Did you know an alarming 54.4 million Americans deal with the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis? This condition is essentially the breaking down of the joints that can become progressively worse over time. Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in the world, and yet a lot of people don’t have a basic understanding of it, and how it can be treated. Interestingly, more people are turning to hemp-infused products in order to treat their arthritis from home, along with other treatment options that doctors recommend.
Hemp is the member of the cannabis family that’s legal and non-psychoactive, and it has been shown to offer many, many benefits to our daily wellbeing. It’s rich in compounds that have unique ways for balancing the body, known as cannabinoids, along with other compounds like terpenes and nutrients that can also provide relief to arthritis sufferers.
All that being said, it’s important to know that if you do have arthritis, there are treatments available, and that you can consider incorporating hemp into your routine as a complementary routine to the treatments you’ve been prescribed. Those said properties found in the hemp plant may offer impressive results to anyone looking for relief from the pain and stiffness that they face daily.
What Should You Know About Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes one or more joints of the body to become chronically inflamed. A person who has arthritis will find that the condition gets worse over time if untreated. The result is pain, discomfort and stiffness which can interfere with range of motion, limiting a person’s movement. The pain tends to be the worst when a person wakes up, and when the weather rapidly changes. Also, a person with arthritis will usually find that the pain becomes more severe after they have used that particular joint, such as a someone with arthritis of the shoulder joint experiencing more pain after lifting weights.
Now, there are two different types of arthritis which cause the same symptoms, but have different causes:
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in the immune system attacking the body’s joint tissue. This allows many joints throughout the body to become arthritic, and painful. It’s treated differently from osteoarthritis, because the problem lies within the immune system rather than one particular joint of the body that has become damaged in some way.
Osteoarthritis is associated with a breaking down of the cartilage surrounding the joints, which causes inflammation to occur. This tends to be more common with age, and can even affect one or multiple joints throughout the body, depending on which joints experience the most wear and tear.
What Exactly Then Causes Arthritis?
Many people wrongfully think that arthritis only affects people after a certain age, but it can happen to people of all ages. There are an array of different causes for arthritis, with the most common causes below:
#1: Wear and Tear of the Joints
A natural part of aging is the wearing down of joint cartilage simply due to overuse. Over time, our joints begin to break down as the body loses its ability to restore damaged cartilage as effectively as when we were young.
#2: A Past Injury to the Joints
This can happen if the joint’s tissue is re-damaged enough that the cartilage never fully repairs itself.
#3: A Compromised Immune System
There are all kinds of factors that can contribute to this including genetics, vitamin deficiencies, and abuse of certain substances like alcohol and cigarettes. All of these can bring about a weakened immune system to the point that an autoimmune condition develops. In fact, a weakened immune system can cause osteoarthritis to be more symptomatic since the immune system must be strong to manage inflammation throughout the body. Basically, the weaker the immune system, the more localized inflammation can occur.
#4: Chronic Stress
Can definitely make symptoms of both types of arthritis worse, as stress causes chemicals to enter the bloodstream of the body that can increase inflammation. Many people notice that their joint pain is more severe when they’re experiencing stress.
#5: Genetic Factors
Yes, there are genetic factors that can make a person more prone to both types of arthritis, based on the structure of their joints and their immune systems such as:
- HLA: Responsible for distinguishing between your body’s proteins and the proteins of the infecting organism. A person with the HLA genetic marker is five times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who do not have this marker. This gene is one of the most significant genetic risk factors for RA.
- STAT4: Has a role in regulating and activating the immune system.
- TRAF1 and C5: Has a part in causing chronic inflammation.
- PTPN22: Associated with the onset of RA and the progression of the disease.
#6: Diet and Lifestyle Choices
Failing to consume certain nutrients can cause arthritis to be worse, as many nutrients including omega fatty acids and vitamins C and D work to keep the joints healthy. Further, poor lifestyle choices like not getting enough sleep or exercise can prevent the joints from being fully healthy.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain or discomfort in one or more of your joints, you should see a doctor who can diagnose you with arthritis. They will likely take scans of your joints to see if there are any injuries, and to examine the swollen tissue. They may also take bloodwork to see whether or not you have signs of an autoimmune disorder which could lead to rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis can be treated in many ways, although the only way to cure it is through surgery, in which a joint replacement procedure is performed. This is because damage to the structure of the joint cannot be repaired without a full replacement of the joint.
Treating arthritis depends on the severity of the condition, as well as which of the two types of arthritis you have:
- With osteoarthritis, there are anti-inflammatories and steroid drugs that can help with symptoms.
- With rheumatoid arthritis, this may require a specific medication that helps the immune system.
What Can Hemp Potentially Do for Arthritis Sufferers?
To know what hemp can do for arthritis sufferers, we need to understand the properties of this plant that make it so unique. Since again, hemp is rich in compounds called cannabinoids, these are able to work directly with the endocannabinoid system in the body. Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and even Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8 THC) bind to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body that belong to the endocannabinoid system, and have the job of regulating processes of the body to create homeostasis.
Cannabinoid receptors in the joints deal with inflammation levels, trying to regulate them in a way that can bring down inflammation, so the person experiences less pain, swelling, and stiffness. CBD in particular has been widely studied for its ability to lower inflammation levels, both when applied topically and taken orally. CBG may offer anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful to those dealing with arthritis, too. Also, cannabinoids have analgesic properties, meaning that they can make us less sensitive to pain by helping the pain receptors in the nerves become less reactive. All of these things mean that hemp has what it takes to help a person dealing with arthritis feel more comfortable in the short and long term.
How to Take Specifically CBD for Arthritis
Again, the compounds in hemp may bring down inflammation associated with arthritis, which is why so many of our customers are using Rogue Apothecary products specifically for joint pain and stiffness. We highly recommend our many hemp-infused formulas if you’re looking for a holistic way to manage the symptoms associated with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which are all made with natural ingredients and organic, lab-tested hemp extracts.
However, before and during your CBD sessions, here are some quick things to keep in mind.
#1: Talk to Your Doctor
Before you start taking cannabidiol, talk to the specialist who is treating you for your arthritis. This is because CBD may interfere with certain medications used to treat arthritis, such as steroids, by suppressing the CYP3A4 enzyme that helps break down certain medications.
#2: Choose the Right Milligram Strength
CBD products come in many different milligram strengths, which determine how many milligrams of hemp are in each dose. Choose a milligram strength based on how severe your symptoms are. With oral products, consider taking 25 to 50 milligrams a day.
#3: Take Hemp on a Daily Basis
Hemp’s cannabinoids work cumulatively, which means that daily consumption can help the symptoms of arthritis improve in the long term. Keep in mind that you should see how your body responds when doing so.
#4: Consider a Topical Along with an Internally Based Product
We recommend taking an oral product like a tincture or edible daily, and also applying a CBD topical directly to the joints that are in pain.
- Topicals offer localized, targeted effects to joints and muscles.
- Oral products offer more widespread effects throughout the body.