CBD Oil for Arthritis
A broken bone. An aging body. Genetics.
These three factors, along with others, can cause individuals to suffer from one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions: arthritis. As with many other pain-related conditions, there may be promise in the form of CBD oil.
Somewhere around 54 million American adults suffer from arthritis that has been diagnosed by a medical professional and countless more individuals likely suffer in silence. It’s a common problem that causes daily pain, limits activities, and causes overall distress. (1)
At its foundation, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can affect one or multiple joints. With more than 100 different types of arthritis, the condition has an array of causes and treatments. The two most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). (2)
Arthritis can be caused by a decrease in cartilage, normal wear, and tear, or autoimmune diseases. Cartilage is a firm but flexible connective tissue in your joints that absorbs pressure and strain. As this wears down, the joints are left unprotected, increasing pain and distress.
RA, one of the autoimmune diseases that cause arthritis, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys tissue in the body. Eventually, it can destroy the bone and cartilage in the joint; and, unfortunately, scientists discovered that genetics increases your risk of developing RA fivefold. (3)
Arthritis is commonly seen in adults over the age of 65; however, it can also develop in children and young adults – especially those who may have broken a bone repeatedly.
Because of the inflammation (remember, CBD can be helpful in reducing inflammation) associated with arthritis, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms. Those who suffer from RA may experience fatigue and a loss of appetite and, if left untreated, joint deformities. Other symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion
- Redness of the skin around the joint
- Vision problems
- …and more.
of adults with heart disease
of adults with diabetes have arthritis
of adults who are obese have arthritis
Currently, there is an abundance of treatments – treatments that come with many side effects such as:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Hair loss
- Swelling and water retention
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Breathing difficulties
- ..and more.
Avoiding treatment is not an option. Leaving arthritis untreated can cause harm to the body because of the associated inflammation. This is where CBD comes into play.
Sativex, a cannabis-derived medication, has already been put to the test and delivered impressive results – improved pain levels, an increase in the quality of sleep, and increased mobility for arthritis sufferers. (4)
Why does it work?
CBD is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, which makes it a valuable player in managing arthritic pain and reducing other effects of this disease such as cardiovascular damage, nausea, insomnia, nerve pain, and more.
Currently, treatments for arthritis range from using heating pads or ice packs to medication and, in severe instances, surgery.
For invasive treatments like medications or surgery, the associated costs, recovery time, and side effects may be a deterrent. Medicinal treatments include:
- Acetaminophen such as Tylenol which can be effective for pain management, but not decreasing inflammation (5)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil which should be used in moderation since it can thin the blood. (6)
- Menthol cremes which block the transmission of pain signals
- Immunosuppressants which can reduce inflammation and require ongoing maintenance
However, CBD for arthritis may be a better answer. Found in the cannabis plant, CBD is truly nature’s wonder. (7)
CBD for Arthritis: The Research
Four studies that were completed between 2011 and 2017 showed that CBD had a number of benefits in modifying and managing pain associated with arthritis.
- A 2011 study found that CBD helped to reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way that pain receptors respond to stimuli. (8)
- A 2014 review of the existing body of research on animals concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for OA. (9)
- A 2016 study found that the topical application of CBD had the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. (10)
- A 2017 study found that CBD might be a safe and useful treatment for OA joint pain. (11)
* Taken from Medical News Today (12)
CBD: The Arthritis Relief You’ve Been Searching For
Research on CBD is continuing to expand and its many uses are becoming more mainstream every day. However, it’s far from new. CBD has been used for thousands and thousands of years, especially for pain relief. (13)
The human body has two cannabinoid receptors which are part of the endocannabinoid system: receptors CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoid system is essential to regulating the body, maintaining balance, and working with the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and peripheral organs. Receptor CB1 is associated with cognitive actions – mood, memory, appetite, etc. while the CB2 receptor is responsible for the body’s response to pain and inflammation. (14, 15, 16)
CBD positively impacts the body by reducing the sensations of pain without causing traditional side effects associated with standard treatments. And, unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties so it can be used regularly without the feeling of being high.
A Natural Anti-Inflammatory for an Inflammation-Driven Disease.
It’s not too good to be true. It is true.
Since CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, it reduces inflammation throughout the body as it targets the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
As it provides relief for arthritic pain, it also allows the body to maintain equilibrium – leading to feeling better all around. This, in turn, allows individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle by exercising regularly to keep joints flexible and eating a healthy diet – two lifestyle changes that can drastically reduce inflammation and symptoms.
Nerve damage caused by inflammation may also be lessened for arthritis sufferers who use CBD. (17)
Pain relief and reduced nerve damage? It may be worth looking into for arthritis sufferers!
Just like anything we put in our bodies, there is a potential for side effects. Thankfully, the side effects of CBD are incredibly minimal such as some fatigue and changes in appetite. If CBD oil is smoked, there’s a risk for lung problems.
If you’re looking for a natural, highly effective treatment for arthritis with minimal side effects, look no further than CBD.
As an adventurer and natural-living person, Elaheh’s interest in understanding and sharing natural and holistic alternatives leads her to constantly explore the many ways the human body can be naturally supported.