CBD And Lupus
Right now, 1.5 million people have lupus. If you were to line them all up side by side, they would be able to hold hands all the way through Colorado. The treatment options for lupus are extreme because the disease is so extreme so many people are starting to look into CBD oil for treatment. Cannabis oil has some of the same healing potentials the harsher drugs have without the harmful side effects. Could CBD oil be the treatment that helps lupus patients get back to their pain-free lives?
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an incurable chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of your body. Your skin, organs, and joints are all susceptible to its wrath. Typically, our body makes antibodies that help fight off any pathogens that may have entered our body and can do us harm. When you have an autoimmune disease, your body can’t tell the difference between friend or foe, so it just starts attacking everything.
When your immune system is attacking your body, it creates autoantibodies that destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage parts of your body. It can be mild to life-threatening, but many people with lupus have lived full lives with the help of medication and a doctor’s guidance.
How Do You Get Lupus?
You can’t get lupus from someone through touching them or having sex, but you can get it through genetics. Researchers have identified over 50 genes that they associate with lupus. These genes may not cause lupus, but scientists believe they may contribute.
These genes are found more in people with lupus than those who don’t have the disease. They know genetics aren’t the sole reason because there have been cases where identical twins that were raised in the same environment had different outcomes to where one had lupus while the other did not.
Scientists believe that estrogen could also have something to do with lupus. Some women have reported stronger symptoms before menstruation or during pregnancy which is when estrogen levels are at an all-time high. They have also noted that it usually starts with women at childbearing age. This is still up for debate as to whether or not estrogen can affect lupus in any way, but scientists will figure it out.
Most researchers believe that lupus comes from a virus or chemical that is exposed to someone who is genetically vulnerable. Some of the things they found to agitate lupus were ultraviolet light, exposure to silica dust, and infections. Scientists aren’t quite sure what exactly the environmental agent is, but they are still firm in their beliefs that it is the cause.
How Do You Know If You Have Lupus
If you are in a lot of pain, how do you know if it’s lupus or some other disease? There are common symptoms that you should look out for, as well as going to the doctor. They will run a bunch of tests on you to figure out why your body isn’t ticking right.
- Aching Joints
- Unexplained Fever
- Prolonged or extreme fatigue
- Skin rash
- Joint Swelling
- A butterfly rash across the cheeks and nose
- Sensitivity to the sun or other light
- Loss of hair
- Mouth or nose sores
- Pale or purple toes or fingers
When you go to the doctor for these symptoms, you should expect a lot of lab work and to be poked and prodded until they finally diagnose you. It’s essential that they are so thorough because many results may point to Lupus even though the patient doesn’t have the disease, or not lead to lupus at all because it doesn’t affect the part of the body tested.
Complete Blood Count
This test is when they count all your white and red blood cells, platelets, and the amount of hemoglobin. This test tells the doctor whether or not you have anemia which is very common in individuals with lupus.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
This test is when they have your blood in a tube, and they see how fast it take for the red blood cells to sink to the bottom. When the red blood cells drop more quickly than usual, this could be an indication that the patient has a systemic disease such as lupus. However, this isn’t an indication for any one disease, but it does narrow things down.
Kidney and Liver Assessment
Doctors will test your kidney and liver because these two organs are commonly affected by lupus. If they find any problems, they made need to do a biopsy to determine how to go through with treatment.
This test is done to check the protein and red blood cell count in your urine. If lupus has gone after your kidneys, the red blood cell count or protein levels might be increased.
Antinuclear Antibody Test
This test is how they tell how many antibodies your immune system is making. A positive result means that your immune system is overactive. Most people with lupus test positive, however, there are many that test positive and don’t have the disease.
Doctors need to do more than just test chemicals and blood in your body. To adequately determine whether or not you have lupus, they really have to study your body. If they miss it, you could be missing out on treatment options that make life more comfortable and livable. If they misdiagnose you, you could be neglecting the disease you actually have making it worse.
The chest x-ray is to get a good look at your lungs. Lupus can cause inflammation or fluid in your lungs which doctors will be able to see on the x-ray.
This test is pretty cool to watch happen unless the results are bad. Doctors create an image of the heart and use the sound of the heartbeat to view the activity in real time. This closer look gives them the ability to pick out any inconsistencies.
What Are The Common Treatment Options For Lupus
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Many people with lupus choose over-the-counter medicines to help with their pain and inflammation. Medications like Aleve and Ibuprofen have shown success in acute symptoms. The downside of this method is you run the risk of damaging your kidney or liver, which can be very dangerous for lupus patients.
Drugs used to treat malaria have shown to be helpful in treating lupus because of the way it affects the immune system. If you decide to go this route, regular eye exams are advised because retinal damage is a known side effect.
High doses of steroids can help counter the effects of an overactive immune system. The risks of this type of medication are high blood pressure, bone thinning, diabetes, weight gain, easy bruising, and infection. The longer you stay on these drugs, the more likely you are to experience these risks.
These drugs suppress the immune system as the name implies. These drugs can help the immune system stop attacking the body, but the side effects are severe. Taking these drugs can heighten your risk of cancer, decrease fertility, damage your liver, and increase your risk of infection.
Lupus is hard enough to deal with; you don’t need to add on the risk of infection, cancer, or organ damage. It is also incurable, so people will have to take medication their whole lives which can cause a problem with some methods. This is why many people are choosing to use CBD instead of traditional treatments. It can be just as effective in reducing symptoms without the extremely harmful risks you would find elsewhere.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that we find in the cannabis plant. It is commonly extracted from the hemp plant because of legality status, though there are high CBD strains of marijuana available in legalized locations.
Unlike THC, this cannabinoid doesn’t get you high. It has a multitude of healing benefits without the fuzzy euphoria you might get from smoking weed. Because it doesn’t get the user high, CBD oil has been under substantial research for medicinal use.
How Does CBD Work?
You might have heard once or twice about how CBD can heal almost anything. This is an exaggeration, but CBD does have a broad scope of capability. CBD has access practically all over the body because it interacts with our endocannabinoid system which is in charge of regulation, also known as homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids are what our brains make to control the action going on in our brains. Metabolic enzymes make sure all of our cells are healthy and get rid of any debris that could be floating around. And finally, there are cannabinoid receptors, which help the endocannabinoid system mediate the immune and neurological system.
When you take CBD, the chemical indirectly interacts with the cannabinoid receptors, elevating and inhibiting compounds as needed. When your neurons are overactive, the endocannabinoids will calm them down. When your neurons aren’t doing their job, endocannabinoids help them get back to work.
The reason it seems as though CBD is a “cure all” is because it helps control our brain function. Everything we do consciously or our body does for us is run by the brain. Many issues stem from poor brain functionality, which is why CBD is so often the solution.
How Does CBD Help With Lupus?
CBD oil is not a cure for lupus. There is no cure yet. Scientists and researchers are working on finding a way to eliminate this heinous disease, but the best we can do for now is make the symptoms less apparent.
We know that lupus is an autoimmune disease that makes the body destroy itself. It’s painful and can seem to happen for no reason at all at the worst times. Inflammation is one of CBD’s specialties, which is why it is being used by so many people with arthritis, injuries, as well as chronic illnesses like lupus.
When CBD elevates the endocannabinoid 2-AG, it binds to the CB2 receptor. This receptor is what is connected to your immune system, and we find them all over the body. They are in your skin tissue, organs, bones, and your brain. When your immune system is overactive, the 2-AG endocannabinoid will inform the CB2 receptor that the party is over and to stop sending so many immune cells to the area significantly reducing inflammation.
When you are severely wounded, you rarely feel the pain that your body is experiencing. Your brain sends out chemicals that make the pain less severe, or you might even pass out if it’s bad enough. These substances also come in handy when you are working out, helping your body tough through the exercise. One of these substances that helps with your pain sensitivity is anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid that CBD elevates.
When you take CBD, it elevates the anandamide that binds to the CB1 receptor. This receptor is in charge of your neurological functions, which means that an overactive neuron sending pain signals is going to get a talking to. Anandamide helps the pain die down while its friend 2-AG is over there reducing the inflammation.
When you are in constant pain all of the time, you might get depressed. It’s just biology. The link between pain and depression is so deep seeded; one usually begets the other. While CBD is reducing your pain and inflammation, it is also boosting your mood. The endocannabinoid anandamide being in so much control over your neurological functions is also in control of your mood. Though CBD doesn’t get you high the same way THC does, it can make you feel the clean runners high you get after a good work out.
It’s the worst when you have a disease that can’t be cured. It might seem like you can’t have hope when your future is covered in pain. If you are tired and exhausted of hurting all of the time, CBD oil could be the soothing therapy that makes live livable again. Stop by our shop and get your cannabis oil today.