CBD for Arthritis: The Science, The Benefits and Ways to Use

September 3, 2019  •  By Bethan Rose

CBD for Arthritis: The Science, The Benefits and Ways to Use

Recent studies have spotlighted the potential of using cannabidiol to relieve inflammation. Better known as ‘CBD’, this cannabinoid is an all-natural anti-inflammatory, which is good news for people with arthritis. 

Between 2007 and 2009, the chronic inflammatory disease affected over 50 million American adults. By 2030, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that 67 million people will be diagnosed with arthritis. 

It’s not just adults who suffer from the debilitating disease but also, 300,000 babies and children; primarily autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Thankfully, CBD exerts anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis like joint pain, joint swelling, joint stiffness and loss of joint range of motion. 

CBD for Arthritis: What is this cannabinoid?

CBD is one of 113 identified cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant, but it can also be extracted from the hemp plant. 

First discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team of researchers at the University of Illinois, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not produce mind-altering effects.

The cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to accomplish their mission of achieving homeostasis; cannabinoids like CBD bind to receptors spread around the immune system/brain to trigger therapeutic effects that regulate bodily functions, such as mood, appetite and sleep.

In addition to mediating effects by coming into direct contact with receptors, CBD also influences other neurotransmitter systems to stimulate anti-inflammatory properties. 

Does science support the idea of using CBD for arthritis?

Scientists have been left tediously waiting to conduct cannabis research and clinical trials on humans, due to the plant’s restrictive Schedule I status. In spite of limited research, it does – to an extent – exist.

One study published in the European Journal of Pain suggested that pain and   inflammation caused by arthritis could be relieved once CBD is applied directly to the skin topically. 

Data gleaned from separate studies on CBD to treat arthritis showed that topical CBD applications indicate promise in acting as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, minus the side effects associated with over-the-counter (OTC) meds commonly prescribed for arthritis.

Another study, carried out in 2000, also investigated the efficacy of using CBD to treat arthritis. The results? CBD inhibited necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) on a rodent with rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rates of depression among patients diagnosed with the disease “can be between two- and ten-times greater than the rates of the general population.” 

With that being said, it is important to acknowledge the symptoms of depression when treating with CBD. 

The good news is that numerous studies have identified a connection between CBD and LOWER rates of depression.

Methods of Delivery for Treating Arthritis with CBD Oil

Perhaps one of the most popular methods of administration is topical. Using creams or balms with CBD-enriched oil is an effective way of experiencing CBD’s instant effects. After all, your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs roughly 60% of what it comes in contact with. That’s very efficient.

If you want something a bit more discreet, try consuming CBD for arthritis sublingually; tinctures, drops and oils fall into this category. 

Although the effects of sublingual CBD products won’t be instant, they will be gradual and long-lasting, just as they will be with ingestible goods. CBD edibles, such as BWell’s Apple CBD Belts, will start producing their effects within 30 minutes to two hours, but the therapeutic benefits will last for up to eight hours.

Alternatively, why not indulge in some tender-loving care for your achy and inflamed joints by dropping a fizzy, aromatic CBD-infused bath bomb into the tub? Topical solutions are favored for providing localized relief. They also come in the form of balms, salves and lotions.

Whatever product you wind up choosing, to help ensure its legitimacy get it from an online merchant like the BWell Market

Bethan Rose

Bethan Rose

Bethan Rose is a passionate cannabis advocate/consumer, writer and traveler with no permanent address. Currently based on the Indonesian island of Bali, she can usually be found curating cannabis content on her hammock.