Written by Jessica Reilly
CBD Oil for Arthritis
Can CBD provide relief to people suffering from arthritis pain?
A growing body of studies points to yes.
While the evidence is not conclusive, ample anecdotal evidence from people with arthritis, in addition to the growing body of scientific literature, point to CBD being a potential source of pain relief for people with arthritis.
If you’re interested in using CBD to help your arthritis pain, here’s what you need to know.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is made from CBD, which is short for cannabidiol. It’s a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. CBD oil is made from flower harvested from hemp or cannabis plants that is pressed and processed into a potent oil.
CBD is different than THC. THC is the cannabinoid associated with the classic intoxicating high feeling. CBD is psychoactive, but not intoxicating and does not produce an intense high feeling. CBD binds with a different receptor in your endocannabinoid system, and so produces different effects.
While THC has a reputation as a recreational drug, CBD is most often used medicinally and has a variety of health benefits, including acting as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and pain reliever.
You can consume CBD in a variety of ways, including edibles, topicals, tinctures, smokables, and oils.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a common chronic inflammatory condition with no known cure. More than 10 million people in the UK live with arthritis, and it may be brought on in a variety of ways, including a genetic predisposition.
There are over 100 kinds of arthritis-related conditions, but two of the most common kinds are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing swelling and inflammation. It often affects the hands and feet, and can be very painful.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that wears away joint cartilage and bones. It often affects hips, knees and thumb joints, causing pain and stiffness.
The Science Behind CBD & Arthritis
Research on CBD and arthritis is limited, due to prohibitionist attitudes found in high levels of governments across the world. But as attitudes and laws change, more studies are being commissioned each year to find out the extent to which CBD can increase our quality of life. Some studies have made it to human trials, while many are conducted on animals and offer promising results in people.
- A 2006 study found Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray that contains CBD and THC helped relieve arthritis pain.
- A 2011 study found that CBD can reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting how pain receptors respond to stimuli.
- A 2014 review of existing evidence and literature concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for osteoarthrosis.
- A 2016 study found that applying CBD topically had the potential to relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.
- A 2017 study found that CBD may be a safe and effective treatment for joint pain due to osteoarthritis.
- A 2017 review of existing literature found that CBD can help with chronic neuropathic pain levels.
- A 2020 review of existing evidence and literature reported that CBD can be beneficial to relieving chronic pain, improving sleep quality and reducing inflammation.
CBD oil is regarded as safe for consumption by the general population and can help relieve the pain, inflammation and swelling caused by arthritis. Additionally, CBD can stabilize mood swings, reduce anxiety levels, and increase sleep quality. The Arthritis Foundation, a Georgia-based nonprofit, reports that people who use CBD have a noticeable decrease in pain and anxiety, and an increase in sleep quality.
While more research is necessary to reach an official conclusion, all signs point to CBD being a safe and effective treatment for inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
Why Does CBD Help with Arthritis Pain?
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation, decrease pain levels, and increase anandamide levels in the body. Anandamide is an internally-produced cannabinoid and can have similar effects as dopamine.
Cannabinoids like CBD interact with receptors throughout the body that influence pain and inflammation levels, and can change how these receptors respond to signals. CBD works to decrease the hypersensitivity of cells in nerve endings, which can decrease chronic pain levels.
Side Effects of CBD for Arthritis Pain
CBD is considered safe for consumption by the general population, but it’s not without some side effects. These are typically mild and do not affect everyone, but you should always talk with your doctor before starting a new treatment. CBD can interact with or interfere with other medications you’re currently on, and it’s always best to consult with a medical professional. Side effects can include:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
CBD is not addictive and has a low toxicity level so there are no accidental overdoses. However, when starting a CBD treatment, always start with a low dose and monitor your body’s reaction.
Finding the Best CBD for Arthritis Pain
While there are many ways to consume CBD, using an oil allows for precise dosing and control over the amount of CBD ingested. Starting with a few milligrams per day can be enough to feel an effect. Start low, go slow, and up your dose as needed.
Best Practices for Using CBD:
- Read the label. CBD has become wildly popular over the last few years and a lack of standardized regulations means product quality can vary wildly. Always verify where the product comes from, and that it contains the amount of CBD advertised.
- Choose an oil rather than a smokeable or edible product. Cannubu’s CBD oil is extracted from plant material using a super critical carbon dioxide extraction process, widely considered the gold standard for production.
- Make CBD part of your daily regimen. CBD is not a cure-all, and should be used as part of a pain-management and treatment plan. Using CBD daily is the best way to get the most out of your treatment.
- Inform your doctor. CBD has the potential to interact with or interfere with other medications. Always let your doctor know before you start a new treatment so they can cross-check for interference.