Today’s article seeks to answer a simple query. Does CBD oil work for Gout? In order to successfully answer this query and determine the effectiveness of CBD oil and cannabis treatment, we need to understand what Gout is.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a common form of arthritis. It is brought on by the buildup of uric acid crystals in your joints. The formation of uric acid crystals in and around your joints causes inflammation, pain, and swelling. Uric acid is one of your body’s normal waste products. It’s formed when purines are broken down in your body. Purines are chemicals found in certain foods and beverages.
Your body normally rids itself of uric acid when you urinate. When your body has too much uric acid this means you have a condition called Hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia is not classified as a disease in the medical community. However, it leads to the development of diseases such as gout.
What Causes Gout?
Gout is caused by the excessive accumulation of uric acid in your body and bloodstream. Conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea make your body accumulate too much uric acid.
Consuming purine-rich foods and beverages lead to the buildup of uric acid in your body. Examples of purine-rich foods and beverages include red meat, organ meat, seafood, alcohol, and sugar-rich drinks like sodas.
Other factors that are known by the medical community to cause gout are obesity, high cholesterol, glucose intolerance, and taking diuretics. Diuretics are substances that drain water from your body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gout?
Gout symptoms are characterized by a fast onset of pain in your affected joint. This is followed by swelling, tenderness, warmth, and reddish discoloration. Gout mostly affects the small joint at the base of your big toe. However, gout also affects other joints including ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. Unlike other forms of arthritis, gout symptoms occur suddenly and mostly at night.
Gout symptoms can last for a few hours up to 10 days. In some rare cases, gout attacks can last for more than a few weeks. Symptoms can go away with or without medical treatment. Most people who experience gout get repeated attacks over the remaining years of their life.
What Is The Current Treatment For Gout?
The current treatment for gout is a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Treatment will depend on the stage and severity of your condition. Lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor aim to reduce the levels of uric acid buildup in your body. Your doctor may recommend one or all of the following lifestyle changes:
- Drinking less alcohol
- Drinking fewer sodas and sugary drinks
- Eating less red meat i.e. beef, lamb, pork, veal, goat, etc
- Eating less organ meat i.e. liver, tongue, brain, trotters, kidney, etc
- Eating less seafood i.e. fresh and saltwater fish, shellfish, crustaceans, etc
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Eating more legumes i.e. most beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas
- Drinking more water
Your doctor may also recommend medical treatment to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and lower uric acid levels. Current pain relief and inflammation-reducing medication for gout include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and colchicine. Current uric acid-lowering medication for gout treatment includes xanthine oxidase inhibitors (allopurinol), febuxostat, and probenecid.
The problem with the current treatment of gout is two-fold. On the one hand, not all patients are willing to shift their eating habits to alleviate symptoms. Most patients would rather take some form of medication over changing their eating habits. This leads us to our second problem. Most medical treatment options come with more negative side effects that overshadow the promised benefit of the medication.
For example, allopurinol is a drug prescribed to gout patients to reduce uric acid levels in the body. Its side effects include severe skin rash, itchiness, trouble breathing, throat and/or face swelling, liver injury/failure, drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, and flaring up of your gout.
In another example, colchicine is a drug prescribed to gout patients to help reduce the development of uric acid crystals in your joints. Its side effects include diarrhea, nausea, cramping, abdominal pain, and vomiting, which could worsen. According to WebMD.com, worsening side effects of colchicine include…
…unusual bleeding/bruising, severe diarrhea or vomiting, muscle weakness or pain, numbness/tingling in your fingers or toes, pale or gray color of the lips/tongue/palms of hands, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), unusual weakness/tiredness, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).
The reality of negative side effects is consistent with most pharmaceutical drugs. All you have to do is Google the name of any medication, add ‘side effects’ to your query, and review the results for yourself. You’ll quickly see just how bad the side effect profiles are for most drugs available. Check out my article on CBD oil for Polymyalgia for a quick glance at the side effects associated with corticosteroids.
So, with this two-fold problem most patients face, people are looking for alternative treatment with a better side effect profile than most drugs on the market. This leads us to the question of the day…
Does CBD Oil Work For Gout Treatment?
Yes, CBD oil does work for the treatment of Gout. More specifically, CBD oil will help with treating inflammatory and pain symptoms associated with Gout. However, you will also need to adjust your lifestyle and eating habits to reduce the amount of uric acid your body creates and stores. Doing this will also maximize the benefits of CBD oil.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Treating Inflammation In Gout?
We established earlier that Gout is a form of arthritis caused by uric acid buildup in your body. Hence, to answer this question, we need to look at the results of a 2000 collagen-induced arthritis rodent study and a 2005 rheumatoid arthritis patient study. The results from these two studies will help you understand how effective cannabis-based treatment is for treating inflammation in Gout.
In the year 2000, a rodent model study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness in your joints that worsens with age. The results of this study are useful to gain an understanding of how CBD oil will interact with your body when treating for Gout.
After inducing arthritis in the mice, CBD was administered as soon as signs of clinical symptoms were clear and evident. The mice were administered CBD daily for 10 days either through injection or orally. The mice that received CBD via injection were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 12 mice received 20 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 2: 17 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 3: 15 mice received 5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 4: 9 mice received 2.5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 5: 23 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just ethanol/cremophor and saline (control group)
The mice that received CBD via oral administration were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 6 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 2: 6 mice received 25 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 3: 6 mice received 50 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 4: 6 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just olive oil (control group)
The study found that CBD was equally effective for treatment when administered via injection or orally. The study also found that daily administration of CBD in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) via both modes of treatment effectively blocked the progression of arthritis. The optimal daily dosages for the mice were 5 mg/kg via CBD injection, and 25 mg/kg via CBD oral administration.
The study highlighted that clinical improvement was associated with the protection of the joints against severe damage. The data uncovered in this study shows that CBD has a potent anti-arthritic effect through its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions. This suggests that CBD is a valuable treatment option for other (chronic) inflammatory diseases.
In the year 2005, a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient study set out to investigate the effectiveness of a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex. The study’s focus was on the pain relief effects Sativex could provide patients. However, it’s worth noting that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes joint damage, joint pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness throughout your body.
Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC dominating the solution. Sativex contains other minor cannabinoids as well. Sativex and a placebo were administered to a group of 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients over a period of 5 weeks via an oromucosal spray. 31 patients received Sativex while 27 patients received the placebo.
Results from the study showed that patients who were administered Sativex displayed a significant improvement in the following areas:
- Pain on movement (reduced)
- Pain at rest (reduced)
- Quality of sleep (improved)
However, what was more interesting is that arthritis activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment. If you remember, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. This suggests that Sativex not only demonstrated pain-relief effects but anti-inflammatory effects as well, which is more to the point of this article. The study highlights that the suppression of inflammatory activity indicates an influence on the immune effector system. This is consistent with the results from the rodent model study where CBD suppressed the progression of arthritis in mice. The results from this study demonstrate that CBD also suppresses the progression of arthritis in humans.
In addition to the above studies, the author of a 2019 peer-reviewed journal states that:
… cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory effects by activating CB2 Receptors in your body. CB2 Receptors decrease the amount of cytokine production and immune cell mobilization when activated by cannabinoids. Cannabinoids reduce inflammation and pain by activating cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors in our body making cannabis a suitable treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
And, if cannabinoids are scientifically suitable for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis then the same for Gout treatment. The author of a 2017 peer-reviewed journal states that:
… both natural and synthetic phytocannabinoids have clearly demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects in a variety of studies relating to joint pain. Numerous anecdotal patient reports exist that document the effectiveness of consuming cannabis for joint pain and inflammation. Preclinical human data that exists indicates that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as form of treatment for joint pain and inflammation.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Providing Pain Relief In Gout?
This question may already be answered in the results of the 2005 rheumatoid arthritis patient study as well as the authors’ comments in the 2017 peer-reviewed journal. However, we will also look at two additional studies for additional support. We’ll look at the results of a 2019 fibromyalgia patient study and the results of a 2010 cancer patient study. The results of these studies will help you understand just how effective cannabis-based treatment is for providing pain relief in patients with Gout.
The focus of the 2019 study was to investigate the impact cannabis-based treatment had on pain symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, muscle tenderness, joint stiffness, physical sensitivity, fatigue, and a few other symptoms.
The study tested 3 variants of cannabis-based medicines and 1 placebo on the patients. The first group of patients was administered Bedrocan, which had 22.4mg THC and less than 1mg CBD. The second group of patients was administered Bediol, which had 13.4mg THC and 17.8mg CBD. The third group of patients was administered Bedrolite, which had less than 1mg THC and 18.4mg CBD. The fourth and final group of patients was administered a placebo, which had neither THC nor CBD in it.
Results from the study found that patients administered THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio (Bediol) experienced the most significant pain relief effects. The minimum amount of pain relief was measured at 30 percent or more. The next group to experience significant pain relief effects was the THC-dominant group (Bedrocan). And, the last two groups, the CBD dominant group (Bedrolite) and the placebo group, reported similar pain relief results. Though similar, the CBD dominant group reported slightly more pain relief effects than the placebo group.
The study concluded that significant pain relief effects are experienced in cannabis-based treatments. The most notable being in the 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD followed by the THC dominant solution and then by the CBD dominant solution. The researchers pointed out that, in their experience, and in that of other researchers, patients with chronic pain report beneficial effects from CBD-only treatment. Hence, either a single administration of CBD is insufficient or the dose amounts of CBD in this study were too low to elicit pain relief effects.
Now if you’re unaware, cancer can cause pain in your joints, muscles, soft tissue, and bones. The type of cancer that causes these ailments is called ‘blood cancer’. Examples of blood cancer include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
The focus of the 2010 cancer patient study was to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis-based treatment on patients with advanced cancer pain. These patients got inadequate pain relief effects from prior strong opioid treatment. The study tested 2 variants of cannabis-based medicine and 1 placebo. The cannabis-based variants included a CBD and THC extract (in a 1:1 ratio), and a THC dominant extract.
After analyzing symptoms before and after treatment over a 2-week period, the study found that the patients taking the CBD and THC extract reported a minimum reduction in pain by 30 percent or more. In this study, the patients taking the THC dominant extract showed similar pain relief results to the placebo group. The study concluded that THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio are effective for pain relief in patients with advanced cancer pain who were not fully relieved via strong opioid treatment.
CBD oil and cannabis-based medicines are effective and useful for the treatment of Gout. Specifically in regards to providing effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. The journals and studies highlighted in today’s article clearly show how effective cannabis-based treatment is for treating the major symptoms of Gout.
There should NOT be a doubt in your mind, moving forward, that you will be able to achieve positive treatment results from CBD oil use for inflammation and pain. However, you must not limit your treatment to cannabis alone. You must also shift your diet and lifestyle to one that helps in reducing uric acid production, accumulation, and storage. Once you make the necessary shift your only challenge is in finding a suitable CBD oil solution that will assist you in getting results.
Regarding inflammation, CBD alone has been scientifically proven to provide anti-inflammatory effects. However, regarding pain, the best scientifically proven solution is CBD and THC in a 1:1 ratio. This will be challenging to find commercially as current regulation limits the amount of THC availability to either 0.3% or 0.2% in a given CBD oil product based on your location.
However, researchers have stated that high enough doses of CBD-dominant solutions can provide pain relief effects. Yet, what those dose levels look like is unclear at the moment. Hence, it is best to work with a pro-cannabis medical professional to guide you through the process of finding your optimal dosage levels so you can achieve your desired results.
If a pro-cannabis medical professional is inaccessible to you in your area, then you may need to consider micro-dosing as your next option. For example, micro-dosing marijuana is the practice of taking small amounts in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects. However, instead of micro-dosing marijuana, you may look into micro-dosing CBD oil to find your optimal dosage that produces the desired effects.
You would need to keep an active journal on hand to take note of a few variants such as:
- The type of cannabis product purchased (oil, vape, flower, edibles, etc)
- The CBD and/or THC concentration levels (number of mg’s per bottle)
- The date of treatment commencement (start date)
- The times of treatment administration (times of day, AM and PM)
- The frequency of treatment administration per day (number of times per day)
- The dosage amounts per administration (number of milligrams or drops per dose)
- The noticeable effects after administration (positive, negative, or neutral)
- Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, Malik AS, Andreakos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann M. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 15;97(17):9561-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.160105897. PMID: 10920191; PMCID: PMC16904.
- D. R. Blake, P. Robson, M. Ho, R. W. Jubb, C. S. McCabe, Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 50–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kei183
- Lowin T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2019 May;31(3):271-278. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000590. PMID: 30920973.
- Miller RJ, Miller RE. Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain? Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 Sep-Oct;35 Suppl 107(5):59-67. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PMID: 28967368.
- van de Donk T, Niesters M, Kowal MA, Olofsen E, Dahan A, van Velzen M. An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia. Pain. 2019 Apr;160(4):860-869. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001464. PMID: 30585986; PMCID: PMC6430597.
- Johnson JR, Burnell-Nugent M, Lossignol D, Ganae-Motan ED, Potts R, Fallon MT. Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010;39(2):167-179. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.06.008