Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cannabidiol (CBD) Treatments

CBD treatments for rheumatoid arthritis

Image Credit: By Dean Drobot on shutterstock.

Every year, there are thousands of Americans that have arthritis, close to 60 million in fact as reported by CDC. No matter what type of arthritis it is – gout, osteoporosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia –it’s never easy to deal with. The treatments, of course, come with their own set of side effects which are never pleasant. Instead of having to deal with these side effects, CBD provides numerous benefits with no side effects. It helps in decreasing inflammation, which makes CBD suitable for use in the treatment of arthritis and the associated aches.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is hard to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. It only becomes clearly visible once the body starts becoming less comfortable, around ages of 40-60.However, there are early symptoms which revolve around joints, such as joints being tender, swollen, feeling warm, or feeling stiff in the morning. Other signs of this disease could include fatigue, sudden loss of weight and fever.

Apart from these, RA presents a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms may be related to lungs, kidneys, skin, heart, eyes, nerve tissue, blood vessels, salivary glands and bone marrow. The disease is most commonly found in women. During RA, there are periods of extreme symptoms called flares, followed by calm times without any symptoms called remissions. It is because of how these flares and remissions effect your body that it becomes vital to diagnose and treat the disease. Which raises the question as to how the disease is diagnosed once the symptoms start to appear?

Before we discuss that, let’s focus on what happens within your body that results in the development of RA. Because it is an autoimmune disease, so your body attacks its own membranes that are found around the joints, called synovial membranes. When the membrane gets worn down, then your cartilage and actual bone is attacked next. This results in extreme discomfort and even physical distortion in some cases but before any of this happens to you, go talk to your doctor about it.

Diagnose The Disease Early On:

(Start off by getting the following blood work done: )

  • C-reactive protein test: checks the C-reactive protein level to see if your liver is producing far more than it should. Infections or serious inflammation can cause the liver to overproduce, and an increase in product is directly linked with RA.
  • Antinuclear antibody test: checks immune system’s health to look for production of antibodies. Antibodies are produced in response to many conditions, RA being one of them.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: An ESR test checks whether inflammation is present within the body, as well as its degree of severity. But fails to answer what the cause of the inflammation is.
  • Rheumatoid factor test: checks whether the protein called rheumatoid factor is present since the increase in its levels is related to autoimmune diseases like RA.
  • Anti-citrullinated protein antibody test (anti-CCP): checks for the presence of an antibody that is specifically linked only with RA. If it is present, mostly the disease is present too, but not every patient will have the antibody present.

Next, you will be referred to a rheumatologist if your doctor finds signs of increased inflammation from the results of above tests. Holistic and medical alternatives of treatment will be presented to you. Your diet will be stressed upon because it is important in maintaining your body’s homeostasis.

A healthier diet which includes proteins, minimum sugars, processed oils and carbohydrates only, has been shown to help in reduction of inflammation, according to recent studies. Try cutting down on meat and dairy, because they cause inflammation. Instead, try going on a vegan diet.

Spinal Arthritis – The Worst Kind of Back Pain

Everyone knows how bad back pains are. Having RA in your spine is a thousand times worse. In ways it’s similar to spinal osteoporosis, but much more painful. Early symptoms are same as those of RA in other body parts. Smaller joints are attacked first, resulting in the destruction of the neck. The lower back is only impacted if the disease reaches its worse stages.

Any disease that affects your back will cause discomfort to the greatest degree because our entire being is dependent on the spine. For this reason, protection against RA of the spine is vital. Once the disease starts progressing, there is an increase in terrible symptoms, such as crunching feelings and noises when the back is moved and pain from your neck through your thoracic vertebrae. After the joints are destroyed, the disease attacks the roots of nerves, eating them away. This result in immense shooting pain never experienced before. When the disease reaches its extreme stages and starts deteriorating your lower back, you start to feel the shooting pains all the way down to your legs.

Once pain reaches your legs and arms, RA starts causing a feeling of muscular fatigue and consistent tingling in all limbs that are affected. When it continues worsening, your bladder and bowels are affected too, resulting in loss of control over your bladder and blower movements.

Before your spine is impacted by RA, you should change your lifestyle entirely, and look for spine therapy methods. Because none of us want to have to use the adult diaper, Depend, that I’m sure we’ve all seen at CVS. Even I have occasional back pains, but at least I can use the restroom on my own, which is what matters.

Despite this horrific image of a future affected by RA, many people refuse to seek medical help. But how will this stubbornness help you when you won’t even be able to control your own bladder? Don’t make the wrong choice and end up losing control over basic bodily functions. Put the stubbornness aside, think about your future, and visit a doctor for confirmation about RA once any symptoms start appearing. Sure, many medical visits can be avoided, but not this. If you have the slightest inclination that you have RA, do whatever you have to but go to the doctor today!

What About “Cannabidiol” Treatment?

CBD seems to be the topic of conversation in all medical communities. The use of cannabis is only going to increase, with its legalization in 29 states and its hemp cultivation made possible by the 2014 farm bill. The benefits of the plant have been highlighted by many international studies. The Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being sued for federally classifying cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, by a group that includes an 11-year-old Texan. You’re probably confused about what CBD has anything to do with this. Before we discuss that, let’s look into basic questions like what CBD is.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid compound of cannabis. It is in high demand because of its wondrous medical benefits, which include help in quitting opiates and reducing anxiety. But how does CBD do so much is a question we answer next.

Trillions of neurons make up our brain. Their huge and complicated network is called the nervous system. The network carries all electrical and physical signals in charge of our feelings and functions of body systems. These signals are carried via molecules in the nervous system called neurotransmitters. There is a unique shape of every neurotransmitter, along with a discrete receptor different from all others. An electrical signal is dispatched once these two-piece molecules are fitted together.

What makes cannabidiol special?

Cannabidiol can imitate a key to various functions in our body because it is compatible with many receptors in the nervous system. It can quickly change and adapt to fit in where needed. If you had such a puzzle piece, every puzzle would be easier to solve right? That puzzle piece is almost what CBD is. Although more research can’t be conducted due to scientific limitations, it has been confirmed that CBD works with the body’s dopamine, serotonin, and opioid receptors.

To summarize, reduced pain due to opiate drugs such as heroin and codeine takes place through a physiological pathway that is opioid receptors. The word is constantly used in the media in regards to the nation’s opioid crisis. But why are drugs like these an issue in the USA but not overseas? Maybe because doctors here; derive financial benefits and commissions from writing prescriptions for them. Out of the drug prescriptions globally written, America makes 70% or more. Many things in the body are controlled by dopamine receptors.

The brain is flooded with these receptors, and they control various bodily functions. Signals about physical movement are transferred by them in parts of the brain. Tremors are caused by genetic mutations in the brain. Mutations and D4 receptors don’t work well, leading to diseases like ADHD and Parkinson’s. New neuron generation in effected by variation of dopamine receptors in the nervous system. Some effect smell and memory. Knowing this, it’s easy to see how a molecule which can fit among different receptors could serve in many medical treatments.

Serotonin– the happy chemical, effects a variety of physiological functions, such as controlling the release of acetylcholine (effects attention, motivation, arousal, memory) and release of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Serotonin receptors are also linked with controlling the release of aggression to sleep influencing hormones. Hence the clear conclusion: CBD has broad medical applications provided it can interact functionally with opioid, serotonin and dopamine receptors.

CBD Will Not Get You High

CBD, unlike THC, is not psychotropic, meaning it won’t get you “high”.It only affects you physiologically and physically. Apart from its distinctive capability to interact with other receptors, it also works through the endocannabinoid system of the body. There are various receptors, including CB1 and CB2, within this system, that are packed with the endocannabinoids of the body, or THC. You read it correctly; cannabinoids are naturally produced by our bodies. Bodily functions like inflammation, pain sensation and temperature regulation are linked with the endocannabinoid system.

At this point you should have a good understanding of what cannabidiol (CBD) is. It’s even more effective in the form of a whole plant, where interaction with CBD and THC and more cannabinoid compounds is possible. By working together, these compounds produce a synergistic effect, i.e., they are stronger when together. It’s almost intuitive really because of course, a chair with four legs instead of one would be more stable! I’m convinced that CBD is medicine but what will I feel once I take it?

Basically, CBD does all the things I’ve discussed above, but without getting you high! It should just be called a miracle drug because that’s what it is. Think about it, what’s better, a prescription drug designed in the laboratory, or a naturally grown alternative? Many studies have shown CBD’s incredible anxiolytic and pain relieving effects.

The fact that CBD can functionally interact with three main receptors has been proven through small-scale researches and use of anecdotal evidence. Just imagine how much more we could discover if we were allowed to study cannabidiol openly. Think of the various other receptors it could interact with, or the numerous medical treatments that could benefit from its use.

The discoveries about its full potential can only be realized through extensive studies. But these studies are not possible while old-fashioned rules are in place, suffocating innovation. The study of cannabis is even legal in Israel, putting our research miles and miles behind that of Israel. The pharmaceutical industry plays a strong role in support of these archaic laws since they derive billions every year from their industry.

So of course, they don’t want any treatments to enter the country that they can’t patent to generate money. While motivations of profit and money will always influence the policymakers of the country, there has been some development with regards to the cannabis space. In the last five years, the legalization of cannabis in 29 states leaves us to believe that the future may still be brighter after all.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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