Arthritis is a serious condition that can lead to major problems in the everyday life of people suffering from it. In the United States, 24% of all adults have arthritis, which is an alarmingly high number. That means that almost a quarter of people living in the US experience some kind of form of arthritis and its symptoms.
Many look for help in CBD products that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. It’s valuable to point out that, although CBD has shown some promising results when tested for inflammation or pain relief, there is still a long way to go before science has a definitive answer on whether CBD can actually help with these ailments or not.
For now, CBD oil or other CBD products for arthritis are administered and treated only as supplements, as they cannot be used as medications or instead of them. But is CBD good for arthritis?
What Is Arthritis
Arthritis is an illness that targets joints. The most common symptoms of arthritis are swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and pain in one or more joints. It is also a frequent occurrence that arthritis worsens with age.
There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are also less common types like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, and septic arthritis.
With arthritis, there are several risk factors that may increase one’s chance of developing this sickness. The list typically includes:
- Age. This is one of the most predominant factors, as the risk of having joint-related problems increases with age.
- Family history. The genetic component plays a role in the likelihood of developing some types of arthritis.
- Sex. Some types of arthritis are more common amongst women (for example, rheumatoid arthritis) while others are more predominant among men (for example, gout).
- Joint injuries. Previous joint trauma can increase the risk of arthritis in the future.
The most severe variant of arthritis can cause serious mobility issues in the arms, hands, or legs, which greatly impacts the quality of life. Unfortunately, arthritis can’t be cured. Some treatments, however, can help slow down the progression of the disease and address some of its symptoms.
What Does CBD Do
CBD is an active cannabinoid compound that has become very popular in the States and around the globe. Although it can be found in the cannabis plant, similarly to another well-known compound – THC, CBD is entirely suitable for everyday use, as it doesn’t have the same mind-altering effects THC can cause.
But how can CBD help individuals with arthritis? To answer this question, it’s important to understand how CBD works in the human body. CBD interacts with several receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. These receptors are located in different areas, with significant concentrations in the brain as well as the immune and central nervous systems.
These receptors are called CB1, CB2, and TRPV1. When CBD comes in contact with them, it causes a number of changes in how the human body responds to pain and other impulses. Intensive research is still being conducted on how exactly CBD influences these changes, as researchers don’t have all the answers just yet.
What is known is that CBD has shown promising results in pain relief and reduction of inflammation.
Benefits of CBD
Some data on how beneficial CBD comes from research and some of it is anecdotal. When supplementing with CBD, it is beneficial to remember that there are no guaranteed effects CBD can provide. It can’t be treated the same way as medications and medical treatments that take place under the doctor’s control.
With that being said, there are many potential benefits of CBD oil or other CBD products that wait to be definitively proven. The most common ones include:
- Pain relief. CBD binds with the TRPV1 receptor, which reduces its response to pain. There are some studies on the potential of using CBD in treating chronic pain, which would be highly beneficial for individuals who struggle with intense headaches and migraines, back pains, and joint pains.
- Anti-inflammatory properties. CBD can also reduce inflammation by blocking the TRPV1 receptor. This process results in reducing the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines. There are more processes caused by CBD that may also reduce inflammation in the body, which means CBD can be a valuable ally for those struggling with joint-related issues.
- Anxiety management. CBD may be beneficial for those who struggle with anxiety and want to gain control over their stress levels. Because CBD comes into interactions with the endocannabinoid system receptors, the compound proves to effectively address PTSD, anxiety, and stress.
- Quality sleep. A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial for health; thus, dealing with insomnia and other sleep abnormalities is very important. CBD, by interacting with ECS, can improve the quality of sleep.
- Regulation of the immune system responses. One of the cannabidiol benefits is that it weakens the immune system’s response to some signals. This might be undesirable in some situations when a strong immune system response is needed. In other cases, like when an individual has rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, which are autoimmune conditions, this CBD property is beneficial. It allows the immune system to stop attacking its own tissues and reduce some of the illness’s symptoms.
All of these potential benefits need to be backed up with more research and data. As mentioned before, there are many reasons to believe that CBD has some therapeutic benefits, and that is why scientists are researching this topic.
The research is still underway mostly because of many law regulations that prohibit or make it difficult for scientists to access CBD and other cannabis compounds.
Does CBD Help with Arthritis
CBD has the potential to be a valuable remedy for arthritis. It can be a helpful factor in managing pain and inflammation – two of the symptoms that are very common with arthritis.
Scientists theorize about how CBD influences how people feel pain. It is believed that the compound works on two fronts: directly in the source of the pain and in the central nervous system, which is responsible for sending pain signals to the brain.
The fact that CBD may be able to suppress some of the immune system responses, as well as the nervous system responses, can lead to the conclusion that CBD may be beneficial for individuals with various types of arthritis.
There are some anecdotal pieces of evidence from people that use CBD oils and other products, which can point out to the conclusion that CBD helps with pain and inflammation. All of this does not provide enough evidence to support the thesis that CBD is effective in treating arthritis, but it gives scientists a good reason to continue their research.
How to Find the Right CBD Product
Supplementing with CBD products can be an option worth exploring for those who experience pain and struggle with sleep and anxiety, as well as have arthritis. There is no one-solution-fits-all, and finding the right product may be the key to getting the best results. How to do it?
The first step would be to select the CBD formulation. The CBD product market is large, so there are options for anyone. The most popular CBD products that might suit individuals with arthritis are:
- CBD oils. They are versatile to use (one can take them orally or add them to food)
- CBD edibles. Gummies, hard candies, chocolates, capsules.
- Vape pens. Vaping provides quick absorption, as steam with CBD goes straight to the lungs and bloodstream, but it might not be the most suitable option for the elderly as it is burdensome for the respiratory system.
- Topicals like CBD cream for arthritis pain. CBD creams might be a good alternative for a more localized application. Although there is no evidence that creams are effective, the limited research that was done suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which could mean such creams can help with reducing chronic pain.
- CBD flowers. They can be smoked or vaped, but one can make tea out of the flowers as well.
Once you select the right CBD product, it’s substantial to administer the proper dosage. The dosage may vary from person to person simply because of the fact that different individuals may have different reactions to CBD.
It is a good practice to start with smaller doses, like 5mg or 10mg a day, and progressively increase it. It is safe to increase the dosage every week, but in case of any problems or severe side effects, one should consult a doctor.
Usually, people get the most optimal results with 20 to 35 milligrams of CBD daily, but it’s not a rule for everyone. Choosing the correct dosage is often done by trial and error, and it might take some time.
When selecting a CBD product, it is also important to find a reliable producer. CBD specifics are not FDA approved, and that fact results in situations where many users don’t have access to the information about the actual (and not specified by the manufacturer on a packaging) amount of CBD in their product or information about the quality of hemp the CBD was extracted from.
A good producer has clear laboratory tests, a great reputation built on their clients’ testimonials, and transparency that allows customers to make informed decisions and get the most optimal results from taking CBD.
Consult Your Doctor About Supplementing with CBD
It is always recommended that individuals who are treated for any condition should consult their doctor about supplementation with CBD. There are several reasons for it, but the most important is the fact that CBD can interfere with medications, so it’s absolutely crucial for one’s doctor to be aware of any supplements with CBD an individual with arthritis is taking.
It is also beneficial for a patient to consult with a medical professional and receive answers to questions and doubts about CBD. According to the current state of research and regulations, CBD can’t treat arthritis, and it’s not recognized as a medication (one exception is EPIDIOLEX which is administered for patients with seizures), so it’s vital to talk about the possible results and expectations one should have when supplementing with CBD.
Although the research regarding CBD is still in its infancy, there is enough evidence to believe that CBD has the potential to be a valuable factor in treating chronic pain and inflammation, therefore being of use for individuals with arthritis. There is still a lot to learn about CBD itself as well as using CBD for arthritis.
The anecdotal evidence shows promising results, but it might be prudent to approach CBD with caution for now. Always consult with your doctor before taking CBD while being treated with medications, and choose the most reliable manufacturer to purchase products of the highest quality.
FAQ About CBD for Arthritis
Can the elderly take CBD oil?
There are no official recommendations on whether a certain age group should avoid taking CBD. In some cases, even pregnant people take CBD-based products. Older adults can safely supplement with CBD, but it’s recommended to do it after consulting with a medical professional.
How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?
Usually, CBD works after 30 minutes, but this time may be shorter or longer depending on the dosage and individual circumstances. It’s advised to wait at least an hour before evaluating whether any changes occurred.
Every organism can have different reactions to CBD, so the key to success is determining the proper dose and observing any changes in how the body reacts.
The statements expressed on this website are purely opinion of the author and not factual. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referenced on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s highly suggested to consult with your medical professional prior to any use of the products referenced on this website. This website and the author specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the products contained on the website.