Gout Pain and Inflammation
Gout is a subset of arthritis and can be effectively managed with cannabis medicine.
It is already established that cannabis is an effective treatment for the inflammation problems of arthritis and that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating inflammation. Plant cannabinoids, such as CBD, support the reduction of inflammation. Some studies even demonstrate that cannabinoids can reverse arthritic damage in joints. Gout is a form of arthritis that causes deposits of uric acid crystals in joints. It is a painful condition that starts when there is a build up of uric acid in the body.
Uric acid accumulates, largely, as a result of the overconsumption of rich foods, combined with a sedentary lifestyle. The most common foods that increase uric acid in the body: caffeine, alcohol, seafood, sardines, anchovies, and lentils. ‘Gout contributors’ include high blood pressure, obesity, and high sugar intake.
How Do They Treat Gout?
Gout is a painful, often debilitating condition where even a thin summer bed sheet across the affected joint will cause pain. The big toe joint is most commonly affected, but gout can also affect elbows, fingers, ankles, wrists, and knees. Gout flare ups last from 3 to 10 days and are excruciating. Flares may seem to appear out of nowhere, but the crystal build up happens over a long, asymptomatic period of time.
Patients diagnosed with gout will have to make lifestyle changes in order to clear the excess uric acid from their system. To deal with the intense pain of gout, physicians will advise over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) and sometimes a round of corticosteroids in the inflammation is significant.
These medications come with side effects that can cause issue in other areas of the body, including: diarrhea, nausea, kidney problems, ulcers, hypertension, weight gain, glaucoma, and diabetes.
Does CBD Stop Gout?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoative cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. In other words, CBD reduces inflammation and fights pain in the affected joint by signaling the same receptors that the endocannabinoid system uses for mitigating inflammation. This results in an increase in levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-AG which binds to CB2 receptors in calm the body’s inflammatory response.
CBD helps with the pain of gout by interacting with the endocannabinoid system to increase levels of body-produced anandamide. The endocannabinoid, anandamide binds to CB1 receptors top block pain signalling and bring pain relief.
Both of these actions will work to stop the pain and inflammation of gout.
Should I Use CBD Extract or Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil?
Cannabinoid extractions are becoming increasingly popular, even pharmaceutical companies are creating non-synthetic extracts, such Epidiolex (for the treatment of seizures). However, while isolates can be effective for targeting some issues, full spectrum cannabis oil is generally better in the treatment of pain and inflammation (among other conditions). This is because full spectrum cannabis products have terpenes and flavonoids intact, allowing the patient to access the Entourage Effect of cannabis medicine. Essentially, this means that the medicinal sum of all the parts is greater than individual parts. This is because there is a synergistic play between cannabis’s different compounds. Difficult conditions, like gout, require the full monty so, go for cannabis flower, full spectrum oil (or tincture) or medibles.
Cannabis root is also a good treatment for inflammatory conditions. The root is rich in monoterpenes, such as carvone, that interact with the body’s pain receptors to alleviate pain.
Strains for Gout
Strains high in CBD will be what you should look for when you visit the dispensary:
- Ringo’s Gift
- Stephen Hawking Kush
No completed studies have specifically examined cannabis for treating gout. But cannabis can manage gout inflammation and pain. CBD can safely and effectively shorten your gout flares. It can help you manage symptoms over the long term, without damaging other organs.