Dr Frankel talks about his personal experience with gout and treating it with CBD. Does CBD Work for Gout? CBD may be an effective treatment for gout pain. This form of arthritis is incurable but manageable. Can CBD be an effective treatment option in relieving the painful symptoms of gout? In this article, we discuss the possible effects of CBD on reducing inflammation and pain.
GOUT PREVENTION AND TREATMENT WITH CANNABIDIOL
Just about five years ago, as I was enjoying some leisure time relaxing and reading a book, I suddenly felt some tingling in the big toe of my left foot. Naturally, I attributed it to a new pair of shoes I had recently purchased which were a bit tight. However, within a few hours, I was in a considerable amount of pain, so I began noting the swelling and erythema (redness) around that area.
It wasn’t long before I was certain that I was experiencing my first episode of Gout. The symptoms? It was unusually painful. Walking, and even working, were challenging. Sleeping was very difficult as well, as the pain awakened me if the sheets merely grazed my toe.
Being a trained physician, you’d think I would seek medical advice. Did I?
Of course not! Doctors rarely properly care for themselves. Like most people, I took over-the-counter anti-inflammatory tablets (think: “Advil”) and several days later the pain and swelling subsided. Within a week I was fine… enough.
The Road Less Traveled
What if I had chosen the conventional medical route? Since uric acid is drawn from the blood into the joint during an attack, it often reads low anyway, so I never actually bothered checking my uric acid levels. I had no interest in starting medically prescribed Allopurinol to lower my uric acid.
For about one year I was just reactive, so I relied on NSAIDs every time I had an attack, which commonly occurred every 3-4 months.
Over time, as I continued to learn more about the benefits of CBD, it came to mind that the daily doses of Whole Plant CBD that I had been taking for my overall health and well-being may very well have been a potential preventive therapy for gout. Given the potential health costs of long term overuse of NSAIDs, Whole Plant CBD seemed like a great alternative.
By the end of that first year, unbeknownst to me, I had experienced my last episode! It has been about four years since my last flare-up, and even the tiny amount of swelling that remained after my first episode has resolved. Gout… GONE.
Cannabis as a Therapeutic Alternative
Over the past four years or so I have seen several patients with gout, and I have recommended a combination of both systemic CBD for prevention, along with a transdermal CBD/THC formulation for acute attacks. With attention to symptoms, the preventive CBD alone may be all we’ll need to stay one step ahead.
There are currently about 8 million patients afflicted with gout in the United States, which is clearly a significant number, so further studies are certainly needed to determine the best and most effective Cannabis treatments for this condition.
Let’s give CBD a chance.
Let’s advocate for more research.
Allan Frankel, MD Dr Allan Frankel is one of the few physicians in the US who truly understands Cannabis as a medicine. All treatments suggested have been well studied. Every patient seen by Dr Frankel is given a personally created Treatment Plan created with the patient’s specific issues defined. Plant medicine requires “tuning” of the dosing. Dr Frankel works with his patients thru a messaging portal. The use of this portal, allows quick and simple follow up contact with Dr Frankel. Patients are not charged for these messages, as this is how Dr Frankel has learned what he has learned. Follow up appointments in person or by phone/video are also available when needed
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According to the John Hopkins Arthritis Center, several drugs can be used to treat gout flare-ups (5 ) . These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen
While the medications mentioned previously are effective, doctors often prescribe higher dosages to manage an acute attack of gout. These changes could cause side effects, which may be harmful to some people.
Mayo Clinic says side effects from using NSAIDs include high risks of developing stomach pain, bleeding, and ulcers (6 ) . Meanwhile, colchicine use can result in vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
The use of corticosteroids can lead to sudden mood changes, high blood pressure , and increased blood sugar levels (7 ) . Corticosteroids are often prescribed to patients who cannot take NSAIDs and colchicine .
Gout is an incurable type of arthritis that affects joints, particularly the big toe joint. However, with medications and self-management, it can be treated (8 ) .
To avoid the side effects of gout medications, more patients are turning to cannabidiol (CBD). It has been shown to have analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial to gout patients.
CBD comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is non-psychoactive.
THC is the other primary ingredient of medical marijuana and also comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Like CBD, THC can be used medicinally.
However, THC is often used recreationally and sometimes abused (9 ) . Because of THC’s addictive nature, it is likely that users may develop a dependence on it.
How CBD Oil Works to Alleviate Symptoms of Gout
Findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that gout is caused by hyperuricemia, the excessive uric acid buildup in the body (10 ) .
Individuals who have increased chances of developing hyperuricemia are usually obese males who have health problems, like hypertension, diabetes, and reduced kidney function (11 ) .
Certain diets may increase the likelihood of people developing gout. These consumption behaviors include drinking large quantities of alcohol and fructose-rich beverages.
Also at risk are those who often eat food high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Such foods include organ meats, red meats, and seafood, like sardines, tuna, and anchovies.
Gout has been dubbed as the “disease of kings” because it is generally caused by overindulgence in food and drinks (12 ) .
In the affected joints, gout may be detected when the following symptoms are observed: intense pain, redness, swelling, and heat (13 ) .
Gout may come in the form of acute gout or chronic gout. Acute gout only affects one joint, while chronic gout may occur repeatedly and affect more than one joint (14 ) .
CBD for Inflammation
Further research needs to be done on CBD’s therapeutic effects on gout symptoms. However, a significant number of studies conducted on CBD have suggested its anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published in Future Medicinal Chemistry concludes that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects that may help treat several types of arthritis and inflammation-related diseases (15 ) . The primary cannabinoids are CBD and THC.
Cannabinoids are compounds that may come from the body, from plants, or laboratories. They interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and activate cannabinoid receptors , known as CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Cannabinoids help the ECS with several functions, like immune responses, mood, appetite, and memory.
Cannabinoids have been shown to help suppress cytokines at inflammatory sites in the body, reducing symptoms of inflammatory diseases (16 ) .
Cytokines are a group of proteins that can be classified as pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory (17 ) . Their modulation can balance the initiation and resolution of inflammation (18 ) .
CBD is a cannabinoid that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties (19 ) .
Another study in 2019 has found that CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These therapeutic benefits may help treat several conditions, like arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, psychosis, among others (20 ) .
CBD for Pain Relief
A 2018 study states that cannabinoids, like CBD, may be useful in treating inflammation and pain (21 ) .
Research conducted in rodents that have osteoarthritis showed that CBD reduced inflammation and blocked osteoarthritis pain signals (22 ) .
The study suggested that CBD might be a safe and effective therapy for osteoarthritis. The researchers believe that they have discovered CBD’s neuroprotective properties.
Another study, this time on CBD as a topical pain reliever, has shown that the use of CBD gel on rat models markedly attenuated joint swelling and pain, without causing psychoactive side effects in the test subjects (23 ) .
In the study, the application of 6.2 mg and 62 mg of CBD gel per day, for four consecutive days after arthritis pain began, helped treat arthritis in rats .
The results of the animal study showed CBD as a promising treatment for pain relief in humans.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Gout
- Animal and human studies have reported the benefits of CBD in treating symptoms of gout.
- CBD is safe for use because it has an excellent safety profile (24 ) .
- CBD is non-addictive (25 ) . Thus, gout patients may not have to worry about developing a dependence on it.
- While there are studies on CBD’s potential in alleviating gout symptoms, research on CBD’s effectiveness in treating gout itself is lacking.
- The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has not approved CBD use aside from the treatment of epilepsy.
- There is no standard dosage for CBD when used for the treatment of gout.
- CBD products are unregulated, resulting in a proliferation of mislabeled CBD products online (26 ) .
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Gout
Although gout cannot be cured completely, patients’ lifestyle changes help manage their symptoms. These modifications include weight loss, diet changes, hypertension control, and change in medication regimens (27 ) .
A study has found that cherry consumption helps lower the risk of gout attacks (28 ) .
Studies have also been made on whether vitamin C intake helps in the attenuation of gout. However, the results of these studies are conflicting.
A study reports that vitamin C reduces uric acid levels and prevents gout recurrences (29 ) . Another study, meanwhile, concludes that vitamin C reduces the risk of gout development but does not significantly reduce uric acid in gout patients (30 ) .
Meanwhile, th e use of CBD has minimal risk factors, as common side effects include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight (31 ) . CBD use may also help complement the alternative treatments mentioned previously.
However, it is not recommended to use CBD alongside traditional gout medications, such as corticosteroids (32 ) . The liver enzyme cytochrome P450 metabolizes these medications.
CBD may inhibit the P450 enzyme system and increase the risk of amplifying the side effects of gout medications (33 ) .
How to Choose the Right CBD for Gout
There are three types of CBD oils : full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and isolates.
Full-spectrum oils make use of all the ingredients of cannabis plants, including less than 0.30% THC, fatty acids, flavonoids, terpenes, and essential oils.
The main advantage of using a full-spectrum oil is that its active ingredients synergize to produce an entourage effect. This mechanism is believed to generate maximum therapeutic benefits from the ingredients of the cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum oils contain THC, which may be detected via drug tests. THC may also cause mild psychoactive effects in some individuals.
Gout patients who want to avoid these potential risks may choose to buy broad-spectrum CBD oil. This type of oil has all the ingredients of a full-spectrum oil sans the THC.
Those who are looking for a CBD oil made of pure cannabidiol may purchase CBD isolates.
CBD Dosage for Gout
The rule when using CBD for gout is to begin with a low dosage. Patients can start with a few milligrams of CBD and increase the dosage in small increments if no adverse effects are observed.
The dosage amounts may be increased until significant improvements are noted .
Body weight should be considered when choosing a CBD dosage. The heavier the patient, the larger their required dose.
Average adults can take a maximum of around 5 mg of CBD daily.
Before adding CBD to one’s gout medication regimen, always consult with a doctor first.
How to Take CBD for Gout
There are various ways to take CBD in the treatment of gout. One way is through ingestion via CBD oil, CBD tinctures (droppers), CBD pills, CBD gummies , or CBD gel caps.
When a CBD product goes through the digestive tract, it takes effect in one to two hours. When taken sublingually (under the tongue) through tinctures, CBD may take effect in 15 to 45 minutes.
CBD can also be applied topically , on body parts affected by gout, as it is available in lotion, salve, or balm format.
There are CBD oil massages available, which may be beneficial to gout patients. CBD oil may help alleviate pain associated with gout (34 ) .
Another format is CBD vape or pen. When CBD is inhaled, effects may be observed instantaneously.
However, taking CBD by vaping is not recommended. There have been incidents that suggest that vaping may cause lung problems (35 ) .
Medical cannabis-related products, like CBD, may help in the treatment of gout symptoms. Further research, however, needs to be made on the therapeutic effects of CBD on gout itself.
Compared to most gout medications, CBD has been shown to have a more favorable safety profile. It is a treatment worth exploring as an added therapy for gout relief.
Is CBD Effective in Treating Gout Pain in 2021?
As CBD has become more popular over the years, new studies are coming out to show the effects it can have on our bodies. Many people, including myself, use CBD to help boost their health and wellness. So, what about CBD for gout?
If you’re hoping to learn more about what gout is, if CBD can help, and how to take CBD for gout – you’re in the right place!
There’s a lot to know when it comes to gout symptoms and treatments and how CBD works in the body. Keep reading to learn all about gout and CBD.
What is Gout?
Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis that often affects one joint at a time. Usually, it occurs in the big toe but can also affect other toe joints, ankles, and knees. While gout usually affects areas around the feet, it could affect other joints like elbows and wrists.
- Joint pain: Pain can last briefly or for hours. Pain can be so severe that it can wake you up during the night.
- Persistent discomfort: Sometimes when the pain goes away, discomfort in the joints can linger for days or weeks.
- Tenderness: Affected joints can be tender to the touch.
- Swelling and redness: When joints become swollen and red, they can also feel warm.
- Limited motion: The range of motion in joints can decrease or diminish during gout flare-ups.
Gout symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of hours to weeks. If you have gout, you know it can become very uncomfortable when it flares up and can linger for days or weeks. Symptoms can also go away or go into remission for weeks, months, or even years. Continue reading to learn how you can treat symptoms.
What Causes Gout?
Gout occurs when the body experiences Hyperuricemia. When this happens, the uric acid levels in the blood increases. Usually, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys. However, if levels get too high, it may not be able to dissolve as it should. Then, it can build up in your joints, fluids, and tissues.
These high uric acid levels don’t always cause symptoms. However, sharp, needle-like urate crystals form that can cause pain, inflammation, and swelling.
While anyone can experience gout, certain factors can increase the chance of Hyperuricemia.
- Gender and age: Men generally have lower uric acid levels than women; therefore, they experience gout more commonly. However, as women grow older, their uric acid levels increase so there is a chance of experiencing gout symptoms after menopause.
- Weight: If you’re overweight, your body can’t eliminate uric acid as easily as those who are at a healthy weight.
- Genetics: Sometimes people can develop gout simply because of heredity. If you have a family history of gout, you’re more than likely to develop it.
- Some medications: Certain medicines such as Aspirin or hypertension medications can increase uric acid levels.
- Medical conditions: Conditions including heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity can result in gout due to higher uric acid levels.
- Diet: Uric acid levels can be affected by food and alcohol. If you experience gout, it may help to eliminate or decrease intake of red meat, shellfish, sweet drinks (with fructose), and alcohol.
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
If you’re interested in CBD for gout, it’s important to understand how CBD works in the body. Our bodies have what’s called a human endocannabinoid system (ECS). Tiny receptors within the ECS regulate our bodies’ processes including issues caused by gout.
When we ingest CBD, or cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body are activated to balance out these processes. Research has shown that cannabinoids can suppress inflammatory responses caused by gout or other conditions.
Does CBD Work in Relieving Pain Associated with Gout?
CBD is known for providing many therapeutic benefits including pain relief and reduced inflammation. It’s even been shown to relieve symptoms caused by Plantar Fasciitis. So, what about CBD for gout? While studies have not shown the direct effects of CBD on gout, there is some research that shows CBD can help causes and symptoms of gout.
This study examined CBD’s effects on inflammation and pain. It found that using CBD for gout can provide relief for inflammation and pain related to arthritis without seeing any side effects.
Furthermore, CBD can relieve gout symptoms that are caused by being overweight. Research has shown that cannabidiol can turn white fat that leads to obesity into brown fat which helps burn excess calories. Using a THC-free CBD can also decrease appetite.
How to Treat Gout
If you leave gout untreated, it can become chronic resulting in lumps known as Tophi. These lumps can form in your joints, tissue, and skin. It could also cause kidney damage.
There are several ways to treat gout.
- Anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen
- Corticosteroid medications such as prednisone
- Limiting intake of alcoholic beverages and drinks with fruit sugar (fructose)
- Increase water intake
- Avoid foods high in purines such as red meat and seafood
- Regular exercise
- Using an all-natural CBD oil
How to Know How Much CBD is Right for You
If you choose to use CBD for gout, it helps to know how much is the right amount. Some products will tell you how much CBD is in a single serving. Several variables help determine how much CBD to use.
- Your body weight
- Your metabolism
- CBD concentrate of your product (oil, gummy, inhaler, etc.)
- Other medications you’re taking
You’ll notice that CBD products have different strengths or potencies and will often recommend a dose on the label. You’ll see figures like 100 mg, 500 mg, and 1,000 mg. This shows the amount of cannabinoids in the product. Of course, the more milligrams of CBD, the more effective. If you’re new to CBD, you probably want to start with a low-dose product.
Given that several factors play a role in figuring out your CBD dosage, it isn’t one size fits all. Start small and monitor the results. Gradually increase as needed. It can be helpful to keep track of your dosage and the results. This will help you determine the right amount for you.
When and How Often to Take CBD
As with dosage, time and frequency depend on the individual. CBD can be taken in the morning, at night, or throughout the day considering how it affects you. You may prefer to take it at bedtime or right before you go to sleep. Keep in mind that a THC-free product isn’t known to cause side effects so it shouldn’t cause drowsiness or keep you up at night.
As for how often to take CBD for gout, this is up to you. As we mentioned, start small. Maybe take a little bit in the morning and give it time to work. Then, decide if you need more later in the day.
With time, you’ll know when and how often you should take it.
Common Ways to Take CBD to Treat Gout
There are several ways to take CBD depending on what you’re trying to target and personal preferences.
CBD oil tinctures are liquids you take using a dropper. You can do it sublingually (under the tongue) or add it to a beverage. Putting CBD under the tongue allows it to enter the bloodstream to work more quickly.
CBD oil can be taken via a pill or capsule. This method helps to ensure intake of a consistent dose. Pills or capsules have to pass through the digestive tract so it can take up to an hour to work.
CBD topicals such as lotions, soaps, and roll-on sticks are applied directly to the skin. This option is great for working to provide gout relief fast.
CBD edibles like gummies are ideal for relief on the go. They’re discreet and oftentimes flavored to taste good. They may take up to a couple of hours to kick in.
Types of CBD
When you’re purchasing your CBD product, you’ll notice a few different types of oils.
- Full-spectrum CBD: made up of all Cannabis plant compounds including THC (.3% or less in order to be legal)
- Broad-spectrum CBD: consists of almost all Cannabis plant compounds but THC-free
- Isolate CBD: made of pure Cannabidiol; 99% CBD and 0% THC
CBD products with THC may cause side effects such as sleepiness. If you’d prefer using a THC-free product, check out BoomBoom all natural CBD products.
Gout is a form of arthritis. It can show no symptoms or it can be extremely painful. Symptoms can also come and go.
Since arthritis symptoms such as pain and inflammation appear to be relieved by cannabinoids, CBD for gout can be a possible treatment. Although more research is required to say that CBD is a definite treatment for gout, many users find relief.