CBD for Rheumatic Diseases

March 26, 2021

CBD for Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatic diseases are a very broad term. It is a group of diseases that includes many conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, osteoporosis, gout or osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Is the use of CBD in people struggling with this condition justified?

Osteoarthritis – some information

Osteoarthritis is very common – statistics indicate that up to half of people over the age of 40 may be struggling with it. Many of these people complain of day-to-day functioning that is often significantly limited due to joint abnormalities. Unfortunately, many activities of daily living contribute significantly to the development of osteoarthrosis. These include forced positions at work, overloading the joints at work, and obesity, which increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Statistics show that women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men, and for obvious reasons, the incidence of osteoarthritis increases with age. People who develop osteoarthritis do not always report any symptoms. However, it is important to note that many of these changes are visible on radiographs. Of course, the exact symptoms that people report often depend on the joint in which the abnormality is located – degenerative changes can affect small joints (such as the joints of the hands) as well as larger joints such as the hip, knee, and spine.

Arthritis does not have to be isolated and is often called polyarticular when there are more than 3 affected joints. The predominant symptom that patients often present to their doctor with is pain. Depending on the severity, this pain may occur both at rest and during movement. Limitation of mobility in the joint also occurs, which can even lead to muscle atrophy as the disease progresses.

Osteoarthritis – Treatment

The treatment of osteoarthritis is based on physiotherapy, surgery and pain relief. Painkillers are usually based on paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids. Paracetamol is not always sufficient, and chronic administration of NSAIDs is associated with a risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Opioids are more potent, but their use is also associated with a risk of side effects such as drowsiness and imbalance.

CBD for rheumatism – an effective solution?

The fact that cannabinoids can act against pain has not been known for a long time. It is worth noting that there are more and more reports on this subject and evidence in the form of scientific studies on a representative group of patients, which assessed the long-wave effects of CBD use as positive. As a result, cannabinoids are being used in today’s medicine on a wider scale. There have also been studies with animals that have shown that prophylactic use of CBD can prevent the later occurrence of joint disorders.

Additionally, CBD also reduced inflammation within inflamed joints. CBD may also have properties that would reverse the occurrence of structural disorders within the joints. An additional advantage that may positively influence the decision to use CBD is its properties – it does not have a euphoric effect, it modulates the endocannabinoid system, and it is a CB1 receptor antagonist. CBD-based agents have been officially registered in Canada for the treatment of neuropathic pain and pain associated with oncological diseases. It is worth noting that proper research is needed to determine exactly whether the use of CBD in specific disease entities can have a preventive effect.

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