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CBD for Arthritis: What the Research Shows

September 03, 2022 5 min read

CBD for Arthritis: What the Research Shows

CBD for Arthritis: What the Research Shows

More long-term trials are required to see whether CBD helps prevent and cure arthritis, although it has shown promising results in the short term. Here is what research shows.

A common cannabinoid presents in the cannabis plant, CBD, is known as cannabidiol. Several chemicals in the cannabis plant give it distinctive flavor, aroma, and effects. CBD and THC are only two examples of the many chemicals found in cannabis, but there are many more to choose from. CBD has gained widespread popularity and respect as a well-tolerated substance with a broad spectrum of therapeutic benefits for our bodily and mental well-being. Inflammation and joint discomfort are frequent symptoms of arthritis, affecting people of all ages. The kind of arthritis you have will affect the specific symptoms you experience. Joint pain, stiffness, high levels of inflammation, and muscle weakness are among the most common symptoms. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most frequent kinds of arthritic conditions. Surgery, physiotherapy, and medicine can delay the progression of arthritis in certain people, but no cure has yet been found.

Arthritis

According to Punzi et al. (2016), inflammation of the joints is a symptom of arthritis, which may be acute or persistent. Arthritis describes joint pain and illness, even though it is typically a single ailment. There are over a hundred varieties of arthritis and associated illnesses. These include osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid and psoriatic. Joint pain and stiffness, swelling, a reduced range of motion, abnormalities of the joints, and other connected problems are some of the symptoms. Arthritis may result from a variety of factors, some of which are more common than others:

  • Illness associated with the immune system
  • Post-traumatic arthritis is a condition that affects joints that have been previously damaged.
  • Obesity

Arthritis Classifications

There are many different varieties of arthritis, but osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two of the most frequent (RA). Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent kind of arthritis, which develops over time and worsens as we age. According to Lo et al. (2019), OA affects more than 32.5 million individuals in the United States. Several factors might contribute to joint pain, including a degenerative disease called osteoarthritis (OA).

People with OA may have joint stiffness, redness, and limited mobility in their hands, knees, hips, and lower back. Swelling and discomfort of one or more joints are common symptoms of this kind of arthritis, which may be both long-term and episodic.

Osteoarthritis (OA) may be caused by various factors, including age, gender, excessive joint usage, heredity, previous traumas, and obesity. Noh et al. (2020) discovered that arthritis is more frequent in adults over 50, and women are more likely than males to be affected. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system assaults the joints. Stiffness, swelling, and discomfort in the joints are common symptoms for those with rheumatoid arthritis. When a RA flare occurs, the following symptoms and signs may appear:

  • Fever of a low grade
  • Fatigue
  • More than six weeks of joint stiffness, pain, or swelling
  • The morning stiffness that lasts longer than 30 minutes is called morning stiffness.

However, if you see symptoms in numerous joints in your body, or if you notice symptoms in the same joint both ways, you may have RA.

A genetic component is considered to have a role in the development of RA, particularly when environmental and lifestyle factors bring it on. According to the CDC, if you've never given birth, you're more likely to have RA than if you've had a child.

CBD and Arthritis

Chronic pain and anxiety are just a few ailments for which CBD has previously been effective. Chronic pain problems include arthritis, which falls within the umbrella. Even while the research is still in its infancy, the findings are encouraging. According to Henderson et al. (2021), CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which may reduce inflammation and discomfort. According to Dehghani et al. (2014), the ECS controls everything from our mood to how much energy we have to how much pain we experience. Cannabinoid receptors and receptor proteins make up the ECS. CBD may increase the levels of certain chemicals and hormones by interacting with receptors in the brain and nervous system. Vaughn et al. (2021) suggested that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors, which may alter how we sense pain and raise serotonin levels in the body. The study above also indicated that it induces a state of relaxation in the brain and body, which may help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Cannabinoids may also block these receptors to reduce inflammation and discomfort. A natural endocannabinoid called anandamide may be boosted in the body when CBD blocks receptors that enable it. This alters how receptors react to messages, lowering inflammation and discomfort.

CBD and Arthritis Research

Many people are curious about how CBD affects common health concerns like chronic pain. Researchers are now looking at comparable illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which affects millions of people. The immune system attacks healthy cells in this autoimmune and inflammatory illness; consequently, one or more joints are often affected. According to Richards et al. (2012), patients who used Sativex, a spray containing cannabis extract, were part of one of the first studies looking at the efficacy of cannabis-based therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. The medicine was shown to help lower inflammation and discomfort and improve sleep quality among participants. The study above suggested that the patient's quality of life was unaffected by any of the recorded moderate side effects. The topical use of CBD gels for treating joint pain and inflammation is the subject of treating arthritis. CBD's transdermal absorption is adequate (but not perfect) to lower joint swelling and pro-inflammatory biomarkers. Topical CBD treatment has high therapeutic potential for arthritis and inflammation-related disorders without excessive detrimental side effects. Despite encouraging early results, researchers still need to conduct additional long-term and large-scale human studies to understand the effects of CBD on arthritic symptoms completely.

Conclusion

Ensure you talk with your doctor about the advantages and downsides of using CBD for chronic arthritic pain, and together you can come up with a treatment plan that works best for your situation. Depending on the kind of arthritis you have, it may be critical to continue taking your traditional prescription meds even if you get relief with CBD products.

References

Dehghani, M., Sharpe, L., & Khatibi, A. (2014). Catastrophizing Mediates The Relationship Between Fear Of Pain And Preference For Elective Cesarean Section. European Journal Of Pain, 18(4), 582-589.

Henderson, L. A., Kotsirilos, V., Cairns, E. A., Ramachandran, A., Peck, C. C., & Mcgregor, I. S. (2021). Medicinal Cannabis In The Treatment Of Chronic Pain. Australian Journal Of General Practice, 50(10), 724-732.

Lo, J., Chan, L., & Flynn, S. (2021). A Systematic Review Of The Incidence, Prevalence, Costs, And Activity And Work Limitations Of Amputation, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Back Pain, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, And Traumatic Brain Injury In The United States: A 2019 Update. Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation Archives, 102(1), 115-131.

Noh, H. M., Choi, Y. H., Lee, S. K., Song, H. J., Park, Y. S., Kim, N., & Cho, J. (2022). Association Between Dietary Protein Intake, Regular Exercise, And Low Back Pain Among Middle-Aged And Older Korean Adults Without Lumbar Spine Osteoarthritis. Journal Of Clinical Medicine, 11(5), 1220.

Punzi, L., Galozzi, P., Luisetto, R., Favero, M., Ramonda, R., Oliviero, F., & Scanu, A. (2016). Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Overview On Pathogenic Mechanisms And Role Of Inflammation. RMD Open, 2(2), E000279.

Richards, B. L., Whittle, S. L., & Buchbinder, R. (2012). Neuromodulators For Pain Management In Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviews, (1).

Vaughn, S. E., Strawn, J. R., Poweleit, E. A., Sarangdhar, M., & Ramsey, L. B. (2021). The Impact Of Marijuana On Antidepressant Treatment In Adolescents: Clinical And Pharmacologic Considerations. Journal Of Personalized Medicine, 11(7), 615.