Joint pain and muscle pain can be incredibly debilitating to normal life. If it’s the joints swelling, or the cartilage deteriorating, movement becomes difficult and simple tasks become tiring chores. There are a few different issues that can occur for various reasons.
Joint pain, inflammation and swelling
One reason for joint pain could be inflammation. Inflammation is an important immune response but it can be triggered for no reason and cause a lot of discomforts. There are certain autoimmune conditions that result in overactive inflammatory responses all over the body. Arthritis is one such condition. Sufferers of arthritis experience constant swelling and inflammation of the joints. This is the result of a malfunction of the immune system. It creates antibodies and begins attacking healthy tissues, such as the synovial fluid around the joints. There is no cure for arthritis, therefore treatment is usually a cocktail of anti-inflammatory drugs and strong pain killers.
If your joints have experienced severe repetitive trauma the cartilage can begin to deteriorate. Damage to the cartilage can also come from being obese or from menopause. Cartilage is the strong and stretchy tissue that forms a protective layer at the end of our bones. It provides cushioning between bones and supports our weight while we move. It is also the structural component for many parts of the body such as the ears and nose. Symptoms of cartilage damage are inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness and more. It occurs most commonly in the knees but can affect the wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles and hips too. Osteoarthritis is an example of a condition that affects the cartilage. The cartilage begins to crack and slowly disappear which allows for bone growths to develop. This can interfere with the movement of the joint.
Everyone will experience muscular discomfort at some point in their lives. Its cause can normally be traced back to quite easily. Things like stress, physical activity and injury can all cause pain in the muscles. Usually, the pain disappears once the trigger is gone. Techniques such as stretching, meditation, resting the painful area, and applying ice can all help relieve pain and inflammation. However, there are some bigger health problems that have muscle pain and discomfort as a symptom. These are not as simple to ease. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, polio, lupus, the flu and more can all cause muscle pain around the body.
What does the research say about CBD?
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC operate by interacting with receptors at various sites around the body. Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 can both be found in areas with strong links to the immune system. This could mean that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a role to play in regulating the immune system. Problems can occur if there are deficiencies in the ECS, but it can be manipulated through the use of cannabinoids. This suggests that the immune system and its responses can be regulated by the introduction of certain cannabinoids, like CBD.
Research has shown the scientific community that CBD works as a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent. One study found that CBD successfully reduced inflammation in rats with induced arthritis. It also seemed to slow down the progression of the issue at certain doses. Another study on rats with osteoarthritis looked at the painkilling effects of CBD. It found that because CBD was able to reduce inflammation around the joints, the pain levels decreased. Inflamed cells will push against nerve endings, sending pain signals to the brain. Therefore, if you reduce inflammation, you can start relieving the pain.
CBD has been seen to reduce cases of both acute and chronic inflammation, depending on its dose. CBD has various methods of application, so it is easy to find the most effective way for each person. The oils can be taken sublingually, vaped, or the flower can be smoked. However, for pain and swelling around the joints and muscles could benefit more from topical creams infused with CBD. Creams can be applied directly onto the affected area for more localised delivery.
CBD is used to support homeostasis and maintain a healthy immune system. It is not a cure, or medicine, but can provide relief from many physical and emotional issues. Medical research is limited due to its cost, but what has been discovered so far is very promising. Furthermore, the anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of cannabinoids like CBD is overwhelming. If you are thinking about trying it out it is always best to do as much research as possible, and seek the advice of your doctor.
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Philpott, H., OʼBrien, M. and McDougall, J. (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. [online] NCBI. Available at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28885454/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2020].
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https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cartilage-damage/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2020].