What is Gout?
Pain. Swelling. Discomfort. These are a small example of the words used to describe gout and how it affects us. Gout is often misdiagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) because their symptoms of pain are similar, but the root cause and the diagnosis are different.
Gout happens when uric acid begins to crystalize in your joints: wrist, foot, hand, knee. The pain and swelling will come on abruptly and can last a various amount of time. The most common place for people to feel the effects of gout are in their toes.
Chronic gout occurs when your attacks happen often. Some people may have an attack once in a decade, and some people may have an attack twice a month. Everybody is different and everyone’s root cause for their problem is unique. You can take anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), which may bring some relief in reducing pain and swelling symptoms and shorten the time span of your attacks.
Taking a functional approach to treating the actual cause of your gout can help with decreasing how often an attack can occur. Eating healthy, exercising often, and limiting your alcohol intake are all things you can modify yourself to decrease pain and frequency of your attacks.
Using Cannabis to Relieve Gout Symptoms
The painful symptoms and swelling gout causes can linger for a long time, or they come and go within less than a week. When your gout is misdiagnosed, you will not receive effective relief of your symptoms.
A typical pharmaceutical prescription for gout will require a substantial amount of monitoring and testing. Because gout is the crystallization of uric acid, most medications rid the body of essential nutrients and minerals the body needs to function properly along with gout causing chemicals.
Both sodium and potassium are important for our bodies, not enough sodium can cause an imbalance in our fluid levels that will lead to dehydration and in severe cases can lead to hallucinations. A lack of potassium in the body can lead to intensely painful cramps.
In an effort to treat your gout and ease your pain, it makes no sense to take a medication which can lead to side effects just as painful as the gout itself. A medication that causes muscle spasms and cramps seems more like an anti-medication to me.
If gout is swelling and pain, then it makes sense to use an anti-inflammatory. This is where cannabis, more importantly, the component CBD of the cannabis plant comes into play. CBD is a registered patent owned by the USA and is classified as an anti-inflammatory.
The Magic of CBD and our Bodies
We have heard of the healing properties CBD and THC contain, but there are over 75 other cannabinoid compounds cannabis is derived from. THC has a psychoactive effect on us, much like a prescription for Tylenol 3 the doctor give, whereas CBD is like a prescription for extra strength ibuprofen where you will receive relief from inflammation, pain and swelling with no psychoactive effect whatsoever.
We’ve read all the success stories and scientific reports, but how does CBD truly work within our bodies? In the simplest terms CBD is a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis that are similar to our endocannabinoid system. These systems contribute to the regulation of several important human body functions like our memory, our mood, our appetite, our mood, and our perception of pain.
These CBD receptors can be triggered by our own inner system or from the cannabis plant. In simple terms, there are two main players in this system that function in our bodies: CB1 and CB2. For fellow N.W.A fans who may be wondering, although the naming is similar, there is no relation between these compounds and the fictional group CB4
You will find CB1 receptors in our central nervous system for the most part, however, some receptors may be found in small quantities in organs such as the kidney, liver, and our lungs. CB2 receptors are an important part of our immune system.
CB1 helps our nervous system function by creating and sending out neurotransmitters. Because of this CB1 plays an important role in regulating our body’s happy place. In science terms this is called homeostasis, which is your body’s natural balance. This means CB1 helps our body’s effectiveness and influences our level of memory, tolerance, pleasure, appetite and even our concentration. Cannabis that has a high THC level is known to stimulate both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB2 receptors have a hand in many functions in our immune system like our body’s ability to regulate functions like cell death,or in doctor language: apoptosis. CB2 also has been proven to regulate pain sensation and play an important part when dealing with diseases ranging from neurodegenerative to kidney and liver problems.
Unlike THC, CBD does not stimulate these receptors, it actually activates other receptors in our bodies, and we have a lot of receptors in our body. All these compounds work together by activating, stimulating, processing information, decreasing, and regulating our body when we are in pain or are sick.
CBD derived from hemp has absolutely zero THC level in it, which means there is no high or euphoria. You will receive pain relief and an ability to disregard your addictive painkillers that seem to cause more serious side effects than your original ailments you are treating in the first place.
CBD is not limited to your pain for gout. It is a powerhouse and can be consumed in many different forms.
Marijuana for Gout: Topical Treatment
This is the miracle balm that everyone should know about. If you went to the general store to purchase an over the counter medicated back cream and combined it with an over the counter cream for cuts and burns, it would still be no comparison to salve. Known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties it is also 100% non psychoactive. You cannot get high or feel any euphoria. Salve is straight up, no nonsense topical pain relief in nature’s purest form.
Soaking in a hot bath to relax and indulge in the relief the presence of water has becomes more intense and effective when you use a cannabis infused bath soak that is high in THC. Combined with a topical lotion or oil after your soak and a dose from your flower, you will drift off to sleep with little effort.
A water-based cream that uses CBD infused oils will help pain and inflammation. It doesn’t hurt that your skin will get some much needed winter love either. The anti-inflammatory effects the CBD has will be absorbed into your skin, preferably after a hot soak, which will give you relief on the outside of your body, not just the inside of your body. Using in conjunction with a tincture, or indulging in a decadent edible is a great way to use products in conjunction with one another to ease the pain more efficiently.
Marijuana for Gout: Consumption/Ingestion
Taking a tincture, which is a small vial of liquid containing an edible and concentrated dose of cannabis compounds like CBD, is a great way to reduce your pain symptoms immediately. Use the dropper, place a few drops of the tincture under your tongue and let it absorb. Now, instead of waiting for your other form of consumption to take effect, edibles can take up to an hour, your pain dissipates within minutes. With some trial, you will know your correct dosage. It doesn’t take long to figure out what works for you as the effects of a tincture wear off much faster than other methods of consumption. Look for one that is high in CBD for relief from swelling and pain- think, ibuprofen. If you are looking for pain relief with some euphoric effect, look for a tincture that has a healthy THC and CBD ratio.
Incorporating cannabis into cooking has expanded far beyond the cliche’ brownie mixture. Eating cannabis is method of consumption for patients who cannot or choose not to inhale smoke or vapor. The term body stone is accurate. Just like taking a prescribed muscle relaxant from a physician, eating the healing compounds of marijuana will help the pain subside. The variety of ways to infuse compounds like THC and CBD are endless. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for candies or baked goods. If you are looking for a leaner option, try an olive oil that you can drizzle on your veggies.
Physical pain is annoying, debilitating, and at times disheartening. I say disheartening not because of the pain we feel, but the activities and life events we miss out on because of swelling and chronic pain. We know there are many great strains that are best at helping ease the mind and body. Most of these strains are Indica dominant with a higher level of CBD.
Choosing to smoke out of a glass water pipe, dab rig, or even rolling a doobie combined with using a topical balm is a dual-action approach in combating gout pain.
Vaporizing cannabis or extracts like shatter is a method of inhaling the components without the use of fire. If you are the type who prefers a clean, discreet and portable way to inhale your cannabis herb and concentrates.
Marijuana for Gout: Summary
Pain hurts. Every type of pain hurts, and gout is no exception. Attacking our bodies with little to no warning sign and causing aches that hurt like nobody’s business. Joint pain is horribly because unlike your muscles that can be rubbed down with soothing massage oil, you can’t rub away the tension. Prescriptions given out by physicians are of some help, but if you are prone to side effects it is best to do your research before taking them.
CBD found in our bodies and in cannabis plants are one in the same. They help us the same way. Using CBD extracts with a combination of THC in any form: oil, flower, or concentrate has a proven positive effect in ridding us of swelling and pain. The anti inflammatory properties heal us just like our own bodies would, and the THC compounds bring a light psychoactive effect with no serious side effects like opioids.
Using marijuana to suppress the suffering of a gout attack is a great weapon to have in your arsenal. If you are weary about cannabis, find a product that has CBD only. I am sure you will come to find that if you take a chance on cannabis, you will come to find that thing that you’ve been missing the whole time. Pain hurts and pain killers hurt you. If there is a solution that treats you without any chance of harm, wouldn’t you try it?