With countless studies showing the benefits of CBD on pain reduction, such as from fibromyalgia, cancer related pain, and even migraines, CBD oil’s effects on gout and arthritis are now being looked at. This article explains what gout is, which plant-based oils are best for gout related pain, and if CBD oil can provide relief from gout symptoms.
What is Gout?
Gout is a type of painful inflammation affecting the joints. It is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in blood. It causes severe pain, redness, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. The number of people suffering from gout has steadily been increasing over the past 20 years and currently affects over 8.3 million Americans, or 4% of the population. The risk of gout also increases with age. Gout can have acute symptoms (known as a gout flare up), chronic symptoms, or be asymptomatic.
Symptoms of Gout
An increase of uric acid (a natural byproduct of waste from digesting purine containing foods) leads to an accumulation in your blood. It begins to harden and crystallize, and can feel like shards of glass inside your joints. This buildup can then cause a key symptom of gout: a sudden attack of intense pain, plus
- redness, and
- stiffness of joints.
The joints most affected are those of the big toe, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. Acute symptoms of a gout attack are most severe the first 12-24 hours, but may last up to 3 to 10 days. Leaving gout untreated leads to chronic gout. With chronic gout, deposits of hard lumps (known as tophi) can form in your joints, tissue, and skin around the lumps, leading to a decrease in joint mobility and permanent damage to your joints. Chronic gout can also lead to kidney damage and bursitis (inflammation of fluid sacs surrounding your tissues).
Lifestyle Factors that Can Lead to Gout
While certain causes of gout are beyond your control, such as your age or family history, some key causes of gout include your lifestyle choices.
Some of these lifestyle factors are:
- high alcohol consumption,
- diet high in purines (such as from bacon, turkey, beer, liver, etc.),
- use of certain medications like aspirin and diuretics,
- metabolic syndrome, and
- excess fat around the waist.
Drugs Used to Manage Symptoms of Gout
Current treatment to manage symptoms of gout include using medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), Colchicine, and corticosteroids. Side effects of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen include stomach pain, stomach ulcers, and even bleeding. Colchicine, which works by lowering the amount of uric acid, has side effects of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Corticosteroids, like NSAIDs, lower pain and inflammation but have side effects such as rapid mood changes, retaining water, and increased blood pressure. These side effects from drugs used to treat gout lead many gout sufferers to look for natural alternatives with less damaging side effects.
Can You Use CBD Oil for Gout?
Some of CBD’s major benefits are its analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. Since chronic inflammation can be at the root of metabolic syndrome (due to physical inactivity, high fasting blood sugar, high waist-to-hip girth, etc.), CBD’s positive effects on inflammation show promise for using CBD oil for gout pain. Further, research specifically on CBD’s effects on pain related to arthritis indicates the high potential for using CBD oil for gout. Another study showed CBD lessening inflammation, pain, and nerve damage due to osteoarthritis. Current research shows CBD working for various types of arthritis, however studies on CBD and gout specifically are yet to come.
The obesity epidemic has been linked to increased occurrences of gout. When it comes to preventing gout or reducing the number of flare ups, CBD’s positive effects on weight loss also show potential for using CBD oil for gout. CBD helps turn dangerous white fat (which causes obesity and diabetes) into brown fat. This brown fat uses thermogenesis to help burn excess calories and leads to weight loss. Further, CBD also promotes weight loss through its effects on the proteins involved with creating new fat cells, and unlike the cannabinoid THC, it does not lead to an increase in appetite.
How Do I Use CBD Oil for Gout?
A great feature of CBD oil is that it offers a wide range of methods of application. CBD oil for gout can be taken sublingually (under the tongue), applied directly on the skin, or inhaled. When it comes to pain relief from arthritis, transdermal (through the skin) or topical applications have been shown to be beneficial in animal studies. CBD-infused lotions have been formulated for these very reasons. Calyx’s Smooth and Smooth+ are water-based CBD-infused topicals which offer a generous 600mg to 1200mg of hemp-derived CBD to help with localized skin or pain irritations. Through a topical application, you can expect pain relief for a longer period of time. A healing CBD-infused bath is also helpful for arthritis related pain and stiffness. Benefits of heat application through a bath include quicker absorption of the CBD, muscle pain and tension relief, and a method of enjoying CBD oils benefits without smoking or inhalation.
Can You Use Essential Oils for Gout?
Apart from using CBD oil for gout, other popular alternatives currently being used to manage gout symptoms include essential oils.
Essential oils for gout include:
- Lemongrass: reduces uric acid levels
- Wintergreen: pain relief
- Birch bud: breaks down crystallization of uric acid
- Lavender: anti-inflammatory
- Rosemary: pain reducer
- Celery seed: anti-inflammatory
Since essential oils must be used with a carrier oil, combining them with a CBD-based topical can be an option. Combining CBD oil with essential oils offers you synergistic benefits. To maximize these benefits, also consider CBD-infused bath bombs.
Gout is an extremely painful condition affecting an increasing number of people every day. It is a type of arthritis that can come on suddenly, leaving you with unbearable pain, burning sensations, and joint stiffness. While lifestyle factors help in reducing the number of flare ups you get, plant-based oils can offer a natural alternative to medication in reducing pain. CBD oil for gout is emerging as a promising solution since CBD has been shown to alleviate pain in other forms of arthritis. With obesity a factor in developing gout, CBD’s positive effects on weight loss are also helpful for managing gout. Applying CBD oil directly to painful joints lowers inflammation and can offer you relief from gout pain.