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The Prevalence Of CBD Oil For Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are pain and stiffness, which commonly worsen with age. Today, 6 million Canadians over the age of 15 have arthritis. Some quick math will lead you to the staggering figure that approximately 1 in 5 people is suffering from this condition. Although there are many available treatments for arthritis, the majority cause a host of undesirable side-effects. We are living in an era where many individuals seek natural therapeutics for relief, and that’s where the prevalence of CBD oil for arthritis treatment comes in.

CBD: The Basics

The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and plays a role in inflammation and pain processing, as well as regulating physiological function across a wide array of organs 8 MacCarrone M, Gasperi V, Catani MV, Diep TA, Dainese E, Hansen HS, Avigliano L (2010) The endocannabinoid system and its relevance for nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr 30:423–440. . In the past decade or so, there has been a surge of interest in phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is emerging as a promising therapeutic agent with considerable anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and pain relief effects 11 Russo EB (2008) Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag 4:245–259. . Research has clearly demonstrated that CBD does not produce the typical psychoactive effects associated with the use of cannabis. This has created an appeal around CBD for those intrigued by the medicinal properties of cannabis, but who do not desire any psychoactive effects.

Research into the biological properties of CBD has shone a light on a wide array of potential therapeutic applications for conditions such as colitis, cancer pain, neuroinflammation, and collagen-induced arthritis 2 Burstein S (2015) Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: A review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic Med Chem 23:1377–1385. . Unlike THC, the other primary compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not known to have a high affinity for the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, CB1, and CB2. Thus, the mechanism of action of CBD is not well understood at this time. However, it is thought that CBD acts to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine release, making it a promising therapeutic for ailments that cause inflammation 13 Whyte LS, Ryberg E, Sims NA, Ridge SA, Mackie K, Greasley PJ, Ross RA, Rogers MJ (2009) The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 affects osteoclast function in vitro and bone mass in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:16511–16516. .  

CBD and Arthritis

There is a lot to cover, for now, we will focus on the therapeutic effects of CBD oil application for arthritis. Generally, cannabinoids and their receptors are strong potential targets for reducing pain and inflammation 3 Clayton N, Marshall FH, Bountra C, O’Shaughnessy CT (2002) CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are implicated in inflammatory pain. Pain 96:253–260. . Although the research involving CBD as a potential therapeutic for arthritis is in its infancy, cannabis is anything but a new drug. It has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Chinese practice in 2700 BC.

A study conducted in 2016 found that topical application of CBD cream was an effective, side-effect-free treatment for the reduction of inflammation and sensitivity in a mouse model of arthritis 5 Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, Abshire SM, McIlwrath SL, Stinchcomb AL, Westlund KN (2016) Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain 20:936–948. .  In another study, researchers discovered that oral doses of CBD suppressed TNF-α, a pro- inflammatory cytokine known to play a role in the mediation of rheumatoid arthritis 9 Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, Malik AS, Andreakos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann M (2000) The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:9561–9566. . Although both of these studies were conducted in animal models of arthritis, results found in these types of studies are the scientific building blocks required to continue the investigation in human subjects.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that occurs as protective cartilage that cushions your bones wears away over time. When treating osteoarthritis pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are most commonly prescribed for patients suffering from mild to moderate pain. However, long-term use of NSAIDs can be problematic, often leading to gastrointestinal and renal side effects, particularly in elderly patients 10 Miller RJ, Miller RE (2017) Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain? Clin Exp Rheumatol 35:S59–S67. . Preclinical studies have shown that compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors, or cannabinoid agonists (like CBD oil) are effective in various acute and chronic pain models, including osteoarthritis 12 Schuelert N, McDougall JJ (2008) Cannabinoid-mediated antinociception is enhanced in rat osteoarthritic knees. Arthritis Rheum 58:145–153. .

Effectiveness Of Topical CBD Application

If your research has led you to Bloom & Oil, you are probably asking yourself “how effective is CBD cream or oil for treating arthritis?”. This is a question that is currently being investigated by the scientific community but is in its very early stages. A recent study investigating the efficacy of topical CBD oil application for patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy showed some promising results. In this study of 29 participants, it was demonstrated that four weeks of topical application of CBD oil significantly reduced intense and sharp pain 14 Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y (2019) The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 21:390–402. . Although this study didn’t involve patients with arthritis, the study bodes promise for those wondering if applying CBD cream will prove effective in reducing pain symptoms related to other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Furthermore, a study conducted in patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis showed that administration of an oral spray (Sativex) containing a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC was effective in reducing pain and disease activity 1 Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS (2006) Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 45:50–52. . Although this study utilized an oral spray containing equal parts CBD and THC, it still speaks to the promising therapeutic nature of CBD for the treatment of arthritis.

Anecdotal Evidence

Often when experimental evidence is lacking in the early stages of a therapeutic investigation, people turn to anecdotal evidence from others suffering from similar ailments who have sought similar treatments. Many individuals have reported that self-medicating with CBD oil has brought them relief from joint pain. A survey conducted in Arizona reported that 63% of patients suffering from arthritis who self-medicated with CBD experienced almost complete overall pain relief. They also reported being able to lessen their use of other medications such as opioids (Ko et al., 2016). It is important to note however, anecdotal reports are not the same as controlled clinical trials. Controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Arno Hazekamp sums it up eloquently in his review paper on CBD oil 6 Hazekamp A (2018) The Trouble with CBD Oil. Med Cannabis Cannabinoids 1:65–72. . He states that if CBD oil was used mainly by informed adults and reasonably healthy consumers, the impact of its widespread use would be acceptable and limited. However, CBD oil is actively marketed for use by children (for ADHD and Autism), and patients suffering from complex diseases (Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s). Here, it is important to note that the long-term effects of CBD on children’s brains remain unclear. Its effects on complex neurological conditions are also not well studied. On the other hand, human studies have indicated that CBD is extremely well-tolerated, even up to doses of 1500 mg/day 15 Zuardi AW, Morais SL, Guimaraes FS, Mechoulam R (1995) Antipsychotic effect of cannabidiol. J Clin Psychiatry 56:485–486. .

Furthermore, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) review concluded there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD resulting in any public health sequelae. A crucial point in the use of CBD is the ability to verify the source of the active agent. In Canada, we are fortunate to have a cannabis market heavily regulated by the federal government in which CBD products can be purchased legally and safely without the concern of false-advertising or contamination. However, in countries where the cannabis market still operates in black and grey areas, people seeking CBD oil, or any other CBD product should be cautious about the source of the product. A best practice rule of thumb is to always consult your physician before exploring any therapeutic avenue.

Concluding Remarks

In rapid fashion, CBD oils have emerged as an eclectic combination of holistic medicine, miracle cure, and a natural answer to the synthetic pharmaceuticals that command modern medicine. With CBD, patients gain autonomy over their treatment, allowing them to explore therapeutic avenues that best serve them. Although CBD oil use for people suffering from arthritis has not been heavily investigated, the existing research is certainly promising. Further controlled studies and education would help to counter the negative impressions regarding CBD that are endemic in many societies. However, until more concrete evidence is established, people who decide to use CBD oil for arthritis and joint pain should do so with caution. Ultimately, we know our own bodies best, and should do what feels right, while consulting experts and scientific evidence along the way.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?

Although the research is lacking, a study mentioned in the above article showed that patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy experienced significant relief from joint pain after just 4 weeks of daily topical application of CBD oil. Arthritis.org also indicates that if you don’t feel relief from the use of CBD after several weeks, CBD may not be right for you. It is also important to note that everyone reacts differently to CBD oil, so the therapeutic timeline will differ between individuals.

Is CBD oil good for arthritis?

Based on the existing research, it seems that CBD oil has the potential to be a strong therapeutic candidate for the treatment of joint pain associated with arthritis. Whether or not CBD oil has the ability to halt or hamper disease progression remains to be seen. If you have arthritis, CBD oil could be a treatment worth trying but make sure to consult your physician before starting CBD oil treatment.

Does CBD cream work for arthritis pain?

A recent study of two patient case reports suggested that transdermal CBD cream containing 200 mg/oz provided significant symptom and pain relief for patients with lumbar compression fractures. These results suggest that further investigation into CBD-containing products is warranted for the treatment of chronic and acute pain(Eskander et al., 2020). Anecdotal evidence also indicates that CBD cream application is a viable treatment for arthritis pain.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.

Sources
  1. Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS (2006) Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 45:50–52.
  2. Burstein S (2015) Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: A review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic Med Chem 23:1377–1385.
  3. Clayton N, Marshall FH, Bountra C, O’Shaughnessy CT (2002) CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are implicated in inflammatory pain. Pain 96:253–260.
  4. Eskander JP, Spall J, Spall A, Shah R V., Kaye AD (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag 16:215– 218.
  5. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, Abshire SM, McIlwrath SL, Stinchcomb AL, Westlund KN (2016) Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain 20:936–948.
  6. Hazekamp A (2018) The Trouble with CBD Oil. Med Cannabis Cannabinoids 1:65–72.
  7. Ko GD, Bober SL, Mindra S, Moreau JM (2016) Medical cannabis – The Canadian perspective. J Pain Res 9:735–744.
  8. MacCarrone M, Gasperi V, Catani MV, Diep TA, Dainese E, Hansen HS, Avigliano L (2010) The endocannabinoid system and its relevance for nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr 30:423–440.
  9. Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, Malik AS, Andreakos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann M (2000) The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:9561–9566.
  10. Miller RJ, Miller RE (2017) Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain? Clin Exp Rheumatol 35:S59–S67.
  11. Russo EB (2008) Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag 4:245–259.
  12. Schuelert N, McDougall JJ (2008) Cannabinoid-mediated antinociception is enhanced in rat osteoarthritic knees. Arthritis Rheum 58:145–153.
  13. Whyte LS, Ryberg E, Sims NA, Ridge SA, Mackie K, Greasley PJ, Ross RA, Rogers MJ (2009) The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 affects osteoclast function in vitro and bone mass in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:16511–16516.
  14. Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y (2019) The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 21:390–402.
  15. Zuardi AW, Morais SL, Guimaraes FS, Mechoulam R (1995) Antipsychotic effect of cannabidiol. J Clin Psychiatry 56:485–486.

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