CBD and Arthritis: Everything You Need To Know
Posted on March 30th, 2022
Some research and studies indicate that CBD (cannabidiol) might contribute to relieving arthritis. What are the advantages of CBD, and what are the side effects people need to be wary of before they start using it?
Arthritis is a disorder that affects the joints. It often causes inflammation and pain, which can make it harder to stay active or move. There are also many forms of arthritis. Each causes different symptoms or may require different treatments. While arthritis is more common in older adults (seniors), it can also develop in women, men, and even children of all ages.
What Is Arthritis?
This common disease affects the joints (the areas where the bones meet and move). Arthritis typically involves degeneration (breakdown) or inflammation of the joints. Then, these changes result in pain and discomfort when using these joints.
This condition commonly affects certain body parts including the:
– Lower back
What Are The Treatment Options For Arthritis?
There is currently no cure for this condition. But you can try various treatments to manage the disease. The treatment plans usually depend on your symptom severity as well as your overall health.
Nonsurgical conservative treatments include:
Pain and anti-inflammatory medications can help to relieve some symptoms. Certain medications, known as biologics, target your immune system’s inflammatory responses. Healthcare providers recommend these types of medications for psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis.
– Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation is often used to improve range of motion, strength, and mobility. Therapists teach patients techniques on how to deal with day-to-day activities to relieve arthritic pain.
– Therapeutic Injections
Cortisone injections can help to temporarily relieve inflammation and pain in the joints. Arthritis in joints like the knee often improves with viscosupplementation, a treatment that injects a lubricant into the joint to improve mobility.
What Is CBD, And Can It Help With Arthritis?
CBD is a chemical derived from cannabis or hemp plants. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants, but they are different in many ways. They each contain differing quantities of different phytocannabinoids, which are the substances that are naturally present in cannabis plants.
– Marijuana Contains High Levels Of THC
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid that causes a high.
– Hemp Contains Less Than 0.3% THC
It also contains CBD, which is a cannabinoid that does not cause psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD works in different ways with your endocannabinoid system, which involves a receptor group inside your body that’s affected by the over 100 well-documented cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids can excite or inhibit the release of brain chemicals better known as neurotransmitters. They also play an important role when it comes to modulating the natural inflammatory responses that occur in the body, which are two things that concern CBD and arthritis.
In this way, CBD may work on pain at the soreness site (such as the finger joints) as well as in the central nervous system. Since that’s the system responsible for sending pain signals directly to your brain, this may bring relief.
Furthermore, since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it may offer further relief methods. After all, your body develops inflammation if it starts fighting a “perceived” infection. With an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system starts to attack areas such as the joints.
It is important to know that early research and studies on animals already demonstrate promise for CBD, but more research and studies are still required before drawing anything conclusive when it comes to humans. However, some of the anecdotal reports involving people that have already started to incorporate CBD into arthritis treatments have been positive.
CBD And Arthritis: What Type Of Products To Consider
CBD-based products are inhaled, applied directly to the skin, or taken orally. There are benefits and drawbacks for each.
– By Mouth
You absorb CBD through your digestive tract when you swallow it in capsules, liquid or food form. Absorption is slower with this method and the dosing can be complex caused by a delay in the onset of effects (usually one to two hours), recent meals, an unknown effect caused by the stomach acids, and various other factors.
Capsules can be used daily once the user establishes an effective and safe dose. Some experts do not recommend taking edible CBD products such as cookies and gummies, since the dosing can be unreliable or appealing to a child when not stored in a childproof container. Similar to any other type of medication, edibles must be kept out of reach and sight of children.
A more effective method is to take CBD so that it absorbs into the bloodstream directly by holding the liquid from tinctures or sprays (liquid dosed by a dropper) sublingually (under the tongue) for 120 seconds. The taste is not that pleasant but the effects can be experienced within 15 to 45 minutes.
– Applied To The Skin
Apply topical products such as ointments, balms, and lotions directly to the painful area. With this method, you may experience instant relief for painful and inflamed joints.
You can inhale CBD with a vape pen or other vaping device. However, inhaling chemical byproducts and vapor oil can be linked to unknown risks, especially if you have inflammatory arthritis.
CBD And Arthritis: How Much CBD Should You Be Using?
At this stage, there aren’t any “established” clinical guidelines, but the Arthritis Foundation suggests that adults follow these guidelines:
– When you take CBD in liquid form, know that your product will include a carrier oil, which means you’ll be keeping track of two different measurements. ( These are the total amount of liquid you ingest, and the concentration of CBD in that volume.)
– Go slow and low. Always start with the lowest dose of CBD (in sublingual form), twice daily. After one week, if you need more relief, increase your dosage slightly, and stay at that level for another week. As you go along, you can increase your dose in these small increments with each new week. Once you’ve established relief established, carry on taking this dose twice a day to maintain stable levels of CBD in your blood.
– If you experience any adverse side effects, stop using CB immediately and tell your doctor.
CBD And Arthritis: The Bottom Line
If you want to try CBD for chronic arthritis pain, always speak to your local healthcare provider first. This will help you stay safe and choose the best treatment plan. Always mention any medications that you take, and always follow your licensed health care provider’s advice.