Arthritis: CBD Can Help You Get Your Life Back

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Imagine it’s your 8th birthday. You wake up. The sun is sending much happier beams through the curtains than any other day. The air smells like your favorite breakfast, and a large present is waiting for you in the kitchen on the dining room table surrounded by your loved ones. You open it up, and your family is wide-eyed waiting to see your reaction. Once you have finally torn the last piece of glossy wrapping paper off of the box, you are speechless. An electronic keyboard? Something you have been pleading to get since you were 5, which is a long time when you’re a kid. You scream, and you squeal, hugging anyone around you. You race upstairs just to sit and look at it and take in your very first piano.

That night you sleep with the little piano you got for your birthday. You dream of being onstage as a pretty woman in a dress or a suave man in a pinstripe suit sing over your sick tunes. You promise yourself that this isn’t a phase, and you will practice every day for the rest of your life and be the best pianist anyone has ever known.

As you grow up, your parents buy you new keyboards, better keyboards, keyboards that bring you to life as you punch in the keys. You join the jazz band at school, make musical friends, and every joke you have revolves around the one thing you have in common. Music. You are held in such high esteem because hard work and dedication show in your skills. And it makes you happy.

One day you wake up and your fingers are a little stiffer than usual. It takes you a bit longer to warm up on your new grand piano, but it may be because it isn't what you are used to. But as the weeks go on, the warm-ups become painful. Just closing your hands and opening them is painful. It almost brings a tear to your eyes flipping through the music scores.

As the months turn into years, you never touch your grand piano again. Dust collects on the keys that your fingertips will never dance across again, and you feel lost. What do you do now? What is happiness now when it was once so permanently defined?

Your friends are all musicians and talk about how much they enjoy their life, just watching them play the guitar makes you green with jealousy.

This is the life of someone who had their passions taken away by arthritis. You don’t expect it to happen. If you did, you might have picked a dedication that didn’t involve joint movement. It’s heartbreaking to see, and it happens more often than it should. But there is good news on the horizon, news that could bring the little pianist, or whatever you used to be,  in you to your knees in joy. Using CBD oil can give you pieces of your life back that you thought were gone forever.

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that comes from the marijuana plant. It is one of the many chemicals that make up cannabis. In states where you can buy legal marijuana, you can buy products that utilize all of the beneficial compounds in the marijuana plant including THC. In states where they have not yet accepted the full plant, pure CBD is made from industrial hemp plants that contain less than the legal limit of THC which is .03%.

Does CBD Get You High?

If CBD comes from marijuana, it must get you high, right? Wrong. The reason that marijuana gets you high is because of the chemical THC. The exciting thing about THC is that it is almost identical to a chemical that we organically make in our body called anandamide. Researchers believe that these similarities are why THC can bind directly to cannabinoid receptors in the body. This direct bind is what give you’re the high feeling. CBD, on the other hand, does not directly bind to cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD elevates organic chemicals in our brains called endocannabinoids and stimulates different receptors to help regulate the activity that happens in the mind and body.

How Does CBD Work?

We have a system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system. This system controls the regulation of the body, also known as homeostasis. Its job is to make your body temperature hot to kill off viruses or bacteria, when you are angry you don’t get blacked out in rage, and when you get a cut, you don’t bleed out forever and die. What CBD does is helps regulate this part of our body whenever it malfunctions. Considering how complex the system is, it’s not uncommon to experience this problem.

When CBD enters the bloodstream, it starts affecting all of the parts of the endocannabinoid system. The metabolic enzymes, the cannabinoid receptors, and the endocannabinoids.

Metabolic Enzymes

Metabolic enzymes go around and make sure there aren’t any dead or unused chemicals sitting around in the brain to clutter it up. When there is build up, that is how people can get diseases like Alzheimer’s. They also make sure that the present cells stay healthy and strong to try to prevent damage.

Cannabinoid Receptors

We know of two receptors that are involved directly with the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found all over the body, but more densely populated in the brain. These receptors interact with the neurological system. The CB2 receptors are also all over the body, but more evenly spread out. These receptors interact with the immune system.

Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids are the chemicals that our brain makes on demand to ensure that everything is running smoothly. They bind to cannabinoid receptors and pass in between cells to control things like pain, mood, sleep schedules, and your immune system. And that is what we are going to be talking about today, the immune system.

What Does The Immune System Have To Do With Arthritis?

If you’ve never had arthritis or know very little about it, it is an autoimmune disease. This just means that your immune system isn’t working the way that it should. Typically, when you have something in your body like bacteria or a virus, your immune system sends cells to fight those outside organisms and get your body back to being clean and healthy.

Sometimes your body will sense a threat and send the immune cells out, or it may think that the affected area is much larger than it actually is and spreads the immune cells farther out. This is when you have an autoimmune disease. What it does with joints is it thickens the synovium, which is what causes the pain.

Joint Anatomy That’s Important To Know

Synovium? That’s a weird word. But it’s real, promise. Synovium is the liquid that is in between your joints that makes it easy to move. When the immune cells are sent to the joints, it thickens the synovium making your joints swell, in pain, and difficult to move.



How Does CBD Stop Swelling?

Earlier we told you that CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor which is in charge of your immune system. There are CB2 receptors on the actual immune cells themselves, which gives CBD a V.I.P backstage pass into helping your body run more efficiently.

The CB2 receptors help the body communicate with itself to know if there is a pathogen that needs eradicating or not. If it is malfunctioning, you could be getting false alarms. CBD elevates the endocannabinoids that make the conversation between cells more clear.

Endocannabinoids travel backward from receiving cell to sending cell. This is interesting because usually, information goes from the presynaptic cell to the postsynaptic cell, not the other way around. The reason they travel backward is that they are telling the presynaptic cell what it needs to transmit to be functioning correctly. 

If your immune cells are over active and hurting you, the endocannabinoids will tell them, “Hey, nothing is going on. Calm down.” Which is exactly how they reduce the inflammation. The wave of cells diminishes, and the synovium loosens up and you can finally move freely again.

How Does CBD Reduce Pain?

Swelling not only makes it hard to move, but inflammation becomes extremely painful.  For extreme cases of arthritis, it may take time for the swelling to calm down completely. In this case, you still can experience pain when you are only treating the inflammation. While CBD is calming the inflammation down, it is also elevating chemicals in your brain that help with the pain.

Anandamide is the endocannabinoid that THC mostly resembles. It is in charge of your appetite, metabolism, sleep schedule, mood, and your sensitivity to pain. By elevating this chemical, you are telling your brain to stop sending those pain signals to each other.

Why Should I Try CBD?

Well, first of all, it’s safe. The World Health Organization has come forward to report that there is no risk of addiction and it is extremely well tolerated at high doses. If you are taking anti-inflammatory medication and the side effects just aren’t worth it anymore, and you're exhausted of having to choose between them and your illness, just don’t pick. CBD oil can give you the same relief with less than a quarter of the risk.

[Side Effects of CBD]

Secondly, you should try hemp oil because your passions are calling you. The piano, the tennis court, the sailboat, your life is waiting to be lived. And you can do it! You can find relief as so many have! All you have to do is try. If you are already taking medication, talk to your doctor before making any changes. It can be dangerous just switching medicine on your body out of nowhere.  After you’ve taken all the right steps, check out our shop! Get rid of aching knuckles with lotion, or a sore spine with salve. Your body will thank you in the end.

Sarah Potts

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