According to the latest research, there are potentially dozens of conditions that CBD could help with. One of the most compelling is the use of CBD oil for arthritis. The CDC says that approximately 54 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. This figure equates to a staggering 22.7% of the adult population. The CDC also stated that by 2040, almost 26% of the adult population would have arthritis.
Therefore, finding something capable of helping with this condition is a growing concern. Painkillers such as opioids are addictive and potentially deadly. This is why looking for the best CBD oil for arthritis has become a more popular quest. Let’s take a look at whether CBD can help this condition, including the available research.
What Is Arthritis & How Does It Affect People?
Before we look into CBD oil for arthritis, here’s a brief overview of the condition. Arthritis is a medical issue characterized by tenderness and swelling in one or more of the joints. Joint pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms and usually get worse with age. Other symptoms include redness, a decreased range of motion, and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are the most prevalent types. In people with RA, the joints are attacked by the immune system. It all begins with an assault on the joints’ lining. OA causes the cartilage on the ends of bones to break down. Infections or conditions such as lupus or psoriasis can cause other forms of arthritis.
For individuals with severe arthritis, it is difficult even to perform basic daily tasks. People with arthritis on weight-bearing joints find it tough to sit up straight or walk in comfort. In some instances, their joints become deformed.
Treatment typically involves the use of opioid painkillers, DMARDs, or NSAIDs. Some of these powerful medications are addictive. Over 40,000 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. It is little wonder then that an increasing number of people want to see if CBD for arthritis can help reduce their symptoms.
How Could CBD for Arthritis Help Patients?
Everything revolves around our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its two main receptors, CB1 and CB2. CBD has a different effect on brain activity than THC, which is why it isn’t intoxicating. The cannabinoid has an indirect impact on these receptors and is believed to increase the body’s production of endocannabinoids such as anandamide.
What is important to note is that the CB2 receptor impacts the immune system. RA, for example, involves the immune system attacking the joints. Therefore, CBD’s relationship with the immune system could be why CBD for arthritis helps alleviate symptoms.
Also, CBD appears to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could slow down arthritis progression. Individuals with RA have their joints permanently damaged over time. Perhaps CBD oil could significantly slow down that process.
What Does the Research into CBD for Arthritis Say?
Unfortunately, there are a limited number of studies into CBD’s effect on arthritis in humans. The Arthritis Foundation has said there is anecdotal evidence that suggests arthritis users enjoy improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and pain relief when they use CBD. However, there are no rigorous clinical trials to back up these claims.
Therefore, the most compelling studies into CBD oil for arthritis involve animals. A study published in 2011 used CBD on rats with arthritis. The researchers found that the cannabinoid helped decrease inflammatory pain in the rats. A 2014 review of studies looked into the involvement of the ECS in OA pain. It found that CBD was potentially an effective treatment on animals with that particular form of arthritis.
A study published in the Pain journal in 2017 also looked at whether CBD could prevent pain and nerve damage in rats with OA. The researchers concluded that CBD was potentially a safe and useful way to treat the joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
The research to date has been extremely promising. However, the studies have been relatively small and primarily feature rats. We must conduct large-scale clinical trials on humans to learn more about CBD for arthritis.
Using CBD Oil for Arthritis
There are several ways to use CBD if you have arthritis. Although tinctures are popular, they are arguably not the best option due to their low bioavailability and the length of time it takes to affect. Another option is topicals. CBD topicals can take up to an hour to work; they involve rubbing a cream or salve directly on the site of the pain. Those who try CBD creams for arthritis claim that the products are very effective.
Additionally, many people vaporize CBD. This process provides a high rate of absorption and has an almost immediate effect. Please note that while cannabidiol is widely used and tolerated in many states, it isn’t federally legal. Also, make sure that the CBD product(s) you use contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.