There have been some recent studies suggesting that cannabinoid oil (CBD) can be used to treat arthritis. Also known as hemp oil, CBD contains extracts from the cannabis plant that can have positive effects on people with chronic pain conditions.
This article will explain what CBD is, show the evidence behind these claims, as well as how to use CBD for arthritis.
What Is CBD?
CBD oil is a concentrated liquid from the marijuana plant. It is similar to other herbal extracts and the chemicals in the CBD oil varies based on how the extract was created and whether there were any other chemicals in the plant.
Standard cannabis plants produce hundreds, if not thousands, of different chemical compounds but the most well-known and studied is called a cannabinoid. There are a lot of different cannabinoids but the most recognized among traditional consumers are CBD and THC.
Where CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, THC most certainly does and is what users are looking for when they seek out a product to get them ‘high’. This makes CBD an attractive supplement as they can experience the benefits from the cannabis plant without getting high.
CBD is mainly used as a source of pain relief and to reduce inflammation, while other research suggests that it can be used to treat acne and even cancer.
CBD And Arthritis
According to Arthritis.org, more than 50 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis, making it the leading cause of disability in the country. There are two main types of arthritis, namely rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
RA is an autoimmune disease; the immune system attacks their own joints as it believes the cells carry a threat to the rest of the body. It is common to affect people’s hands and feet and leaves them suffering pain from simple movements, as well as swelling and stiff joints.
OA is a degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones. It causes great pain and stiffness and commonly affects joints in the hips, knees, and thumbs.
There are some animal studies that suggest CBD could be used to treat arthritis and they are as follows.
In 2011, a study showed CBD reduces inflammatory pain in rats:
“This study clearly shows that atypical cannabinoid receptors are involved in joint nociception and these novel targets may be advantageous for the treatment of inflammatory pain”
In 2014, a review of the existing body of research on animals found that CBD has potential for treating OA:
“This review summarizes the promising results that have been recently obtained in support of the therapeutic value of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis management.”
In 2016, another study found that topical application of CBD could potentially relieve pain and inflammation caused by arthritis:
“These studies demonstrate transdermal administration of CBD has long-lasting therapeutic effects without psychoactive side-effects. Thus, use of topical CBD has potential as effective treatment of arthritic symptomatology.”
Finally, in 2017, a study concluded that CBD could be a safe and useful treatment for OA joint pain:
“ Prophylactic CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints. These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.”
However, even with these promising results, more research is needed to conclusively prove that CBS can be an effective treatment for arthritis in humans.
In 2006, a published study found that the Sativex mouth spray could help to relieve pain caused by arthritis. However, while the contents of Sativex was cannabis-based, it contained both CBD and THC compounds, meaning that it wasn’t clear if the pain relief was because of CBD or THC or a combination of the two.
Chronic Pain And CBD
According to CBDKyro, CBD attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the immune system. One of which is called CB2 and is responsible for managing pain and inflammation.
There is a theory that when CBD is consumed, it attaches itself to these CB2 receptors. Another theory is that when CBD is consumed, it triggers the body to produce its own natural cannabinoids that then attach to the CB2 receptors.
No matter which way it works, it’s commonly thought that CBD affects the way CB2 receptors respond to the signals, helping to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
In 2008, a review of the effects of CBD showed that it can have a great impact on those suffering from chronic pain:
Using CBD For Arthritis
CBD can be taken as an oil or powder. This means it can be used by manufacturers when making creams and gels so people can apply it directly onto the skin and affected areas; for people with arthritis, this would be the joints and places painful to touch.
Alternatively, it can also be taken orally in the form of a capsule or an oral spray.
No matter which way it is taken, it is always advised to speak to a doctor or other medical professional before using CBD treatments.
It is also a good idea to be aware of the legal implications of using CBD. Check with local authorities or research the local laws online as cannabis is not always considered a legal substance.
Side Effects Of CBD
While CBD seems to be a promising treatment for arthritis, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects. While studies have shown that most people can tolerate CBD well, it’s possible to experience symptoms such as nausea, being more irritable and increased fatigue.
However, unlike THC, CBD does not have a psychoactive impact on the brain.
There are very promising signs that CBD can be used to treat pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Researchers are confident that they know how it reacts with the receptors in the brain and immune system but more studies are required before they can be certain.
It could be a while until CBD receives the all-clear for arthritis treatment but don’t be surprised if it gets approved sooner rather than later.
This article was written by Julian Gnatneco @ JGBilling