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Gout is a condition that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the bloodstream. It causes swelling and pain in joints, usually in the feet. Symptoms of a gout attack can appear suddenly and last for several days.

Typical treatments for gout pain include anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonintoxicating, natural remedy that may also help relieve gout pain.

If you have gout, keep reading to discover whether CBD may help relieve your symptoms, how it’s taken, and more.

CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has therapeutic properties. It may help with pain and inflammation by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Unlike medical marijuana, which contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD won’t make you feel high. It also carries a low risk of side effects, potentially making it a preferable option compared to other pharmaceutical or over-the-counter treatments.

Animal studies suggest that CBD may be a promising treatment for conditions and symptoms related to gout.

For instance, a 2015 animal study found that a topical CBD gel may help relieve arthritis pain in rats. The researchers reported that rats receiving the treatment showed less joint swelling and improved posture compared to a control group.

Similarly, in a 2017 animal study, CBD treatment reduced inflammation and pain in male rats with osteoarthritis. It also appeared to prevent further nerve damage.

While CBD shows potential, more studies — particularly randomized controlled trials with human participants — need to be done to draw further conclusions.

According to this 2017 review, the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation. So it’s possible a cannabinoid like CBD can interact with the end-cannabinoid system to help with the pain and inflammation of gout.

Unfortunately, there have been no clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of CBD to treat gout in humans. A few studies have explored the use of non-CBD cannabinoids like THC to treat similar symptoms, such as pain and inflammation.

There has been one study on the use of CBD to treat pain in humans: A 2021 randomized controlled trial from Australia.

The authors evaluated the use of oral CBD for people who came to emergency rooms with acute lower back pain. They reported that CBD was no more effective at relieving pain than a placebo. However, the study only involved 100 participants — a relatively small sample size. And acute lower back pain is a different condition than gout.

Next, a large 2021 survey assessed CBD use among people with fibromyalgia. Sixty percent of participants in the survey reported using or trying CBD. Of those, 30 to 40 percent answered that it provided “much” or “very much” relief of symptoms, particularly pain.

While this survey is not methodologically strong enough to establish cause and effect like a clinical trial, it provides useful hypotheses. Additional research is required to help clarify if and how CBD can help treat pain, especially in light of the current opioid epidemic.

If you have never taken CBD, opt for a low dose your first time. Once you know how your body responds, you can slowly increase the dose if needed.

Keep in mind that factors such as your age, weight, and metabolism can affect how quickly your body processes CBD. In addition, potency often varies from product to product or from brand to brand. The manufacturer should provide a recommended dose on the label.

It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor or a healthcare professional before taking CBD for gout pain. They can help you use it safely, particularly if you are currently taking other medications, as CBD can cause drug interactions.

There are several ways to take CBD, including:

  • Tinctures. CBD tinctures are liquids taken orally using a dropper. You can easily adjust the dose according to your needs.
  • Topicals. These include creams, massage oils, and lotions applied to the skin. This is an option for localized pain, such as from a gout attack.
  • Pills. It’s possible to take CBD in a pill form or capsule. Some people may find getting an accurate consistent dosage is easier this way.
  • Edibles. Gummies are the most common CBD edible. With gummies, you don’t have to swallow a pill, and the taste is often better than that of a tincture.

Other natural gout remedies

Looking for other ways to treat gout without medications? The following natural remedies may help:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • apples
  • bananas
  • celery
  • cherries
  • dandelion
  • hibiscus
  • ginger
  • lemongrass
  • magnesium
  • milk thistle
  • nettle tea
  • olive leaf oil
  • yarrow oil

Consult with a healthcare professional about any supplements you plan on taking.

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Gout is a type of arthritis that causes acute attacks of intense pain and swelling, typically in the feet and toes. When a gout attack strikes, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin are often the first line of defense.

CBD is another possible treatment for gout pain, but more research is required to prove its effectiveness. While many people already take CBD for similar conditions, there are few clinical studies that justify its use.

Talk with a doctor before taking CBD for gout pain. They can help you find the correct dosage and avoid interactions with other medications you may be taking.