Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., affecting more than 54 million adults and roughly 300,000 babies and children, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The high prevalence makes it likely that you or a loved one have experienced symptoms or have been diagnosed. With the frustrating, distracting, even severe pain that may be present, is CBD for arthritis a worthwhile avenue of treatment?
What types of arthritis can CBD potentially help?
Did you know that there are six main types of arthritis? This includes:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Childhood arthritis
Due to the varying nature of these conditions, CBD is more likely to help some than others, and it depends on your unique case. After all, CBD can address pain and inflammation when applied topically, and even address widespread pain in a less targeted, time-released manner when ingested. This makes CBD an ideal option to at least discuss with your doctor.
Pain and inflammation — either more minor or comparatively severe — basically define all types of arthritis. There are also often symptoms such as the feeling of heat, presenting redness and swelling, as well as sleep problems, headache, and others unique to lupus.
Research supporting CBD for arthritis
According to the Arthritis Foundation’s recent survey, 79% of respondents have already tried CBD and are curious to learn more about its benefits — which the foundation welcomes. Many studies have been conducted in rats, and more corresponding studies in humans are needed for more concrete evidence of CBD’s efficacy. The findings are still enough to rule CBD a worthwhile option, as osteoarthritis symptoms in rats improved greatly with the addition of CBD. Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine, was shown to suppress the severity of rheumatoid arthritis significantly. CBD, as a whole avenue for difficult-to-treat or chronic pain, shows “great promise,” according to Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management.
Are there known drug interactions?
Since CBD may affect liver function, there are certain drug interactions to be aware of. Those below have the strongest interaction, and others are listed here:
- Clobazam (Onfi)
- Eslicarbazepine (Aptiom)
If you’re considering CBD but are already taking other medications, be sure to consult your physician, as they will best be able to address any risks you may have.
What CBD products are most likely to help?
Which CBD products are right for you depends on a lot of factors, especially the severity of your arthritis symptoms. Topicals are a convenient, easy option to start with, especially products with small amounts of CBD or a combination of CBD and ingredients like menthol and camphor. Menthol and camphor produce cooling or warming sensations, which are extra soothing for some people.
The Arthritis Foundation asked a physician for advice for those trying CBD:
- At first, take or use small servings/amounts.
- Start with a CBD-only product, 5–10mg twice daily, and then slowly increase. You can increase the strength up to 50–100mg per day. If that doesn’t help, perhaps try a CBD product with a low dose of THC.
- Use at night and increase as needed, just in case you experience side effects, like drowsiness.
- Be cautious with edibles, as their effects may last longer and not kick in right away.
This post is meant to provide information, research, and thoughtful consideration; however, it is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor before adding a new treatment to your regimen, especially if you already have other prescriptions. Your doctor is the authority on conditions such as arthritis — listen to them, and they’ll listen to your concerns, too!