As one of the leading causes of disability, arthritis impacts approximately 54 million Americans according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Traditionally, a combination of self-management and medication has been suggested by medical professionals. However, in recent years, discussions of CBD as an alternative tool has become a topic of hot debate in the community. With almost 1 in 5 Americans and Canadians affected, researchers have deemed that fully understanding the disease and approaching it in every direction possible may be the key to solving the issue. Can CBD really be used as a safe and effective treatment? Let’s find out.
CBD, cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that is found in the cannabis plant. When consumed, it stimulates our biological system called the endocannabinoid system. When the endocannabinoid system is triggered, scientists believe that it helps regulate a variety of bodily functions including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, reproduction, and pain sensation. More solid understanding and research are certainly required to prove this as conclusive; however, numerous testimonies and scientific evidence show desirable results by using CBD oil, especially for those affected with arthritis.
CBD for Arthritis
First, it is important to know that there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and related conditions, hence different causes and treatments may be associated. Below are a few of the common types of arthritis disease.
Types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis. You may understand this form to be “wear and tear” damage. Age can be the common factor; however, it also occurs in people who put excessive stress on weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, feet, and spine. As common as it is, treatments are favorable especially when managed in the early stage.
Rheumatoid arthritis – is an autoimmune disease. The problem here is the immune system attacking the affected part of the body, causing inflammation. Usually, the small joint areas are affected such as wrists, hands, and feet. Professionals are still unsure how the disease develops but some say it is associated with virus and infection, while others say it is triggered by chemicals in the body.
Psoriatic arthritis – affects the skin and joints. Only about 10% – 30% of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Most commonly the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis cause swelling in fingers and toes, but also discoloration of fingernails. Other joints such as the spine or knee can be affected as well.
Research overview: association of CBD and arthritis
- 2011 research done by National Center for Biotechnology Information shows a reduction in inflammatory pain in rats.
- 2014 review of the existing body of research on animals concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for Osteoarthritis.
- 2016 research done by the National Institutes of Health found the potential of topical CBD in relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- 2017 research shows the possibility of usage of CBD to treat Osteoarthritis joint pain and its safety.
Possible Benefits of using CBD Oil / Topical for Arthritis Symptoms
- Pain Relief
- Alleviate tension
- Neurological Protection
- Mental health improvement (when consumed)
Finding the right dosage of CBD oil is not that simple because every individual has a different reaction and tolerance. There are few factors that contribute to the finding of an effective dosage, mainly being body weight and severity of the symptom. Generally, it is always recommended to start from a low dosage and increment gradually over by a week or few days. Below is an example guideline on how much CBD might help with different weight groups and the severity of their symptoms. It is important to note we provide this information as an example of what may be effective according to research, and not a definitive guideline. You may start with the below dosage as a starting point and increase the frequency up to three times per day.
|Weight||Mild Symptoms||Average Symptoms||Severe Symptoms|
|84lbs – 150lbs||11mg||20mg||34mg|
|150lbs – 240lbs||14mg||28mg||49mg|
There are many reported cases suggesting the potential of CBD in treating arthritis symptoms. However, until more research is conducted and proven by the FDA, the role of CBD in treating the symptoms remains to be concluded. With wide attention focused on CBD, especially from organizations like the Arthritis Foundation and Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, more discoveries about this compound are expected in the future.
If you have taken medication for a long period of time and the effect has become less significant, perhaps you may want to give this natural remedy a chance to heal your mind and body.