What is Gout?
Gout is caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. A buildup of uric acid contributes to the formation of these crystals, which lead to inflammation, swelling, and intense pain 1 Igel, T. F., Krasnokutsky, S., & Pillinger, M. H. (2017). Recent advances in understanding and managing gout. F1000Research, 6, 247. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.9402.1 .
Anyone can get gout, but family history, diet, and lifestyle choices are known to increase risk levels. Recent years have seen a surge of gout cases that researchers believe may be linked to Western diets and lifestyles 1 Igel, T. F., Krasnokutsky, S., & Pillinger, M. H. (2017). Recent advances in understanding and managing gout. F1000Research, 6, 247. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.9402.1 .
Approximately four percent of the population suffers from gout in the United States. Men are three times more likely than women to be diagnosed with gout, and racial and ethnic minorities have a higher prevalence of the disease 2 Singh J. A. (2013). Racial and gender disparities among patients with gout. Current rheumatology reports, 15(2), 307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11926-012-0307-x . Gout is most often seen in people over the age of 40, with pain typically starting in the big toe and sometimes impacting nearby joints such as the ankle, knee, and foot 3 Gout. Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/gout .
Treatment for gout consists of NSAIDs, the anti-inflammatory medication colchicine, and corticosteroids. NSAIDs and colchicine tend to work best if they are started within 24 hours of the gout attack 3 Gout. Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/gout . These drugs can carry the risk of several adverse effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiovascular issues, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, osteoporosis, and muscle weakness 4 Wongrakpanich, S., Wongrakpanich, A., Melhado, K., & Rangaswami, J. (2018). A Comprehensive Review of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in The Elderly. Aging and disease, 9(1), 143–150. https://doi.org/10.14336/AD.2017.0306 5 Slobodnick, A., Shah, B., Krasnokutsky, S., & Pillinger, M. H. (2018). Update on colchicine, 2017. Rheumatology (Oxford, England), 57(suppl_1), i4–i11. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kex453 6 Satyanarayanasetty, D., Pawar, K., Nadig, P., & Haran, A. (2015). Multiple Adverse Effects of Systemic Corticosteroids: A Case Report. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 9(5), FD01–FD2. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2015/12110.5939 .
Once the initial attack has been treated and pain levels have subsided, most doctors will try to address the buildup of uric acid that led to the attack in the first place. Several medications may be given to reduce uric acid levels, with some coming in pill form and others being given intravenously. These drugs can help prevent further gout attacks but may cause an initial flare in the disease as uric acid levels are being balanced out 3 Gout. Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/gout .
CBD for Gout—What Does the Research Say?
Between the high rate of patients with poorly controlled gout, the potential side effects of medications used to treat the condition, and the level of pain gout patients describe, it makes perfect sense why some might wonder about using CBD for gout pain relief.
Unfortunately, there aren’t yet any studies looking specifically into the use of CBD for gout. Still, given what we know about gout, there is research that suggests CBD may help.
For instance, gout is an inflammatory condition, and CBD is known to work as an anti-inflammatory agent 7 Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93 . That’s not the only symptom of gout that CBD may treat, though. In addition to the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, it has also been found to be effective at treating pain, even pain that is otherwise difficult to treat 8 Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928 .
For these reasons, those who suffer from side effects related to anti-inflammatory and pain medications may see CBD as a viable treatment alternative.
There is also research surrounding cannabis and arthritis. In assessing the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicine (CBM) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found that patients experienced a significant reduction in pain and improvement in sleep 9 Blake, D. R., Robson, P., Ho, M., Jubb, R. W., & McCabe, C. S. (2006). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford, England), 45(1), 50–52. . Further research has suggested that transdermal CBD may have a positive impact on reducing pain for arthritis 10 Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818 . CBD has also been suggested as a safe and effective treatment of osteoarthritis in animal studies 11 Philpott HT, OʼBrien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001052 .
While no one has looked specifically at the treatment of CBD for gout, what we know about the potential benefits of CBD in the treatment of other arthritic conditions is promising.
Ready to use CBD for gout?
If you want to try treating gout with CBD, there are a variety of options available to you. You can ingest CBD oil for gout, make your own edibles, or apply CBD topically to the impacted areas. You might even find you experience the most benefits by combining oral and topical applications.
Determining whether CBD helps with your gout symptoms may require a bit of experimentation on your end. Because there is no research into the benefits of CBD for gout, there is currently no information regarding the best CBD dosage for gout. We do have some basic dosage guidelines that can help you figure out where to start, though. From there, it’s just a matter of finding which dosage and treatment method works best for you.
Gout can be a serious condition indicative of other problems that may need to be addressed, so make sure you consult with a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms. This is important even if you find CBD is all you need to relieve those symptoms.
What is the fastest way to cure gout?
There are several treatment options for gout, though the efficacy of these treatments often varies by patient. As of now, there is no data regarding which treatment options might cure gout the fastest. Instead, there is often just trial and error in finding the best treatment for individual patients .
How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?
Animal studies have shown CBD can reduce joint pain in as little as 14 days. The efficacy of this treatment may actually work in a shorter period of time, though no studies have assessed how quickly CBD oil works for joint pain .
Which essential oil is best for gout?
Research has found that lemongrass oil can reduce uric acid levels . Indian celery seed oil has been found to improve the treatment efficacy of gout medications . Other oils found to be beneficial in the treatment of gout, either for pain and inflammation relief or used to reduce uric acid levels, include yarrow oil, olive leaf extract, biota orientalis extract, and ginger extract .