Using CBD Products to Manage Collagen-Induced Arthritis

Researchers use a wide variety of methods to address numerous questions surrounding the pathogenesis of thousands of medical conditions. One such method includes mice or rat models. Often, trying to study the pathogenesis of numerous medical issues in humans directly is not easy. The risks and repercussions of these studies can be quite harmful and life-threatening. This is where researchers choose to go with alternative methods, such as mice or rat models, to explore the ins and outs of the medical condition. Doing so also helps them identify which areas they need to target in humans to treat the condition and how well a particular therapeutic approach would work.

While there are numerous researches going on in this respect, one of the most crucial ones is related to rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers are not only looking at understanding the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis but also identifying CBD products such as pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, pain relief oils, capsules, pills, nasal sprays, and more that can help relieve its symptoms. In this case, researchers use a method known as collagen-induced arthritis in which arthritis is induced in a rat or mice model.

What exactly is the collagen-induced arthritis mice model? How does it help with the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis? And, how potent are CBD products in treating this condition? Let’s have an in-depth and detailed look at the same.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and autoimmune disorder that affects a person’s joints. The most common points of issue are the joints in the hands and the feet. In rheumatoid arthritis, the person’s immune system flares up, causing the bones in these joints to develop pain and inflammation. Usually, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis develop on both sides of the body. This means that if a person develops rheumatoid arthritis in their left knee, their right knee will show the same symptoms as well. This is one differentiating factor between rheumatoid arthritis and other kinds of arthritis, such as osteoporosis.

In rheumatoid arthritis, one also experiences periods of symptoms. This means that there are times when the pain and inflammation flare up, and the person experiences joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. These symptoms last for a period, and then the remission period sets in. During this period, the person does not experience any such symptoms. Because of symptoms coming and disappearing, people usually ignore rheumatoid arthritis and not visit a doctor. However, this condition lasts a lifetime and cannot be cured. For an effective relief, one needs to visit their doctor as soon as possible.

Now, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can range from mild to very severe. In cases of mild symptoms, the person can get quite a lot of relief from treatment methods. However, managing the pain and inflammation can get very tough in severe cases since the patient tends to lose function in their joint or develop a deformity. The hands and toes develop a claw-like deformity that can cause severe loss of movement. Such severe developments hamper the day-to-day life of the patient and prevent them from carrying out simple tasks like walking, carrying things around, eating their food, and more.

Now, since the diagnosis takes time, and there aren’t any cures for the condition, researchers are continually looking for better methods to bring relief to the patients. The pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis needs to be improved, important target areas need to be identified, and better treatment products need to be brought into production. Without these, there is little to no scope of finding a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. While striving to do this, researchers are also continually looking at finding better treatment options that can relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis better than current treatment options do. These are also useful in patients who only have mild symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and do not require higher doses to manage their pain and inflammation.

Study of rheumatoid arthritis using collagen-induced arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is studied by researchers using the collagen-induced arthritis model in mice. Collagen-induced arthritis is induced in mice using an emulsion of type II collagen and Freund’s adjuvant. The pathological features that develop from collagen-induced arthritis in a mice model include the following:

  • Fibrosis or thickening of the connective tissue
  • Pannus or extended vascular fibrous tissue formation
  • Erosion of the bones in the concerned joint
  • Degradation of the cartilage in the concerned joint

As these symptoms (that are similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis) develop in the mice, researchers are able to analyze better and understand the pathogenesis of collagen-induced arthritis. The underlying immunopathological processes of collagen-induced arthritis have been discussed very deeply in a 2001 review by the Department of Pathology and Microbiology, School of Medical Sciences, the University of Bristol, and published in the Immunology journal. By deriving inputs and insights from collagen-induced arthritis, they can identify therapeutic routes to deal with rheumatoid arthritis in a more effective and holistic way.

In an effort to identify such therapeutic routes, researchers have found CBD products to be quite effective. CBD products such as pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, pain relief oils, capsules, pills, and nasal sprays interact very closely with a person’s endocannabinoid system to bring about analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. These same effects have been found to take place in a mice model of collagen-induced arthritis as well. This finding has proved to be a shining beacon of hope for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Managing collagen-induced arthritis using CBD products

CBD products such as pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, pain relief oils, capsules, pills, and nasal sprays contain cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is the psychoactive component of the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. These CBD products do not contain THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol responsible for the psychoactive nature of the hemp plant. Even if THC is present in CBD products, it is present in trace amounts, which cannot induce any psychoactive property. This means that consuming CBD products for relief from a medical condition won’t induce a “high” in the patient. This also means that CBD products are non-habit forming, and patients will not get addicted to them if they use the products for a longer period.

A 2000 study conducted by Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Hammersmith, London, found that these CBD products are highly effective in inducing anti-arthritic effects in a collagen-induced arthritis mice model. The CBD products were administered in the mice model orally. It was found that a dose of 25 mg/kg per day orally was highly effective in dealing with the pain and inflammation that developed with collagen-induced arthritis. Moreover, the CBD products were found to be highly potent because they also induced immunosuppressive effects. This way, they directly acted on the root cause of collagen-induced arthritis and enabled the mice model to improve and manage the symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis much better than any other treatment method.

In fact, a recent 2020 study published in the Cell Death and Disease journal proved that CBD products are highly potent in killing synovial fibroblasts that develop in a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These fibroblasts are essentially thickenings of the connective tissues in the concerned joints, and the presence of these fibroblasts not only causes pain and inflammation but also hamper movement. The destruction of these fibroblasts using CBD products is an excellent method of managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Another 2020 study published in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal proved that cannabidiol is very crucial in treating numerous different kinds of rheumatoid diseases.

Types of CBD products to use for rheumatoid arthritis

There are numerous CBD products in the market that are very popular for dealing with joint-related medical conditions. Pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, and pain relief oils are very popular in this concern. The patient does not need to consume them orally or nasally. These can be applied directly to the problem area and are then absorbed into the skin. These products are super effective for older patients who do not prefer consuming pills, capsules, and so on. However, these CBD topicals do not come with very high bioavailability, and in severe cases, the patients might need oral forms of these CBD products.

In such cases, doctors usually recommend CBD tinctures. These tinctures are essentially CBD oils whose drops can be placed under the patient’s tongue. These get absorbed faster into the body and work on the target area with added potency. Doctors also recommend vaporizers or nebulizers using which patients can inhale the CBD oil vapors through their nose. One might also consider using nasal drops. Other popular forms of CBD products include edibles such as gummy bears or chocolates. Even though the concentration of CBD oil in these products is comparatively low, they are easily administered to a patient who finds it difficult to consume other forms of CBD products.

Risk factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis

While rheumatoid arthritis can happen to anyone, and the treatment options vary depending on the patient and the severity, some risk factors can influence the development and advancement of the condition. If you have any of these risk factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis, it is a smart thing to consult with your doctor and get an early diagnosis for the same. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Having a history of rheumatoid arthritis in the family
  • Excessive smoking
  • Being obese
  • Injury to the joint such as a fracture or a dislocation
  • Being a woman
  • History of exposure to periodontal bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis or Treponema denticola
  • History of exposure to viruses that cause mononucleosis (mononucleosis is a characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis)

Other precautions one can take when suffering from rheumatoid arthritis

Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be very tough. The extreme pain and inflammation can flare up at any time and cause the patient immense discomfort. CBD products such as pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, pain relief oils, capsules, pills, and nasal sprays can clearly help with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and enable the person to live more comfortably. However, there are certain precautions that one can take to ensure that they keep the pain and inflammation to the minimum levels. Here are some precautions that can help out the patient.

  • Indulge in low-impact exercises or light yoga exercises to improve the motions in your joint and strengthen the muscles surrounding these joints.
  • Ice packs can help reduce pain and inflammation. You can also try alternating between hot and cold packs to reduce stiffness and bring more mobility in the joints.
  • During a period of the flare-up, consider resting and getting ample sleep since being well-rested tends to help with the pain and inflammation.
  • To help lower the inflammation, consider using splints or braces since they can help you give some rest to the joint and avoid any increased inflammation.
  • Include food items high in omega-3 and antioxidants in your diet. These include walnuts, chia seeds, artichokes, dark chocolate, berries, pecans, spinach, and so on.
  • If the rheumatoid arthritis is in your legs, consider using crutches, handrails, hand bars, or canes to walk. Using these can help you prevent any issues with walking comfortably.

Conclusion

Even though rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition and doctors don’t have a cure for it as of yet, receiving medical aid can help patients deal with its symptoms effectively. CBD products such as pain relief sprays, pain relief roll-ons, CBD body oils, pain relief creams, pain relief oils, capsules, pills, and nasal sprays can help bring down the inflammation and enable the patients to get some much-needed relief. Consult with your doctor and talk to them about including such CBD products in your treatment plan. Follow their instructions carefully and ensure that you are taking all precautions as mentioned by them. If you have not been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but are experiencing even mild symptoms related to the condition, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor at the earliest.

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