Chronic pain, joint pain, and arthritis are among the main reasons why people use CBD. These are all symptoms that affect people with ankylosing spondylitis. So, how can cannabinoids help relieve your pain?
Here is our complete guide to CBD oil for ankylosing spondylitis. We’ll see how it works and how to use it for maximum effect. But first, here is a brief overview of the condition.
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a condition involving inflammation of the spine. It can also cause inflammation of the joints (arthritis) and the points where ligaments and tendons connect to the bone (enthesitis).
Unlike many inflammatory conditions, Ankylosing Spondylitis tends to affect young people. It usually becomes evident in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in men than in women.
Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis can range from mild to disabling. Some patients suffer from back pain that comes and goes and may even improve over time. However, for others, the disease follows a more progressive course.
In severe cases, Ankylosing Spondylitis can cause permanent damage to the spine. When the body tries to compensate, it generates new bone, causing the vertebrae to merge. It leads to a loss of flexibility and mobility, called ankylosis. It can also affect the ribs and cause breathing problems.
Other symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include:
- Painful and swollen joints
- Pain in the buttock area
- Eye inflammation (iritis)
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
People with ankylosing spondylitis also frequently suffer from sleep disorders. It is mainly due to pain and difficulty feeling comfortable at night.
What causes ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing Spondylitis is associated with changes in a gene called HLA-B. It is responsible for regulating protein production in the immune system.
Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Physical activity tends to relieve the pain of this disease. Therefore, physiotherapy and exercise are among the most effective treatments. Daily massage and stretching can also help.
Patients who need additional pain relief may find the following medications beneficial:
- Traditional pain relievers, including opioids
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Corticosteroid injections
The problem with most of these drugs is that they can cause unpleasant side effects, especially with long-term use. Consequently, many patients ask whether natural remedies such as CBD can help relieve ankylosing spondylitis.
Does CBD relieve Ankylosing Spondylitis?
There is currently no research on CBD for ankylosing spondylitis in particular. However, a study is underway. It aims to test the effectiveness of cannabinoids in ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
As the researchers explain, these are two systemic inflammatory conditions. And one of the most effective ways cannabinoids work is to reduce inflammation. They do this by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS has a regulatory function on many of our physiological processes, including the inflammatory response. The inflammation serves as the immune system’s defense against injury or infection and provides great benefit in acute situations.
However, the immune system can sometimes become hyperactive and generate inflammation for no apparent reason. It leads to a variety of painful conditions, including ankylosing spondylitis. It seems that this is where cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can help. They dampen the activity of the immune system to reduce inflammation and pain.
THC exerts its effects by binding directly to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. However, CBD works slightly differently. It appears to enhance the activity of the body’s natural cannabinoid compounds to produce healing without adverse effects. CBD also affects several receptors outside of the ECS, adding to its overall effectiveness.
Thus, although CBD does not cure ankylosing spondylitis, it may provide symptomatic relief.
There is currently no research available on CBD oil for ankylosing spondylitis. However, there is evidence of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. That may be enough to encourage those who are looking for natural alternatives to prescription pain medication to try it.
Although CBD is safe for most people, we advise anyone trying it for the first time to consult a doctor first. He or she will make sure that CBD is a suitable treatment, whether for ankylosing spondylitis or any other condition.