CBD for Gout - What You Should Know
Gout is a subtype of arthritis, and it was historically associated mostly with the wealthy and very corpulent. One 2010 Harvard Medical School newsletter called it "a museum piece of a disease." Yet gout is still very much with us and is a very painful condition, with attacks seemingly appearing out of the blue. Using CBD oil or marijuana for gout could alleviate symptoms—especially pain and inflammation—and so restore the body to balance. 
RELATED: The Cannabidiol-Arthritis Connection
CBD Oil and Marijuana for Gout Research
For the uninitiated—cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant, also called cannabis or marijuana. Unlike what you might assume about these plants, CBD is non-psychoactive. It can be sourced from a number of different subtypes of the plant, with hemp-sourced CBD being the lowest in tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (the psychotropic compound in the plant that is responsible for the “high” weed is known for).
Cannabidiol is a prime candidate for new alternative therapies for gout, as it is shown to be not only a powerful anti-inflammatory but also a highly effective pain reliever.
To date, there seem to be no easily traceable studies on CBD for acute gout attacks. Yet cannabinoids and arthritis have been researched, and since gout is—as mentioned—a type of arthritis, much can be gleaned and inferred from this data.
In one preclinical study on mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), CBD was administered after the onset of clinical symptoms. The researchers noted that the treatment effectively blocked the progression of arthritis, saying:
"...these data show that CBD, through its combined immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions, has a potent anti-arthritic effect in CIA." 
Another study demonstrated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (read more about this later) in the development of osteoarthritis in the knee joint, concluding that by targeting specific receptors in the system, CBD "may have therapeutic potential for treating [osteoarthritis] pain." 
Also, if considered on a symptom-by-symptom basis, there are many evidence-based areas where CBD could help alleviate gout.
Before exploring some of the ways CBD can help reduce both gout pain and inflammation, let’s first consider the connection between CBD, arthritis, and the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was fairly recently identified in the bodies of vertebrates. It is known, so far, to manage a growing number of physiological functions, and its modulation has been shown to have significant health benefits. These include the treatment of:
- mood and anxiety disorders
- neuropathic pain
- movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease
- obesity or metabolic syndrome
- multiple sclerosis
- spinal cord injury
- myocardial infarction
- osteoporosis—the list is not exhaustive. 
It also manages responses to stress, working to create a perfect internal homeostasis that supports good health.
The endocannabinoid system can be influenced by outside factors as well as genetics, and it is not always fully functional. It could start to misfire, so to speak. In some cases, this misfiring leads to an overactivation of the immune system, with some involvement in the development of an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases develop, very plainly put, when the body starts attacking its own tissues. Arthritis is technically classified as an autoimmune disease.
It can be said with safety that an unbalanced endocannabinoid system may lead to the development of many illnesses and diseases, not just immune-related. Phytocannabinoids like CBD can interact similarly to our naturally produced cannabinoids and help support the ECS.
Using CBD Oil, Gout Symptoms May Disappear
CBD is known to ameliorate the following symptoms associated with gout.
The ECS is also active in the control of pain, research has shown. Therefore, its modulation with phytocannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis, holds great promise as a powerful analgesic without adverse effects.
In this, marijuana for gout pain may be especially good for consideration. Marijuana is a variety of Cannabis sativa L, usually cultivated to be rich in THC. CBD and THC work together in what is referred to as the “entourage effect,” especially for pain management. 
Unlike other strong painkillers, CBD has been shown as safe to use over prolonged periods and has no risk of addiction.
RELATED: How to Use CBD for Pain-Free Days
Swelling and joint inflammation are the primary symptoms of an acute gout attack. Cannabidiol is a well-documented anti-inflammatory compound. There are quite a few studies now reflecting what the anecdotal evidence has claimed for years: that CBD not only soothes inflammation but helps to quiet an overactive immune system. Both are critical areas for the treatment of any type of arthritis. 
Trying to predict a flare-up is almost impossible, but what many people have found is that through preventative maintenance, one can avoid attacks or more easily manage the symptoms of gout if they occur. Lifestyle changes can definitely help, but so, too, might daily supplements of CBD oil for gout.
What Exactly Is Gout?
As mentioned, gout is a form of arthritis, and it can, therefore, be investigated—and in most instances even treated—as such.
In the case of arthritis, the body attacks the synovial membranes that line the cavities of the joints, tendon sheaths, and bursae. These membranes facilitate joint movement. So, as the disease progresses, cartilage is destroyed and bones are eroded over time.
Gout is characterized by a buildup of uric acid within the joints, which eventually form into needle-like crystals. During an acute gout attack, crystal formations cause swelling, inflammation, pain, and tenderness.
Attacks of gout happen almost without warning. People who experience gout have been suffering from something called asymptomatic hyperuricemia for years beforehand.
Gout is a disease that has always been associated with excess. The kings and lords of medieval times ate and drank well, and many eventually developed the symptoms of gout. Considering the standard American diet and lifestyle in 2017, it shouldn’t be surprising that the stereotype of gout being a large person's disease is still appropriate.
Obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose intake, and alcohol all increase a person’s risk of getting gout. Men are exponentially more at risk than women.
What Is an Acute Gout Attack?
As the referenced Harvard Medical School newsletter also says: “Gout is not gout until symptoms occur.” 
Although gout is technically inflammatory arthritis, it often goes undiagnosed during the initial stages, as these are symptom-free.
Gout attacks or flare-ups almost always occur at night, with the painful symptoms intensifying over the course of the next day. Usually, the pain, tenderness, and swelling subside after a few days. Many people will never experience this again, but others might experience another attack within the same year.
While there are definite triggers (eating an excess of acid-forming food, alcohol abuse, overmedicating) for an acute attack, the timing of the attacks might seem entirely random to most people. With that being said, gout is a force to be reckoned with. Attacks are typically completely debilitating, causing severe pain and discomfort for those afflicted.
As the research on CBD oil, gout, and arthritis expands—perhaps also the study of marijuana for gout—so, too, will our understanding of the ways these helpful cannabinoids assist the body against it.