CBD for Arthritis: Does It Work?

Arthritis is an incurable condition that currently affects over 22% of American adults and it’s among the top causes of work disability. Even though this condition is manageable using prescription medication, alternative sources of medicine such as cannabidiol (CBD) can help provide relief. CBD, a cannabis compound, has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Besides that, the compound is quite versatile, which gives patients multiple options. This article offers a review of CBD for arthritis, its safety profile, as well as ways of using it. 

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that’s characterized by swollen and tender joints. Patients normally experience symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness. While arthritis can typically affect anyone, it’s prevalent in the elderly as it tends to worsen with age. 

There are two main types of arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis: it’s an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system’s inflammation. Patients normally experience painful, swollen joints that feel hot and sore. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect larger joints such as elbows, knuckles, hips, and knees.

Osteoarthritis: it’s normally caused by wear and tear or physical trauma. That’s why it commonly affects the elderly and athletes. Osteoarthritis usually starts as a low-grade joint inflammation that proceeds to degenerate the synovial fluid and protective cartilage.

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CBD for Arthritis: What Research Shows

Evidence shows that CBD can be effective in treating arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, anecdotal evidence suggests that some patients with arthritis have experienced noticeable changes, including pain relief, reduced anxiety symptoms, and improved quality of sleep.

Several animal studies have found CBD has the potential to treat arthritis and relieving inflammatory pain. They include a 2011 study that found CBD could reduce inflammatory pain by affecting how the pain receptors in rats respond to stimuli. It was concluded that CBD could be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. In fact, topical CBD could potentially relieve arthritis pain and inflammation. Furthermore, CBD could be a useful treatment for osteoarthritis joint pain. 

However, the Arthritis Foundation also states that there is still a need for extensive clinical studies. This would help highlight the effectiveness of CBD and arthritis in humans. Besides that, this organization also urges the FDA to study, regulate, and offer public guidance regarding CBD products. 

How to Use CBD Products for Arthritis

You can use CBD for arthritis in several ways, depending on how you want to experience the effects. Topical products provide localized effects, while products for oral use normally result in systemic effects. 

CBD Oil: Such products are made for a sublingual application under the tongue and offer fast absorption. It generally takes 15-20 minutes to experience the effects of CBD oil. Consider using the best CBD oil for pain on the market since they are likely safe and can produce greater systemic effects.

CBD Cream: it’s a topical product that’s directly applied to the skin to offer localized pain relief. The effects of topicals take roughly 15 minutes to kickstart. 

CBD Gummies: These edibles are made for oral ingestion. The best CBD gummies for pain come in a wide range of flavors and potencies. While the onset of their effects tends to be slow, they normally produce lasting effects in the body. As a result, they are ideal for those suffering from chronic pain.

How Much CBD Should I Use for Arthritis?

There is no specific dosage recommendation for CBD for arthritis. This is because factors such as weight, mode of application, age, the severity of the medical condition, and metabolism play a crucial role in determining the dosage. 

It’s generally advisable to start with a low dosage such as 10 mg to 20 mg. Thereafter, you can gradually increase the amount after a couple of days by 2-5 mg until you find the best dosage for you. It should be noted that you can use a full dose at once. Alternatively, you can decide to spread your dosage throughout the day. 

Potential Risks of Using CBD for Arthritis Relief

Is CBD good for arthritis, and is it safe for use? CBD is an organic compound with a good safety profile. However, some people may end up experiencing possible side effects due to allergic reactions or drug interactions.

The Arthritis Foundation alerts interested users to be cautious of CBD since it can interact with certain arthritis medications. This includes tramadol, naproxen, and corticosteroids. In addition to that, using CBD orally alongside high fat meals can dramatically increase CBD’s blood concentration. Other potential risks include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in appetite

Apart from arthritis medications, avoid using CBD if you are using other supplements as well. Finally, pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t use CBD products. 

Talk to Your Doctor

Research regarding the use of CBD oil for arthritis is still limited. Only recently has little user guidance been made available to people with arthritis. So, if you are suffering from chronic joint pain, it’s important to speak to your doctor first. Your doctor has your medical history and therefore stands a better chance of understanding your medical needs. They can provide you with the best medical diagnosis and recommendations regarding the best treatment that will suit your needs. This includes offering insights such as exercises and diet plans you can use with the treatment.

Closing Thoughts

CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis. It contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Preliminary research reports, including evidence from human studies, support this. Arthritics can use CBD in the form of oil, topical creams, and edible gummies. However, the dosage usually varies depending on the severity of arthritis, the type of CBD, and the effects one desires to experience. Overall, it’s best first to seek the opinion of your doctor to avoid possible side effects. 

Author Profile

Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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