There seem to be people who are using CBD to treat all kinds of different health problems – including CBD for arthritis. It can be a little confusing at times since there don’t seem to be many clear cut facts stating whether CBD actually works.
Fortunately, it is a risk-free product meaning it’s completely safe to use. At Honest Hemp, we strongly believe in the power of CBD. We aim to spread this message without making ridiculous claims about it being a miracle problem-solver! We want to share the science and research behind the effects of CBD, and ultimately let you decide whether or not you want to try it.
In this article, we will be focusing on the topic of arthritis. Many people who suffer from arthritis have their interest sparked when they hear about CBD. It seems that some people swear by CBD as a treatment for arthritis, and some people claim it doesn’t work. So should you try it, or should you not bother? Let’s find out.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. It is thought to interact with the human endocannabinoid system, as well as being an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. If this is true, it could essentially help to treat all kinds of different health ailments.
CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects or cause people to feel ‘high’. Many users claim that it helps to induce feelings of relaxation and reduced stress, but it does not alter your perception or mental state. In contrast, THC – another cannabinoid found in cannabis – does cause these psychoactive feelings. It is identified as the only cannabinoid that causes these unusual effects.
In recent years, CBD products have been showing up all over the world. You can find CBD oils, edibles, drinks, cosmetics, vaping liquids, and even products for your pets!
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It causes pain and inflammation in the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that all act slightly differently – this means there is not 1 clear cut way to treat the condition. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (1)
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type in the UK. It usually affects people over the age of 45, but it could occur at any age. OA affects the joints and makes movement more difficult than usual – this leads to pain and stiffness. It can also cause swelling and alter the shape of the bones and joints. (1)
Rheumatoid arthritis is slightly less common. It usually starts between the ages of 40 and 50 and is more likely to affect women than men. It affects the outer covering of the joints, causing pain and swelling, and then can spread across the joint further increasing the swelling. This can change the shape of the joint, and cause bone and cartilage damage. This type of arthritis can lead to problems developing with other organs and tissues in the body. (1)
Does CBD work for arthritis?
The aim when trying to treat arthritis is ultimately to reduce pain and stiffness. Although we know CBD is very unlikely to cure arthritis, many people do claim that it helps with these symptoms.
- In a 2011 study, it was found that CBD helped to reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way that pain receptors respond to stimuli. (2)
- A 2014 review of animal research concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. (3)
- A 2016 study found that topical application of CBD (application on the skin) had the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. (4)
- A 2017 study found that CBD is a safe and potentially useful treatment for osteoarthritis joint pain. (5)
- A 2006 study found that Sativex – an oral spray used by the NHS – was an effective way to relieve arthritis pain. However, Sativex contains both CBD and THC, so we can’t necessarily pin this down to being an effect of CBD alone. (6)
- A Gallup poll was published after researching CBD users in the USA. They found that 8% of the CBD users were using it to treat arthritis – this was one of the top 4 reasons for use. (7)
What about CBD for general pain?
As we mentioned previously, researchers think CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is responsible for regulating many functions – one of which is our pain response. This is one of the theories behind why CBD could potentially be an effective pain treatment.
- In the same Gallup poll that we mentioned above, 40% of CBD users were using it to treat non-specific pain. This was reported as the top reason for use.
- Multiple animal studies – usually using rats – have suggested that CBD can help to reduce inflammation, sciatic nerve pain, and pain response to stimuli.
Is CBD safe to try?
Yes, CBD is completely safe. The World Health Organisation states that there is no risk for dependency or abuse and that it’s well-tolerated by all individuals. There is a lack of evidence to suggest any dangerous side effects of CBD. Some research has shown there to be a risk for small side effects – such as anxiety, appetite changes, nausea, or dry mouth – but these are only apparent under certain circumstances (e.g. when taking a very high dose, or taking other medications alongside CBD).
If you are currently taking other medications, then ensure you speak to your doctor before using CBD. Additionally, you should never exceed the recommended dose. If you suffer from liver problems or blood pressure problems, speak to your doctor before using it. Lastly, avoid CBD if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What CBD product should I use?
First and foremost, you want to ensure you’re buying from a reputable brand. Any CBD product you buy should be third-party tested, and you should look for a manufacturer with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification. At Honest Hemp, all of our products undergo third-party cannabinoid testing and we provide these lab reports on our website. We manufacture our products from our state of the art facility in the UK with GMP certification.
When it comes to product types, you have 4 main categories:
The first 3 on the list will all have pretty similar results as you ingest them orally. The main difference is that CBD e-liquids can work more quickly and effectively due to bioavailability. CBD topicals are slightly different – these are designed to provide site-specific relief as you apply them directly to the affected area.
It is difficult to recommend one specific product type to a whole category of people. The best way to approach CBD is to try something and find out if it works for you. The most commonly used product is CBD oil – so perhaps try starting off with this. The higher strength you choose, the less oil you will need to consume and vice versa. CBD edibles are slightly more straightforward to use as the CBD dose is premeasured – e.g. 10mg of CBD per gummy.