There is tons of talk out there about the positive impact CBD oil can have for sufferers of chronic pain, but what about offering more specialised treatment for something like arthritis? CBD oil is not only able to help, it may actually be especially beneficial for those living with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
What makes CBD oil so beneficial for those with arthritis?
By now many are familiar with the stories of CBD oil helping with chronic pain. CBD is the non-psychoactive component in cannabis, which means it has all the associated cannabis benefits, including pain relief, relaxation, and anti-inflammation, but without the high. People who use CBD oil can keep their brain clear and their bodies at ease.
CBD oil is especially beneficial for those with arthritis pain because of the way it targets CB1 and CB2 pain receptors in the body. CBD can affect the immune system, which means that it has special benefits for autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. By binding to pain receptors in the brain and in arthritic joints, CBD oil can essentially numb joints affected by arthritis and reduce pain and inflammation. Whether you’re living with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, CBD oil can help and will target your pain in a precise, localised way.
One of the exciting benefits of CBD oil when it comes to arthritis pain is that it can be applied topically to the targeted joints through a lotion, cream, or balm. The ability to apply the CBD oil in this way can eliminate some of the downsides with other delivery methods. Not everyone loves the taste of CBD oil, but lotions solve that problem for arthritis patients. Topical creams deliver all the positive treatment of CBD to the joint without delivering CBD to the blood stream, which can reduce non-pain-related side effects.
Those who use CBD oil often report that it helps them sleep better at night. Whether falling asleep in the first place or tossing and turning through the night, CBD oil can help those living with arthritis fall asleep and stay asleep.
Is there proof CBD oil can help those living with arthritis?
Lots of people living with arthritis have already started incorporating CBD oil into their treatment plan and report feeling better and experiencing less inflammation in their arthritic joints. Many of these anecdotal claims are backed up by studies done with both human patients and in the lab.
Studies have found an unusually high number of CB2 pain receptors in arthritic joint tissues. CBD oil specifically targets and binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, so when applied topically to arthritic joints it will have an especially noticeable and positive impact on pain relief and reducing inflammation for arthritis patients.
Many studies have focused on the drug Sativex, a combination of cannabis extract and temozolomide. One early study, published in 2006 by the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, and published in an Oxford journal, found “a significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment.” Not only did patients experience pain relief, but the spread and progression of rheumatoid arthritis was actually slowed. “In comparison with placebo,” the study continues, “the CBM produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, [and] quality of sleep.”
A 2011 study of rats found that CBD could help reduce the acute inflammatory joint pain associated with arthritis by affecting how receptors in the affected area respond to pain stimuli. Studies done in 2014 and 2017 have both supported the idea that CBD may be effective in treating osteoarthritis, in particular.
CBD oil has the potential to help mitigate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep, regardless of what type of arthritis one is living with. Furthermore, according to some studies, it may also slow the progression of arthritis in patients.
How is CBD oil different from other cannabis products?
The benefit of CBD oil, especially for those with arthritis who are trying to otherwise go about their daily lives, is that it contains only extracted CBD, which relieves pain and inflammation. There is no THC, the cannabis compound that creates the “high” effect. Furthermore, applying CBD oil topically through a lotion or cream keeps the relief localized only to the affected joints. The CBD enters the bloodstream much less, and little if any reaches the brain in the first place.
CBD oil as part of a complete arthritis treatment plan.
CBD oil can have huge positive impacts for those living with arthritis. With no adverse effect on brain function and noticeable positive effect on joint pain, mobility, and inflammation, it’s an obvious choice for rheumatoid arthritis patients and osteoarthritis patients. You should look for the dosing and method that works best for you personally, and always consult your doctor before adding CBD oil to your treatment plan.
What should I look for in a good CBD oil for arthritis?
Because the CBD market in the UK is still relatively new, it’s essential to be a critical consumer. Things to consider when you are shopping for the right CBD oil for your arthritis treatment are:
1) Potency. Make sure the oil is strong enough. Look for the dosage in the bottle to be between 500mg of CBD and 1000mg of CBD. Finding your proper dosage at home may take time and, as with any change in treatment, will be an adjustment.
2) Source. As a general rule, the best CBD comes from California plants with high quality genetics. Reputable CBD dispensaries will be able to share the origin of each product they carry; if you encounter sellers that do not provide the source of their CBD, look elsewhere.
3) Delivery method. For general pain relief, CBD oil is available in drop, pill, or vape form. For arthritis pain, there is the additional option of using a CBD-infused lotion, balm, or cream and applying it topically to the arthritic joints.
CBD oil can sometimes be associated with mild nausea and, perhaps less surprising, changes in appetite and fatigue. However, especially with topical creams, these seem to be felt less since the treatment is more localized.