Gout is a remarkably painful condition that can permanently damage the cartilage and bones in your joints. Based on what we already know about CBD, it’s natural to wonder if CBD can help with gout, and there’s plenty of evidence to examine as we determine the answers to this question. In this guide, dive into the details of what causes gout, and determine for yourself whether CBD is a viable treatment for this condition based on the available evidence.
What is gout?
Gout is an inflammatory condition that causes your joints to swell and become painful. This condition is a type of arthritis, and it is most commonly experienced by men. In the vast majority of cases, gout begins in the joint at the base of your big toe, but gout can also originate in other toes or even in your finger joints.
The first noticeable symptoms of gout may include pain or stiffness in the affected joint. As this condition progresses, it causes the affected joint to swell to multiple times its usual size, and gout can spread from one joint to another. Gout that begins in your big toe, for instance, may spread to your other toes, to the joints in your foot, or even to your ankle.
Your physician may be able to identify aspects of your diet that might be contributing to your gout symptoms, and in some cases, eating the right foods or exercising regularly may make gout go away. More commonly, however, drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or the gout-specific drug colchicine are prescribed. Corticosteroids may also be prescribed to treat gout.
What causes gout?
There is an ongoing debate regarding the factors that make you at-risk for gout, but the pathophysiology of gout, or the process by which this condition happens in the body, is well understood. Gout begins with a buildup of uric acid (monosodium urate) crystals in the affected joint. These crystals then cause an inflammatory reaction in the joint, leading to pain and swelling.
When you have high concentrations of uric acid in your blood, this substance is far more likely to build up in your joints. Uric acid is a natural byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are found in many foods and drinks. When you are healthy, your kidneys eliminate excess uric acid in your blood, but diabetes, excess weight, and alcohol abuse can reduce your kidneys’ ability to remove uric acid.
Having too much uric acid in your blood is called hyperuricemia, and this condition can lead to a variety of diseases in addition to gout. If you believe that you have hyperuricemia, it’s possible that you also have underlying kidney issues, so it’s important to seek prompt medical assistance to determine the root cause of your issue.
Do people use CBD for gout?
In recent years, an ever-increasing number of people have bucked the suggestions of contemporary allopathic medicine and sought out natural solutions to their aches, pains, and serious medical conditions. CBD remains at the forefront of this natural medicine revolution, so it’s no surprise that many gout patients have tried CBD for this painful joint condition.
Even mainstream medical doctors have begun evangelizing the benefits of CBD for gout and other arthritic conditions, so it’s highly likely that using CBD for gout will only become more popular over time. Regardless of whether science ever conclusively determines that CBD is beneficial for gout, this non-intoxicating cannabinoid is remarkably devoid of side effects, indicating that you have very little to lose by trying CBD if you have gout.
Does CBD work for gout?
So far, no studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of CBD for gout specifically. A wide range of studies have been conducted, however, to determine the effects of CBD on arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, so we aren’t completely in the dark regarding the potential benefits of CBD for gout.
Let’s start with the basics. Some people believe that CBD may be useful for inflammatory conditions because this cannabinoid shows remarkable affinity for your nervous system’s TRPV1 and TRPV2 receptors, which modulate bodily inflammation and the sensation of inflammatory pain. Instead of targeting your CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC, CBD primarily interacts with your TRP and 5-HT1A receptors, which also explains this cannabinoid’s lack of psychoactive effects.
In tandem with what we’ve learned about how CBD interacts with your body’s inflammatory mechanisms, research has also been conducted to determine the benefits of CBD for arthritis specifically. One particular 2016 pre-clinical study is cited extensively due to its conclusions that CBD should be investigated exhaustively for its potential arthritis benefits. Cannabidiol has also been studied for its general effects on inflammation, and with further research, we’ll surely get to the bottom of whether CBD is a viable treatment for gout.
CBD vs. other gout treatments
One of the main reasons that people turn to CBD for gout instead of mainline prescription medications is this cannabinoid’s profound lack of side effects. Even THC, which is considered safe enough to prescribe to chemotherapy patients and other suffering individuals, has serious side effects such as intoxication, psychosis, and addiction. CBD, on the other hand, has not been identified as having any major side effects whatsoever, which sharply contrasts this cannabinoid with both THC and many mainstream medical treatments for gout.
Colchicine, for instance, a drug that was specifically designed for gout, commonly causes serious gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. NSAIDs also frequently cause gastrointestinal distress, and these alternatives to steroids can also cause headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, high blood pressure, and kidney or liver problems. Furthermore, corticosteroids can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure, glaucoma, mood swings, and delirium. Since common pharmaceutical gout drugs all have serious side effects, it’s no wonder that people with this condition are opting to try CBD in droves.
How do you use CBD for gout?
In many cases, people choose to use topical CBD for gout. This choice makes a certain degree of sense—after all, gout usually remains localized to a particular part of your body, and applying CBD topically to that area concentrates the effects of this cannabinoid and delivers fast-acting benefits directly at the site of pain and inflammation.
It’s important to remember, however, that eliminating the root causes of a condition is more important than addressing its symptoms in the long run. Reducing the pain associated with gout will make life easier, but it won’t stop your gout symptoms from recurring.
Therefore, you might want to try fighting gout with CBD products that exert their effects throughout your entire body such as CBD flower or CBD vape cartridges. There’s still a lot we don’t know about how CBD works, but choosing a CBD administration method that affects your whole body is more likely to address the underlying causes of gout than simply applying a CBD topical to your affected joint.