CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, has taken the health and wellness industry by storm. It’s revered for its benefits in helping alleviate an array of symptoms and health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, skin conditions and more.
But, does CBD oil help treat arthritis? The limited research conducted so far seems to suggest it can. Read on to learn how CBD oil works to alleviate arthritis pain.
CBD is one of the many compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Unlike its counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t make people high.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a debilitating condition affecting the joints in the body, causing swelling, inflammation, tenderness and intense pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US, affecting over 50,000 people.
There are two common types of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition whereby the immune system attacks joints in the body, causing inflammation, stiffness and pain.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that degenerates the bones and joint cartilage leading to stiffness and pain.
While there are prescription medications to relieve arthritis pain, often, they come along with dozens of unpleasant side effects. For that reason, many are seeking a more natural approach, including CBD as a health supplement.
CBD oil and arthritis pain relief
Several animal studies suggest that oil could be useful in relieving arthritis pain due to its claimed anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
A 2016 study examined the efficacy of topical CBD for the reduction of pain and inflammation on rat models. Researchers claimed that transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced inflammation and overall pain.
Another study found that CBD may potentially help treat osteoarthritis joint pain. Additionally, a 2014 review suggests that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.
These studies show promising results of using CBD oil to manage arthritis pain. However, more human studies are needed to back up these findings.
How does CBD oil work?
The human body has a complex cell-signaling system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates the body’s operational functions, such as response to pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleep and mood.
The presence of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and immune system, respectively affect how CBD works in the body. When CBD enters the bloodstream, it indirectly binds with CB2 receptors in the immune system, reducing pain and the effects of inflammation.
Using the oil
Oil comes in various forms, including tincture oil, topicals, capsules and sprays.
Depending on the severity and the type of arthritis that you are treating, any of these delivery methods may work for you. If someone is new to CBD, as a golden rule, it’s best to start slow and work the way up. Also, it’s always important to consult a doctor before using any form of CBD.
CBD oil has shown promise as a potential treatment of arthritis pain. However, it is important to note that, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD for arthritis, and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.