings, it’s hard to predict a flare-up of gout. Many people with arthritis can actually live for many years with asymptomatic hyperuricemia. This is a condition where there’s an abnormally huge amount of uric acid in the body. However, upon the first identification of symptoms, gout typically worsens in the first 24 hours. The symptoms will then subside over the course of the next few days.
What Research Says About the Effect of CBD on Gout
Cannabis has been used by the Chinese and other civilizations as early as the 2900 BCE for pain and inflammation. However, owing to the strict regulations that crippled research into cannabis for many decades, research is still in its infancy regarding the use of CBD oil for many conditions. Nonetheless, there are numerous studies that have demonstrated that CBD may be beneficial for reducing inflammation and joint pain without the undesirable side effects often experienced with over-the-counter medications.
In a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pain , the effects of transdermal CBD (topical application on the skin) were examined in a rat model of arthritis. The results showed that the topical administration of CBD generated long-lasting therapeutic effects without generating any psychoactive side effects. According to the authors of the study, the use of topical CBD has potential as an effective arthritic symptomatology treatment. While the findings of this study aren’t linked to humans directly, they are still encouraging for patients seeking inflammation and pain management through CBD.
In a literature review published in 2018 in the Current Opinion in Pharmacology , the authors summarize how cannabinoids can potentially manage pain related to osteoarthritis, which is the most prevalent form of arthritis that leads to degeneration of bones and cartilage. The report also noted that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays an important role in alleviating joint pain.
In another study published in 2018 in the Journal of Headache and Pain , researchers reported positive findings from a group of medical cannabis patients. According to the study’s findings, cannabis varieties that are rich in the terpenes of myrcene and caryophyllene were effective in the treatment of migraines, headaches, and other pain disorders like arthritis.
Such findings are a source of hope for patients looking to relieve pain, however further research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on uric acid and gout.
How CBD for Uric Acid May Help Provide Symptomatic Relief
So far, there have been no scientific or clinical research trials done to study the effect of CBD oil on uric acid or gout. However, there’s still available research that supports the immune-supportive and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD for people with arthritis.
Just as with other forms of arthritis, gout can be categorized as the result of some deficiencies in the immune system. Certain body tissues are unintentionally attacked, causing the inflammation and intense pain that accompanies the condition.
Furthermore, if the endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning optimally, which tends to happen as we age, the immune system could gradually become hyperactive, which by itself could lead to the onset of certain arthritic symptoms.
Overall, if the uric acid crystals deposit in your joints, you may experience gout. And gout is mainly characterized by two major conditions that CBD may offer management for: inflammation and pain.
CBD Oil for Uric Acid and Gout-related Pain
When it comes to pain relief, one of the more thorough investigations about CBD’s analgesic properties was conducted through patient surveys from collaborators at Project CBD and Care by Design. The results from the survey showed that CBD seemed very effective as a pain management tool with minimal negative side effects. CBD was also shown to deliver a significant decrease in opiate usage among elderly participants.
Similarly, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are equally well documented. This is relevant to hyperuricemia or gout victims who have to deal with symptoms such as tenderness, swelling, and joint inflammation. Scientific publications and clinical trials in recent years have given weight to what many people have already known for decades – cannabis has the potential to manage localized inflammation.
That said, it’s easy to see how CBD oil for uric acid and gout has the potential to be a highly effective way of managing symptoms, without adverse side effects.
Keep in mind that many studies have shown that CBD oil tends to be more effective for the same when taken as full-spectrum. This means that instead of CBD acting alone as an isolate, the compound appears to work well in the body more effectively when other natural cannabis compounds like flavonoids and terpenes are present. This doesn’t mean that you have to get a “high” to enjoy the full benefits. Full-spectrum CBD oils are still non-intoxicating as they contain less than 0.3% THC.
What’s the Right Dosage of CBD for Symptom Relief?
Unfortunately, there’s no conclusive answer to this. Everyone has a different reaction to CBD. Some people may require a lot of the cannabinoids to experience any form of result. Meanwhile, others will only require a little bit. However, before we start talking about how much CBD you need, it’s important to talk about the potential side effects.
CBD can have some side effects, though they are generally not serious. Plus, they are often associated with taking too much CBD. Some of the side effects include fatigue, nausea, and change in appetite. You can generally avoid them by not taking too much CBD.
Figuring out how much CBD you need can take a while, but the process will be worth it. If you are a new CBD user or are trying out a new product, you should always start with a little amount. Wait for some time and see how it affects you. If you find you’re not experiencing any negative side effects and are still not getting the desired effects, you can gradually increase the dosage until you do. The lowest amount that gives you the desired effects without any negatives is the right amount for you.
As a rule of thumb, avoid mixing CBD with other medications. It’s always best to consult a healthcare practitioner before you begin taking CBD. They will know whether or not CBD will go well with your medications.
It’s worth reiterating that there are still no known clinical trials that show CBD to be effective in treating uric acid or gout problems. All indications that cannabis might help to ease the symptoms and flare-ups experienced with gout are drawn from the fact that CBD for arthritis is a more researched topic.
Furthermore, the capacity of CBD oil to serve as a potential pain reliever, anti-inflammatory agent, and an immune system enhancer may make it a worthwhile candidate to help people suffering from uric acid and gout-related problems.
Fortunately, CBD oil may hold promise for helping deal with the pain and inflammation often experienced from uric acid deposits.
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