Since the hemp derivative CBD (cannabidiol) has shown remarkable results in many studies, people often ask if it can help with arthritis pain.
The following article takes you through the effects of CBD on arthralgia (arthritis pain).
To convey the information comprehensively, we’ll brief you on arthritis, how it causes pain, what CBD is, and how it can help with inflammatory joint disease.
What is CBD?
CBD is a component found in hemp and cannabis plants.
And although it is one of its most active ingredients, it does not impart any euphoria to the user.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), pure CBD does not cause any health problems.
On the contrary, many pieces of research proved many benefits of CBD in the human body.
The use of CBD in pharmaceutical experiments started in the 1940s. Since then, it has been widely used for pharmaceutical purposes.
Now, buying CBD products containing up to 0.3% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is legal in most states of America.
Over the years, professionals have carried out extensive research exploring the effects of CBD on different health conditions.
Positive results show that the compound is potentially a breakthrough discovery for the medical world.
People have successfully used CBD worldwide for a whole spectrum of health problems, from nootropics for cognitive enhancement to medicines for epilepsy and creams for acne.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammatory bone disease associated with tenderness and swelling of joints. It is generally associated with family history, sex, age, orthopedic injuries, and obesity.
24% of adults in the US have arthritis, and it stands as a leading cause of work disability.
The most common form is osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage covering the bones at junction tears, causing friction between bones whenever the joint moves.
Another prevalent type is the auto-immune condition rheumatoid arthritis, in which your immune system wages war against your joints, causing inflammation. This condition eventually leads to stiff joints.
Arthralgia or arthritis pain is one of the first presenting signs of the disease. Damage to the cartilage makes the joint lose its elasticity.
Hence the bones become more susceptible to damage. The stretching of the tendon and ligaments also adds to the pain.
Arthritis causes difficulty in movement, and a severe degree of disease can lead to paralysis as well.
Unfortunately, we are yet to find a cure for arthritis.
However, doctors prescribe rest, physical therapy, and some drugs to ease the pain.
Since CBD has proven effective against many health concerns, it is vital to find out if it can help treat arthritis.
Arthritis Pain Research
Cannabidiol (CBD): A killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis – this is what research in one of the leading medical journals has to say about CBD in relation to arthritis.
Before we move towards discussing the relationship between CBD and chronic arthritis, bear in mind that there are close to a hundred subtypes of disease and every form has a characteristic pain.
Treatments are always focused primarily on reducing pain; however, the mode of therapy is specific to each type.
For example, rest and exercise are recommended for osteoarthritis.
But prescription medications are administered in the case of rheumatoid arthritis to both subside and prevent the joint from disability.
Therefore, what works for one does not necessarily apply to all.
CBD and Arthritis Pain
Since there are strict regulations and restrictions on the use of cannabis, we still don’t know the complete scope of CBD’s usage against arthritis.
But CBD has shown promising results in easing discomfort and reducing inflammation.
CBD halts the pro-inflammatory cytokines to a significant extent and reduces the proliferation of antibodies.
Hence, in the case of inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis, this can save the joints from damage and degeneration that the unhealthy immune system otherwise causes.
A 2016 study also suggests that topical application of CBD creams can relieve osteoarthritis-associated pain.
That being said, there still is a lack of conclusive scientific evidence that proves CBD is a viable treatment for arthritis.
Should You Start Using CBD for Arthritis?
As per a survey conducted by Arthritis Foundation, 79% of respondents are either currently using CBD, have used it in the past, or consider it an alternative therapy.
So if you also want to start on CBD for your arthritis, here is how you should go about it:
Consult Your Doctor
People have been allowed to buy CBD products over the counter since 2021.
But as with any other disease, we’ll advise you to consult your physician before starting on CBD medications and oil.
This is important because CBD can interfere with other ongoing procedures and medications.
For example, it is an anticoagulant and harmful if you have surgery scheduled.
Understand Possible Side Effects
You need to know the side effects of the oil. Dry mouth, diarrhea, and fatigue are just some of the possible consequences of CBD administration.
The chances of developing the complications are more if you have a history of similar reactions to medicines.
If you develop these side effects, immediately stop using the product and call a doctor.
Don’t Use if You’re Pregnant or Nursing
Despite all its benefits, CBD can be harmful to the fetus. Cannabinoids can affect the fetus’s immune system, making it vulnerable to infections and cancer.
The same goes for nursing mothers. The baby does not have a well-developed immune system, and CBD in breast milk can harm the infant.
Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vehemently advises against CBD, even in topical form, for pregnant and nursing women.
Simply put, results gathered through all the research are encouraging regarding CBD usage for treating arthralgia, but we need more evidence for a conclusive statement.
So if you decide to go for CBD products as an alternative therapy for any form of arthritis, make sure to check with your doctor.
Also, ensure that you are not at risk of potential side effects of the medicine.