In an interview with eMedicine Health, Mick, a 45 year-old patient, described his debilitating experience living with gout:
“I’m a builder and for the first few years of my introduction into the world of pain I kept working, pulling myself up ladders with only one leg and crying a lot in silence. Twenty years later I am stuck in bed with a right knee with its own heartbeat and built in heater…”
Today, we’re going to delve into the potential benefits of using CBD for gout.
CBD for gout at a glance
What the claims are: CBD can alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with gout.
What the studies show: Early studies show that CBD has the potential to reduce both pain and inflammation.
What the facts say: While CBD can help provide relief for many people suffering from symptoms of gout, it does not treat the underlying condition and cannot replace other medications.
What is gout?
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that causes severe attacks of pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. It is caused by urate crystals that accumulate in the joints after breaking down a substance in the body called “purines.” Urate crystals form as a result of high levels of uric acid in the blood.
More than 8.4 million people are currently suffering from gout, which affects men more often than women. The severity of this condition varies, with some people living symptom free for years at a time–referred to as “remission”– while others deal with baseline pain on a regular basis punctuated by “flares,” which can be excruciating.
Symptoms of gout almost always occur out of the blue, and many times begin at night.
Most commonly, gout affects the large joint of your big toe. Other potential sites of gout include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. Typically, pain is at its worst early on, often within the first 4 hours of a flare, but often lasts for days or even weeks. The affected joint is typically hot, swollen and so tender that even the slightest touch is unbearably painful.
The more often attacks occur, the more likely they are to last longer and affect more joints.
As gout progresses, it may limit a person’s range of motion. Gout that is left untreated can lead to serious joint damage.
There is no cure for gout, but symptoms can be managed through medication as well as diet. Because purines are found in certain foods like organ meat, steak, and seafood, limiting those items can help control gout. Losing weight can also help as obesity is a risk factor for this condition.
How can CBD be used for gout?
As we mentioned above, research shows that CBD can help with both pain and inflammation associated with gout and other forms of arthritis. Anecdotally, some people suffering from gout are finding that it can stop a flare in its tracks.
A 2017 study done by the NCBI also shows that using CBD for arthritis can also potentially prevent further nerve damage in those suffering from certain forms of arthritis.
That all said, it’s important to note there are no indications that CBD can lower the amount of uric acid in the blood, which causes gout. If gout is left untreated, a proliferation of urate crystals can gather into nodules called “tophi.” These can be disfiguring and causes permanent damage to joints and bones. Therefore, it’s important to consider CBD for gout as part of a regimen for controlling symptoms as opposed to a blanket treatment for this condition.
Are there any downsides to using CBD for gout?
Rarely, users of CBD report minor side effects such as tiredness, nausea, or diarrhea. That said, research shows that there are no evident negative effects of using CBD for gout. While many people find that it can help manage pain and inflammation, there are also some who have experienced minimal or no relief.
Many of the products used most commonly to help manage the symptoms of gout can result in a host of side-effects, ranging from swelling of the feet and heartburn to more serious ones like bone loss, increase risk of blood clots, and stroke. This makes CBD a great potential option for treating certain symptoms of gout.
Is CBD for gout the right choice for me?
There is no known cure for gout at this time, but there are a lot of different options when it comes to managing symptoms. Using CBD to help alleviate some of those symptoms has shown great promise with a very low risk of side effects. For that reason, CBD for gout might be the right choice for you. Before introducing anything new to your healthcare routine, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that a CBD regimen will not interfere with your current medications.