CBD for Arthritis

How To Use CBD for Arthritis

The Hemp Facts
August 17, 2023

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. The main symptoms are joint pain, redness, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. A decreased range of motion of that joint is common as well.

350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis is something that happens to joints over time. This condition is due to the wear and tear of joints. The cartilage on the ends of bones begins to wear out, which causes grinding. This condition affects people more as they get older and it’s more common in women. OA can also be associated with joint injury, obesity, and overuse.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system starts to attack the lining of a person’s joint. The synovial membrane becomes inflamed and painful, as well as swollen. RA is more common in females.
  • Psoriatic arthritis is associated with the skin condition, psoriasis. It can affect any joint either on just one side or both sides of the body.
  • Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause joint inflammation. There are over 100 types. These include gout, juvenile arthritis, reactive arthritis, infectious arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Arthritis is a chronic condition, and causes the destruction of joints. Many conventional medications are available to help sufferers, but they may not be effective or carry side effects. Increasingly, arthritis patients are turning to medical cannabis for its anti-inflammatory properties, minimal side effects, and pain relief.

What are the potential benefits of using CBD for arthritis?

  • Arthritis is a terrible disease with pain as its main symptom. CBD, or cannabidiol, is an anti-inflammatory substance that may help relieve the pain of arthritis. CBD has no psychoactive effects, so it will not make you high or intoxicated. It does have a primary benefit of reducing inflammation, which has been shown to benefit individuals with arthritis.
  • Pain management
  • Reduced need for opiates
  • Reduced need for NSAIDs
  • Reduced side effects from conventional arthritis treatments
  • Improved mobility
  • Better sleep

Are there side effects when using CBD for arthritis?

CBD is a complicated but valuable supplement with many unknowns. It’s best to keep a close eye on the side effects, especially when taking it in high doses. CBD can cause drowsiness, upset stomach, diarrhea, sedation, and dry mouth. Interactions may also occur with other drugs, so be aware of these possibilities. CBD should generally be well tolerated and few people have significant side effects with it.

If you are new to CBD, start with a low dose to assess if you will have any side effects. Then you can start slowly increasing the dose until you reach pain relief.

How does CBD work for arthritis?

CBD is an anti-inflammatory agent that is effective in decreasing inflammation in the body, and as a result, in the affected joint. This has the effect of decreasing pain for people suffering from arthritis.

Other important cannabinoids with anti-inflammatory properties include: THC, Cannabichromene (CBC), Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), Cannabigivarin (CBGV), and Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).

How should i use CBD for arthritis?

  • Before using CBD, always speak with a doctor. CBD can be risky for people who are already taking other medications. It may interfere with the levels of different drugs in the body and lead to harmful interactions. This is especially important if you are taking any of these medications:
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
  • Anticoagulants or blood thinners
  • Statins
  • Some heart medications including calcium channel blockers (eg. Amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, verapamil)

There is an undeniable connection between joint inflammation, arthritis, and pain. Based on this discovery, using CBD for arthritis is often an effective way to reduce arthritic pain and discomfort. Different delivery methods work better for some people than others. The topical method is ideal for smaller areas of the body. Other delivery methods include vaping, tinctures, edibles, and capsules.

What do you think of vaping for pain relief? Some people say that vaping can be a quick way to relieve pain. One problem with vaping is that it’s not 100% safe. Vape companies may look trustworthy on the surface, but we don’t know how vaping will affect our lungs long-term.

CBD and THC may work synergistically for pain relief. The ratios of CBD to THC used most often are from 2:1 (CBD to THC) to 1:2 (CBD:THC). Remember that if you use higher doses of CBD, you may have to adjust the ratio to avoid legal problems in your state because they’re both anti-inflammatory.

If you have tried CBD and didn’t like it, there are other options for you. Some people feel more relief from THC than from CBD. Others simply enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC. You can try a mix of products to find your perfect blend. Start with a low dose of CBD and build up the dose in small increments.

What are terpenes, and are terpenes beneficial for arthritis?

CBD is extracted from hemp, and when it is, an additional class of substances—the terpenes—are extracted as well. Many terpenes have medicinal properties that are beneficial, and these substances can work synergistically with CBD to provide relief. One thing to keep in mind is that the following terpenes work alongside CBD:

  • β-caryophyllene (beta-caryophyllene)
  • α-Pinene (alpha-pinene)
  • Myrcene
  • Linalool
  • Limonene

What do research studies have to say about CBD for arthritis?

  • CBD, cannabinoids, and compounds in cannabis decrease inflammation by preventing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are molecules that act as intracellular messengers and are manufactured in response to an infection or injury.
  • Pre-clinical studies—ie. animal studies—have shown that CBD can act through a variety of mechanisms to reduce the inflammatory response thereby reducing pain.
  • There have been no studies done in humans to date—but watch this space!
  • THC has been shown to be 20 times more anti-inflammatory than aspirin and 2 times more anti-inflammatory than hydrocortisone.

Recently, the Arthritis Foundation released a set of guidelines for the use of CBD in arthritis. In the guidelines, they state: “In the future, the Arthritis Foundation anticipates that this class of product will be studied to determine whether it is an option to provide patients with more relief.” The guidelines go on to state that “currently there is limited scientific evidence about CBD’s ability to help ease arthritis symptoms.”

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