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Best supplements for arthritis: GPs told not to ‘dismiss’ this supplement for joint pain

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According to a new study, doctors have been told not to dismiss the trendy CBD oil for patients suffering with arthritis pain. CBD oil has exploded in popularity in recent years and is a legal substance extracted from cannabis. While many patients, including scores of celebrities such as Mike Tyson, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Michael J. Fox and Whoopi Goldberg, says it’s helped them cope with anxiety, sleep problems and pain, many are still dubios when it comes to the health benefits. Now a new clinical review by experts in USA, say that CBD is a “promising area for the future of clinical pain management”. The mechanism responsible for CBD’s positive health effects is not entirely understood, but researchers believe that the compound attaches to receptors in the body known as cannabinoid receptors; these may, in turn, cause the body to produce natural cannabinoids. Can CBD oil be used as a supplement to relieve arthritis pain?

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Lead study author, Doctor Harrison Van Dolah of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, USA said: “Chronic pain management like arthritis continues to challenge patients and physicians alike, and investigation into potential therapies such as CBD and hemp oils is a promising area for the future of clinical pain management for both pain relief as well as addiction management.

“We encourage physicians not to disregard patients’ interest in these therapies and instead to retain clinical curiosity.”

Dr Van Dolah analysed three decades worth of scientific evidence into CBD and cannabinoids to make the claim.

Speaking about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the high-giving, psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, which is only present in tiny amounts with CBD – he adds: “Cannabidiol and hemp oils have become especially popular because of their low THC levels, resulting in attributed medical benefits without the ‘high’ of marijuana.

“However, clinicians have concerns about whether these treatment options are legal, safe, and effective and are largely unfamiliar with these products.”

When it comes to CBD for pain management, there’s a growing amount of quality evidence to suggest it can help. It’s thought CBD attaches to ‘cannabinoid’ receptors in the body, which are responsible for things like pain sensation, mood, memory and appetite.

This can help decrease inflammation and in turn reduce chronic pain.

Best supplements for arthritis: Researchers believe CBD oil could help with the pain (Image: Getty Images)

Doctor Van Dolah concluded: “CBD therefore represents an attractive option in chronic pain treatment, particularly in the context of opioid abuse, not only because of its potential efficacy but also because of its limited misuse and diversion potential as well as safety profile.”

CBD oil is sold legally in the UK as a “food supplement” – as long as it contains less than 0.2 per cent THC – and according to the NHS is not sold for any “purported curative or medicinal effects”.

But a growing number of high profile individuals have spoken of their own experiences with taking CBD.

In January last year House star Olivia Wilde, 35, told how CBD soothed her fatigued body after a six month stint of high-pressure performance’s

Olivia said: “Recently, I did a play on Broadway for six months. My body was wrecked, my neck was really tight. The CBD has relaxing benefits, and the idea is to avoid using too many painkillers.”

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Best supplements for arthritis: Arthritis is caused by an inflammation of the joints (Image: Getty Images)

Best supplements for arthritis: CBD oil has a host of health benefits including pain relief (Image: Getty Images)

Until we have a wealth of thorough, robust and peer-reviewed scientific studies into CBD oil, it’s impossible for us to know definitively what health benefits it might have

David Barcly, founder of UK CBD oil brand CBD Armour

Meanwhile the research has also been welcomed by David Barcly, founder of UK CBD oil brand CBD Armour.

David added: “Until we have a wealth of thorough, robust and peer-reviewed scientific studies into CBD oil, it’s impossible for us to know definitively what health benefits it might have.

“But what we do know for sure is that many of our customers report improvements to things such as pain relief, or for anxiety and sleep promotion.

“And any research which sheds new light on the properties of CBD is to be welcomed.”

A separate study released last month suggested taking CBD oil could also help those suffering with alcoholism or wanting to cut back on alcohol.

Scientists at the University of Lyon, France, said: “Evidence shows that CBD may be of strong therapeutic interest in alcohol use disorder and could have a significant action on drinking levels in human subjects, since it is effective on different aspects of the disease – intake, motivation, relapse, anxiety, and impulsivity.”

CBD Oil for Pain: Effects, Research, and Benefits

In this article we’ll explore the potential of CBD oil for pain relief. Focusing only on the latest research and scientific data.

How Common Is It To Suffer From Chronic Pain In The UK?

Chronic pain is a silent epidemic that’s impacting lots of people in the UK. From back pain and arthritis, to migraines, nerve pain and fibromyalgia, it’s thought 28 million people in the UK are living with chronic pain.

That’s a HUGE number. Two fifths of the entire population in fact!

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain manifests in different ways that often do not seem problematic at first. The term covers a broad range of pain-related issues, extending beyond their typical timeframes of recovery. Fatigue, joint pain, muscle spasms and aches, as well as mood and sleeping problems can all fall under the category of chronic pain.

Some of the most common examples of chronic pain are:

  • nerve pain,
  • back pain,
  • arthritis pain,
  • fibromyalgia pain.
  • frequent headaches – migraines,
  • endometriosis

How Is Chronic Pain Usually Treated?

There’s a multitude of over the counter drugs people use to counter chronic pain. There’s also twice as many prescription drugs available. But, these often come with unwanted side effects, making them frustrating to use in the long-term.

Aside from prescibed drugs, many chronic pain sufferers turn to natural remedies to try to ease their pain and live a normal life.

CBD is one such remedy that many people are turning to.

So, without further ado:

Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oil for pain relief UK.

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CBD’s Growing Reputation as a Pain Reliever

As CBD oil becomes more available, its reputation as a therapeutic supplement is growing.

A recent poll undertaken by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and CPASS found that 1.4 million people in the UK are using cannabis to treat health issues. Including conditions like nausea, epilepsy, and chronic pain .

This is in line with pain sufferers across the pond too. A 2019 Gallup poll found that 14% of Americans reported self-use of CBD products, with 40% of these respondents specifically using CBD to treat their pain .

If you want to learn more about what exactly CBD is, check out our “What is CBD? The Complete Beginners Guide” article.

Can CBD Help With Chronic Pain?

So, people are choosing to use CBD oil to treat their pain, but does it actually work?

The science so far is positive:

A study from the ​ European Journal of Pain ​ showed, using an animal model, that the application of CBD on the skin could help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.

This study shows that the absorption of CBD through the skin, for example via CBD patches , has long-lasting therapeutic effects.


CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors is thought to be especially important in its pain-relieving properties.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and hormone. You may have heard it referred to as the ‘happy hormone’ for its ability to cause feelings of happiness. Well, as well as playing an important role in mood, serotonin has also been found to inhibit pain .

Research tells us that CBD is able to activate serotonin receptors, leading to an increase in serotonin and a reduction in pain perception .


TRPV1 is another receptor that may mediate CBD’s pain-relieving effects. TRPV1 is a type of receptor protein that plays an important role in the sensation of pain as well as the regulation of body temperature.

Research shows that CBD can reduce pain in animal models and that this pain relief primarily occurrs through CBD’s activation of TRPV1 .

More research is needed before we can fully understand the pain-relieving effects of CBD in humans. But early stage research indicates that CBD does induce a pain relieving effect.

A meta-review published in 2018 analysed the results of 104 pain studies that involved the use of cannabinoids (including CBD). The review found that 29% of participants in the studies experienced a 30% reduction in pain thanks to their cannabinoid use .

While this meta-analysis did involve the use of cannabinoids other than CBD, it does indicate the potential of CBD to reduce pain.

What type of pain does CBD help with?

While more research is needed into CBD and its pain-relieving effects to fully understand its efficacy, it does show a lot of promise as an analgesic and possible alternative to more dangerous pain medications.

CBD’s ability to interact with our endocannabinoid system and other receptors throughout our body, coupled with its well documented anti-inflammatory properties, mean that it may be especially effective against chronic pain conditions like back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

It doesn’t end there though.

A 2020 study investigating self-reported CBD use and its results on various conditions found that CBD oil may be useful in the treatment of menstrual pain, gastrointestinal pain, and mouth sore pain .


CBD may hold another benefit through its ability to reduce opioid dependency.

For patients with long-term chronic pain disorders like arthritis or fibromyalgia, opioids can often be prescribed. While opioids can be an effective pain medication, they also carry with them an increased risk of addiction and mortality.

With long-term pain requiring long-term treatment, opioid treatment can result in the need for escalating doses, placing patients at an increased risk for respiratory suppression and overdose .

A 2018 survey of patients using cannabis treatments found that 18.1% of respondents reported that they stopped using opioid pain relief completely or significantly reduced their opioid use after starting cannabis treatment .

CBD’s safety profile also makes it an exciting possible alternative to opioid pain management. Research tells us that there is no risk of overdosing from CBD; this is because CBD receptors aren’t present in the areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling respiration, meaning there is no mechanism for CBD to suppress respiration and cause an overdose .

Doses as high as 1,500 mg have been found to be both safe and effective in clinical studies, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that CBD has a high safety profile, especially when compared to opioid medications .

What’s the Best CBD Oil for Pain?

CBD products can come in many different formats, from CBD oil drops and sprays, to CBD vapes, CBD gummies, CBD capsules and a range of CBD topicals like creams, balms and gels. Each with their own levels of effectiveness.

(Our article here on How to Take CBD , is a great guide FYI)

When it comes to CBD oil for pain relief, our general suggestion is to choose a CBD strength that matches the severity of your issues.

CBD oils with a CBD concentration of 1% to 5% can be considered relatively low strength. 5% to 15% CBD is mid-range, and anything above 15% is relatively high strength.

Note that we talk about CBD strength as a percentage, that’s because the use of mg can be quite deceiving due to bottle sizes.

1,000mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle equates to 10% CBD strength, whereas 1,000mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle is only 3.33%. So, it’s always important to take into account the bottle size when you’re looking at CBD mg’s.

The Bottom Line

Like anything that emerges onto the wellness scene, more research needs to be done into CBD, specifically on how it can affect those who suffer from certain forms of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Current research tells us that CBD oil offers a lot of potential as a pain reliever, thanks to its interaction with various receptor types.

While more research is needed to fully understand CBD’s efficacy, it does seem to be an exciting future pain treatment, especially against chronic pain.

We hope this article has helped you to learn more about the therapeutic possibilities of CBD oil for several forms of chronic pain.

If you’d like to know more, here’s some further research into CBD oil for pain:


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The Grass & Co. EASE CBD collection includes the highest quality CBD Oils enhanced with botanicals and vitamins to help support bone and muscle health.

Ideal for aching muscles, soreness and joint pain, our EASE CBD, botanical and vitamin blends will work with your body to help you keep moving throughout the day, and especially after exercise.

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For many of us, mental tension can manifest itself physically. These types of aches and niggles could be due to household chores, gardening tasks or spending extended periods at our desks. For others, various medical conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia can take quite a toll on their day-to-day life.

When taken as part of a daily routine, the complete Grass & Co. range can help support those experiencing an array of issues with their muscles and joints. This can include easing stiff muscles and aching joints, as well as calming the mind. It’s also worth mentioning that tension and soreness can often impede sleep quality. Those of you struggling to get a peaceful night’s sleep due to physical or mental tension may want to browse the Grass & Co. range of CBD Topical Balms and Pillow Sprays.

While CBD or Hemp Oil cannot be prescribed for medical conditions in the UK, we have begun to see promising research in the scientific community. We hope that this research will be consolidated by peer-reviewed studies.