CBD use has become popular for both chronic and acute pain. This includes arthritis pain. While CBD doesn’t cure arthritis, there is a growing body of research that suggests the chemical can help reduce joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. So, if you’re curious about trying CBD for your arthritis, read on to learn more.
Arthritis is a broad term to describe a type of joint disease marked by inflammation, stiffness, and joint pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation¹, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common affecting millions of people worldwide. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage that cushions bones in joints slowly deteriorates. The wear and tear that occurs to your joint cartilage over time can cause less joint movement and pain. Age, genetics, and obesity are all factors that can lead to an increased risk of OA.
Another common type of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid diseases are fueled by an autoimmune reaction in the body, where your cells attack and destroy healthy joint tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent damage to the joints, as well as lead to other complications if it is not addressed early.
Other common types of arthritis include:
- psoriatic arthritis
How does CBD Help Arthritis?
No matter what type of arthritis you’re dealing with, all of them have two things in common: inflammation and pain. Chronic pain and inflammation can have a drastic impact on your quality of life. As a result, many people are trying CBD for arthritis.
In 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse² released a ground-breaking congressional statement explaining the potential benefits of CBD. CBD’s pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects were included among the listed benefits.
CBD oil is a wellness product that is made with cannabidiol (CBD), a natural chemical from the hemp plant. It is worth noting that psychoactive qualities are due to THC, a different chemical than CBD. Therefore, CBD products and the hemp plant (less than 0.3% THC) do not have the ‘high’ or intoxicating feeling.
Understanding The Science Of CBD For Arthritis
Clinical research continues to test and provide evidence on the positive effects CBD is having on Arthritis. CBD specifically regulates and acts on receptors in the body (CB1 and CB2). These receptors are known for controlling pain and inflammatory responses. By targeting these receptors, many scientists believe CBD can provide pain relief and reduce inflammatory discomfort.
Studies suggest CBD can help with arthritis by regulating the body’s response to pain signals. It also has the potential to provide relief for inflamed joints by signaling to the body when a specific location is experiencing unnecessary swelling/inflammation.
Research On CBD For Pain & Inflammation
Like other types of complementary therapies, CBD is continuously being investigated for its effects on arthritis pain management. Below are highlights of some of the research on CBD for arthritis:
- An early study³ published in 2008 found that cannabinoids could help with chronic pain. CBD is one of 85+ natural cannabinoids.
- One animal study⁴, published in 2011, concluded that CBD helped with inflammatory pain receptors from arthritis.
- In 2016, the Arthritis Foundation⁵ published information from a small human trial that found CBD improved pain and insomnia in participants who had OA, RA, and fibromyalgia.
- Another animal study⁶ published in 2016 found that CBD, when applied topically, reduced symptoms of arthritis pain and inflammation.
It is worth noting that a CBD drug has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Epidiolex, which is 99.9% CBD, is used for seizures associated with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome). Although CBD has not been approved for arthritis, this means that researches and doctors are certain CBD does have medical benefits for some conditions with manageable side effects. As research grows, we anticipate CBD will receive the same widely-accepted approval for arthritis.
How To Take CBD
CBD is especially helpful when you wake up with achy joints, or after physical activity such as exercising, walking, or golfing. CBD may be taken orally as oil drops, as a capsule, as a pre-made edible (such as CBD gummies), or as a topical cream. CBD oil can also be mixed in with a smoothie or food. Topical creams may be used throughout the day as needed.
There is not a universal recommended daily amount of CBD. However, the Arthritis Foundation⁵ recommends starting off with 5 to 10 mg at a time, up to twice a day. Daily CBD users commonly report experiencing their desired benefits with 25mg/day of CBD. Many arthritis users try a combination of an oral CBD product and topical CBD cream to specific trouble areas.
Final Thoughts On Arthritis & CBD
The benefits of CBD are gaining momentum as a complementary therapy for arthritis. The scientific research on CBD for pain and inflammation has shown early results, but more studies are still needed. Overall, it’s considered safe to use CBD along with other medications. The side effects are considered far less severe than most prescription medications, if at all. This safety profile of CBD means the potential benefits far outweigh the risks for many people suffering from arthritis.