How CBD Can Help Fight Inflammation and Related Joint Pain
This article about CBD oil and it’s potential for fighting age-related health problems, including inflammation and related joint pain was written by HATH
The senior years mean wisdom and more time for family. Like all phases of life, these years come with their challenges. Growing older may come with joint and bone pain, loss of muscle and strength, and trouble sleeping.
How do you fight back? It’s no secret: exercise and nutrition. Both cardio and strength training activities are important. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week.
Staying active into the golden years is easier said than done. Many people experience joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation with age. This can mean daily exercise is painful– a walk around the neighborhood may be challenging.
For people suffering from both short and long term inflammation, CBD shows promise for fighting age-related health problems. This includes inflammation and related joint pain. Read on to learn how CBD and regular exercise can help relieve inflammation and its side effects.
What is Inflammation?
At its most basic level, inflammation is the body’s first line of defense in response to an injury or infection. When the body detects that something is wrong, it will dispatch white blood cells to the area of concern. This protects your body from outside invaders.
There are two forms of inflammation, acute and chronic.
Acute Inflammation is much more common. Many people probably experience it on a day-to-day basis to some degree without even knowing. It occurs when you accidentally twist your ankle or jam your thumb. Your body recognizes the sudden injury. Then, it immediately increases blood flow to the injury site. This causes that familiar warm feeling along with redness.
Then, your body will send white blood cells to swarm the injured area and promote healing.
The chemicals created by white blood cells acting in defense can cause fluid to leak into muscle tissue. This results in swelling of the body part. The entire process triggers the nerves in our body as well, resulting in more pain at the site of injury.
Fortunately, acute inflammation is, as its name states, acute! The pain, swelling, and redness will dissipate within the coming hours or days at most. The length of time depends on the injury’s severity.
Chronic Inflammation can be much more troublesome. This happens when the body’s inflammatory response lingers for longer than necessary. For low long? Sometimes, pain lasts well past when the injury that triggered the initial inflammation is already successfully treated.
The process remains the same as acute inflammation. However, your body continues to consistently deploy white blood cells to attack a malady that no longer exists.
These white blood cells know they are there to fight something, but don’t know exactly what. In turn, white blood cells may end up attacking nearby healthy tissues and organs.
Causes of Inflammatory Arthritis
When your body misidentifies healthy tissue as harmful pathogens, it will continuously attack and cause inflammation in and around joints.
The resulting chronic joint inflammation is classified as inflammatory arthritis.
Unlike osteoarthritis (which is caused by physical wear on the joints), the root cause of inflammatory arthritis (IA) is very hard to pinpoint.
The main treatment for IA includes symptom management. Symptom management is especially important during flare-ups associated with increased pain and swelling.
Normally, this means taking a combination of medications that relieve swelling and pain. This regulates the immune system and keeps inflammation under control.
It is also imperative that people keep the joints active to prevent stiffness when symptoms are not flaring up. This is typically a challenge with chronic arthritis pain.
Yes, there are numerous drug treatments available for inflammation. However, many of them trade-off symptom management with unpleasant long-term side effects.
For example, corticosteroid prednisone research shows the possibility to stop the immune system from attacking itself. This isn’t always possible without potentially causing a myriad of reactions including:
- Glaucoma and Cataracts
- High blood pressure
- Worsening diabetes
- Increased risk of infection due to down regulation of the immune system
- Mood swings
- Easy bruising
- Sleep problems
- Digestive issues / nausea
- Swollen, puffy face
- Water retention
The goal of contemporary researchers is to find an effective treatment for inflammatory arthritis with minimal side effects.
CBD may be a solution to reduce both joint pain and inflammation.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabaceae family of plants, specifically in the genus of flowering plants known as Cannabis. These plants have a rich history of medicinal use and research regarding the benefits of cannabis. Due to their therapeutic profile, a great deal of information learned over the last 10 years is now available.
Cannabis plants produce unique compounds called phytocannabinoids. Our bodies have natural receptors activated by phytocannabinoids in what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in multiple physiological processes. These include appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
There are a lot of ways that CBD is able to produce the effects that it does.
Today, identification is complete for over 65 molecular targets of CBD. However, the following sections discuss the main sites associated with potential relief of pain and inflammation.
CBD Has Potential to React with Pain and Inflammation Receptors
The human body undergoes many physiological changes in response to CBD. Most of these happen at the neurological level in the form of brain receptor interactions.
In simple terms, a receptor is a protein which binds to a specific molecule. In this case the specific molecule would be CBD.
There are two main receptors in the brain that influence pain perception and inflammation in the body. They are the TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors.
CBD is reported to be most potent at TRPV1 receptors. CBD works to bind to and activate these receptors. Active TRPV1 receptors can lower inflammation and have an analgesic (pain-reducing) effect.
The next important receptor that interacts with CBD is GPR55, a very common receptor in the brain. When activating this receptor, it aids in the natural breakdown of our bones. Sometimes this receptor can become overactive and lead to osteoporosis.
CBD is a GPR55 antagonist, meaning it blocks the activity of this receptor, which can lead to healthier bone structures and even potentially stop the spread of cancer cells.
Fighting Inflammation is Important for Maintaining Healthy Bones
There is solid evidence that inflammation itself weakens bone structures. This often speeds up the degeneration of bones and joints due to arthritis.
According to a scientific review of literature, “Inflammatory disease can increase bone resorption” and decrease the strength of our bone structures. Reduced bone strength can lead to degenerative conditions such as erosive arthritis.
It is vital to combat inflammation immediately to reduce the potential for detrimental long-term health effects, such as osteoporosis.
Is CBD Clinically Proven When Treating Pain and Inflammation?
CBD research is still in its infancy when it comes to human trials. Fortunately, studies involving animals show promising results.
One study done on arthritic mice showed that “CBD was administered after onset of clinical symptoms, and in both models of arthritis the treatment effectively blocked progression of arthritis.”
A separate scientific study found that CBD administered transdermally alleviated both inflammation and pain-related behaviors in the rat model of arthritis.
According to ClinicalTrials.gov, there are over 220 potential studies being commissioned regarding the effects of CBD on numerous aspects of human health!
How Should I Take CBD?
Most products deliver CBD in different ways. The degree and rate of absorption and activity of CBD products differs depending on how the CBD enters the body. One example? CBD infused in a transdermal patch absorbs into the bloodstream much faster than CBD that has been ingested (eaten).
For specifically alleviating pain and inflammation, some methods of delivering CBD to the body are better than others. It may seem intuitive to use a lotion or salve on the problem area, topicals do not enter the bloodstream.
Topicals often prove effective for very localized, superficial pain. However, the CBD does not reach the bloodstream to interact with the necessary receptors.
Luckily, transdermal patches offer the best of both worlds: topical application with absorption into the bloodstream.
Why You Should Try a Transdermal Patch to Combat Inflammation
Promising research from a study done on rats found that transdermal CBD patches have the potential to alleviate pain and inflammation in knee joints.
Most forms of CBD show potential in pain relief. Transdermal patches relieve localized pain on a specific muscle or joint. This is the most common – and well-received – use.
Experts recommend transdermal patches because of how efficiently they absorb into the bloodstream.
It is best to use transdermal patches before physical activity. Why? The increased blood flow associated with an elevated heart rate means better blood circulation. When your blood circulates at a steadier rate, it delivers CBD throughout your body to where it’s most needed.
Physical Therapy and CBD: Effective Ways to Treat Pain and Inflammation
Just because inflammation becomes more common as you age, doesn’t mean you have to let it slow you down!
Long-term inflammation commonly has pretty disastrous effects on human bone structures. It often catalyzes the breakdown of our body.
It is vital to physical longevity to find methods to reduce overall inflammation. These methods are either superficial and related to an injury, or visceral due to an overactive immune response.
Unfortunately, many of the pharmacological solutions to inflammation (such as prednisone) can cause negative reactions and unpleasant side effects. CBD is a potentially safer alternative with mounting scientific evidence that supports its use in reducing inflammation.
CBD doesn’t eliminate the need for managing inflammation through exercise. It can, however, supplement physical activity and help provide pain relief.
Physical therapy is another option to combat inflammation and the related pain. The goal is to increase range of motion and minimize the pain caused by inflammation with targeted exercises. These exercises mobilize the affected joints and surrounding muscle.
To find a physical therapy clinic near you and schedule your first appointment, use the BetterPT clinic location tool or download the app. Connecting with these therapists ensures that the next steps you take are safe and beneficial to your needs. Another option for care is using the BetterTelehealth platform. This puts you in contact with therapists virtually.
Yes CBD typically results in few side effects. However, there is always a risk when putting a new supplement like CBD into your body. Although very mild in comparison to corticosteroids such as prednisone, CBD has been reported in some instances to cause side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue.
CBD is generally well tolerated and has no effects indicative of abuse or dependence potential, according to the World Health Organization.
CBD has the potential to interact with other medications you might be taking. Always make sure to check with your doctor before implementing into your routine.
Don’t let pain and inflammation run your life any longer. Speak with a medical professional today and see if CBD is right for you!
Want to learn more about CBD and find out if it’s right for you? Visit HATH Helps for the latest news and research on using CBD in sports and fitness and as a general wellness solution. HATH is a leader in easy-to-understand daily CBD solutions. They grow their products organically in the U.S. utilizing CBD-rich hemp.