CBD, the non-psychotropic cannabinol of marijuana, is becoming an increasingly popular treatment option and may offer unique benefits for osteoarthritis. It has been shown to attenuate symptoms of pain and inflammation. Considering CBD for osteoarthritis pain? We asked the experts for their advice to help you make an informed decision.
Lord Jones is a reputable supplier of CBD that ships different products depending on your zip code to ensure that the CBD you are receiving is legal in your state, whether marijuana is legal there or not.
What is osteoarthritis?
CBD is not addictive and has minimal known side effects. Extracted from cannabis satvia, CBD belongs to a family of plants that have long been used for their medicinal properties. According to Roger Clemens DrPH, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and Associate Director of the Regulatory Science Program at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, more research is needed to prove the efficacy of CBD as a treatment for arthritis. However, he says: “Studies among humans indicate CBD, when administered by injection or in topical transdermal forms, may have antiarthritic effects independent of cannabinoid receptors. In addition to helping to control inflammation, cannabinoids reduce pain by activating central and peripheral CB1, peripheral CB2 receptors, and CBD-sensitive non-cannabinoid receptor targets.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that is found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, which is another compound from the same plant, CBD is not psychotropic, and therefore does not create the “high” that the plant is more typically known for.
The symptoms experienced with OA encompass inflammatory, nociceptive, and neuropathic pain. CBD is an exogenous (out of the body) cannabinoid that acts on our endogenous (in the body) cannabinoid system to function in an antioxidant capacity, decrease inflammation and act as an analgesic.
There’s a good chance you’ve tried it already: according to a Gallup poll in August of 2019, about 14% of Americans report using CBD products, and the number one reason is pain. The Arthritis Foundation conducted its own poll and found that 29% reported current use of CBD (mostly in liquid or topical form), and nearly 80% of respondents were either using it, had used it in the past, or were considering it. Of those using it, most reported improvement in physical function, sleep, and well-being; of note, a minority reported improvement in pain or stiffness.
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A word about arthritis pain
Until recently, little guidance has been available for people with arthritis pain who were interested in CBD treatment. Depending on availability and interest, patients and their doctors had to decide on their own whether CBD was a reasonable option in each specific case. To a large degree that’s still true, but some guidelines have been published. Here’s one set of guidelines for people pursuing treatment with CBD that I find quite reasonable (based on recommendations from the Arthritis Foundation and a recent commentary published in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research):
It’s worth emphasizing that there are more than 100 types of arthritis, and while pain is a cardinal feature of all of them, these conditions do not all act alike. And what works for one may not work for another. Treatment is aimed at reducing pain and stiffness and maintaining function for all types of arthritis. But for certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, conventional prescription medications are highly recommended, because these drugs help prevent permanent joint damage and worsening disability.
But now, there is.
Our gratitude to the following experts for their guidance and review:
Should I give CBD a try? Without quality clinical studies on CBD and arthritis, doctors have not been able to say who might benefit from CBD, at what dose and in which form, who likely won’t benefit and who should avoid it. Still, there is agreement on several points:
Learn what the science says about the risks and benefits of CBD use for arthritis and what to shop for.
By mouth. CBD that is swallowed, whether in capsules, food or liquid, is absorbed through the digestive tract. Absorption is slow and dosing is tricky due to the delayed onset of effect (one to two hours), unknown effects of stomach acids, recent meals and other factors.
CBD for Arthritis Pain: What You Should Know
Does CBD work for arthritis? Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans. Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD, but not all, report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction.
Is CBD safe to use? Research evaluating the safety of CBD is underway. At this point very little is known. So far, no serious safety concerns have been associated with moderate doses. CBD is thought to have the potential to interact with some drugs commonly taken by people with arthritis. Talk to your doctor before trying CBD if you take any of the following: corticosteroids (such as prednisone), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), tramadol (Ultram), certain antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and certain medications for fibromyalgia, including gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).