Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the tissues around the joints, causing inflammation, pain and swelling. The immune system acts as if there was some sort of threat to health, such as an infection, but instead attacks the healthy tissue. Autoimmune conditions are difficult to treat, and it is not clear what causes them.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, in that osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear to the joints, rather than being attacked by one’s own immune system. When looking at osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis, there are some other key ways to tell them apart. Osteoarthritis may only affect one or two joints, whereas rheumatoid arthritis can affect many. Also, osteoarthritis usually occurs in later life, as older people’s joints have had more use and wear, but because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, it can begin at a much younger age.
Signs of rheumatoid arthritis are varied, and include many areas of the body, Some signs to look out for are:
- pain and stiffness in the joints
- swelling and heat around the joints
- feeling weak
- dry, itchy eyes
- dry mouth
- chest pain
- hard lumps or nodules under the skin
As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, the lining of the joints become inflamed and swollen. This makes movement painful and difficult. Eventually the joints become bent and deformed, and may fuse together. Without treatment, this type of arthritis causes damage to the joints and can affect the major organs. Thankfully, although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition, treatments are there to help manage the symptoms. While there is no cure, with early treatment it is possible for the disease to go into remission.
Traditional Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include medications, both oral and injections, to reduce the inflammation in the joints, helping to halt the progress of the disease or put it into remission. As with any medication, there are often side-effects.
In addition to medicines that are specifically there to treat the arthritis, pain-relief medications are also often needed. Pain medicine like ibuprofen are also anti-inflammatories, so is often preferred over paracetamol. However, over time, these medicines can affect the lining of the stomach so should be used with caution.
Steroid medications are often prescribed for short-term use, and are very effective in reducing pain and stiffness. Again, these come with side-effects such as thinning skin, weight gain and muscle weakness.
Supportive treatments such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy may be useful for some people with rheumatoid arthritis. Lifestyle changes are also helpful in easing the symptoms, such as eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and appropriate exercise such as walking. Supplements such as fish oils and CBD oil are also beneficial in supporting overall health, as well as helping relieve some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis
CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants. Although hemp is a strain of cannabis, it doesn’t have the same mind-altering effects that happen when people get high from taking marijuana, another plant from the cannabis species. This is because there are very low levels of THC in hemp, and that is the cannabinoid that produces the high effect. Instead, hemp is rich in CBD, along with other beneficial cannabinoids, and is growing in popularity as a treatment for a variety of health issues.
Research into CBD oil and rheumatoid arthritis is still at an early stage, but so far it has shown to be beneficial in helping symptoms. This study1 has suggests it its effectiveness in helping people with difficult to manage pain, such as the chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities are also noted to reduce inflammation in the joints, helping to keep pain at a manageable level and may reduce the need for pain relief medications.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of CBD oil for arthritis pain. The Arthritis Foundation2 website carried out a survey of over 2,600 of people who have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The most significant of their findings were:
- The primary reason for using CBD is to relieve pain (94%).
- 67% report improvement in their physical function.
- Over 30% say it provides relief from morning stiffness and helps get them moving.
- Three-fourths report improvements in their ability to sleep (71%).
- Over 30% say it helped relieve symptoms of fatigue.
- 41% report a better overall sense of well-being with the use of CBD.
- Relieving symptoms of anxiety was reported by 77% of those currently using CBD.
- 67% report effectiveness in improving depressed mood.
In order to maximise the therapeutic result from using CBD oil, getting the right CBD dosage for rheumatoid arthritis is essential. There is no set dosage that works for everyone, and factors such as height, weight and age should be considered. We have made it easy to find the best CBD dosage, with our CBD oil dosage calculator. Simply add a few details, and you get a personalised CBD dosage recommendation displayed on your screen. We also send it to your preferred email address.
After receiving a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, it can feel like an uphill battle to control the disease. However, with both medical and natural treatments, people can lead fulfilling and active lives for longer. As more research looks into CBD, rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions, the more treatments will be developed to help keep the disease in remission.
What you need to know about rheumatoid arthritis and CBD oil
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the joints. Some organs may also be affected. Symptoms include pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. As the disease progresses, joints and muscles become stiff. Joints become deformed and without the appropriate treatments may fuse together. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but treatment can help the disease go into remission.
Usual treatment for rheumatoid arthritis include pain medications, steroids, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physiotherapy is also helpful, as is exercise, in order to keep the muscles and joint flexible. Some foods have anti-inflammatory properties, so easting a ‘rheumatoid arthritis diet’ that is rich in those food may be beneficial. CBD oil has also shown to help provide relief from some symptoms.
CBD oil is effective at relieving pain and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps to promote overall health benefits, such as aiding restful sleep and managing anxiety and depression. Many people who take CBD oil for all forms of arthritis report a positive effect and overall benefits to health and well-being.
Everyone is different, so there is no one dosage that will work for all. Some many need a higher dose of CBD to manage their symptoms, while other will find a lower dose effective. The best way to find the right CBD dosage for you is to use our CBD calculator. Enter a few details about your height, weight and age, and you will get a personalised CBD dosage shown on your screen and sent to your email address.