Do you have or know someone who has rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Have you ever wondered if CBD would help? Maybe you have heard of CBD helping someone with RA.
But how can CBD help rheumatoid arthritis, you ask?
Let’s look at some facts about CBD and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be quite painful, as those who have it can attest. It is an autoimmune deficiency and inflammatory disease that attacks the joints in the body.
It causes the immune system to attack healthy cells in your body. Typically attacking the joint in your hands, wrists and knees. The joints become inflamed and cause damage to the joint tissue.
This can cause chronic pain and even deformity. It has also been known to affect other organs such as the eyes, heart and lungs. Doctors have not found the exact cause of RA; all they know is that something triggers the immune system to attack the joints.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol, is one of several chemical compounds (cannabinoids) that is found in the sativa cannabis plant. This chemical compound is also found our bodies. CBD and THC are the two main cannabinoids found in the plant. However, there are significant differences between CBD and THC, but the main difference is how it affects the body.
Studies have shown that both CBD and THC to have positive effects with various ailments in the body, but CBD shows a wider range of positive effects.
They have shown to help in pain relief, anti-inflammatory, nausea, sleep disorders, seizures and other ailments. In 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD medicine Epidiolex, used for seizures.
Have you ever heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS)? Most people haven’t. The ECS is a system within the central nervous system, brain and organs. It is responsible for maintaining the bodies homeostasis. It has multiple functions and processes in the body.
The ECS produces the endocannabinoids, which has a similar chemical compound the is in the cannabis plant. Hence, CBD and THC have the effects that they do in our bodies.
Now, the ECS has two main receptors throughout the body, CB1 and CB2 receptors.
- CB1 receptors are mainly in the central nervous system.
- CB2 receptors are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system.
The endocannabinoids attach to these receptors and have different results depending on where that receptor is located. Scientists found that our own endocannabinoids and plant cannabinoids regulate the signal being sent between the cells. They can accelerate or inhibit the signals being sent.
Also, there are enzymes that will break these endocannabinoids down when the body is done with them. Although, when the body has trouble producing endocannabinoids, scientists call this endocannabinoid deficiency, can bring the body out of balance.
Now I don’t want to dive too deep into the ECS here, because it starts to get more complex, as in the way our body works gets complex.
However, it is believed that CBD has shown such positive effects in our bodies, due to the fact, that our bodies produce the same similar chemical compounds of the cannabis plant.
It makes sense, since, we have been using plants for health benefits for centuries; but of course, we must be careful, because plants can be harmful to us, as well. However, scientists are proving that cannabis can be useful medicinally.
How CBD Works in the body
Let us take another look at how CBD works in the body. Well we discussed that our bodies produce a similar chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. We talked about the CB1 an CB2 receptors.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper in how these endocannabinoids work. Well, one thing they do, is providing neuroprotection they protection of our nerves; from an inflammatory standpoint and from over activity standpoint can lead to damage to the nerves. They help modulate our immune system, they protect our cells against injury, they provide protective mechanisms against cancer cells and they help regulate the metabolism.
Endocannabinoids act as neuromodulators. Our bodies communicate through various mechanisms, but one way is, transmission from one cell to the net.
So, when you have an injury and the nerve is firing down. It then releases neurotransmitters, which then propagate that signal to the next nerve, which eventually that signal reaches the brain, in which we perceive as pain.
Therefore, endocannabinoids and Phyto-cannabinoids being neuromodulators, they regulate how much of this signal is being transferred from one cell to the next.
So, when you have chronic pain, these signals are constantly firing. The cell receiving the signal, on demand, makes Anandamide and 2-Ag, 2 of many of our natural endocannabinoids; and they provide a negative feedback response, which tells the cell sending the signal to slow down?
Now the endocannabinoids, produced by the cell receiving the signal, must synthesize the molecules in order to send them back to the cell and then these enzymes are broken down.
Now, things get more complicated and technical and work in many other ways. This gives you an idea on how endocannabinoids help with the communication between cells.
When our bodies are not producing enough endocannabinoids, this is called endocannabinoid deficiency. There are abilities to test for endocannabinoid deficiency, however, it can be extremely expensive.
So How Can CBD Help Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ok, so what do we know? We know Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by autoimmune deficiency and inflammatory disease. We know that RA causes the immune system to attack healthy cells. And, we know, that RA attacks the joints causing to much inflammation, causing damage to the joints, which can cause chronic pain and deformity.
Now, too much inflammation is bad and too little inflammation can be bad also. Now it is the job of the ECS to regulate this and keep it in balance, so the we do not get too high with inflammation or too low.
We also know that the ECS in part of the immune system, we know the ECS aids in anti-inflammatory mechanisms and we know it aids in the communication process between cells.
So, how can CBD help? Well, we know, CBD has similar chemical compounds that our body naturally produces. If the ECS cannot maintain homeostasis or is deficient, CBD helps replenish the cannabinoids[tg1] that are body isn’t producing.
Most of us take vitamins and protein drinks to replenish the body or boost the body. Well, a CBD regiment is no different, you’re replenishing or boosting the ECS system and assisting the body in, what it is supposed to do, which is maintain homeostasis in the body.
Despite all the studies, testimonials and claims that CBD helped someone with RA, CBD is not a miracle drug, as you can see.
Remember that each one us is different and CBD can work differently in each one of us.
As a CBD coach, I always recommend my clients to always talk to their doctor or a physician, who is familiar with CBD studies and its uses.