cbd oil for osteoarthritus

How to take CBD oil for osteoarthritis?

Learn how to use CBD to relieve pain and inflammation produced by osteoarthritis.

Today, we shall talk about how cannabidiol, better known as CBD, can help relieve osteoarthritis’ symptoms. CBD is a cannabinoid with a high therapeutic level, which means that a person consuming CBD will need a rather small dose to experience the therapeutic effect and a much higher dose to reach a toxic level. CBD lacks psychotropic properties, i.e., it does not change nervous system function and it offers a natural alternative for people affected by osteoarthritis.

But first, we must define what osteoarthritis is, what its symptoms are, and why CBD can be an ally to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis.

What is osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a rheumatic disease that affects bones, joints, and ligaments. Also known as OA (osteo = bones), osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis. It is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world and there is still no cure for it. Worldwide, around 242 million people suffer from OA, with a wide range of symptoms. According to the NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases), it is the most common type of arthritis in people over 50.

It is characterized by a deterioration of the cartilage and joints, a process aggravated by aging. Typically, the most affected areas are the joints of the hands, neck, knees, and hips. It can cause joint inflammation, bone deformation, and reduced mobility.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and swelling in the joint area. Cannabis shows anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in two of its most studied cannabinoids to date: THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD. In the next section, we will talk about CBD.

What are the benefits of CBD for osteoarthritis?

Despite evidence that CBD is a safe chemical compound for humans, there is still a considerable lack of human clinical trials. However, laboratory studies suggest that CBD may be especially promising in reducing pain and inflammation in people suffering from rheumatic diseases, including osteoarthritis.

It is common to find testimonies and reports from people who experienced significant improvements in pain levels with the use of CBD administered in different formats (CBD oil, capsules, creams, etc.). However, to determine how useful CBD can be for people suffering from different types of arthritis, such as OA, it is necessary to await for the results of more scientifically valid and rigorous clinical trials.

The benefits found so far include:

  • Pain relief (1)
  • A reduction in the need for opiates by using this natural non-addictive alternative
  • Side effects are much less severe compared to conventional drugs for osteoarthritis (2)
  • The need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be reduced (3)
  • It helps achieve more restorative sleep.(4)

Most drugs have some degree of inefficacy in the presence of bone and joint wear due to a shortage of receptors in these areas. However, endocannabinoid receptors are present in these zones, allowing cannabinoid products and drugs to be effective even in patients with degenerative processes such as osteoarthritis.

In particular, the endocannabinoid system can regulate the immune response and protect the organism against the consequences of an inflammatory condition.

CBD, unlike THC, is not psychotomimetic (also known as psychotogenic). That is, it does not imitate psychosis’ symptoms. The sublingual use of CBD does not have the potential side effects associated with THC consumption, for instance, increased blood pressure, feelings of anxiety, and sensory and motor coordination distortion. On the contrary, CBD can decrease the unpleasant psychoactive effects of THC thanks to the anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties offered by cannabidiol.

This is the reason why cannabidiol is one of the most promising cannabinoids in terms of its therapeutic and medicinal potential, as it may be compatible with the treatment of diseases in people who are uncomfortable with the psychotomimetic effect of THC.

Our users have used CBD to relieve symptoms of pain and inflammation.

How to use CBD oil for treating arthritis

According to Fundación Canna:
“It is advised that the administration routes in these pathologies be both local and general.” This results in treatments that combine both the external use of CBD-rich creams and ointments and other cannabinoids, as well as sublingual use of oils or by means of other formats such as ingested or edible use.

The external application of both CBD and THC is completely safe because it does not penetrate the bloodstream and does not have the ability to generate unwanted psychoactive effects.

In any case, consulting a legal specialist regarding the regulatory framework surrounding CBD use in the country of residence of the patient is a must, as well as seeking personalized medical treatment and appropriate follow-ups.

Topical use

Enough to cover the area to be treated. Repeated use, 2 or 3 times a day. More frequent or excessive use of topical ointments may cause irritation in the treated area or any additional adverse effects depending on the composition of the product.

Sublingual use

Experts recommend starting with a small dose (3 mg of CBD 3 times a day) and slowly increasing it until a minimum dose is found to be effective. To monitor this type of use, we advise to keep a record of the progress and effects of the first doses: If they reduce the pain, if they manage to relieve a specific symptom, if it produces any adverse effects, etc.
If you are not familiar with sublingual use of CBD oil. Check out our blog about the different routes of administration.

How to find the right dose for you

Each individual will almost certainly require a different dose because of personal and physiological differences. It will depend on many factors including…

  • Cannabis consumption
  • Personal medicine intake
  • Metabolism
  • Age and weight
  • Mental health
  • Mindset
  • The route used to deliver the dose (sublingual, topical, edible, vaporized, etc.)

It is very important to understand that no precise and accurate doses have been found so far. It is a natural compound that behaves differently on each organism. Specialists recommend treating each case on an individual basis and to go through a trial and error process until a suitable dose is found.

It is always better to start with a small dose and to increase it carefully. Start with a dose of around 3 mg, 3 times per day. It is important to space the dose and make it a regular occurrence. CBD works best when taken daily. Monitor the results and if this first dose does not produce the necessary effects (does not calm the pain, does not reduce inflammation, etc…), increase the dose by another 3 mg until reaching the minimum effective dose.

In any case, consulting a legal professional about the regulatory framework surrounding CBD use in the country of residence of the patient is an important step, as well as obtaining a specific treatment and suitable monitoring.

“CBD is a way to improve the quality of life for people with osteoarthritis.”

Things to keep in mind when taking CBD for osteoarthritis

Is it safe?

Studies have shown that cannabidiol is not toxic in humans even when used periodically for long periods of time and even in large doses. In addition, used in humans, CBD use is not indicative of potential substance abuse or dependence… Thus far, there is no empirical evidence of public health-related issues associated with CBD consumption. Look at our blog article what the WHO says about CBD.

What are the adverse effects of CBD?

Known adverse effects are usually from moderate to mild and they include: tiredness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and decreased appetite.

Necessary precautions

Always be careful if already taking medication. When ingesting CBD, it may have adverse effects in combination with other medication.

When not to use CBD for osteoarthritis?

In case of ingesting CBD, which is not regulated in Spain, it is advised to always consult a healthcare professional, more so if already taking any prescription drugs.

Is it compatible with other medication?

CBD is known to have the potential to interact with some drugs commonly used in the treatment of arthritis. For example, CBD use increases the effect of opioids, and it may allow for a reduction in their use.
Consult your doctor if taking any of the following medications: Corticosteroids (such as prednisone), tofacitinib, naproxen, celecoxib, tramadol, some antidepressants such as amitriptyline, citalopram, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, paroxetine, sertraline, and some medicines for treating fibromyalgia, including gabapentin and pregabalin. The list is taken from the Arthritis Foundation.

Is it legal?

CBD’s legislation varies per country. It may or may not be regulated and in different formats and formulations.

  • For oral (sublingual) administration: CBD oils
  • For topical application: CBD oils, salves, creams, ointments, etc.
  • Ingested: Capsules, jelly beans, etc.
  • For inhaling: vaping fluids, CBD flowers, etc.

Spanish legislation only regulates CBD’s topical use and therefore you will find CBD oil, cream, and CBD-rich blends, and other ointments for external use. If you want to know more, you can have a look at our article on the legality of CBD.


  • Bab I, Zimmer A. Cannabinoid receptors and the regulation of bone mass. BR J Pharmacol. 2008;153(2):182-188. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707593
  • Russo EB. Taming THC: Potential Cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. BR J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  • De Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, et al. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: A chemical compound of cannabis sativa. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):953-960. doi:10.2174/1871527313666140612114838
  • Yunze Li, Yixin Yang, Jinwan Guo, Xuejiao Guo, Zhiying Feng, Xuli Zhao, Spinal NF-kB upregulation contributions to hyperalgesia in a rat model of advanced osteoarthritis, Molecular Pain , 10.1177/1744806920905691, 16 , (174480692090569), (2020).
    • What is CBD? History, benefits and properties
    • How to use CBD?
    • What are the side effects of CBD?
    • How to use CBD for different sleep disorders
    • Why is CBD beneficial for our skin?

    We design sustainable products combining the benefits of beekeeping and cannabis (CBD) so that you can take care of yourself, the bees and the planet.

    Christina Schwertschlag (Author)

    Christina dedicates her time to research and development in the cannabis world. With experience in design, innovation and sustainability projects, she seeks to unite different entities in the cannabis world to help destigmatize the plant and make it more accessible to users.

    Tommaso Bruscolini (Reviewer)

    Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italy) is a neuropsychologist and phytotherapist based in Barcelona, where he has been running a private practice since 2014, both in person and online. In his practice, Tommaso formulates and produces different preparations with all kinds of medicinal plants, in addition to making personalized recommendations.

    Osteoarthritis of the Knee Pain Study Using a CBD and THC Sublingual Tablet

    Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

    Layout table for eligibility information

    Ages Eligible for Study: 21 Years and older (Adult, Older Adult)
    Sexes Eligible for Study: All
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
    1. Subject is at least 21 years of age;
    2. Subject has a diagnosis of a pain related to osteoarthritis of the knee as determined by the subject’s primary care physician or related health care provider.
    3. Subject has a mean pain scale score of ≥ 4 recorded in the 7 days prior to enrollment.
    4. If female, the subject is postmenopausal (> 1 year), surgically sterile (> 3 months), had a hysterectomy, or is currently using 2 effective forms of birth control.
    5. Subject has not taken marijuana (cannabis) in any form, chemicals or extracts or foods or beverages or topical creams, lotions, gels, patches containing marijuana (cannabinoids, or and cannabis derivatives) including synthetic marijuana and/or CBD for at least 14 days prior to this study, and promises to not take marijuana (cannabis) in any form, chemicals or extracts or foods or beverages or topical creams, lotions, gels, patches containing marijuana (cannabinoids, or and cannabis derivatives) including synthetic marijuana and/or CBD while participating in this study.
    6. Subject has not taken any pain medication, including NSAIDs, for at least 2 days before taking the first dose of study drug.
    7. Subject is willing to provide his/her written informed consent to participate in the study as stated in the informed consent document.
    8. Subject is willing to use an electronic diary to enter a pain scale score up to four times a day for 28 days.
    1. Subject is pregnant or lactating;
    2. Subject has an allergy to cannabis, the Cannabaceae plant family (e.g., hemp, hops), palmitoylethanolamide, or terpenes;
    3. Subject has a known allergy to active or inert ingredients of PG-OA-10:10-2020-B tablets;
    4. Subject is taking a concomitant medication or treatment that would complicate use or interpretation of the study drug’s effects (examples include: Cannabis or any cannabinoid products; Any drug or herbal product that influences the endocannabinoid system (ECS));
    5. Subject is taking marijuana (cannabis) in any form, chemicals or extracts or foods or beverages or topical creams, lotions, gels, patches containing marijuana (cannabinoids, or and cannabis derivatives) including synthetic marijuana and/or CBD for at least 14 days prior to this study, and does not promise that they will not take marijuana (cannabis) in any form, chemicals or extracts or foods or beverages or topical creams, lotions, gels, patches containing marijuana (cannabinoids, or and cannabis derivatives) including synthetic marijuana and/or CBD while participating in this study;
    6. Subject is currently being treated with antibiotics for sinus, throat, or lung infections;
    7. Subject has shortness of breath associated with allergies;
    8. Subject has uncontrolled asthma;
    9. Subject has a fever and/or productive cough;
    10. Subject has unstable angina, uncontrolled hypertension;
    11. Subject currently or has a history of congestive heart failure;
    12. Subject has any other unstable medical condition;
    13. Subject has a personal or family history of schizophrenia;
    14. Subject has a personal history or currently has suicidal ideation or attempted suicide;
    15. Subject has a major neurological disorder, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairment, epilepsy, history of traumatic brain injury/head injury, and seizures.
    16. Subject has taken pain medicine of any kind throughout the screening period, or has taken acetaminophen within 2 days of taking the first dose of study drug.
    17. Subject has an allergy to, or has an intolerance to, acetaminophen.
    18. Subject is currently taking any form of opioids.
    19. Subject has a history of alcohol or substance abuse
    20. Subject has clinically significant illness, including cardiovascular disorders.
    21. Subject has any condition in which the investigator believes will confound the data of the study or could put the subject at risk of harm.
    22. Subject does not have access to a smart phone or does not know how to use a smart phone application.

    To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.