I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 31. It’s a progressive autoimmune disorder that causes joint inflammation and pain. Left untreated, it can affect the major organs. I am one of 1.3 million people in the world who suffer from RA. It affects both my riding and everyday life, and it’s the reason I use CBD.
Looking back, I’ve probably been living with rheumatoid arthritis much longer than my diagnosis suggests. As a teen, I’d often get sore joints after riding. I just thought it was normal post-riding soreness. After I got pregnant at 30, my knees became extremely sore and painful. Again, I chalked it up to pregnancy aches. But a few weeks after I gave birth, the pain spread. I felt it in all my joints. It was agony. I could barely get out of bed. I finally talked to my doctor. He referred me to a rheumatologist who was also a rider and really understood how my condition was affecting my riding life.
We tried to find a combination of medications that would manage my symptoms. Hydroxychloroquine didn’t work for me. My hair fell out on methotrexate; it made me nauseous and extremely fatigued, too. We eventually tried adalimumab. It helps. But I didn’t relish the idea of having to take drugs that suppress my immune system for the rest of my life.
A few friends recommended CBD. I experimented with a generic oil and didn’t really notice a difference. Once I found one targeted for pain and inflammation relief (it contains 52.62 mg CBD/ml), I began to feel the benefits.
How it Helps
CBD is a key part of my arthritis management strategy now. During the day, I use a topical CBD lotion on my ankles and knees and an oral oil to help reduce inflammation and joint pain. At night, I use a CBD/THC product to help me sleep better and wake up less sore. Beyond my RA symptoms, CBD has helped reduce the migraines and nausea that come with my medication. It even helps alleviate my plantar fasciitis. The best part, to me, is that CBD lets me extend the time between my adalimumab injections. I’m 37 now and I haven’t had a bad flare up in years. CBD has helped me get past the pain of rheumatoid arthritis—and back to my life.