CBD is a new phenomenon sweeping the world of plant-based therapy. The acronym stands for cannabidiol, and it occurs naturally in plants in the Cannabis genus.

What Is CBD?

The Past

CBD belongs to the cannabinoid family of molecules. All of these are made by Cannabis or ‘hemp’ plants, using the simple ingredients of water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air. The whole process is powered by light energy from the sun, and so is renewable and sustainable. Hemp likes humans – it is thought it first became familiar as a ‘camp follower’ herb – colonising old campsites left behind by our ancestors. These sites were attractive to the plants, being rich in nitrogen from our waste, near to watercourses, and relatively clear of tall trees. Cannabis and people have a long history. We have grown it for at least 8,000 to 9,000 years and likely foraged it from the wild even earlier still.

And The Future

Hemp was used as food and medicine for millennia, but CBD was not recognised as one of the major bioactive components until after it was fully isolated and mapped in 1963 in Israel. Since this time CBD has been researched at clinical and preclinical level. It is proving to be a promising new molecule, and the World Health Organisation has suggested that it may help in a broad range of physical and psychological illnesses. Depression, anxiety, chronic pain, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other conditions are thought to be helped in one way or another by CBD oil.

What Does It Do For Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis. It is a debilitating autoimmune disease – one where the immune system attacks cells that don’t need to be attacked. It causes inflammation of the joints, and this leads to stiffness and pain. This is mostly in the early morning, but it can also occur throughout the day. Flare-ups occur that can last a few hours to a few days. There is no known ‘cure’ for rheumatoid arthritis, but treatment is progressing steadily.

Does CBD Work?

In 2000, an important study was carried out on mice, showing a major reduction of rheumatoid arthritis by using injected CBD. In another rodent study, rats also demonstrated a sizeable remission of their rheumatoid arthritis.

In 2006, a placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial was conducted on 58 human subjects. This kind of trial is the gold standard in medical research, where half of the participants are given a placebo, and neither the researchers or participants know whether they are dealing with the placebo or the real treatment. The CBD was delivered daily for 5 weeks using an oral spray method.

A number of effects were noticed by the researchers. Arthritic activity was noticeably reduced. There was a significant ‘analgesic’ (pain reducing) effect also. This happened to pain on movement and pain at rest. Quality of sleep was improved by the application of CBD too. At the end of the study, no withdrawal symptoms were recorded in response to the CBD.

How To Use It

In the 2006 study, an oral or ‘oromucosal’ spray was used by the participants. A lot of types and versions of oral sprays or mists are available from websites who specialise in CBD products. Tinctures, tablets, and capsules are other oral methods for taking CBD if the user prefers to do this. CBD-infused food and drinks are on offer from large and small retailers, from CBD water to cannabis teas, coffees, and candies.

Pure, or close to pure CBD oil can be bought from respected manufacturers and added to your home-made products. Topical products can be bought too – creams and gels are popular among many users and might provide some relief to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.

As always with CBD oil, it is down to self-experimenting with doses, and what method to use is up to the user’s discretion and tastes.

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