Gout is an arthritic condition that derives from the inflammation brought by the crystallization of too much uric acid that builds up in the joints. Once inflamed, the joints become swollen, red, tender, and cause serious physical discomfort.
Gout causes disturbing pain in the feet, but what can spur its onset?
According to research, risk factors of gout include a Western diet — foods rich in uric acid and low in essential nutrients — alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity.
It is no longer a secret that cannabis compounds like CBD are effective in reducing inflammation and pain. People turn to CBD oil to relieve a wide range of ailments, mostly because of how safe it is compared with traditional treatments.
But is CBD really helpful when it comes to gout pain?
Can it address the underlying cause — or is it only good for symptom relief?
Let’s explore the subject in detail.
What is Gout a.k.a. The Disease of Kings?
As a type of inflammatory arthritis, gout affects joints — one particular joint, to be precise. It typically shows up in the big toe and can cause chronic pain. The development of gout is triggered by high concentrations of uric acid crystals in the joints, whose sharpness can damage the joint, causing disturbing pain when pressured.
When it comes to excess concentrations of uric acid in the blood, the breakdown of purines is to blame. Or, should we say, purine-rich food that causes your body to produce more uric acid than it can get rid of.
The vast majority of gout cases — around 90% — appear when the kidney cannot excrete uric acid properly.
What Causes Purine Buildup in People with Gout?
Did you know that gout is often called the “disease of kings?”
The source of this name is simple. Kings were known for their poor-quality diet that consisted of rich meals and alcoholic drinks. Today, the disease has become more inclusive because the standard Western diet includes high-purine food.
Here’s what can cause gout besides a high-purine diet:
- Kidney disease
- Hereditary factors
- Recent trauma to a joint
- Recent feet surgery
- Medications such as diuretics for high blood pressure
- Being male
Symptoms of Gout
People diagnosed with gout usually experience several symptoms, including:
- Red, swollen, and warm joints
- Pain in the big toe that deteriorates with physical activity
Most of the time, doctors prescribe medications for pain management, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen. More severe cases of gout may require the intervention of corticosteroids in order to reduce inflammation.
Unfortunately, the said painkillers have dangerous side effects like liver damage, heartburn, addiction, and lethal overdose.
That’s why CBD oil has been gaining popularity in recent years as a natural and safe alternative for pain and inflammation.
Since these two are common symptoms of gout, it would be safe to assume that CBD can help, at least, manage the condition.
Below we share a summary of the current research into the use of CBD for inflammatory conditions, including gout.
Can CBD Help for Gout Relief?
Cannabis has been a popular remedy for joint pain and gout among the Chinese and other civilizations. The plant is actually mentioned in pharmacopeias on all continents for its high effectiveness and the lack of dangerous side effects.
Although modern science has yet to explore the reason behind the health benefits of CBD for gout, some studies have suggested that the ingredients of cannabis can serve as a viable treatment for joint pain and inflammation associated with this pesky form of arthritis.
CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid that modulates the functioning of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — the major neurochemical network that keeps all biological processes in the body in a state of complete harmony.
The ECS controls functions like memory, emotional processing, body temperature, reproduction, immune response, mood, sleep cycles, pain, and more.
Whenever the balance between these functions is disturbed, the ECS increases the production of its endogenous cannabinoids that either modulate or bind to cannabinoid receptors to bring the body back to homeostasis.
Taking CBD empowers the endocannabinoid system in the sense that it can produce more of its natural cannabinoids. It can also slow their breakdown by inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes them.
When more cannabinoids circulate in the body, the ECS can restore the homeostasis more effectively.
The above interaction triggers anti-inflammatory responses and mitigates pain signals.
CBD also has over 65 molecular targets, which would explain why people take it to manage so many conditions.