cbd oil for ankylosing spondylitis

CBD Hemp Oil for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Arthritis is a prevalent chronic health problem in Canada, with around 6 million Canadians currently suffering from this condition. It’s been estimated that by 2040, 24 percent of Canada’s population will have arthritis. It doesn’t target a specific age group, but your chances of getting the disease increases as you grow older.

There are over 100 known types of arthritis today. All of them cause joint inflammation and stiffness which can lead to permanent damage if left untreated for too long. What makes this disease highly problematic is that once you have it, it stays with you for the rest of your life.

Other kinds of arthritis can even cause problems to the eyes, heart, or lungs. One of these more dangerous types is Ankylosing Spondylitis.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS mainly affects the spine. Given enough time, it will slowly fuse parts of the vertebrae together until you are hunched. It’s not unusual for the pelvis to be affected as well. In more severe cases, this disease can also spread to the shoulders, ribs and other joints in the body.

Some of AS’ symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain and stiffness in the lower back, pelvis, legs, or shoulders
  • Increased pain in the morning or after being inactive for long periods of time
  • Blurry vision and heightened sensitivity to light

AS can lead to other complications, such as

  • Inflammation in the eyes
  • Restricted breathing
  • Increased likeliness of cancer
  • Heart impairment

It is a rare condition that is more likely to occur in men. Unlike most forms of arthritis which are more commonplace in older people, young adults are more susceptible to this disease.

But like most other arthritis types, Ankylosing Spondylitis doesn’t have a known cure yet. However, there are medications that you can take to prevent its symptoms from getting worse or at least slow its progress down.

If you’re looking for something else aside from opioids and other pharmaceuticals, one of the most popular natural options is CBD oil.

How CBD Oil Can Help With AS

In recent years, CBD oil use has become commonplace among Canadians looking for an alternative to medical cannabis. This is because CBD & CBD hemp products don’t induce the psychoactive effects that cannabis does, thanks to the lack of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

CBD’s Health Benefits

The benefits of CBD can include:

CBD’s famous pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties have made it attractive to people who need help with pain management.

CBD and the ECS

To understand how CBD, or cannabidiol, can relieve arthritis pain, we must first know about the endocannabinoid system or ECS, which we are all born with.

CBD helps your body by interacting with your ECS, which has receptors that receive chemical signals and assist your cells in responding to different stimuli in the body. While the ECS can send pain-relieving signals without the help of CBD, the substance enhances the effects that it has on you.

We offer all Canadians free phone and video appointments with one of our healthcare practitioners where they can inquire about obtaining a medical cannabis prescription.
If you would like to book your free appointment, you can here.

CBD’s Special Anti-Inflammatory Effect

For a long time, it was assumed that CBD’s effectiveness at reducing inflammation was thanks to its interactions with the ECS receptors. However, there’s a recent study by the Brain and Spine Institute in France that reveals that CBD didn’t need the receptors. The chemical already has inherent antioxidant properties and suppresses an enzyme that stimulates inflammation in the body.

For people with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which has severe inflammations, this property is immensely helpful in slowing down its symptoms.

Consult a Physician First

If you are interested in CBD oil for relieving your Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms, it’s safer to consult a trusted physician first on proper dosages and to make sure that it is not conflicting with any ongoing medications and treatments you have. Your healthcare provider should always be updated on your progress and any side effects you may be feeling.

Apollo’s Cannabis Clinic physicians are here and offer free appointments to all Canadians, 7 days a week.

To get safe and high-quality CBD, be sure to buy tested and certified products from trusted sources. Book an appointment with our dedicated doctors today and find out more about how Apollo can help.

Three Months Of CBD For Chronic Pain

I decided to start using CBD (cannabidiol, not to be confused with marijuana!) to manage my anxiety and mental health issues, which can be exacerbated by axial spondyloarthritis, and my constant chronic pain from AS. It took me a long time to make this decision, likely because I don’t smoke marijuana and because I don’t like feeling high.

Getting beyond the “marijuana” stigma

The thing is, there is so much (frankly, deeply unfortunate and wildly ignorant) stigma attached to CBD and cannabis in general. Just because a plant is used for recreational high (this is THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) doesn’t mean it’s not also capable of healing. The plant world has so much to offer us. Stigma attached to marijuana (which is also super reductive, considering the benefits it offers) detracts us from the usefulness of alternative therapies. There’s a good reason medical marijuana is legal in so many places. (And hey, I don’t judge either way!).

CBD, on the other hand, is NOT medical marijuana and either does or does not contain THC. I use CBD because its benefits are amazing (and it doesn’t get you high).

Some of CBD’s benefits: 1

  • Reducing pain
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Controlling epileptic seizures
  • Treating mental illness
  • Treating addictions

How I got started with CBD

I started off by researching the companies that I could trust. I reached out to a nurse who had a lot of experience in the cannabis area and asked her what her favorite brands were. I ended up finding a brand (Bluebird Botanicals — and no, this isn’t sponsored!) that provided batch reports for all of their products, which means you can see exactly what goes into it. I also read literally hundreds of reviews, including reviews from patients with arthritis. I watched dozens of videos to make sure that I wouldn’t be getting a high or any sort of psychotropic effect. I read science journal studies (I’m a wellness writer, after all).

I took the plunge and ordered a sampler three-pack, which came with three different kinds of CBD. They each had different properties. The different properties were either the oil that they were made with, like hemp or coconut oil or additions like frankincense and black seed oil, both of which are known to have amazing healing properties and have been used by people with arthritis.

What I was looking for in a product

For me, it was all about:

  • Finding a transparent, award-winning, top-rated company
  • Understanding exactly what is inside of the product
  • Understanding how it would interact with my body (again, I don’t like getting “high” or feeling weird)

The oil I bought were labeled “full-spectrum CBD,” which means it contains the whole array of what is inside the plant — all the antioxidants and all the other terpenes and good stuff.

The CBD that I got does have a little bit of THC in it (0.3 percent, which is legal). The tiny, almost negligible dose of THC in the CBD goes a long way, but you don’t get even remotely a psychotropic high. This is because research suggests that terpenes or terpenoids, small compounds in cannabis plants, make CBD and THC more effective when taken together rather than alone. 2 This is called the entourage effect. 2

You should also know that many CBD products are formulated without THC! You can try both to see what works for you, but if you have a job that tests you for marijuana, the no-THC is the way to go!

My first CBD dose

The first time I took it, I started with about eight drops in a small cup of water. The recommended serving size was 15 drops. I felt an immediate sense of relief, especially in the realm of my anxiety. I was having very, very extreme anxiety, and the CBD really worked wonders — immediately. It changed my life. It isn’t that you feel completely different, it’s that you actively realize that you don’t feel bad. And that is really important to me!

I also noticed that it took the edge off my pain, but the pain control gets better the more I take it. I also wasn’t in an active flare-up then.

Months into CBD use

As I got further and further into my CBD lifestyle, I started doing two-three doses per day. Each dose is between eight and 10 drops. I never go up to 15, just because I like to start smaller.

I discovered that if I took it too late at night I might have a little bit of a hangover in the morning, which basically feels like grogginess. I determine that if I take it when I wake up and also at around 9 PM, I get the most benefit. If I’m having an extremely anxious day I’ll just take a dose as needed.

I have been taking the CBD both in and outside of a flare so I have a really unique perspective on how it works with ankylosing spondylitis and my body.

When I take CBD, I noticed that my pain decreases. Period. If I’m in a flare-up (and I have been) and my pain is around a nine or a 10, it definitely reduces to about a five or six. Sometimes it goes away more than that.

I generally feel as though the heaviness and immobility and stiffness and pain is reduced when I use it, and that’s because CBD reduces inflammation, especially over time. 3 I have lately been in a really horrible flare-up, so I’ve been increasing my CBD doses. It is cumulative, so the more that you take CBD the longer lasting the anti-inflammatory effect really is.

When I combine CBD with Advil I get a big, short-term boost. But over the past three months, CBD has improved my mobility, mental state, and quality of life.

Last thoughts

I can’t predict what it will feel like for you because you might need a different dosage or even a higher dosage, so it’s very individual. Be sure to check with a doc, too, as CBD can affect how some medications work.

Everyone in the cannabis industry that I’ve spoken to says that you should try different brands and different dosages to find what works for you. The good news is that there is so much literature and scientific study around the benefits of CBD, and it backs up my anecdotal evidence.

I recommend reading Junella Chin’s work. She is a cannabis advocate and an ankylosing spondylitis patient herself.

I am a big believer in holistic self-treatment. And this is one part of my regimen that I truly will not do without going forward.