Will Cannabis Treat the Inflammation and Pain of Gout?

RxLeaf August 17, 2018 1 comment

Gout is a subset of arthritis and may see symptom management with cannabis medicine. 

Research is already well underway to investigate the role cannabis may play in helping manage inflammation. It is well established that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating inflammation. Plant cannabinoids, such as CBD, may support the reduction of inflammation. Some studies even indicate that cannabinoids may treat symptoms of arthritic damage in joints. Gout is a form of arthritis that causes deposits of uric acid crystals into the joints. It is a painful condition that starts when there is a build up of uric acid in the body.

Uric acid accumulates, largely, as a result of the overconsumption of rich foods, combined with a sedentary lifestyle. The most common foods that increase uric acid in the body: caffeine, alcohol, seafood, sardines, anchovies, and lentils. ‘Gout contributors’ include high blood pressure, obesity, and high sugar intake.

How is Gout Treated?

Gout is a painful, often debilitating condition where even a thin summer bed sheet across the affected joint will cause pain. The big toe joint is most commonly affected, but gout can also affect elbows, fingers, ankles, wrists, and knees. Gout flare ups last from 3 to 10 days and are excruciating. Flares may seem to appear out of nowhere, but the crystal build up happens over a long, asymptomatic period of time.

Patients diagnosed with gout will have to make lifestyle changes in order to clear the excess uric acid from their system. To deal with the intense pain of gout, physicians will advise over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) and sometimes a round of corticosteroids in the inflammation is significant. These medications come with side effects that can cause issue in other areas of the body, including: diarrhea, nausea, kidney problems, ulcers, hypertension, weight gain, glaucoma, and diabetes.

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Gout animation showing crystal deposits in joint

What Might CBD do for Gout?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoative cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is under investigation as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. Reportedly, CBD may reduce inflammation and fight pain in the affected joint by signaling the same receptors that the endocannabinoid system uses for mitigating inflammation. This results in an increase in levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-AG which binds to CB2 receptors in calm the body’s inflammatory response.

Therefore, the mode of action for CBD in helping with the pain of gout could be interacting with the endocannabinoid system to increase levels of body-produced anandamide. The endocannabinoid, anandamide binds to CB1 receptors top block pain signalling and bring pain relief.

Both of these actions will work to stop the pain and inflammation of gout.

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What’s the Difference Between CBD Full Spectrum Cannabis?

Cannabinoid extractions are becoming increasingly popular, even pharmaceutical companies are creating non-synthetic extracts, such Epidiolex (for the treatment of seizures). However, while isolates can be effective for targeting some issues, full spectrum cannabis oil is generally better in the treatment of pain and inflammation (among other conditions). This is because full spectrum cannabis products have terpenes and flavonoids intact, allowing the patient to access the Entourage Effect of cannabis medicine.  Essentially, this means that the medicinal sum of all the parts is greater than individual parts. This is because there is a synergistic play between cannabis’s different compounds. Difficult conditions, like gout, require the full monty so, go for cannabis flower, full spectrum oil (or tincture) or medibles.

Patient-Recommended Strains for Gout

Strains high in CBD that patients have tried for gout include will be what you should look:

  1. Cannatonic
  2. Harlequin
  3. ACDC
  4. Ringo’s Gift
  5. Stephen Hawking Kush

There are no completed studies specifically examining cannabis for treating gout. But, cannabis may effectively manage symptoms of inflammation and pain. Thereby, CBD may safely and effectively help shorten gout flares. And it may help manage symptoms over the long term, without damaging other organs.

1 comment

  1. Steve Hooker

    Pseudo Gout in hands and wrists….help