Health Benefits of CBD
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a natural substance found in cannabis, also known as marijuana, and also in hemp plants. Today, you can find CBD oil in capsules, oil bases for vaporizers, tinctures, food items, and beauty products such as bath bombs or lotions.
Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive. Proponents of CBD oil and other CBD products claim that it can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety.
Research into some of these claims is ongoing, and there is still a lot about CBD that we don’t know but researchers are trying to find out.
Researchers are looking for answers when it comes to the full potential of CBD. What have they discovered in the meantime? So far, we know that CBD is a proven treatment when it comes to certain types of epilepsy, and early research is showing promise in regards to various anxiety disorders.
Approved to Treat Epilepsy
In 2018, the first FDA-approved drug, cannabidiol (Epidiolex), containing CBD was released on the market to treat two different kinds of epilepsy — Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
The FDA approved the treatment for patients as young as two years old. Studies showed it was effective in comparison to a placebo in reducing the frequency of seizures.
Though we need more research, a 2015 medical journal review article looked at CBD and its effect on multiple anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The results showed that there was “strong preclinical evidence” to support the treatment of anxiety disorders with CBD, though more research is needed on long-term dosing.
Research surrounding CBD is ongoing, and there are many questions that researchers do not have the answers to yet, such as whether or not the means of taking CBD impacts the risks or efficacy. Some common means of taking CBD include inhaling through a vaporizer, ingesting through food, or taking orally as a pill.
Here is a list of a few potential risks and side effects that come with CBD. Some of these risks are controllable if taking CBD under the guidance of your doctor.
During drug trials for Epidiolex, the FDA determined liver injury to be a side effect of CBD. Signs of liver injury showed up on blood work used to detect early problems with the liver. You can manage this risk by only taking CBD under the supervision of your doctor.
Interaction with Other Medications
If you are taking other medications, CBD can impact their efficacy, and the dose you are taking may need to be re-evaluated by your doctor. CBD can potentially interact with other medications to cause side effects.
Because there is limited research on how CBD interacts with prescription drugs and with standard over-the-counter supplements, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you are taking other medications.
Though not much research has looked specifically at CBD, it seems that there is a negative relationship between cannabis use and sperm count, as well as other measures of male fertility, including sperm viability and motility.
Most of these studies have focused on animal participants, and further research is needed. Experts recommend awareness around these potential side effects when prescribing cannabis to patients who are of reproductive age.
Amounts and Dosage
Because the FDA currently does not regulate CBD, there are no specific recommended doses. Doses in most clinical trials have ranged from 100 to 800 milligrams a day.
Before using any CBD product, you should speak to your doctor to come up with a safe dosage plan that works for you. This plan should also take into account your symptoms and any other medications or supplements that you may be taking.
Neurotherapeutics: “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.”
The Journal of Urology: “Cannabis and Male Fertility: A Systematic Review.“
Best CBD Oil for Arthritis & Joint Pain: Product Reviews (2022)
CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic — making it the perfect solution to chronic joint pain and arthritis.
Learn how it works & how to use it.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 54 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. It’s the leading cause of disability among adults in the developed world.
Despite how common arthritis is, there aren’t many effective treatment options for the condition outside of pharmaceutical painkillers and anti-inflammatories — which often come with undesirable side-effects and fail to address the underlying cause of the condition.
Due to its broad spectrum of pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has gained a lot of attention lately as a promising treatment for arthritis.
Here, we’ll discuss how CBD can benefit both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. We’ll go over what the research says and how people are using CBD currently, and offer a guideline on dosing.
Let’s get right into it.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
Updated on January 12, 2022
Table of Contents
Gold Bee CBD Oil 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||1200 mg|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.09|
Top CBD Products For Joint Pain & Arthritis
— Best CBD Cream For Arthritis— Best CBD Oil For Arthritis— Runner-Up Best CBD Salve— Best CBD Warming Salve— Best CBD & Turmeric Oil for Joint Pain
1. Royal CBD Salve (Cooling Salve) — Best CBD Cream For Joint Pain
Royal CBD Cream (Cooling Salve)
4.83 / 5
|Total CBD:||500 mg|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.13|
Royal CBD makes two topicals — this cooling salve and a roll-on gel.
Both products are excellent options for joint pain, but we found this cooling pain salve to be the most effective for hot, achy joints associated with arthritis.
This salve is made with 5.5 mg of CBD per milliliter of salve, which makes it more potent than the average CBD topical. You only really need about 1 or 2 milliliters of this stuff to cover the entire knee or elbow joint.
After applying this salve, you’ll immediately start to notice the gentle cooling sensation. After about 15 minutes you should feel a dramatic reduction in pain symptoms as the CBD seeps deeper into the joint tissue.
For maximum effect, you’ll need to wait about 10 or 15 minutes for the salve to absorb into the deeper layers of skin, muscle, and connective tissue.
Enter DAILY10 for 10% off your order when you order from Royal CBD
2. Gold Bee CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Arthritis
Gold Bee CBD Oil 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||1200 mg|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.09|
Gold Bee specializes in making premium full-spectrum CBD oils from organic hemp. Recent third-party lab tests for these oils point out a particularly high concentration of terpenes such as myrcene and linalool — both of which have been shown to have a direct benefit to pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
On top of these terpenes (ant others), Gold Bee CBD oils are rich in the cannabinoids CBG, CBN, and CBC.
All of these active phytochemicals work together alongside CBD to fight pain and alleviate inflammation.
If you’re looking for a pure, potent, and cost-effective CBD oil for managing arthritis, this is a safe bet.
You can score 10% off your order by entering DAILYCBD at checkout.
3. Kiara Naturals Muscle & Joint Salve — Runner-Up, Best CBD Pain Salve
Kiara Naturals Muscle & Joint Salve 50 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||1000 mg|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.08|
|Extract Type:||Full-Spectrum Extract|
Kiara Naturals specializes in making high-quality, full-spectrum hemp products. What makes them different from most other CBD brands is that they also include other herbs and nutrients to support a specific action.
This muscle and joint salve, for example, contains several other painkilling and anti-inflammatory elements that work together to boost the overall painkilling activity of the salve. This formula contains herbs such as arnica, common rue, camphor, menthol, andiroba, rosemary, and hypericum in addition to full-spectrum hemp extract.
This stuff works great for stubborn joint pain and comes with a waxy consistency to provide long-lasting support.
4. Kat’s Naturals CBD Cream w/ Capsaicin — Best Warming Salve
$45.00 – $160.00
Kat’s Naturals Pain CBD Cream w/ Capsaicin 28 mL (1 oz) – 120 mL (4 oz)
4.33 / 5
|Total CBD:||350 – 1400 mg|
|Potency :||11.6 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.11 – $0.13|
Kat’s Naturals makes three pain creams — this one formulated with capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in hot peppers that gives them their spice.
We like all of these topicals for joint pain, but find the warming action of the capsaicin version the best overall. Warming salves are generally better for rheumatoid arthritis, but can also offer a lot of help for other forms of joint pain or stiffness.
5. Phoria Turmeric Curcumin Oil — Best CBD Pain Formula
$29.99 – $99.99
Phoria Turmeric Curcumin Oil + CBD Oil Nano Tincture 30 mL
4.17 / 5
|Total CBD:||300 – 5000 mg|
|CBD Potency:||10 – 83.3 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.02 – $0.10|
Turmeric is one of the oldest anti-inflammatory and joint-supportive supplements on earth. It’s been used for thousands of years in Southeast Asia where the herb first originated.
We’re starting to see a few companies combining turmeric and CBD for even stronger anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. However, the problem with turmeric is that you need a fairly high dose to receive all the reported benefits. Most CBD companies only add a small amount of this herb to the formula for marketing purposes.
This turmeric and CBD-infused CBD oil is an exception. Phoria adds both turmeric and CBD in high doses — giving it much more versatility than competing turmeric/CBD oils.
Phoria also chose to use a nano-CBD for this product — which is suggested to be absorbed through the digestive tract more efficiently than standard CBD extract.
Overall this is a top-notch CBD oil for anything related to inflammation or pain. We recommend going for the higher potency options to get the best value for your money.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is very common, affecting approximately 55 million people in the United States alone. It’s the leading cause of joint mobility issues in the developed world.
There are three main forms of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis — this form of arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking our own joint tissues, causing joints around the body to begin breaking down.
- Osteoarthritis — osteoarthritis also involves a gradual loss of the joint tissue, but the cause is more specific to low-grade inflammation and destruction of the cartilage in the joint tissue.
- Gout — this form of arthritis is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints causing pain, inflammation, and destruction of the joint tissue.
All three forms of arthritis have a lot to benefit from CBD supplementation in terms of the underlying causes of the condition, as well as the resulting pain and inflammation.
Comparing The Three Forms of Arthritis
Does CBD Help with Arthritis?
With all forms of arthritis, the end result is a loss of the protective cartilage covering within the joints. The difference between them is simply the underlying cause for the loss of cartilage.
The benefits of CBD for arthritic pain rely on its powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant activities.
Most people use a topical CBD for arthritis pain — such as a CBD lotion, gel, or cream. CBD oils can also be effective but tend to have a slower onset of effects.
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis CBD has the added benefit of suppressing hyperactive immune activity leading to wrongful targeting of our own tissues.
For gout, CBD adds a second layer of benefit by supporting the kidneys. Untreated gout often leads to damage to the sensitive capillaries in the kidneys, leading to damage and worsening the symptoms of gout itself.
How To Optimize CBD Oil For Arthritis Pain
- Make sure you’re using the right dose — check out the CBD dosage calculator below
- Ensure the CBD you’re using is free from contaminants — look for third-party testing
- Combine CBD with other supplements and exercises — CBD works best when used with other arthritis treatments
- Take CBD regularly and give it enough time to start producing results — this can take several weeks so be patient
- Use CBD both topicallyandinternally for best results — a topical cream works quickly, but CBD oils last longer
CBD For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Each one of our cells has a special protein “tag” attached to the outside of the cell. This tells the immune cells (T-cells and B-cells) that it’s meant to be there — just like someone having a hall pass.
Without this “hall pass,” it will be assumed dangerous and destroyed on sight.
An autoimmune disease is a disruption in this system.
There are a few things that can go wrong:
- The tags on the outside of the cell are labeled incorrectly
- The cells don’t have the tag on the outside of the cell
- The immune cells ignore the tag and attack the cell
In all of these events, the results are virtually the same: the immune system begins attacking the body’s own cells. When this occurs in the joint tissue, we end up with rheumatoid arthritis.
The characteristics of this condition are redness and swelling of the joints. Usually, the affected joints appear equally inflamed on both sides of the body and are often described as feeling “hot.”
There’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis — but there are medications that can help to keep symptoms at bay. Most of these medications are anti-inflammatory — since inflammation is the primary driver of the disease.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pain around the joints
- Inflammation in the joints
- Loss of range of motion
- Loss of appetite
How to Use CBD For Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Aim for a full-spectrum extract — full-spectrum extracts have a greater level of pain relief than isolates
- Find topical products with warming effects — the heating effect increases pain tolerance of the joint and improves blood flow in and out of the joint
- Only buy products that have been tested for heavy metals and pesticides — contamination with these elements can have an opposite effect, making the pain and inflammation worse over time.
- Combine your CBD supplementation with other anti-inflammatory compounds — like curcumin or frankincense
- Use high-potency CBD products — lower potencies aren’t likely to provide much support for this condition.
Best CBD Products For Rheumatoid Arthritis:
— Best CBD Oil For Rheumatoid Arthritis— Best Warming Salve For Arthritis— CBD Oil With Corydalis
CBD For Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is also characterized by achy, sore joints — but it is not an autoimmune disease.
Osteoarthritis begins with low-grade inflammation of the joints, causing damage to the cartilage and cells that produce the slippery synovial fluid that reduces friction and aids in smooth movement within the joints. As a joint begins to deteriorate from the breakdown of cartilage, the inflammation increases.
This condition is self-perpetuating — the worse it gets, the faster it progresses.
The primary treatments for osteoarthritis involve anti-inflammatories, reducing movement of the joint, and taking nutritional supplements to support synovial fluid and cartilage production.
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis can be cured depending on the severity of the condition and willingness of the patient to change diet and lifestyle habits.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Pain around the joints
- Inflammation in the joints
- Loss of range of motion
How to Use CBD For Osteoarthritis
- Use full-spectrum CBD oils — these have a greater level of effects thanks to the entourage effect.
- Combine CBD with other supplements aimed at restoring the cartilage in the joint tissue — such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate.
- Use both topical and internal CBD — this provides a much greater level of relief.
- Find topicals that have either a heating or a cooling action.
- Use medium or high-potency CBD products only — low-potencies are unlikely to offer much support for osteoarthritis.
Best CBD Products For Osteoarthritis:
— Best CBD Oil For Arthritis— Best CBD Cream For Arthritis— CBD Oil With Turmeric
What Does the Research Say?
In one study involving collagen-induced arthritis in mice, researchers found that CBD administration slowed the progression of both acute arthritis and chronic arthritis .
In this particular study, both CBD injections and oral CBD had the same effect. The dose used in this study was quite high — around 25 mg/kg per day.
Another group of researchers wanted to know how CBD and other cannabinoids are so beneficial to arthritis. They tested the effects of various synthetic cannabinoids and a cannabidiol analog (O-1918) and found that another receptor — known as GPR55 — is also involved in the processes behind the pain-relieving benefits of cannabinoids for arthritis .
The Biochemical Mechanisms of CBD for Arthritis
- Inhibits T-lymphocyte proliferation in damaged joint tissue 
- Inhibits cytotoxic T-cell activity 
- Suppresses macrophage function and antigen presentation 
- Inhibits nitric oxide production by macrophages 
- Modulates of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), IL-1, and IFN-g [6, 7]
- Suppresses B cell chemokine production 
How to Use CBD Oil For Arthritis
There are two ways you should consider using CBD when treating arthritis — topically and internally. Both have their own positives and negatives, but the best treatment will involve a combination of both.
Let’s explore each form of application in detail.
1. CBD Oil For Arthritis
CBD oil enters the joints from inside the body. It’s absorbed through the gut, passes into the bloodstream, and then travels to the joints via the blood. This allows the active ingredients to reach deeper tissues within the joints.
This is effective for arthritis because the inflammatory processes occur deep within the joint itself — well below structures such as bones and ligaments that slow the absorption of topical cannabis.
CBD oils also have the added effect of targeting receptors in the spine that block the transmission of pain.
Aside from CBD oils, you can also use other forms of CBD such as CBD capsules, CBD edibles, CBD gummies, CBD vape pens, or CBD flower.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
The dose of CBD for arthritis can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the type of arthritis.
For low-grade osteoarthritis — characterized by mild joint pain — a low potency may be sufficient.
For rheumatoid arthritis or more severe osteoarthritis, a medium- or high-strength dose of CBD may be necessary.
When trying CBD for the first time, it’s recommended that you start with a low dose and build up gradually over time. You can find your starting dose by using our CBD oil calculator. Once you find relief from your symptoms, you’ve found the right dose.
CBD Oil Dosage Calculator
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2. CBD Cream For Arthritis
Topical CBD is very useful for arthritis because it delivers the anti-inflammatory cannabinoids directly to the source.
This form of CBD offers pain-reducing benefits at the site of injury quickly and effectively. Creams also provide other benefits, like cooling or heating agents that provide extra relief to sore joints.
CBD creams last between 4 and 6 hours, so you’ll need to reapply several times throughout the day.
The best CBD creams for arthritis contain a full-spectrum extract, come formulated with anti-arthritis herbs and ingredients, and offer a high concentration of CBD (at least 4 mg/mL). The stronger the salve the better when it comes to managing arthritis.
What Are The Side Effects of CBD?
Although CBD has been proven to be safe many times over, it’s important to know about the potential side-effects it may produce. Everybody is different, and what works for one person doesn’t always work the same way for another.
Here are some of the most common side-effects of CBD:
- Appetite suppression
- Dry mouth
- Lower heart rate
Diet & Lifestyle Changes For Arthritis Pain
CBD works best when taken with other therapies for managing joint pain. The active ingredients in CBD help to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms of pain, but may not be enough to alleviate symptoms completely.
Here are some other steps you can combine with CBD to get stronger and more long-lasting benefits:
1. Maintain Ideal Weight & BMI
Obesity is one of the most common underlying factors for arthritis. Losing weight is one of the most effective ways of alleviating chronic joint pain and arthritis.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise helps to produce endorphins which are natural painkillers. They also deliver more blood flow to the joints and speed recovery. It’s best to aim for low impact exercises like swimming or the elliptical machine to avoid further irritation to the joints.
3. Eat Plenty of Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Fruits and vegetables provide high concentrations of antioxidants that help protect the joints from further damage. You can also find antioxidant supplements like resveratrol, pterostilbene, lycopene, green tea extract, or vitamin C.
4. Eat Foods High in Fiber
Fiber speeds transit time in the gut and reduces inflammatory load
5. Avoid Known Allergens
Eating foods that cause allergic reactions can increase your overall inflammatory load and make arthritis symptoms worse
6. Learn to Manage Your Stress
Cortisol, the main stress hormone, promotes inflammation and can make symptoms progressively worse over time. It’s helpful to take measures to keep stress levels as low as possible.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the main triggers for flare-ups with rheumatoid arthritis and can slow the healing process for physical injuries or osteoarthritis.
Other Supplements For Arthritis To Take With CBD
Aside from CBD products, there are a lot of other supplements you can use to support the health of your joints. A targeted nutritional, lifestyle, and supplementation regimen is always going to have the biggest impact for reducing your joint pain.
Consider one or more of these supplements to use alongside CBD creams or CBD oils to help manage arthritis.
1. Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
The extract of this herb is a popular joint-support supplement. It inhibits one of the key inflammatory enzymes involved with inflammatory processes of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (5-LOX).
2. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Similar to frankincense, turmeric inhibits a separate enzyme involved with arthritis (COX).
3. Glucosamine Sulfate
This compound serves as a precursor for the formation of cartilage in the joints, thus supporting the faster recovery of damaged joint tissues.
4. Chondroitin Sulfate
This is another key component of cartilage in the joints usually taken at the same time as glucosamine.
5. Vitamin D
A common cause of joint pain is vitamin D deficiency. This is especially beneficial to take if you live in northern climates where sun exposure is low for several months in the year.
6. Couch Grass (Elytrigia repens)
Couch grass is specific for gout pain. It’s a diuretic, promoting the excretion of excess uric acid through the urine.
Example Supplement Stack To Combine With CBD:
|Supplement||Dose||Doses Per Day|
|High Potency CBD Oil (1000 mg)||2 – 3 mL||Twice per day|
|Glucosamine sulfate||500 mg||Three times per day|
|Chondroitin Sulfate||400 mg||Three times per day|
|Boswellia extract||800 mg||Three times per day|
CBD For Arthritis FAQ
1. Should I Use CBD Oil For Arthritis?
The choice to use topical or internal CBD is entirely up to you. If you want instant relief, go for a CBD topical. If your arthritis is mild and you want all-day relief from one dose of CBD, take a high-potency CBD oil instead.
For best results you should use both forms of CBD — topical to manage pain and inflammation quickly, and CBD oil to provide all-day support.
2. Will CBD Interact With My Arthritis Medications?
CBD is a very safe supplement and rarely interacts with other medications. However, some of the medications for rheumatoid arthritis are very strong, and can alter the immune system. It’s best to speak with your doctor if you’re using medications to manage your condition already.
CBD has little to no interaction with common painkillers like Aspirin or Tylenol, but should be used separately anyway.
3. What Is Rheumatism?
Rheumatism is a traditional medical word for joint pain. It’s since been replaced by more specific terms depending on the cause of the joint pain.
Rheumatic conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis — autoimmune causes
- Osteoarthritis — traumatic injury and inflammatory causes
- Gout — uric acid buildup causing joint inflammation and damage
- Fibromyalgia — unknown cause
- Lyme disease — a blood-borne parasitic infection affecting the joints
4. Rheumatism vs. Arthritis: What’s The Difference?
Technically speaking, rheumatism refers to all joint pain — however, the term has evolved over the years.
Most people who use the word rheumatism these days are referring to a specific type of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis. The condition is an autoimmune disorder involving pain and inflammation of the joint tissues around the body.
There are other forms of arthritis and joint pain as well — such as osteoarthritis and gout.
5. Can CBD Help With Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Tests can be done on rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to find inflammatory markers. If these markers are present, the condition is considered ‘seropositive‘.
Conversely, when these markers aren’t found but the patient is still experiencing clear symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, they’re said to be ‘seronegative‘.
CBD will still work for managing symptoms in seronegative patients despite the lack of inflammatory markers. Inflammation is still taking place at a local level in this condition, and other benefits of CBD on pain transmission still apply.
Final Verdict: Using CBD for Arthritis
Arthritis is characterized by a loss of cartilage and synovial fluid, causing the bones to rub directly against other bone — leading to faster degeneration fo the cartilage, more pain, and reduced mobility of the joints.
CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, helping to break the cycle of inflammation and degeneration in the joints. Additionally, CBD is a potent pain-killer through its ability to activate the opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain.
For specific forms of joint pain, like rheumatoid arthritis or gout, CBD offers further benefits through its ability to regulate immune cell activation, and support the health of the kidneys.
We recommend looking for both a topical CBD product and a CBD oil for maximum benefit. You can also use capsules, vape oils, gummies, or hemp flower.
The best CBD products for arthritis have been proven to be free from contaminants through third-party testing, contain high potencies of CBD, and use a full spectrum extract.
To make the effects of CBD even stronger, it’s best to combine multiple different supplements and lifestyle modifications aimed at supporting the health of the joints rather than relying on CBD alone.
How To Use CBD for Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition marked by inflammation of the joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, redness, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. Many people also have significant stiffness in the joints and reduced mobility of that joint—this is usually referred to as a decreased range of motion.
Origins of Arthritis
350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is due to wear and tear from use and overuse of joints. It affects the cartilage on the ends of the bones of the joints, causing the joints to “grind” against each end. OA increases as we age and is more common in women and can also be associated with obesity, joint pain, and overuse.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder—the immune system gets “confused” and begins to attack the lining of the joint capsule- the synovial membrane which then becomes inflamed, swollen, and painful. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women. . It can affect any joint either on just one side or both sides of the body.
- Other forms of arthritis —there are over 100—include gout, juvenile arthritis, reactive arthritis, infectious arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
- The long-term effects of arthritis are degeneration and destruction of the joints.
While many conventional medications that treat arthritis pain are available, they are not always effective and some carry significant adverse side effects.
Many arthritis sufferers are choosing to use medical cannabis for its anti-inflammatory properties, pain management, and minimal side effects. CBD is derived from hemp—a cousin of cannabis—and has been shown to have potential benefits for arthritis pain.
Potential Benefits of Using CBD for Arthritis Pain Relief
- Chronic pain management
- Reduced need for opiates
- Reduced need for NSAIDs
- Reduced side effects from conventional arthritis treatments
- Improved mobility
- Better sleep
Side Effects of Using CBD for Arthritis
How Does CBD Work for Arthritis?
CBD is considered an effective anti-inflammatory agent—and inflammation is at the root of arthritic pain. CBD oil appears to decrease inflammation in the body and at the affected joint so that a person with arthritis symptoms will have less chronic pain, and overall reduce pain in the body.
Other important cannabinoids with anti-inflammatory properties include THC, cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidivarin (CBGV), and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
How Should I Use CBD for Chronic Pain from Arthritis?
Always speak with a doctor before using CBD products, especially if you already take other medications.
CBD can cause drug interactions. It may increase or decrease the blood levels of different drugs—it is best to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about your specific risks for interactions. This may be especially important if you are taking any of the following medications 7 :
- Macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
- Anticoagulants or blood thinners
- Some heart medications including calcium channel blockers (eg. Amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, verapamil)
Because of the connection between joint inflammation, arthritis and chronic pain , using CBD products may reduce the arthritic pain and discomfort.
Most delivery methods all work well for relief from arthritis but for smaller areas, topical may often be best. Other delivery methods can include vaping, tinctures, edibles, and capsules.
The fastest relief can come from vaping, using tinctures, and applying topicals to treat local pain. You should be aware, however, that while vaping can produce the fastest results, there are still a number of health conditions with vaping. While vape products from reputable companies appear to be safe, there is much we don’t know about the effects of long-term or short-term vaping on the lungs.
CBD and THC (medical or recreational marijuana) may work synergistically together for relieving chronic pain conditions. The ratios of CBD to THC most commonly used for pain relief vary from 2:1 (CBD to THC) to 1:2 (CBD: THC). Keep in mind that if you use larger doses of CBD, maintaining those ratios may not be legal in your state. Both cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory.
If you dislike the psychoactive effects of THC, you can stick to just CBD, or mostly CBD oil during the day and add in some THC products at night.
Always start with a low dose of CBD oil and increase it in small, even increments until you reach the desired relief you are seeking.
What are Terpenes?
When CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, another very large class of plant substances—the terpenes—are extracted as well. Terpenes are currently a “hot research” topic because many have beneficial medicinal properties that may work alongside CBD in what is known as the “entourage effect”.
Are Terpenes Helpful for Arthritis?
The following terpenes are good to look for because they work synergistically with CBD to provide relief from inflammation 8 .
- β-caryophyllene (beta-caryophyllene)
- α-Pinene (alpha-pinene)
What Does the Research Say About CBD for Arthritis?
- CBD, cannabinoids, and compounds in cannabis decrease inflammation by blocking the formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a general term for substances that act as intracellular messengers and are made in response to an infection, injury, or triggered by an improperly working immune system (as in an autoimmune disease) 9 , 10 .
- Pre-clinical studies—ie. animal studies—have shown that CBD can act through a variety of mechanisms to reduce the inflammatory response thereby reducing pain 11 , 12 , 13 .
- There have been no studies done in humans to date—but watch this space!
- THC has been shown to be 20 times more anti-inflammatory than aspirin and 2 times more anti-inflammatory than hydrocortisone 14 .
Recently, the Arthritis Foundation produced a set of guidelines for the use of CBD in arthritis. In these Arthritis Foundation guidelines, it was stated:
“We are intrigued by the potential of CBD to help people find pain relief and are on record urging the FDA to expedite the study and regulation of these products. While currently there is limited scientific evidence about CBD’s ability to help ease arthritis symptoms, and no universal quality standards or regulations exist, we have listened to our constituents and consulted with leading experts** to develop these general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD15.”