- What Is Arthritis?
- The Main Types of Arthritis
- Can CBD Help Relieve Arthritis?
- How Does CBD Work?
- The Risks of Using CBD for Arthritis
- Should You Use CBD for Arthritis?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Chronic pain is one of the biggest problems for people in the United States. However, arthritis patients often suffer from long-term—and highly debilitating—chronic pain. For thousands of arthritis patients, it can seem like there’s no end in sight to their troubles. But how much can alternative medicines, such as CBD, help anyone battling arthritis?
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, early studies have shown that CBD products—including oil, gummies, and vapes—can potentially help with some of the discomfort, anxiety, and pain created by the condition.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether CBD can improve arthritis pain and how much you’ll need to use to achieve excellent results:
What Is Arthritis?
Let’s start with the basics. Although many people have heard of arthritis, most people aren’t fully aware of what it is. Here’s the truth: arthritis is a term used to describe joint pain and joint disease. There are over 100 types of arthritis-related conditions—including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Common symptoms may include:
- Pain and stiffness in the joints
- Reduced motion
- Joint deformities
Many things can cause arthritis, such as being overweight, having an autoimmune disease, or previously injured joints that develop into post-traumatic arthritis later in life.
The Main Types of Arthritis
Although there are various types of arthritis, two common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The most common type of arthritis is QA, which affects over 32.5 million adults in the United States.
However, as you get older, all types of arthritis can become common. Another popular form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Common symptoms of RA include low-grade fever, fatigue, joint stiffness, and joint pain. Scientists don’t understand what causes RA; however, they know that women are more likely to develop it.
Can CBD Help Relieve Arthritis?
CBD comes from the Sativa plant, and investigations have revealed that it’s very helpful in relieving symptoms of arthritis. One medical study found that 36% of people who used CBD for their arthritis condition witnessed improvements in their symptoms.
CBD is also good for reducing inflammation, anxiety symptoms, and PTSD symptoms, as well as other conditions closely related to arthritis.
How Does CBD Work?
So we’ve established that CBD could be excellent for reducing the symptoms of arthritis. But how does it work?
For pain treatment, CBD will interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by halting the pain sensations. The ECS helps us retain and learn information, including how we eat, sleep, control pain, and our emotional and immune response.
In addition, some investigation suggests that CBD decreases inflammation by influencing activity in the endocannabinoid receptors. CBD has a similar chemical makeup to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors.
When CBD interacts with the receptors, it impacts the release of neurotransmitters to your brain. As a result, this relieves the inflammation and pain in your body.
The Risks of Using CBD for Arthritis
The long-term effects of using CBD remain largely unknown. However, there are some possible mild side effects—including dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and drowsiness. Many experts recommend that you never use CBD if you’re on blood thinners because it can heighten the effects of medication.
Additionally, the FDA suggests pregnant women and breastfeeding women should avoid all CBD products unless their doctor says otherwise. That’s because high CBD intakes can cause developmental issues in a developing fetus, possibly transferring into breast milk.
However, you can minimize the effects of using CBD for arthritis by using small doses. It can be hard to determine the ideal dosage when you first take CBD, but you can learn this with experience. Here are some other things you should consider when using CBD for arthritis:
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp and products of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. The bill legalized hemp production if it fell within the parameters of the law. However, access to CBD depends largely on the state. Check the local laws in your state to determine the legality.
2. Lack of Regulation
The CBD market remains largely unregulated. The FDA has only approved one CBD product—Epidiolex—which patients use to treat seizures. Therefore, some brands produce CBD products that could be harmful. You should also ensure you buy high-quality CBD products with a Certificate of Analysis. That way, you know they are safe.
Should You Use CBD for Arthritis?
CBD can be an excellent way to control the symptoms of arthritis.
However, you should always speak with a medical professional before using CBD for arthritis. You should not use CBD to substitute any disease-modifying treatments prescribed by a doctor. And, remember, there is limited research on the effects of CBD.
So always chat with your doctor. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and discuss what medications you may require.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re an arthritis patient, you can consider taking CBD to treat the side effects. Although the research on CBD remains limited, early signs look highly promising and may help you handle your symptoms.
However, you’ll need to find out the right dosage and persist with the CBD products for over a month to judge whether CBD for arthritis is working for you.