Gout is painful and even worse, unpredictable — and the endless stream of medications prescribed to treat it doesn’t always make things better. But is there an alternative?
Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) may be able to help. In this article, we’ll discuss whether CBD can help with gout, how it works, and how to use it.
- While conventional treatments for gout pain including drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural, nonintoxicating remedy that may help manage gout pain.
- While CBD can’t replace completely replace prescriptions for gout, it can promote joint health and general wellness to make gout more manageable.
- CBD can also support long-term gout treatment because it can promote other elements of a healthy lifestyle (such as exercise and sleep) which ultimately help you eliminate gout.
- Unlike THC, CBD will not get you high — you can use it for gout without any concern of head effects.
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What is Gout? Causes & Symptoms
Gout is a form of arthritis in which joints become severely inflamed. It’s characterized by pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. However, it typically only “attacks” one joint at a time — usually the big toe.
Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the blood, which comes as a result of consuming too many purines (substances found in foods like seafood, bacon, turkey, and organ meats).
When your uric acid levels get too high, tiny and sharp urate crystals begin to form around your joints, causing severe pain and inflammation.
Gout comes in flares, in which symptoms get worse, and remissions, in which symptoms become less noticeable or disappear completely.
Symptoms of gout include intense toe pain, limited range of motion in the affected joint, inflammation, and redness in the affected joint.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Due to its plethora of benefits, it’s one of the most widely-used cannabinoids (second only to THC).
Here are just a few of the things CBD is beneficial for:
The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal on a federal level, and it’s legal in most states as well. However, although it is legal, CBD is not FDA-approved to treat pretty much anything — including gout.
However, there is extensive research suggesting artisan CBD products (like we sell) can be beneficial, so long as they’re well-made.
Can CBD Help With Gout Pain? What Research Says
The short answer is yes.
Several studies have shown CBD to have pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties, and anecdotally, these benefits also apply to gout-related pain and inflammation.
For example, this study demonstrated CBD’s ability to reduce levels of various pro-inflammatory substances in the body.
Despite this evidence, there is a lack of clinical trials that test CBD’s effectiveness, as well as a lack of specific research on CBD and gout. This means the only thing we can guarantee about using CBD for gout is that it will promote normal and healthy bodily states.
How CBD Works for Gout
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a transmitter system that’s “built in” to your body.
Your ECS is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, body temperature, and inflammatory response, among other things. Ultimately, your ECS keeps your body in a state of homeostasis, or balance.
Normally, your ECS produces its own endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made by your body), but it can become overloaded during times of bodily stress, such as a gout attack or severe anxiety.
During these times, introducing cannabinoids from the outside through a tincture or gummy can help the ECS restore balance where it otherwise could not. So although you could say CBD is a form of “body-hacking,” it’s completely safe, as cannabinoids are literally designed for your body.
How to Take CBD for Gout: How Much & When
If CBD seems like the right option for you, here’s what you need to know in order to get the best results with your product.
CBD Dosage for Gout
For gout, we recommend starting with a medium dosage of CBD. To find your daily dose, use this formula:
(0.3) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your daily CBD dosage in mg.
For example, if you weighed 150 lbs, you’d need 30mg of CBD daily for pain and inflammation related to gout.
If you take a medium dosage for a few days and figure out that you need more, move to a strong dosage. Here’s the formula:
(0.5) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your daily CBD dosage in mg.
(For more on CBD dosage, check out our guide and chart.)
When to Take CBD for Gout
When you take CBD for gout depends on which consumption method you choose (more on this in the next section). If you’re using CBD oil for gout, you’ll feel the effects in just 10 minutes. The same thing is true if you opt for a topical product.
However, edibles and capsules take 45 minutes to an hour to start working.
Effects from all products last for roughly 3-4 hours. With this in mind, be sure you’re taking CBD throughout the day so you’ll be protected whenever you’re hit by a gout flare.
Which Type of CBD Product Is Best for Gout?
CBD can be effective for managing gout in both topical (applied to the skin) and oral forms.
There is no “best” method out there — each type of CBD product has its upsides and downsides, and your specific situation will determine which is best. Here are your options.
Tinctures are fast-acting and easy to dose, however, they aren’t the best option if you don’t enjoy the earthy taste of CBD oil.
Topicals such as CBD-infused creams, salves, and roll-ons are applied directly to the skin.
The main upside of topicals is that they allow you to provide localized relaxation to the inflamed joint. Additionally, CBD topicals will not show up on a drug test since the CBD in them doesn’t enter your bloodstream.
The downside is that topicals won’t provide full-body relaxation as a tincture would.
Gel capsules are CBD oil enclosed in a capsule. They’re quick, easy to dose, and tasteless. The downside is that it takes longer to feel their effects because they’re digested, rather than absorbed into the bloodstream.
Like capsules, the main downside to gummies is that it can take a while to feel the effects since they’re digested.
Which Product is the Best for Gout?
If you’re hit with a sudden gout attack, a topical or tincture is the best choice. CBD oil and topicals take effect in just 5-15 minutes, so you won’t have to wait as long to feel the relaxing effects as if you’d taken an edible or capsule.
Gout Treatment: A Quick Overview
CBD is a supplement for managing gout, not a medicine for treating it. Gout treatment often requires professional medical advice, a careful plan, and sometimes, prescription medication.
However, here are some lifestyle-related changes and home remedies that can help manage gout in addition to CBD:
- Drink healthy beverages — alcohol and fructose-sweetened beverages increase uric acid production, which leads to gout attacks. Avoid alcohol and instead opt for healthier beverages like tea, coffee, and plenty of water (and CBD drinks 😉).
- Exercise regularly — obesity is linked to the development of gout, so getting frequent exercise is extremely important. Opt for activities that don’t strain the joints unnecessarily, such as walking or swimming.
- Avoid purines and eat a healthy diet — purines are chemical compounds that cause gout. Foods high in purines include red meat, liver, anchovies, scallops, and tuna. Go easy on these foods, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Try natural supplements — here are natural supplements and foods that have anti-inflammatory effects: milk thistle, lemongrass, magnesium, ginger, cherries, celery, bananas, olive leaf oil, and nettle tea.
CBD can help you manage gout, but it can’t treat it.
However, anecdotal evidence tells us that CBD can be very beneficial for those who suffer from gout, and many of our customers use it for exactly this purpose.
If you’re dealing with gout, then, CBD is definitely worth a try. Just be sure you speak to your doctor first to ensure it’s the right fit for you.
CBD & Gout: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions we commonly get about gout and CBD.
Can CBD cure gout?
No — CBD is not a cure for gout, but a method you can use to manage it.
Does CBD help inflamed joints?
Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, however, we don’t know enough about it to know if it’s a reliable treatment for joint inflammation.
What instantly helps gout?
Resting and elevating your feet can help soothe gout attacks, as can applying ice. Unfortunately, CBD does not work instantly — even a CBD topical will take 5-10 minutes to begin taking effect on the inflamed joint.
Is CBD safe to take?
By itself, CBD is completely safe to use. However, it may cause drug interactions, so if you’re taking prescriptions (especially blood thinners), be sure to ask your doctor before you begin taking CBD.