CBD and arthritis
Arthritis or rheumatism ?
In the past, we used to talk about rheumatism, but today, we gladly use the term arthritis. This term does not refer to a disease in its own right, but to more than a hundred different conditions, all of which have in common pain in the joints, tendons and ligaments. This disease is not serious for the health, but can become very disabling in everyday life. Let's see together how arthritis is managed, and how CBD (cannabidiol) can improve your life if you suffer from it.
What is arthritis ?
Arthritis is a disease characterized by joint inflammation, "arthro" meaning joint in Greek, and "ite" inflammation in Latin. It can affect large joints, such as the spine, hips or knees, as well as smaller joints such as wrists or fingers. In France there are just over half a million people suffering from arthritis, men or women, adults, the elderly or even children, no one is immune. This disease can in some cases radically alter the quality of life of patients.
The joints that are most frequently affected by arthritis are the hands, knees, ankles, vertebrae and hips. The pain produced by the disease is inflammatory, and is mostly present at rest, and at night, can disrupt sleep. When waking up, the joints are stiff and painful, a "rinsing" lasting several minutes is necessary to reduce these sensations. The affected joints are swollen, and present gnawing.
The causes of arthritis are multiple, it can appear as a result of :
- A traumatism of the joint
- Wear and tear due to aging
- An illness
- An infection
- An autoimmune disease
The general practitioner will refer his patient to a specialist, the rheumatologist. It is a good idea to consult quickly, because arthritis can severely deform the joints. A puncture of joint fluid may reveal the presence of inflammatory fluid.
The treatment of arthritis will first aim to treat the cause of the arthritis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis today, and only the symptoms can be managed. The goal will be to relieve the patient by maintaining good mobility of the affected joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, different treatments will be proposed :
- Medication, anti-inflammatory and analgesics
- Physiotherapy to maintain proper joint function
- Exercise, to activate affected areas and improve health
- Food, rich in fruits and vegetables
- Surgery in the most advanced cases
CBD and arthritis
CBD, whose real name is cannabidiol, is a substance derived from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa). Hemp contains many different molecules, among them the cannabinoids, of which Cannabidiol (CBD) is one, just like its famous cousin THC. THC is the psychotropic substance that is mainly found in the Cannabis Indica plant. Indeed, the Cannabis, gathers a family of plants :
- Cannabis Sativa (industrial hemp) rich in CBD, very poor in THC (less than 0.2% according to the law).
- Cannabis Indica, low in CBD, and very rich in THC
- Cannabis Ruderalis, low in CBD and THC
Only the cultivation of industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa) is allowed, as it contains only an insignificant dose of THC, which will disappear permanently in the manufacturing process of CBD hemp oil. The proposed cannabidiol therefore does not contain any trace of THC, and therefore has no psychotropic effect. CBD has been the subject of much research in recent years, as its therapeutic potential is so great. Known to be a natural anti-inflammatory, an effective pain reliever, or a valuable sleep aid, here is how it can improve the lives of people suffering from arthritis :
- Several studies have shown the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of CBD (RIBEIRO et al. 2012, KOZELA et al. 2011, MECHA et al. 2013).
- CBD relieves pain. (LU et al. 2015)
- In 2012, a study conducted by the MUSEC gave extremely interesting results in the CBD treatment of pain related to painful muscle contractions.
- CBD promotes deep and restorative sleep. (CHAGAS et al. 2013)