CBD Oil for Arthritis – Everything You Need to Know

Healthy function in your joints is key to being able to perform everyday tasks. But for people with arthritis, even simple activities can be painful and difficult to undertake. The reduced range of motion can leave them struggling both mentally as well as physically.

The good news is that CBD oil may offer help for patients with arthritis and help them to deal with their pain and reduced function.

CBD oil and arthritis

While you might think of CBD being a mild therapeutic, it can offer significant help for patients living with arthritis.

CBD use has risen in the last few years, not least because more and more people are discovering the impressive health benefits of this natural compound. Here’s how CBD oil can help you manage your arthritis.

Reduces inflammation

The main symptom of arthritis is inflammation. Inflammation can lead to redness, heat, pain, and reduced range of motion. For patients with arthritis, this inflammation occurs in the joints and is degenerative, meaning that it worsens with age.

Luckily, CBD oil has demonstrated a strong ability to reduce inflammation, which is great news for those living with arthritis.

CBD’s strong anti-inflammatory effects have been shown in numerous studies where the cannabinoid has been able to reduce inflammation in inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, skin inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases.

You can be sure of CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects because of how it interacts with certain receptors in your body. Research tells us that CBD is able to activate receptors that suppress inflammation and is also able to stop the effects of pro-inflammatory factors that contribute to inflammation occurring.

Reduces pain

Another symptom that is common among patients with arthritis is pain. As inflammation occurs in your joints and your nerves and muscles become pushed upon, pain is a regular occurrence. For patients with osteoarthritis, inflammation leads to the degradation of the cartilage around the joints, leaving bones to grind on bones when the joint moves, which can be especially painful.

CBD may also be able to help arthritis patients with their pain management, thanks in part to its interaction with serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that you may be familiar with due to its ability to induce feelings of happiness. But serotonin can also block feelings of pain.

We know that CBD can activate serotonin receptors and help increase serotonin activity. One study found that CBD activation of serotonin receptors was likely responsible for the pain relief experienced by study participants.

Improves sleep

Understandably, for patients with painful and movement-limiting arthritis symptoms, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. But CBD could help you improve your sleep quality.

CBD has shown great potential as a sleep aid, improving sleep scores and improving the symptoms of sleep disorders like REM sleep behaviour disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Adding CBD oil to your routine could not only help you ease the pain and inflammation that comes with arthritis, but it could also leave you feeling more rested and finally getting a good night’s sleep.

 

How does CBD oil help arthritis?

As detailed above, CBD oil can target inflammation and pain, some of the major symptoms of arthritis. CBD largely induces its effects on the body by targeting non-cannabinoid receptors. The results you experience from CBD depend on the receptors activated and the location of these receptors.

So, we know that CBD oil can target certain aspects of arthritis, but has it actually been tested on arthritis patients? The answer is yes, and with impressive results.

CBD oil in arthritis research

Sativex is a prescription medication that contains equal amounts of CBD and THC. One study investigating the effects of Sativex on patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that after 5 weeks of treatment, patients saw a significant improvement to their stiffness and pain levels. While this study did involve another cannabinoid alongside CBD, it certainly highlights the potential of CBD to improve the symptoms of arthritis.

How to use CBD oil for arthritis

CBD oil can be used in a variety of different ways for arthritis, but the best way to consume it really comes down to an individual’s wants and needs.

Whether it’s simply placing CBD oil under your tongue, adding CBD oil to your morning smoothie, or vaping CBD oil, there’s an option out there that will work for you.

Ways to consume CBD oil include:

  • Vaping
  • Edibles
  • Sublingual application
  • Nasal spray
  • Topical application

An important factor to consider when choosing your CBD consumption method is the strength of effect that is best for you. Vaping, for example, will give you instant and strong effects, while eating CBD will give you more long-lasting but milder effects.

The topical use of CBD oil with a balm, oil, or lotion can offer you direct application onto the site of issue, which is especially helpful for patients with arthritis, who experience localised pain and inflammation at their joints.

CBD side effects

When adding any new therapeutic into your routine, it’s important to consider the possible side effects before starting use.

One major benefit of CBD is that it has a high safety profile, even at very high doses. Studies involving CBD treatment of arthritis have also demonstrated its safety, with only mild or moderate side effects being experienced.

Some of the mild side effects of CBD that you may experience include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness

One side effect that you don’t have to worry about when taking CBD is a ‘high’. While CBD is a cannabis compound, it can’t get you high. THC, another cannabinoid is instead responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. As long as your CBD oil contains no THC, you won’t experience any psychoactive effects.

The bottom line

CBD oil offers a lot of potential for patients with arthritis, thanks to its ability to reduce pain and inflammation as well as helping them get a better night’s sleep.

If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for your arthritis, take care to source it from a reputable supplier and be sure to ask your doctor if CBD is the best option for you.

MBChB (Otago), BSc (Auckland) - As our tele-medicine doctor and author, Dr. Waseem keeps busy educating both patients and doctors about medicinal cannabis. He also consults with people from all over New Zealand, offering a listening ear and giving the most relevant advice.

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