The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 22.7% of U.S. residents suffer from arthritis. More alarmingly, the CDC estimates that the number is going to rise to 78.4 million over the next 20 years.
Women are more prone to arthritis than men. According to research, this has to do with the genetic makeup and hormones which may contribute to higher incidences of autoimmune disease. The good news is that hemp oil contains many bioactive substances that may help with arthritis-induced inflammation and pain.
This article goes over tips on how to use hemp oil for arthritis. Plus, it takes a look at a few scientific studies that confirm the oil’s beneficial properties.
How to Use Hemp Oil for Arthritis — Proper Usage
Hemp oil is a liquid tincture that comes in spray top or dropper bottles. It’s not uncommon for the tincture to include other ingredients such as spearmint, terpenes, or other essential oils. The extra ingredients are used to add flavor and mask the natural hemp taste.
There are two ways to use the oil — you can apply it directly onto the affected joint(s) or take the oil orally. For oral intake, fill up the pipette and release the amount under your tongue. You should wait for about a minute before you swallow the oil to ensure the best absorption.
Should you find the taste a bit too pungent, feel free to wash it down with some juice or water. With topical use, you don’t need to worry about the taste and the application doesn’t require any special steps or caution. Just put a few drops over the affected area and massage the oil into your skin.
Compared to topical use, oral intake should provide faster pain relief. But this also depends on the potency, your metabolism, and the severity of the condition.
Hemp oil is perfectly safe and there are very few side effects. But to get the most benefits, you need to follow some general rules.
Hemp oils come with recommended dose per serving or per day. The dropper has a graded pipette that makes it easy for you to determine the right amount. In general, it is a good idea to start low and slowly increase the intake as your body adjusts to the supplement.
Note: For most hemp oils, the daily dose caps at two servings.
Per your doctor’s recommendation, you might need to apply or take hemp oil a few times a day. But if you skip a dose, don’t compensate for it. Use the oil when you remember and make sure there are at least a few hours between.
Watch Your Eyes
As said, some hemp oils contain mint and other ingredients that may cause irritation or discomfort. Wash your hands thoroughly after you massage the oil into your skin and make sure not to rub the eyes.
Hemp Oil Isn’t a Cure
As beneficial as it is, hemp oil is just a supplement that may relieve the symptoms of arthritis. It is not a cure nor a substitute for prescribed medication. In fact, there is no cure for arthritis, as you may know.
Combine with Turmeric
Turmeric has many health benefits and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The orange pigment found in turmeric is called curcumin, which has well known anti-inflammatory properties.
What to Look for in Hemp Oil
The first thing to consider is the origin of the hemp seed origin. It’s best to go for a brand that uses U.S.- or Canadian-grown hemp. Next comes the extraction process.
Cold pressing is the preferred extraction method. It doesn’t involve any chemical treatment or additives, and it preserves the full spectrum of nutritious compounds.
Lastly, check to see if the oil has been tested by an independent lab. This gives you peace of mind regarding the purity and the quality of the ingredients.
What Does the Research Say?
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology indicates that hemp oil affects MH7A cells which are connected with rheumatoid arthritis.
Another study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that hemp oil has beneficial effects on the brain of arthritis patients. It makes them feel more relaxed and energetic, which is important because stress can affect arthritis symptoms.
When all is said and done, hemp oil can have numerous benefits for arthritis patients. This supplement doesn’t require a prescription nor does it contain any psychoactive cannabinoids. However, it doesn’t mean that more is better.
With hemp oil, a higher dose doesn’t equal greater potency. You can divide the recommended daily amount into smaller doses to ensure your body has enough time to adjust and utilize all the bioactive compounds.